Vol 20 No 1 January/February 2005
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2005. We're now into our sixth year of this century, of this millennium. Our Christmas and New Year festivities were eclipsed by the catastrophic earthquake and ensuing tsunami that devastated southern Asia. It's hard for the mind to comprehend the abrupt and enormous loss of life, home and livelihood, and the world has responded with an outpouring of practical help, primarily by making monetary contributions to any number of relief agencies.
This generosity, and the small miracles of some lives saved in the middle of chaos, are the only hope-filled aspects to this. The tragedy became more real for me when I spent anxious hours waiting to hear about the safety of a friend's daughter who lives and works on Phuket. She is safe, but the heart-wrenching stories—and photos—of so many who aren't will stay with us for a very long time. If ever we were to take a moment to thank God for our many blessings, this one is writ large.
Our first issue of the year focuses on the clergy, and more specifically on the Millennium Study of Leadership Needs, a two-year study commissioned by the ELCIC and researched and written by Rev. Dr. Ken Kuhn. What's the situation now, and what does the future look like? How do you know if God is calling you to serve as a pastor or as a diaconal minister?
And you might enjoy the spiritual and literal journey of a young Danish immigrant family as they make their way to Canada after the war and establish their new lives here. Doubt and fear are transformed by reliance on and faith in God.
It promises to be an interesting year. Join us as we take a look at eco-theology, labyrinths, same-sex marriage (I know, again), and of course, the National Convention in July.
I wish you a year of challenge, fulfillment, joy and the peace only God can give.
Ida Reichardt Backman
Clergy Demographics—an Overview—by David Chell
Diaconal Ministry—Another way to serve—by Rev. Dr. Ken Kuhn
God's Call—by Gary Morsch and Eddy Hall
by Vibs Paulsen—No, it's not the song. it's a story of God's accompaniment with us—no matter how stormy the sea.
What began as a group of like-minded Chinese members of Zion Lutheran Church in Saskatoon has blossomed into a vibrant Bible study group.