From the Editor

We love to tell their story

I think it is appropriate to call this edition of Metro Lutheran a special issue.
Careful readers will recognize a certain “emphasis,” some by our design,
some not.

The staff writers all wrote articles about how the economic downturn is
affecting Lutheran agencies — in terms of their ability to provide service to
their clients or their ability to raise the necessary funds to stay afloat. (That
was our decision.)

Staying afloat is challenging in these times. This became all-too-clear while I
was putting together the classified ads page and saw that we had more ads
offering “services” than we did promoting “jobs.” As a person who has always
felt strongly about the need for fair employment that provides dignity and
resources, I was very worried that some people “offering” services may have
been doing so because their employment security was disappearing or had
disappeared.

The Lutheran ministries highlighted in this issue — Lutheran World Relief,
Operation Bootstrap Africa, LINC—Twin Cities, Faith in the City, Lutheran
Social Service — are some of the most impressive agencies in the world.
Cutting edge ministry happens when the hands of these employees meet the
needs of God’s preferred ones.

As Lutherans, we need to know what these organizations are doing. We
should be proud of the ministry happening in our names. We should join
these agencies and others like them in the work, including financially.

Metro Lutheran is committed to continue to tell their story. In fact “we love to
tell their story.” It is good news that a Lutheran newspaper should share.

But Metro Lutheran must challenge as well. These are times of serious pain
for some in our society and in our churches. People are being laid off. People
are losing health coverage, or it is becoming unaffordable. People are
underemployed and in search of dignity, or overemployed and unable to
spend time with family. The “system” is not working for the good of “people.”

I believe that every Lutheran congregation should have an intentional
discussion about what its responsibility is in times such as these. Is it to offer
job training? Is it to host advocacy workshops on economic alternatives? Is it
to call for prayer circles for the vulnerable?

Each congregation must answer for itself what the unique ministry is. But no
congregation should ignore the questions.