Above All. Through All. In All.

News | February 27, 2019

Elaine Olson picked up the phone one day last fall. On the line was Erika Uthe, a pastor who works for the Southeastern Iowa Synod of the ELCA. Erika wanted to know if Elaine had any interest in writing the Lenten devotions for the synod for 2019.

It was about that same time that Elaine, a spiritual director and retired pastor, thought she wanted to start writing more. “This call came in that wonderment,” Elaine said. She accepted the request, and got to work. First, outlining over coffee. Then, awaking each day, she found herself excited to put pen to paper. What emerged was “Above All. Through All. In All.” It is a series of daily devotions that anyone can receive in their email inbox during Lent (sign up at www.seiasynod.org/lent).

“God is about ‘be bigger,’ not ‘be smaller,'” Elaine said.

Each week features a different theme – one body, one spirit, one hope, one faith, one baptism, one God. Each day features a verse from the Bible, a poem or story written by Elaine, a photo, a breathprayer, and a question for reflection.

A poem starts the week, with the big idea. The stories that follow illustrated lived experience of that idea. All come from Elaine’s experiences. She hopes readers will see, and wrestle, with some of what she calls “theological edges” in the text.

“The story of God keeps getting bigger and bigger,” she said.

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