March cover image: Global Communion Through the LWF, blue and white world globe with photos of various people

Vol 22 No 2 March 2007


National Bishops's Turn

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A Time Away

In Manitoba, as I write this, there's a debate going on as to whether we should have a holiday in February. Everyone is fed up with the short days and the cold weather, and a mid-winter break, many feel, would be a welcome respite.

By the time you receive this magazine, of course, if the province decides to go ahead with this idea or not, this will be a moot point. But the vision is a good one: taking time to rest, having what some euphemistically call 'a mental health day.' It's a good idea to set some time aside, and definitely easier to do when we have a set holiday. Even Jesus took time away from the demands of his work, spending time in prayer, quiet and contemplation.

You've heard the saying: "people to see, places to go, things to do." It's said almost as a boast, but instead, perhaps it's a reflection of how we can get caught up in the swirl of the world. During this time of Lent, of preparation for Easter, it is even more appropriate for us to take some time away from the hustle and bustle of our lives.

Our March issue may help lead you to this meditative place. First, we journey with a grieving father who has struggled with the untimely death of his son and examined his own feelings of failure because of it. Then, Rev. Glen Nelson leads us through a Lenten reflection with "So Much More Than Death," and Rev. Larry Denef, in our Articles of Faith series, examines fear, and what this means in our lives. Food for thought, all of them.

And in this issue, we join with the international community in congratulating The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) on the 60 years of assistance they have given to many people and projects around the world. Founded in 1947, in response to the multiple needs generated by the Second World War, they have continued to provide immediate disaster aid, plus long-term sustainable development through the years. The LWF now has 140 member churches in 78 countries, representing over 66 million of the 69 million Lutherans worldwide. A reason to celebrate, indeed. Our story about the LWF is written by Daranne Mills, currently the communications director for Canadian Lutheran World Relief.

As we continue on our Lenten journey, may the promise of the resurrection joy sustain us.

Ida Reichardt Backman