Multiple Meanings: Learning from Other Interpretations (Final Session): The Prodigal Son
by Tami Skorczewski

Bible Study. Session four: The Prodigal Son. (Luke 15:11–32). How do our circumstances influence our understanding of Jesus’ words? The Rev. Dr. Mark Allen Powell answers this question in the Bible Study found in the April edition of Gather magazine, copies of which may be found in the OSL Library. (Source:

Triennial Gathering: I attended the Tenth Triennial Gathering in Minneapolis last summer. One of the sessions I attended was led by Mark Allen Powell, the author of WELCA’s Bible studies for the past three months. He spoke of scriptures with “polyvalence,” the technical term for “multiples meanings.”

We delved into the story of the Prodigal Son. Powell read the Prodigal Son to his seminary students in different parts of the world and asked them all the same question, “Why did the young man end up hungry in a pig pen?” Depending on the “social locations” of the students, he received these answers:

  • Americans – “Because he wasted his money.”
  • Russians – “Because there was a famine.”
  • Tanzanians – “Because no one gave him anything to eat.”
  • Thus, the “living word” of scripture speaks to us all in unique, profound, and meaningful ways—and that’s a good thing.

    Sweet Sales: Thank you to all who either contributed or purchased sweets from WELCA’s annual Valentine Sweet Sales, held in February. The $370 that was raised will go toward WELCA’s 2018 Unit Wide Mission Project, #KidsAreGod’sGift.

    Upcoming WELCA Events:

  • Crossroads Spring Gathering, Saturday, April 21, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in The Gathering Place, with guest speaker Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, the President of Augustana University. Cost: $10, which includes luncheon. Contact Lori Tendler, , with any questions.

  • WELCA’s Annual Mother’s Day Luncheon, Saturday, May 5, beginning at 11:00 a.m. in The Gathering Place, with Dee Dee Raap presenting “Love Makes the Journey Great.” Tickets will go on sale in mid-April. Additional information will be posted on the bulletin boards and in bulletin announcements. Contact Tami Skorczewski,, with any questions.

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