From the Editor

We will never be forgotten

Editor Michael Sherer

Editor Michael Sherer

A message from the editor

What can we say about the twin tragedies in central Iowa and suburban Minneapolis this summer? In both cases, a distracted parent accidentally left an infant in an automobile for an entire day while going off to work. In both cases, the child died in a closed vehicle that, as the hours went by, slowly turned into an oven.

It seems unimaginable that a parent could forget where a child was left. A columnist for one of the metropolitan dailies wrote, “Forget your child? You might as well forget to breathe!”

Surely those who have long preached it will remind us, now with more conviction than ever, that such tragedies would not happen if mothers of small children were not employed outside the home (although some single parents have no real choice).

It is clear, as well, that the escalating pace of modern life is pushing some Americans to the edge of literal distraction. We are now so busy, running so fast, trying to balance so many spinning plates, that we can no longer function at top performance. We’re frazzled. We forget things — sometimes even our children.

These twin tragedies are a grim reminder to us all. When we become parents, we promise our children, ourselves, and God to guard them with our lives. In Minnesota we have some uncommonly good resources to help with this task. The Search Institute helps parents and other adults develop “assets” in young people. The Youth and Family Institute of Augsburg College provides a cornucopia of helpful tools for godly child raising. (One of those tools is a monthly column, “Positive Parenting,” which appears on this newspaper’s back page.)

Parenting can be frightfully difficult, even when parents want the best for their children. Fortunately, we are never left to our own devices. We have the sure promise of God in Christ that we are not alone in this task.

In good times or bad, our Divine Advocate will never forget about us — not even in those terrible moments when we, at our worst, forget about our own children.

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Also in the print edition this month: Dr. Merton Strommen, who wrote a book about how he believes homosexual orientation is fixed in men, responds to retired ELCA bishops Herbert Chilstrom and Lowell Erdahl, both of whom disagree with his perspective.

And, a page full of letters to the editor focus mainly on the question of homosexuality and how the Lutheran Church can and should shape its ministry to these people.