Lutheran Witness: February 2018

What does it mean for Lutheran Christians to offer welcome? In its February issue, The Lutheran Witness aims to find out.

Readers will find a range of insightful reflections on Christian hospitality, multicultural ministry, welcoming the stranger, foster parenting, interracial dialogue and more.



  • Welcoming Emmanuel — Martin J. Schultheis
  • ‘Sit back and listen’: A conversation with Roosevelt Gray — Rachel Bomberger
  • Sojourn and sacrifice — Pamela J. Nielsen
  • A gospel for all people — Kou Seying
  • Hospitality at the Lord’s Table — John T. Pless
  • Strangers in the pewsAnita Reith Stohs
  • Hospitality for the hurting: Specialized Pastoral Ministry — Joel Hempel


  • world views: A monthly news column from Gene Edward Veith
  • faith and family: A house full of welcome — Jane Casey
  • searching scriptures: Entertaining angels — Mark Love
  • bene+diction: Rachel weeping — Katie Fiene

From the editor

“I’d like to do an issue on hospitality and diversity in the Church,” I said.

“An issue on hospitality and another on diversity?” they asked.

“No,” I said. “One issue. Two themes. I’d like to try exploring them together.”

Our February issue is the result of this conversation, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the way it has turned out. Here you’ll find reflections on Christian hospitality, multicultural ministry, welcoming the stranger, interracial dialogue and more. A particular highlight for me is the Rev. Martin Schultheis’s article “Welcoming Emmanuel,” in which he tells the true story of his Baltimore parish’s quest to rediscover the Gospel and reconnect with its inner-city neighborhood.

So (you may ask) … what is it exactly that ties the pages of this issue together?

One word: welcome.

“Therefore welcome one another,” Paul says, “as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (ROM. 15:7). Christ has welcomed us. We therefore welcome others — both those in the “household of faith” (GAL. 6:10) and all for whom Christ died.

Rachel Bomberger
Managing Editor,
The Lutheran Witness 

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