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Messages - Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Your Turn / Re: Front Lines of Ministry
« on: Today at 12:09:45 PM »
My first congregation was Concordia in Lincoln Village on the far west side of Columbus.  It began on the Hilltop but moved west when Nationwide Insurance offered some land to congregations that would move into the then new Lincoln Village.  The congregation jumped at the chance.  The Hilltop is a nice neighborhood but it has some rough elements for sure.  I'm sorry to see that happen.  In the early 2000s we still had several families who lived in the Hilltop, all of them going to West HS.  I do wonder about the training the pastor had in deescalation.  I don't have that training, or the little that I do may not be enough. 


The Hilltop used to be a desirable neighborhood, I'm told.  I used to visit families there and they complained about how much it had changed. They've moved out. Lot's of drugs; growing violence have moved in.

I had an experience like this street scuffle some years ago. Heard people yelling and went outside. On the street and sidewalk below the parsonage there were about thirty youth. I didn't recognize them as part of the neighborhood. Some were fighting, others egging them on. I stood on our lawn above them, took out my phone, and crossed my arms in a posture of disapproval. Slowly they started noticing me watching them and started back towards High Street from where they apparently came. I never said a word and stayed at a distance the whole time.

Your Turn / Re: United List…Here We Go
« on: September 22, 2022, 01:31:09 PM »
Ah, the helpful Tu quoque.   ;)

Rather, a Mercution observation.

Your Turn / Re: United List…Here We Go
« on: September 22, 2022, 12:39:11 PM »
And as stated, chapels weren't so much formulated liturgically in the way back when, but in that short time-frame were designated around the message, delivered by people passionate in Gospel outreach. 

Yup, Will Weedon sure put a damper on things!  ::)

Good grief, what is this, "Let's cheap-shot the 'regime'!" week?

I recall when the Kieschnick admin rolled out Ablaze. The commentary from some was very sharp and hostile. There was, as I recall, a website devoted to mocking the effort.

I've never understood the doctrine versus mission rivalry in the synod. I think it is one of the most unfortunate and unhelpful divides I've witnessed. My prayer has always been that folks see the need for both, how they compliment one another.

Your Turn / Re: Members' "Whiteness"
« on: September 21, 2022, 07:16:25 PM »
This is a helpful map for understanding why there are fewer Black Lutherans in the US:

You're going to need to explain that a bit, Ed.   

Dave Benke

The map shows population density of Blacks, especially in the south and the cities in 1900. If you look at Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas, those have higher population of Lutherans but almost no representation of Blacks, except in some cities. In other words, 120 years ago Blacks and Lutherans we're essentially separate from one another. And not because of views about race. So naturally there was very little interaction that might lead to Black membership in Lutheran Congregations.

Now, here in Columbus today, Lutherans and Blacks are right next to one another and having families together. The situation has changed dramatically.

Your Turn / Re: Members' "Whiteness"
« on: September 21, 2022, 04:30:01 PM »
This is a helpful map for understanding why there are fewer Black Lutherans in the US:

Your Turn / Members' "Whiteness"
« on: September 20, 2022, 03:44:39 PM »
The Racial Justice Action Group at . . . Lutheran Church (. . . .) formed to investigate the whiteness of the congregation. They sought to create strategies to achieve authentic and strategic diversity within the congregation. Team members included . . . . They conducted a survey, gathered data, and evaluated the current culture of the congregation to come up with meaningful recommendations.

I came across this on the website of a local congregation while doing historical research. Is this a common or encouraged practice in Lutheran churches these days? Does anyone here have a team working in their congregation?

Your Turn / Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« on: September 20, 2022, 02:36:45 PM »
Yet again:

I like the picture that accompanies the article: a display of banned books at a local bookstore.

How can they be on display if they are banned? How can they be sold if they are banned? They aren't actually banned. But it makes good copy.

Controversy is good for sales, generally, in a free society. In an authoritarian society you can have genuine bans that would prevent sales.

Your Turn / Re: United List…Here We Go
« on: September 20, 2022, 08:57:59 AM »
A couple of discussions for those willing to take up the problem of people associating the church with being “against” rather than “for” people and various behaviors.

What is a typical Lutheran congregation insufficiently “for”?

What are we against that we shouldn’t be against?

Emmanuel is for the Lord and His people, who in turn have mercy on people in need around us. We are for peaceful relations and moving others into a faithful relationship with the Lord. Most of our neighbors see an active, traditional congregation that is good for the neighborhood, in my experience.

Your Turn / Re: Rich man and Lazarus
« on: September 20, 2022, 08:02:04 AM »
The explanation given to the rich man doesn’t reference faith or good works. It simply says that in eternity things are the opposite of how they are in this world. It would be very easy for an outsider to read it as saying that being a sore-ridden beggar is in and of itself salvific and being rich is in and of itself damnable.

No, it wouldn't be very easy at all.
Sure it would. What makes you think the text leads so obviously to a different conclusion? An outsider would not have the resource of Christian context for the story.

One needs to look, I think, to the context just before the story where Jesus talks about the Word of God (vv. 16--17). That connects wonderfully with Abraham's statements at the end of the story (vv. 29--31). Lazarus is comforted because he hears the prophets; the rich man is tormented because he does not. The story also fits beautifully with Jesus' teaching overthrowing the normal course of society where the rich man appears blessed but is actually damned. Lazarus appears cursed but is blessed.

The target of the story in context would be Pharisees (vv. 14--15) who were lovers of money. Throughout the preceding parables Jesus is undermining their way of seeing themselves in favor of the outcasts whom the Lord would save (15:1--2; the prodigal, and Lazarus). The stories beautifully illustrate salvation by grace.

Your Turn / Re: Rich man and Lazarus
« on: September 20, 2022, 07:43:10 AM »
It might be best to read the story in view of its context in Luke rather than in the context of John 11. Why does Jesus tell this story at this point in the Gospel? Who is His audience there?

Your Turn / Re: Rich man and Lazarus
« on: September 19, 2022, 03:14:39 PM »
I don't regard this story as a parable but as a description of real people, one named, the other not. Jesus never assigns names in the parables. They are always more abstract.

Your Turn / Re: Youth Catechesis Question
« on: September 18, 2022, 06:35:25 PM »
Here's the latest Catechism song on the Fourth Petition. It took a while to come up with a way to handle the long list explaining daily bread.

Your Turn / Re: United List…Here We Go
« on: September 17, 2022, 03:00:56 PM »
To access the article under discussion, go to this link and download the document:

I know, I'm "man-splaining" but I figured I might not be the only one who did not know where to find this article, "Raise Your Boys to Be Men . . . Even Pastors."

Here is the cultural context I think of as I read the article: since the early twentieth century, western nations have cultivated a youth culture, which suspends responsibility and raises desire for leisure. Young men, failing to launch from their family's homes, are especially affected by this cultural problem. Economic necessity forced our grandfather and father to "grow up" in their teen years. We now see younger men failing to accept responsibility even into their 30s. This is a growing cultural problem of decadence, which may unravel western civilization. Oh yeah, and it affects the Church, too.

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