We call them Winter Texans

Having grown up in McAllen, Texas, I’ve never known life without the thousands of winter tourists who flock to the Rio Grande Valley each winter.  They are called Snowbirds when they make a wrong turn and wind up in Florida or Arizona, but way down in South Texas, we call them Winter Texans.


The Valley is a special place, and I’m convinced a large part of that is because of the Winter Texans who have influenced us over the years.  I enjoy Winter Texans so much that I built a business around serving them…and it’s been the best decision I’ve ever made.


Now I want to speak directly to our Winter Texans.

Oh how much fun I’ve had getting to know so many of you!  The stories and adventures I’ve heard keep me wanting more year after year.


The one thing I realized, though, is that when I hear stories of ‘back home,’ I can’t seem to visualize what it might look like–other than cold!  So this year, I decided to do something about it.  We are hosting our first-ever Welcome Home RGV Winter Texan Reunion Tour, and you are invited!  Just like the parties we plan for you while you’re here, we decided to plan a few parties right in your own backyard.


We’re bringing a bit of the RGV straight from McAllen to you.  Come on out and enjoy an afternoon of fun, music, and fellowship with your fellow Winter Texans.  Invite your friends who might be curious about what you do in South Texas all winter long.  We’ve got plenty of goodies, giveaways, and door prizes, so come on out and celebrate South Texas with us.


My goal is to see as many of you as I can and to soak in the scenery from Minnesota to Illinois, with many points in between.  I welcome suggestions on ‘must do’s’ and your favorite watering holes, but most of all, I hope you can join us for one, if not all, of our parties!

Here’s a quick schedule with links with all the details:

We’re just connecting the dots,



Kristi Collier is a McAllen native who loves to share her passion for the area with others.  Her company, Welcome Home RGV caters to the Winter & Converted Texan market through their events, activities, special interest publications and more.  For more information, call the Welcome Home RGV office at 956-687-5115, visit www.welcomehomergv.com or visit on facebook at facebook.com/whrgv and  facebook.com/wintertexan.


Sola Fide
by Rev. E.B. Holschuh



Woody: I love you, Kelly.  That’s why I’m now a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Just like you.
Kelly: Oh, Woody! You saved our marriage…What a wonderful sacrifice! Now when we die and go to heaven, we won’t be separated by barbed wire and barking dogs…What was it exactly that saved you, Woody?
Woody: Something Dr. Crane said.
Kelly: …That thing about how true love can overcome all differences?
Woody: Not exactly. He took me aside and said that I’d better get used to giving in to you on every point for the rest of our lives if I ever want to see you naked again.
–from Cheers episode The Beer Is Always Greener (1992)

There are more than 1,000 different Christian church branches in the U.S. (depending on who you ask), each professing many diverse and conflicting beliefs. As one researcher put it, “It would be an understatement to say that Christianity is a severely divided faith.” This sad fact made its way into the plot of a sitcom episode in 1992, and the conflict was between two “different” Lutherans.


The dialogue above is from the well-known TV series, Cheers. The entire episode is great, but the Lutheran troubles between Woody, who is Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS, as am I), and Kelly, who is Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), steal the show (along with the “counseling” they receive from Frasier and Lilith Crane). It’s funny, yeah, but it’s also sad because of the sheer number of disagreeing Lutheran church bodies, separated by doctrine (mostly). The ELCA is the largest Lutheran body in the U.S., followed by the LCMS, and then the Wisconsin Evangelical Synod making up “the big three.” Believe it or not, there are about 30 Lutheran bodies in North America, depending on one’s definition of church, congregation, synod, etc. A short (4:28), edited clip on YouTube highlights the Lutheran controversy, but the whole episode is worth a look! (I should add that a familiarity with the main characters will help with the humor, particularly the character of Diane Chambers, who was written out of the series in season 5, as well as some knowledge of the ELCA and LCMS.)


Comedy aside, this episode showcases the very real issue of marital compatibility, and religion too often becomes a fulcrum point, especially when children are involved.  However. I would balk at the use of a sitcom to broaden one’s theological horizons. (And some people already think Lutherans are some kind of cult with branch offices, or, worse, that we’re Catholic Lite.)


