The Average Lutheran

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod supports Riga Lutheran Academy, Latvia—an online seminary offering a four-year Bachelor of Theology program in the English language. As one of RLA’s docents, last week I had the privilege of attending the semi-annual one-week Intensive in that Baltic country. 26 students from 13 different countries are enrolled in the rigorous program, … Continue reading The Average Lutheran

The Lord’s Work

Every Saturday I teach at a local Lutheran (SELK) church in Hamburg: first, a new member class for a German baptismal candidate and then three hours of German for Persian migrants. And every Saturday I find the fellowship hall spotlessly clean, with the table set with various kinds of sparkling water and snacks. During each … Continue reading The Lord’s Work

No Match for Nature

In the dining car. A young soldier sits down across from me. I nod and thank him for his service, noting the three stripes on his sleeve. We’re both in “uniform” (camo/clerical). Finishing my meal, I get up to leave. “Blessings on your journey,” he offers. “Hauptgefreiter…,” I note (Petty Officer, Third Class). “I used … Continue reading No Match for Nature


In 2015 Germany opened its borders to take in Syrian refugees fleeing from the civil war in their homeland. Countless Syrians arrived, but so did many others, with over one million people—most of them from various Muslim countries—arriving within months. While the German population initially had welcomed the refugees, popular sentiment changed. This caused the … Continue reading Refuge