In Memoriam: Marguerite Kuhlman: This week we received the sad news that Marguerite Kuhlman had died. She was 68 years old and is survived by her sisters Dorothea and Patricia.
Marguerite was a life-long member of St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square in Chicago, and we met her on the occasion of Pr. Erik Christensen's ordination there in 2006. She was not a celebrity in the usual sense of the term, and we doubt that many Lutherans know of her. The circumstances of her death resulted in a flurry of publicity that might obscure who Marguerite was and what she did.
On November 3 Marguerite suffered a heart attack while attending a Chicago Blackhawks hockey game at the United Center. She was taken to the Rush University Medical Center and died later in the evening.
Coincidentally Marguerite's mother Mildred A. Kuhlman died in 1986 while attending a Blackhawks game. Attracted by the coincidence, news services throughout the world have picked up the story of Marguerite Kuhlman's death.
Marguerite was an intense and enigmatic woman who looked at the world through large, round glasses. It was not difficult to imagine that she disapproved of much of what she saw. But for Marguerite disapproval would not be a reason to disengage. She served on the board of directors of Elijah's Pantry, a program providing food for families in need in the Logan Square area. She was involved with the Metro Chicago Synod "Working Group on the Middle East," and in May of this year was part of a delegation to Israel and the Palestinian territories. She was deeply concerned with racial equality and international relief work. She was a regular attendee at ELCA Global Mission events, and a strong supporter of the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society.
Marguerite was a private person, but not an anti-social one. At Pr. Christensen's ordination she struck up a conversation with Pr. Jeff Johnson, and finding him to her liking, she later slyly presented him with a homemade Dammit Doll which we understand he has put to good use since.
It was Marguerite whom we quoted anonymously two years ago in the very first issue of Lutheran Confessions: I don't go to church for sex. We laughed at the time, but on second thought we have to admit, neither do we.
We thank God for Marguerite Kuhlman.
Donations in memory of Marguerite Kuhlman can be made to Elijah's Pantry care of St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square.

Marriage Ban Backlash: On election day, voters approved California's Proposition 8 revoking the right of same-sex couples to marry. On Friday, November 7, thousands of people took to the streets in San Francisco to protest and there was talk of boycotting the state of Utah. Other protests have sprung up at churches that supported Proposition 8, among them the Mormon Temple in Oakland and the Saddleback Church in Orange County.
Anger directed at religious organizations over the issue is also affecting churches opposed to Prop. 8 who work in the LGBT community. Our friends at St. Francis Lutheran (SF) recognize the dilemma:
Sometimes our ministry to the San Francisco community has had to surmount understandable suspicion from the LGBTQ community. Now, because of the major input of reactionary religious groups into supporting Proposition 8, will our ministry become all the more difficult?
Our choice is simple: we listen to their understandable anger against religion as they have experienced it, even as we extend the loving and affirming hand of Christ. We would do no other.


Extravagance (Luxuria): Who says Lutherans don't know about Luxury? When you want to indulge yourself, nothing else says extravagance as boldly as the Official LutheranConfessions.com BASEBALL CAP!

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Pr. Sophie is all a-Twitter. Again.
Pr. Sophie's Tweets:

    Hot Dish Hotline: "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." What have you seen or heard that other people really need to know about? Use the Hot Dish Hotline to submit your item online.

    Choco-Calvin: November 2 saw the inauguration of Calvin09 (the Calvin Year celebrating the reformer's 500th brthday). Organizers promise that calvin09 will be full of special events, including an exhibition titled A Day in the Life of Calvin at the International Museum of the Reformation, a "great spectacle" titled Jean Calvin in front of the Reformers’ Wall in Geneva, and "the reconstruction of a typical 16th-century Huguenot village."
    And of course there are products: calendars, memo pads, jubilee books, and chocolate.
    calvin09 chocolate, a blend of Grand Cru wild chocolate (we hope it is also fair trade chocolate) from Bolivia and original spices, was created by master chocolatier Blaise Poyet to represent the Reformer Jean Calvin "by means of flavours and aromas."
    In an article by Stephen Brown for Ecumenical News Service, Poyet commented on the task of making a commemorative chocolate for a reformer:
    It's not easy to represent theological ideas by using the taste buds. But the key thing for Calvin is the glory of God, his excellence, his perfection. So we chose a chocolate that we chocolatiers find exceptional, rare and flawless.
    We fervently hope that there is no truth to the rumor that the Luther Decade will be commemorated with special edition gummi worms.

    Ich bin getauft: Not content to let the calvin09 celebration go unanswered, the worldwide Lutheran community will commemorate the 525th anniversary of Luther's baptism on November 11. The Luther 525 Project hopes to encourage 525 baptisms to celebrate the anniversary and to enlist 525 congregations to celebrate baptismal remembrance day. Much of this activity is will occur in Luther's birthplace Eisleben and in the church of Sts. Peter and Paul where Luther was baptized. As the event's organizers note:
    We still baptize adults and children in the remains of same baptismal font, in which the little baby Martin was held.
    The bowl of the font is pictured above.

    Reluctant Leader Study: Sola Publishing has announced publication of a God’s Reluctant Leaders, a Bible study for women by Pr. Lisa Lewton. The nine-session Bible Study focuses on the stories of Jonah, Gideon, and Moses.Sessions explore how God works to create faith within those who are called to serve. The study is written at an introductory level, to be led by a lay leader or pastor in a small-group question and discussion format. It intended as a resource for monthly women's group meetings informal small-group settings.
    Within earshot of our reporter, Margaret Moreland of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries commented on the selection of stories about men for an audience of women:
    I guess if you're writing about 'reluctant leaders' in the Bible, you pretty much have to write about men because the women didn't have that problem.
    Sola Publishing is an educational ministry to provide teaching resources with a confessional Lutheran focus for all ages.

    After Last Call: Thoughtful observers have reported that even though the deadline has passed for responding to the ELCA Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality, the web form for posting responses on the ELCA web site is still live as of this writing. Those who wish to have the experience of participating without actually affecting anything may want to take advantage of this opportunity.

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