Communion | Holy Spirit | Preaching | Worship

Martin Marty recounts a story from Walter Wangerin in Context. It comes from a time when Wangerin was pastor of an inter-city church in Evansville, Indiana: Lillian Lander, an old black woman, would shake my hand each Sunday after services, lining up with everyone else and waiting her turn. She is short. Always I had to look down in order to find her. She is soft-spoken. Always I had to bow down in order to hear her. She is inner- city and self-educated, as was most of the parish then; but she chose her words with particular care, and always I weighed those words to find their value. Some Sundays she would say, “You taught us today, pastor.” Other Sundays she said, “Hooo!” and “Mm-hmmmm! How you did preach!” So, I stopped her one Sunday, holding tight to her hand. “Lillian,” I said, “sometimes you say I teach.” ‘Mmmmm-hmm.’ “And sometimes you say I preach.” ‘Mmm-hmmm.’ “Is there a difference?” She…

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