Get a Head Start on 2009: On December 30, we received a catalog from Edward R. Hamilton, Bookseller and right there on the cover was the book ELCA members (and we suspect, most Christians) have been waiting for: How to Change Anybody (St. Martin's Press, 2005) by David J. Lieberman, Ph.D.. The book has an ambitious subtitle: Proven Techniques to Reshape Anyone's Attitude, Behavior, Feelings, or Beliefs. The publisher describes the book as follows:
Finally, the book that shows you how to do the impossible: get someone to change, for the better.
Donít let crazy people drive you crazy. Donít let annoying, obnoxious, petty people get under your skin. Whether itís your kids, spouse, friend, client, patient, or coworker, you have the power to make it better. Before you break up with your boyfriend, fire your employee, or write off your mother-in-law, try changing them into someone new. With clear, prescriptive techniques, How to Change Anybody tells you how to:
* Inspire loyalty.
* Turn anyone's mood around fast.
* Stop stubborn behavior.
* Turn a lazy bum into an ambitious go-getter.
* Stop passive aggressive behavior.
* And much more!
David Lieberman is an expert in simple behavioral strategies that work every time. These tried-and-true techniques will truly give you the tools to change anyoneóand, in the process, to change your life!

Now if everyone "changes" everyone else, surely the world will be a better place, won't it?

My Name Is Harvey Milk,
and I'm Here to Recruit You:
That was 1978, and 30 years later, recruits are still important. Lutherans Concerned/North America (LCNA) has launched the Reconciling Lutherans program enlist all Lutherans willing to make a public witness to a church and world that welcomes and includes all:
Each name added to this public roster of Reconciling Lutherans will strengthen the call to the church to become truly welcoming and inclusive. By revealing the true depth and breadth of support for change, the Reconciling Lutherans roster will give courage to all members and leaders, bringing closer the day when all are truly welcome.
Reconciling Lutherans is to individuals what RIC is to congregations: it is an affirmation of welcome. Whether you are a member of an RIC congregation or not, it is important for your voice to be heard as a Reconciling Lutheran.

5 Notable Events in 2008: Many notable things happened in 2008. Hear are five to bear in mind.

Notable #1: Five Extraordinary Ordinations (Lutheran): Since 1990, seventeen Lutherans have been ordained extra ordinem. Five of those ordinations took place in 2008:
Pr. Jen Nagel, called to serve as pastor by Salem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, was ordained on January 19. Since 2003 Pr. Nagel had served the congregation as "pastoral minister" without call.
On May 16, 2008 Pr. Lionel Ketola became the first Extraordinary Ordinand to be ordained in Canada. Pr. Ketola was called by Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Newmarket, Ontario and serves the congregation as associate pastor in the role of Ambassador of Reconciliation in the Eastern Synod and throughout the ELCIC.
Pr. Lura Groen was called by Grace Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas to serve as pastor. She was ordained there on July 26. Bishop Mike Rinehart of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod dismissed the event, but Houston Mayor Bill White declared July 26, 2008 to be Pastor Lura Groen Day in Houston.


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!

Be the Life of the Party:
Worn out your old copy of The Book of Concord?
Get a new one.
Evangelical Lutheran Worship: what's all the fuss about? Find out for yourself.
Looking for a good old hymnal? We've got those, too.
Buy books, music, and other Lutheran stuff now from the LutheranConfessions.com Store! (Frequently cheaper than Augsburg-Fortress or Concordia.)

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.

    On October 25, Pr. Jodi Barry was ordained at Grace University Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Pr. Barry was called by the Covenant Circle of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM) to serve as chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Minneapolis.
    Pr. Jay Wilson was ordained on December 6 in San Francisco. Jay was called to serve as associate pastor by the congregation of First United Lutheran Church. He is the first transgender person to be called and ordained under the auspices of ELM. Pr. Wilson's call encompasses his work as assistant director of the Welcome Ministry which serves the homeless, the hungry, and the poor in San Francisco.

    Notable #2: ELCA Bishop(s) Oppose Prop. 8: In the brouhaha over California's Proposition 8, Bishop Mark Holmerud of the Sierra Pacific Synod joined other religious leaders in a press conference to voice their opposition to Proposition 8. Despite Bishop Holmerud's efforts, Proposition 8 passed and the right to marry was denied to same-sex couples.
    In addition to Bishop Holmerud, Bishop Emeritus Paul Egertson (of the Southwest California Synod) also spoke publicly against Prop. 8.

    Notable #3: Gay Cleric Nominated for Bishop: Rev. Horst Gorski (pictured) was nominated to serve as bishop in the Schlesswig Diocese of the North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church.
    Pr. Gorski lost the election but attributed the result to the relative strengths of rural and urban concerns.

    Notable #4: One (Canadian) Congregation Disciplined: For it's role in calling and ordaining Pr. Lionel Ketola, Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Newmarket, Ontario was suspended from the ELCIC's Eastern Synod by Bishop Michael Pryse (pictured). Under the terms of the suspension, the congregation will not be allowed to send delegates to conference, synodical and national conventions of the ELCIC and its members and clergy cannot be candidates for elected positions in the ELCIC.

    Notable #5: The Death and Resurrection of Issues, Etc.: On Tuesday of Holy Week (March 18), the popular radio program Issues, Etc. was abruptly terminated at the behest of leaders of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). Protests ensued, and finally on June 30, the program resumed on the Internet and a St. Louis radio station (KSIV 1320AM).

    Not Notable Maybe, But We Take Pride: All of us at Lutheran (True!) Confessions wish to acknowledge both the readers and the far-flung reporters without whom 2008 would not have been nearly as much fun.
    We are especially grateful for the support of the good folks at the Shellfish Blog. One diligent, far-flung reporter tells us that we contributed 7 items to Shellfish in 2008. Here they are:
    Jen Again: Is She or Isn't She,
    More and More Extraordinary,
    We Don't Need No Stinking Theology? (oh, my!),
    The Eyes of Texas Are Upon Us,
    New Wave of Gay Seminarians,
    Southern Seminary Shows Integrity,
    That's Some Reformation!
    Thanks also to Pr. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS and other contributors to the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau Forum Online for the moment of notoriety we enjoyed there in July.
    Memo to Pr. Charles Austin and to anyone else who has wondered who we are: My name is Bennett Falk, and I'm here to recruit you.

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