BJS contributing author Joshua Gale is featured in the most recent edition of For the Life of the World, (March, 2013, pp. 8-9) published by Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In this short piece Gale offers profound thoughts on his work, the role of the pastor, and the role of mercy work.
The story highlights how much of the work Joshua does is on the streets of Philadelphia bringing the Gospel to the homeless. Josh makes the incredible but profound point that it is the theological and liturgical character of his education at the Fort Wayne seminary that he is applying to the homeless.
Here is a great quote from the article.
In my work with the homeless and very poor of Philadelphia, what we believe, teach and confess is the focus of our outreach, particularly as it is connected to our altars and pulpits. Lutherans can speak like no one else can, and it is imperative that we speak as Lutherans to this dying world.
Here is another great quote.
First, my time at CTS was theological. This is a no-brainer, of course. But the pastor’s formation is not dependent upon making him a whimsical people-person, a skilled administrator or even an insightful leader. The pastor is first and foremost a theologian, and the seminary exists to form his theological abilities.
Here is one more quote from the story, maybe the most profound of all.
Everything else is peripheral; everything else is secondary. This is because mercy is not the Gospel. The nice things we do for others are not the Gospel.
Our congregation here in Naperville, Illinois contributes annually to Joshua Gale through Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries and we encourage others to do the same. You can learn more about then on their Facebook page.