Russell E. Saltzman is a former Lutheran pastor, transitioning to the Roman Catholic Church.

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Why I Won't Boycott Target

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The man to whom I was pastor, 1988 thereabouts, owned and operated an Amoco service station (long before it became BP Amoco). To his surprise he learned the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), to which he belonged, along with several mainline denominations, had called for a boycott of . . . . Continue Reading »

On Not Being Seventy

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For the longest moment driving home two days ago, I was convinced that my next birthday, then just days away, would be my seventieth.I cannot think what trick of mind swayed me to that conclusion. True, I have been looking forward to being seventy, perhaps enough mentally to add a year to my tally. . . . . Continue Reading »

Sure, Tell Peter Too

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The message the women heard from the “young man” is found in St. Mark (16:5-8). Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome carried their spices to the tomb, thinking to anoint the body of Jesus. Apparently, none of them gave much thought to removing the stone from the entrance, except . . . . Continue Reading »

A Community Pledged in the Spirit

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Mulling my Lenten way through the Apostles’ Creed, I have come to see that in defining what we do not believe, we come to know better what we do believe. While the Creed positively summarizes what Christians believe, it equally fences out what we negatively do not believe. I have been walking the . . . . Continue Reading »

What the Church Does Not Believe

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This Lent has me digging through the Apostle’s Creed. Viewed in a certain direction, it not only says what we believe; it lets us in on what we do not believe. The first article of the Creed, my last column, says Christians believe in one God and this one God is the Father who made both heaven and . . . . Continue Reading »

What We Do Not Believe Is What We Believe

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I’m spending time this Lent with the Creed. I hadn’t gotten further than the first sentence before remembering something St. Peter said.“False prophets,” complained Peter, “appeared in the past among the people, and in the same way false teachers will appear among you. They will bring in . . . . Continue Reading »

An Imposition of Ashes

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Just lately from the forest and after a short time on the savannah, humanity acquired a sense of self. We awakened one morning, so it seems, and if we did not know who we were we at least knew we were not like the animals. We knew we died and the animals did not. We possessed an interior . . . . Continue Reading »

Buy One, Not the Other

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The Tre Ore, the “three hours,” is a Good Friday devotional exercise that marks the last hours of Christ on the cross. The service is marked by prayers, readings, and devotional examination of the Seven Words, the last words of Christ.Those words, those seven, are evocative. They raise questions . . . . Continue Reading »

The Holy Family

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Of the Passover festival in Jerusalem, St. Luke concisely reports, “When the festival was ended, Jesus stayed behind but his parents did not know it” (2:43). Of course they didn’t know it. They are parents. What makes anyone think they knew anything at all? The twelve-year-old Jesus decided to . . . . Continue Reading »