How did we become so divided? Christianity—the Christian Church—has become fractured into tens of thousands of denominations, sects, and faith groups as individuals and groups continue to interpret the Bible in their own ways. Throughout history, Mankind has (again, sadly) divided itself; differing religious views continue to breed intolerance, contempt, and incompatibility, even among non-churchgoers. Nowadays, a disagreement among church members leads to fracture rather than dialogue. A disagreement about marital values and expectations leads to divorce rather than reconciliation. And berating another’s politics, lifestyle, or opinion in the public stockade that is social media has become fashionable rather than reprehensible.


Broken church. Broken nation. Broken marriages. Hardly the stuff of sitcoms.


And no, when we die and go to heaven, we won’t be separated by barbed wire and barking dogs.


Thankfully, we have a Savior. (And plenty of churches in this country in which to find Him. I know of one in Alamo—on South Alamo Road, across the street from Willie’s BBQ. Come by, and I’ll introduce you!)


Pastor E.B. Holschuh serves at Zion Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Alamo. He is a retired Navy senior chief and former English and Russian teacher. 

53 Attend VPR Reunion in Branson, MO

Fifty-Three (53) Victoria Palms Resort Winter Texans from the Midwest (IA, IL, KS, MO, MT, NE, SD) enjoyed a four (4) day reunion in Branson, MO on June 24-28, 2019.  The Committee of Lois Niemann, Emily Nolting, Rex Kirchhoff & Larry Schmitt organized this annual event.


Organized events included the stay at the Camden Hotel and Conference Center, which provided a great place to sleep, enjoy a continental breakfast, hangout for cards or conversation, as well as the evening cobbler and ice cream. We enjoyed a tour and superb lunch at the College of the Ozarks. We saw an awesome show, Sampson at the Sight and Sound Theatre. Many also went on the golf cart tour at the Lost Canyon Cave Tour at the Top of the Rock. Beautiful scenery for sure!!!


The surprise of the 3 days was a fabulous evening dinner at the Black Oak Grill on the Landing. With only 3-hour notice, the manager and staff pulled off a great feast of meal and lots of fun for 47 of us. We highly recommend on your next trip to Branson, go eat there!! There was plenty of time remaining for each to do “their own thing, as in other forms of entertainment or choice of restaurants…. plenty of which are available in Branson”.


Submitted by Larry Schmitt Shawnee, KS

What is truth?

Sola Fide
by Rev. E.B. Holschuh

What is truth?


            On Good Friday morning, Jewish chief priests delivered Jesus of Nazareth over to Roman governor Pontius Pilate as an “evildoer” with a death sentence. That word, “evildoer,” likely had only one meaning for Pilate in the context of Roman law, under which this Jesus had been charged. That’s how his accusers intended Pilate to understand it; however, Jesus had not broken any Roman law but rather had called himself the Son of God in the presence of the Jewish religious elite. In other words, Jesus was guilty of blasphemy.


The conversation between Jesus and Pilate contained this exchange (John 18:37-38):


“So you are a king?”


“You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”


“What is truth?”


“What is truth?” is a rhetorical question posed by a pagan skeptic, an educated Roman in an immoral world with little or no faith in his own gods, of which there were many in Jesus’ day. As I look around, I see more than a few 21st-century Pilates in my day.


A 2016 nationwide poll conducted by the research organization Barna Group “reveals growing concern about the moral condition of the nation, even as many American adults admit they are uncertain about how to determine right from wrong. So what do Americans believe? Is truth relative or absolute?” Results show that two-thirds say truth is relative and about a third say absolute.


I doubt Pilate meant “What is absolute truth?” by his question to Jesus; I actually think Pilate had the same concept of truth as he did for the number zero (for which there is no Roman numeral). For the Roman governor and Jesus’ Jewish accusers, the truth is held hostage by the zeitgeist—the spirit of the age—in which it’s sought after. Absolute truth never changes. A circle is never a square. A banana is never a cherry. A man is never a woman. The created can never become the Creator.


