Women of the ELCA Blog

How sacraments tether »

A lifelong Lutheran, I did not truly recognize the power of our sacramental theology until I experienced more of life; until I encountered powerlessness, loss, disconnection and shame. There was a time when I didn’t comprehend the freedom and liberation new converts described when they talked about receiving communion or witnessing baptisms. As I’ve matured,

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Give me strength! »

Many years after my father’s sudden death, I still fear “what might happen if…,” sometimes making mental plans: I would do this… or I would turn to… Wise preparations. But most of all I trust that God will give me the strength then! God of the past, present and future, in you we trust. Amen.


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Mystery and wonder »

Our bodies are intricate and magnificent creations, filled with mystery and wonder. Yet, somehow, we have a difficult relationship with these gifts of flesh and blood. We have exploited them, shamed them and manipulated them, and our interactions with them have sometimes even become deadly. There are communities that speak up against body shaming. These

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Learning to accept »

Several months after the accident which killed my husband and gravely injured my son, I crawled into my department chair’s office to ask for help. My chair is Jewish. He had been born Jewish, became a Lutheran pastor and had recently reconverted. He sighed and said, “Anna, when I was a Christian, my favorite story

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Claimed and sanctified »

One of my most vivid memories as a teenager in my congregation is that only little kids were allowed to have food and drink in the sanctuary. On rare occasions, when I could bring a water bottle into worship, I was calmer. I could concentrate on worshiping God, enjoying the hymns, and following my pastor’s

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Learning to dive »

During high school, I tried a difficult dive off a 3-meter board. By the time I would get to the end of the board, I’d freeze. I forgot what I needed to do to go forward. The only way I was going to get off that board was by starting all over.

The practice of baptism is

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When gratitude leaves »

Gratitude and generosity are good friends. When one comes to visit, the other does, too. When one leaves or takes a vacation, the other tends to follow. Gratitude provides generosity with deep roots. And when I’m feeling less than generous (toward others or God or myself), it’s usually because I’m not practicing gratitude.  How have

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Unexpected allies »

Back when I started my ministry, I didn’t know I would be an ally to people who are LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual). I didn’t know the blessing that this work would be in my life and in my ministry. I had no idea that I would discover that I am called

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