The Last Long Pastorate: A Journey of Grace. (Briefly Noted).
F. Dean Lueking, Pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, Illinois, for 44 years, describes the challenges, changes, joys, and trials of that ministry in The Last Long Pastorate: a Journey of Grace (Eerdmans, $20). In those years he was an active participant in the doctrinal controversies in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod that led to the parish leaving that church, going through a long lawsuit that went all the way to the Supreme Court. He describes his growing ecumenical activity both locally and internationally and the parish's developing involvement in social issues and the establishment of support groups of various kinds. This brief note does not do justice to the interesting story, which is ultimately a statement showing the advantages of a long-term ministry--provided that the pastor is open to change and growth, while firmly grounded in the gospel as is Lueking. I was fascinated enough to read it at a single sitting (Lueking was a seminary classmate). An interesting read, it will fascinate any parish pastor.