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ONE TWISTED SISTER: Musician Dee Snider flashes the devil's horns to the crowd at Monster Circus, a rock mecca in Vegas. Click Arts&Life or a link to story. / Photo by Ben Hansen, special contributor

Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at


Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

A sense of belonging

By Travis Hansen

"Jesus is 'Crazy in Love' with you," said the Pastor of the Prince of Peace Lutheran church, just months after moving her congregation into their new church home.

Rev. Corinne Thul, radiant with enthusiasm and love for God and His creatures, has been at the Prince of Peace church in Logan since 2005.

The church started with a few members in 1997, and has blossomed into an average of 80-90 each week, excluding ski and summer seasons that tend to be lower.

The congregation moved into their new building on the west side of Logan on February 8 and had a dedicatory service on February 22, in which members, visitors, and even a couple LDS bishops attended.

"We have a home now, something that we can be identified by," said Thul. "We have a sense of belonging."

The Prince of Peace church belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and their fundamental belief is that 'we are all saved by the grace of God.'

They base their beliefs off the teachings of Martin Luther, although he never started the church himself.

A liturgical service takes place each Sunday, beginning with a 'Kyrie' (keer-e-a), which is a sung prayer, and is followed by songs of praise, readings from the bible and a sermon.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has the highest population of members here in the valley, but second to them is what Thul calls the "un-churched."

"We are trying to reach out and find them, recruiting new members is one of the hardest challenges we face," she said.

The members are service oriented, they go on mission trips and try to provide any local assistance they can.

The youth and their leaders are traveling to Louisiana this summer to help the continued effort for the people of New Orleans.

"It is great ways for the kids to be more compassionate to others and to be grateful for the things they have," said their youth director, Kathy Scott.

Their mission trips have included San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, South Dakota, and the Wind Rivers reservation in Montana.

"We teach our kids to look at things positively, and accept differences in other people without having to live that way," Scott said.

Scott has been a Lutheran her whole life, she was baptized as an infant, confirmed after two years of orientation and has lived amongst LDS people most of her life.

When asked if living around LDS influences has taught her anything, she sat back, tilted her head forward with her hands clenched in front of her mouth, and uttered the words 'tolerance and acceptance.'

"It helps me talk about my faith a little more," she said, "because otherwise people just assume that I am LDS.

"Our Latter-day Saint friends have been supportive of us though, we go to their baptisms and special meetings, and they come to ours," Scott said.

What does it take to become a Lutheran?

You must first be baptized in a Christian church, however if you are coming from the LDS church, you would have to be re-baptized.

Then you would take some new members classes to gain a basic understanding of what it means to be a Lutheran.

Finally, they would have a 'reception of new members' during a service where they go over the 'Apostle's Creed' and have the members vote on whether or not to accept you as a new member.

Everything in the church comes before the congregation for a democratic vote, including the choosing of a Pastor.

To become a minister one must have a four-year degree, and then attend seminary to obtain a Master in Divinity that takes another four years.

Once a congregation chooses a minister, they become a Pastor.

The ELCA have not always allowed women to be a pastor, in 1970, they ordained women to preach, and this summer they will vote on whether or not to allow ministers from 'same sex committed relationships.'

To find out more about the Prince of Peace church you can visit their website.



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