We think times have changed considerably since Pilate questioned Jesus, but have they? Not so much. The truth is much harder to establish in today’s world. We modern-day Pilates are still asking our gods and goddesses the same question, yet the answer existed long before the question was ever asked!


In such a dysfunctional and disordered world, where trigger-happy news outlets and social-media zealots are so quick to spread the truth as they see it, is it any wonder that the average American has less and less faith in government, newsm and social media sources, not to mention God? On the day I’m writing this, one purportedly objective news source is reporting the following.  (You decide, true or false?)  A married celebrity is calling for women to go on a “sex strike”…In one state, teachers can carry guns…A million plant and animal species are nearing extinction…Helium (the second most abundant element in our galaxy) supplies on Earth are dwindling…The name Donald has dropped in popularity since 2016 and is now at the lowest since Social Security Administration records began in the 1880s (not a typo)…


Jesus—God Himself—said, “Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” And that voice is Absolute Truth—unchanging, timeless, and dependable, a refuge from the churning sea of moral, ethical, and spiritual promiscuity in which so many are foundering without hope. God’s Word can right the ship and repair the sails (not to mention calm the seas).


Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25)


What is truth?


Well, Pilate was looking Jesus Christ right in the eyes and never saw it. Could the same be happening to you?


Pastor E.B. Holschuh serves at Zion Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Alamo. He is a retired Navy Senior Chief and former English and Russian teacher. 

Guess who’s coming to a state near you this summer? 



Disclaimer: A state near many of you and IN the state where many of you live!


When I was a little girl growing up in South Texas (a long time ago), I remember seeing a bunch of Winter Texans out having fun, dancing and laughing.  I thought to myself, ‘That’s what I want to be when I grow up.’  Fast forward 40 years, and I’ve created a business that revolves around Winter-Texan hospitality.


I’ve spent the past 12 years learning all about our Winter Texans. I know a LOT about Winter Texans, where you come from and what you like to do while you’re in South Texas.  I guess you could say I’m a Winter-Texan expert of sorts.  One thing I know for sure:  Word of mouth is the #1 thing that drives people to winter in Texas.


With this in mind, I’m beyond thrilled to announce our 1st Annual Winter Texan Reunion Tour!!  This September, we’ll be hosting seven events across five states to celebrate our Winter-Texan friends and to recruit a whole lot more.  It’s time to bring Texas to the Midwest to show prospective Winter Texans what the fuss is all about!


On top of the fun, we’ll have all sorts of information on wintering in South Texas, as well as games and giveaways.  Bring your friends who want to know more about South Texas to the party with you!


For right now, save the dates!  Then stay tuned for more details!


2019 Winter Texan Reunion Tour Schedule

Tuesday, September 3, Rice Lake, Wisconsin

Wednesday, September 4, Rochester, Minnesota

Thursday, September 5, Ames, Iowa

Friday, September 6, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Monday, September 9, Davenport, Iowa

Tuesday, September 10, Peoria, Illinois

Thursday, September 12, Creve Coeur, Missouri


Now, if your state isn’t on the list, don’t stress.  It’s a lot of road to cover, and we can only go so far in two weeks’ time.  We are already working on our 2020 route and are open to suggestions about venues for our 2nd Annual Winter Texan Reunion Tour.


We would love to involve you!  We’re looking for volunteers at all of the sites, so let us know if you’re in!


I can’t wait to see where so many of my Winter-Texan friends live when you’re not with us in the Rio Grande Valley!  We are excited to get this road-trip started!

We’re just connecting the dots,



Kristi Collier is a McAllen native who loves to share her passion for the area with others.  Her company, Welcome Home RGV caters to the Winter & Converted Texan market through their events, activities, special interest publications and more.  For more information, call the Welcome Home RGV office at 956-687-5115, visit www.welcomehomergv.com or visit on facebook at facebook.com/whrgv and  facebook.com/wintertexan.

See you in South Texas this winter!

