Here’s the piece that started it all …
… sort of. My road to blogging was driven by a need to have a way to post this piece that I’d written, which was published in the October 2012 issue of The Lutheran. Of course, there is a backstory to this … a story that started just about a year ago.
In January 2012, one of my pastor-friends on Facebook shared an essay by Bishop Michael Rinehart of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod. I read it and was moved by what the good bishop had to say, so I shared it on Facebook as well. Then that same piece appeared in the February issue of The Lutheran. I was delighted that this important perspective was getting such a wide audience. (I still recommend reading it and here’s a link to Bishop Rinehart’s article: http://http://tlgcconnections.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/insiders-and-outsiders/)
But my hopes that this might prompt a forward-looking discussion in the wider ELCA were quickly disappointed. There were letters arguing that insiders matter, too … articles cautioning against “throwing the baby out with the bathwater by jettisoning our heritage” … yet another go ‘round on the contemporary vs. traditional “worship wars.” All of this was completely aside from what Bishop Rinehart was saying: that the future of the church depends on learning to care about those who are outside of the congregation – and orienting everything we do towards them – instead of taking care of those who are already members.
I was frustrated that people didn’t seem to be getting it. So I fired up my computer and wrote a response that I submitted for consideration for the monthly “My View” feature in the magazine. First, I heard it was being considered; then, a few weeks later, I was told it would be published. Shortly after that, I found myself face-to-face with Bishop Rinehart at the Multi-Cultural Youth Leadership Event prior to the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans. I thanked him for what he wrote and told him that my response would be in the October issue of The Lutheran. He asked me to email him a link to when it appeared … which I did. But most of what I wrote was behind the subscription wall … and now, months later, the entire issue is behind the wall.
So I needed a place where I could post it … a place where it would be more accessible. I’d been thinking about blogging for years. A number of people have complimented my writing. I’m working on a book, so I need to “get my name out there.” So why not? It took some time to find possible host sites … think of a name that would be unique and frame my ideas … find the time to actually DO the work of setting up the site. But here it is (at long last). So I begin with The Piece that Started It All (in its original, unedited version).