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Norma Cook Everist
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Norma Cook Everist is a Lutheran theologian, serving as Professor of Church and Ministry at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, USA. She helps foster a seminary community atmosphere of shared power and partnership that builds on the gifts of students, which in turn enhances learning for leadership in the church and in the world. She is a widely known lecturer and author of many books.
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Recent books: Transforming Leadership
Open the Doors and See all the People

Entries by Norma Cook Everist

Integration or Apartheid for Us and Our Children

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 11:50 AM

Children return to school after their holiday break. Congress returns to Washington with a shift in power. Commentators refer to this administration's remaining two years in office as "lame duck" although since the November elections President Barack Obama's actions have proven he intends to do everything he can for the...

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The Fear Effect on Voting: Halloween, All Saints, and Gun Violence

(1) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 8:57 AM

As music set a quiet tone, first a dozen came in the door to hear Nicole Hockley at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Soon a few hundred filled the room. That was last Thursday night.

As we turned on our porch light, first a trickle of children came to our...

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We Need Another Eric Holder

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 2:48 PM

The reality of Blacks living daily fearful of an overwhelmingly white police force has not gone away. Fear of black people by white police has not gone away. Calling such things "unrest," would mean all we need in the Attorney General's office is someone who is calm. Therefore, "Guilty of...

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How Long, Michael Brown, How Long?

(3) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 8:15 PM

The funeral service for Michael Brown, filled with music, celebration, and challenge, is over. There's other news: the earthquake in Northern California, ISIS. The cameras move on. The Time magazine cover this week: "The Tragedy of Ferguson."

The New York Times magazine cover June 29, 1990, was "The Tragedy of...

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What Can You See Across a Border?

(0) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 3:00 PM

We recently returned from a two-week trip through Canada. We appreciate Canada and have enjoyed being in most of the provinces through the years. One thing that impresses us every time is that their television weather map does not stop at their border, whereas U.S. weather maps on TV show...

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The Free Exercise of Religion for Whom?

(4) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 1:28 AM

Monday's Supreme Court ruling that the Hobby Lobby crafts store chain does not have to provide all forms of birth control for its employees marks the first time the high court has said some businesses can hold religious views under federal law, in cases where there is essentially no difference...

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Brown, Economic Inequality and the Absolute Necessity of Public Schools

(1) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 12:18 PM

I was a high school sophomore, my sister a senior, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in favor of Brown vs. the Board of Education declaring "separate but equal" invalid." Because of my father's death four years before, my sister and I received social security benefits. Our mother worked...

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'Senseless' Does Not Describe Ft. Hood Shootings

(2) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 11:45 AM

Senseless? Wednesday people will gather at Ft. Hood for a Memorial Service and "try to make sense" of the mass shooting last week which took the lives of 4 and wounded 16. We want to understand, make "sense." Investigators try to discover the "motive." The issues are more profound, more...

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Politics and Religion Issues Not Over With One Veto

(2) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 9:44 AM

Many sigh in relief believing the issue of religious liberty and LGBT rights is over with the veto of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer; however, deeper questions over the free exercise clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution, and how to be a diverse nation, remain. There is an old...

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(1) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 1:42 PM

As the world watched, T.J. Oshie from small town Warroad, Minnesota, in a "sudden death" shootout led the U.S. ice hockey team to a victory over the Russian team Saturday in a preliminary round at the Olympics. The shootout was necessary to break the 2-2 tie. The verdict was finally...

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The Iowa Caucuses in the Snow

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 9:17 AM

The Iowa Caucuses were held Tuesday night. No national cameras or crowds, just a dark night, snow and below-zero wind chills. (We had finished shoveling out at noon as the storm headed East). Our caucus met at the E.B. Lyons Interpretive and Nature Center, just south of Dubuque, a beautiful...

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President Obama Cut Short His Vacation?

(0) Comments | Posted December 27, 2013 | 3:11 PM

President Barack Obama and his family return early from Hawaii to Washington for fiscal-cliff talks; however, the constant wording that they were on "vacation" bewildered me. I mean, when families (such as mine) come from the warm Southwest to frigid, snowy Iowa for Christmas, the place they grew up, they...

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A Letter to Malcolm in Prison on the Death of Mandella

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 2:40 PM

Dear Malcolm,

I received your letter and wanted to respond now, after hearing of the passing of Nelson Mandela. You have been in prison so many years, Malcolm. You know I have kept your letters and the total fills many file folders. And I know you have kept my letters,...

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Who Is at the Front of the Room? "Higher Education"

(0) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 7:10 PM

Picture this scene at Wartburg Theological Seminary, the graduate school where I teach. Classes start early. Alert, eager, engaged, we dig into studies together. Although I may sit at the front of the room, ten minutes into the hour, it is not just my wisdom students copy down, but some...

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Of Course: Women Pastors and Bishops

(1) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 1:18 PM

November 1 the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton assumed the office of presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). When people gathered a few weeks ago for the installation of the first woman to lead this 4 million-member church body, it was an historic day, but it felt more...

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Ways We Try to Justify Our Traditions: Sports and Beyond

(5) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 1:30 PM

The debate about whether the Washington Redskins should bow to pressure to change its name will continue as long as we as a nation fail to see the difference between trying to justify traditions and recognizing the real deep-seated problems which keep us all in bondage. The issue goes beyond...

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If We Are the Government, Who Dares to Shut Us Down? Why We Should Care

(4) Comments | Posted September 29, 2013 | 3:35 PM

So what's there to worry about? The U.S. government may -- or may not -- shut down. October 1 state exchanges for the Affordable Care Act open, but most Americans do not understand them. Scientists release a report with overwhelming evidence that human beings are causing Global Warming, but it's...

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Another Look at Putin's Stinging Words About American Exceptionalism

(1) Comments | Posted September 13, 2013 | 5:43 PM

I cannot believe I ever would have said the same things as Vladimir Putin. But I have. Putin wrote on the opinion pages of the September 12 New York Times that he disagreed with Obama on American exceptionalism, adding, "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as...

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I Have a Disease: I Am Not My Disease

(2) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 3:43 PM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

A November evening, 1982, while my husband, Burton, and I delivered Thanksgiving baskets in downtown Dubuque, I suddenly felt overwhelmingly fatigued. I became ill and never...

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Lutherans Adopt 'The Church and Criminal Justice: Hearing the Cries'

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2013 | 7:03 PM

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), with 4 million members and nearly 10,000 congregations, meeting in churchwide assembly August 12-17 in Pittsburgh adopted a Social Statement, "The Church and Criminal Justice: Hearing the Cries" by an overwhelming 882-25 vote.

The vote comes in the midst of recent national...

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