I’ve been working with Winter Texans in some capacity most of my professional life, but over the last 12 years, I’ve dedicated ALL of my time to–and built a career around–serving the Winter-Texan population here in Deep South Texas.  The Rio Grande Valley (or “the Valley,” as most people call it) has been one of the best-kept retirement secrets throughout the Midwest and Canada for years.


Why Texas?  Well for starters, we are considerably more affordable than other retirement destinations, such as Arizona and Florida.  South Texas has everything you could want out of a retirement destination and more.  Early on in my Winter-Texan-fact-finding mission, I helped facilitate a focus group to find out why our Winter Texans prefer Texas over other destinations.  The results were not surprising.


We’re affordable.  Your money goes further, period, from lot rent and HOA dues (whichever you prefer) to groceries and all things in between.


We’ve got great weather.  Regardless of whether the sun is shining or it’s a bit chilly (here in Texas, 50 is cold), you can bet we’re warmer than it is back home.  When the locals are cold, our Winter Texans are out in shorts and flip flops!


We’re close to Mexico.  The city of Progreso is a Winter-Texan hot spot.  With unlimited shopping, dancing, and dining (not to mention access to low-cost medications and dental services on every corner), a trip across the border makes for a fun-filled day.


And finally, we’re friendly.  Here in Texas, we want you here, and we’re not afraid to shout it from the rooftops.  We recognize the economic impact our winter visitors have on our economy, and we’re forever grateful for it.  Winter Texans are part of who we are–our culture–and we’re happy to welcome them to the ‘familia.’


Come see us in South Texas this winter, where the sun shines as brightly as our faces when you walk into the room! For more information on wintering in South Texas, give us a call at 956-687-5115.  We’d be honored to help you find your home away from home (and a whole lot more).


We’re just connecting the dots,



Kristi Collier is a McAllen native who loves to share her passion for the area with others.  Her company, Welcome Home RGV caters to the Winter & Converted Texan market through their events, activities, special interest publications and more.  For more information, call the Welcome Home RGV office at 956-687-5115, visit www.welcomehomergv.com or visit on facebook at facebook.com/whrgv and  facebook.com/wintertexan.

Aunt Thede’s Good Book & The Marriage Covenant

Sola Fide
by Rev. E.B. Holschuh


Aunt Thede’s Good Book & The Marriage Covenant


            I remember that my grandmother never missed an episode of the old western tv series “Gunsmoke.” As an adult, I, too, became a fan of the show—in fact, Marshall Matt Dillon is one my heroes, along with Captain Kirk and “The Rifleman” Lucas McCain, guys with morals and courage who never left a call to do what’s right unanswered (unlike so many in the real world). The other day I caught a “Gunsmoke” episode about a wayward aunt of Festus Haggen (Dillon’s right-hand man) who rides into Dodge City looking for a husband. Aunt Theodore is a self-proclaimed preacher down from the hills who wasted no time putting up a still since, as she chides Festus over his concern about illegal moonshine, “Wine and nectar, it’s in the book, and you know that!”


The “book” Aunt Thede is talking about, of course is the Bible (and I’ll look again, but I’m quite certain there’s no provision for moonshine in it); however, the book she has in her hand is “Little Women,” popular in the post-Civil War setting of the show. It turns out that most of the Haggen clan, including Festus and Theodore, can’t read. Aunt Thede journeyed from Missouri to Kansas with a couple of “reedy” folks (meaning they could read) who gave her a parting gift of the book. Festus took it to the General Store to find out the name and when the storekeeper saw the title, he told Festus that he was surprised to find his aunt with “a good book.” Festus thanked him then left without learning the true title…


Aunt Thede, mountain preacher and purveyor of firewater, believes she’s been given God’s Word and that it must be a sign. Toward the end of the episode, she tells a young couple she’s about to marry that “the Lord gave us a sign and we know ain’t none of us complete all of ourselves…it takes two to make one and that’s the Lord’s way, because he’s been blessing marriages since the first of things.” After inquiring whether they are truly in love, she tells them to “set your hands on the Good Book gentle-like,” then to pray silently that the Lord would know “we mean right and proper in all this and we swear it on His Book.” Aunt Thede is certain that she’s married them.


