Leaves from a Lutheran notebook



Sermons and reflections from a Lutheran couple living abroad in Slovakia.


  • Sermon Podcast: How much is enough?

    Sermon Podcast: How much is enough?


    You'd better believe I climbed those stairs up to the pulpit extra carefully for my first sermon last Sunday! I thought I heard (maybe on my January term trip) that the International Congregation didn't use the high pulpit, but Pastor David in fact does because the whole church is kind designed for it ... unless you're sitting right in the front row (neck cramp!) it probably the easiest way for pastor and congregation to see each other in that space. I am probably going to trip at some point; I am planning to do so with good humor.The sermon is about forgiveness, which I think is a difficult topic. I welcome your feedback, in the comments or via email. Help me learn and grow! Grab our podcast or download the sermon text or audio here.

  • Podcast: Annies Installation

    Podcast: Annie's Installation


    It's official! I was installed today as Intern Pastor at Bratislava International Congregation. During a particularly moving moment I started to tear up and couldn't help thinking, "Oh no ... I've got to sing right after this ...pull it together, Annie!" There is grace and I am grateful. You can find the audio of that portion of the service here.So, remember what I said about keeping the windows open at all costs? Not tonight! It is raining furiously ... a completely amazing storm to cap a completely amazing week. I am going to make this quick so I can hop into bed while it's still raining, thundering and lightening-ing with intent. It's just about my favorite way to fall asleep, and living up in the attic as we do gives us a front row seat to all kinds of fireworks.Check out our pictures. We've updated the Welcome to Bratislava set with more pictures of our neighborhood and apartment, and also added sets for our day at Devín castle and a craft fair at the Bratislava castle. The most recent set is one we've (

  • Sermon Podcast: Bread for the Journey

    Sermon Podcast: Bread for the Journey


    I was honored to preach this morning at St. Luke's, my home congregation. The texts were Isaiah 55:1-5; Psalm 145; Romans 9:1-5; and Matthew 14:13-21. I also got to do the children's message, but I'll post more on that later! Also for a later post: a report on the wonderful party we had back at our house after church.But for now, subscribe to our podcast (via iTunes or other software) or download and listen to the sermon here. The text of the sermon (not a transcript, but close enough) is available as a pdf here and as a Word document here.It was a wonderful day spent with family and friends. Now it's 10 pm and my dad is starting to turn off all the lights around the house ... must be bedtime for Edison-Swift-Albrights. I will not argue! But first, a picture of me and Mommy, after the service:You can see more pictures from the service and the party on our flickr page.

  • Sermon Podcast: When Jesus Comes to Dinner

    Sermon Podcast: When Jesus Comes to Dinner


    Click here to listen to our podcast of Thursday's sermon. Below is the artwork we used as part of our reflection: a paper cutting of the loaves and fishes by Fan Pu, a Chinese Christian artist I met in Nanjing in 2002. What do you like/notice/find interesting about the picture?