In the May 3 issue of The Week magazine, I read an opinion piece entitled “What’s the Point of Marriage?”, in which the author, a woman, about a quarter of the way into the article asks a pair of ladies-and-gentlemen-of-the-jury style rhetorical questions: “Isn’t it reasonable to question the value of a legal contract, written in ink, on paper, that involves disastrously punitive terms of dissolution? What kind of an old-fashioned mutant could crave such a primitive trap, particularly when it’s paired with an enormously expensive ceremony that often includes allusions to obedience and lifelong mutual suffering and death, of all things?”


Marriage is a covenant, a sacred bond between a man and a woman instituted by and publicly entered into before God, according to Whom marriage is fundamentally a matter of a man and a woman becoming one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Marriage is a three-way covenant between husband, wife, and God, a permanent contract between a man and a woman established before God as a witness. It’s not necessary to swear on a Bible (or a copy of “Little Women”), but a public ceremony is meant as a proclamation of faith and celebration of commitment. Marriage is meant to be a blessing to all parties involved, husband, wife, and children—a divine gift that’s not disposable. Sex equals marriage in God’s eyes…promiscuity, then, becomes the sin of adultery.


Though God is never mentioned in the 1,700-word article in The Week, the last word is, somewhat ironically, “grace” and answers the title question (What’s the point of marriage?). The marriage covenant, consummated with solemn vows and sexual union, is sealed with God’s grace. Aunt Thede was right…


“It takes two to make one and that’s the Lord’s way.”

Pastor E.B. Holschuh serves at Zion Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Alamo. He is a retired Navy Senior Chief and former English and Russian teacher. 

Calling all Converted Texans!

Contrary to popular belief, just because our Winter Texans head north for the spring and summer months…  that doesn’t mean that activities in our retirement communities come to a screeching halt.  Sure, things slow down to a less hectic pace, but many of our Converted Texans can still outpace most of the 40 year olds I know, myself included.


This summer, we want to show our Converted Texans just how much we care.  We kicked off the off-season with our Converted Texan Fiesta which was held at the Hynes Event Center at Llano Grande Resort.  Over 400 people came out to celebrate with us!  A great time was had by all, and once again I was reminded of how age is simply a number.


We decided it was time to take our Converted Texan appreciation to a whole new level this summer, by creating opportunities to for them to mix and mingle and meet new people. We introduced our Summer Supper Club, where we will be eating our way through the Rio Grande Valley this summer.  Each week we’ve got a different restaurant to try, and we invite you to join us!  Our Supper Club meets each Thursday from 3 – 5 pm and just last week we had over 50 people in attendance!  It’s all dutch treat, and there is not any kind of ‘club membership fee’ – just a group of people who enjoy not cooking and trying new restaurants.


We’ve also got some ice cream socials planned, movie outings and maybe even a bowling league if there’s enough interest.  Everyone is invited, so come by yourself and meet new friends or bring your buddies for a fun time.  I welcome your thoughts and suggestions on things to do, and am always up for an opportunity not to cook!


You can find our Summer Supper Club here, and we’d love to hear your suggestions on group outings.  Give us a call at 956-687-5115 and get involved with us this summer!


We’re just connecting the dots,



Kristi Collier is a McAllen native who loves to share her passion for the area with others.  Her company, Welcome Home RGV caters to the Winter & Converted Texan market through their events, activities, special interest publications and more.  For more information, call the Welcome Home RGV office at 956-687-5115, visit www.welcomehomergv.com or visit on facebook at facebook.com/whrgv and  facebook.com/wintertexan.


The Calibration Prayer

Sola Fide
by Rev. E.B. Holschuh

The Calibration Prayer

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:


“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.


“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:7-16 ESV)


Jesus tells us “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them…”


My father was an alcoholic and during my childhood I can remember hearing the Lord’s Prayer at the close of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings—in fact, that’s where I learned to recite it by heart as a little kid. AA members—in a very Christian vein, though obviously not in the soteriological sense—are reminded to admit daily that they cannot help themselves, but to “Let go and Let God.” In my entire life I cannot think of a time that I did not believe in a God who was responsible for everything in my world, but it was not until my adult life that I began to converse with him. My personal prayer time occurs every morning before my feet hit the floor, in the quiet of the new day.


Martin Luther believed that all Christians to some extent are theologians. In 1539 he wrote about “the way taught by King David (and doubtlessly by all the patriarchs and prophets) in the one-hundred-nineteenth Psalm. There you will find three rules, simply presented throughout the whole Psalm. They are Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio.” (that is, prayer, meditation, and trial). In Psalm 119, David cries out to God for understanding of his Word (prayer); he himself tries to understand God’s Word (meditation); and he is faced with repeated difficulty (trial). Today’s Christian and the Christian of Luther’s day are really no different. God knows who we are and what we go through, which is why He provided us a simple and straightforward means of communication with Him through Christ in the Lord’s Prayer.


I have taught the Lord’s Prayer in Sunday school class and I am fond of referring to it as the “calibration” prayer—when not recited rotely, it truly can help the helpless (i.e. us sinners) not just dialogue with God, but refocus and re-center the relationship between us (God as Creator, Benefactor, and Protector—we as self-centered, disobedient, and undeserving of even a glance from God in our direction), as well as strengthen our resolve to endure life’s trials knowing that through faith in Christ God has our back.


The Lord’s Prayer as we recite it in the Lutheran Church (as in many other Protestant churches) has the added conclusion: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.” This “doxology” appeared in the 17th century King James version (once the “standard” Protestant Bible).


Additionally, many folks don’t know how to pray, not to mention why to pray and for what. The Lord’s Prayer is a great place to start a conversation with God in repentance, gratitude, and exaltation!


Pastor E.B. Holschuh serves at Zion Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Alamo. He is a retired Navy Senior Chief and former English and Russian teacher. 

Church of the Empty Tomb

Sola Fide
by Rev. E.B. Holschuh


I am the pastor of a Christian church in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley that welcomes over a hundred returning Winter Texans through its doors each year. Zion Lutheran Church is a 90-year-old congregation, but time has left its mark upon the inside and outside of our church. Here in the Valley, not unlike most other parts of the country, fewer folks are drawn to Sunday worship, for whatever reason. Language, denomination, and church name—once easy markers for identifying a Christian church in the neighborhood—might seem these days more like code to be deciphered by those seeking a church home (or, perhaps, looking for an Easter worship service next week).


In our neighborhood, there are a handful of churches within walking distance of each other. Two have denominational names, another calls itself a “community” church, and another uses a metaphor for its name. And in a widening radius, there are many more with names in English and Spanish that may or may not advertise a Christian house of worship. One website (thomrainer.com) notes that, over the last decade or so, more churches have cropped up under names like Journey, Bridge, Foundry, Mosaic, and Generation, while others are branding themselves as new: New Life. New Hope. New Song. NewPoint. NewPointe (an added “e” for distinction). Still others have a New-Testament-esque Greek name like Eklessia or Koinonia or Agape.


Even the tradition of using a saint’s name (as with many Roman-Catholic churches) or attaching “St.” to a prominent New-Testament name, such as the ubiquitous “St. John,” which often denotes a more mainstream Christian congregation within, seems to be falling out of fashion. So how does the person looking for (or at) a Christian church make sense of all the name/denomination variations? What though crosses the mind of the passer-by who catches sight of the name Zion Lutheran Church?


It’s possible that in this new era of bicultural and bilingual neighbors, as well as spiritual ambivalence, my church may be experiencing something of an identity crisis. To folks with only a cursory knowledge of the Bible, the “Zion” may be misconstrued as a surname; and I’ve found that amid a predominately Catholic population, the name “Lutheran” may come off as almost cult-like.  (I have been asked more than once if Lutherans are Christians.)


Most Winter Texans migrating south from the Midwest grew up with Lutheran churches all around them and look for one down here like some Americans look for a McDonald’s in a foreign country. As for the locals—wouldn’t a less-puzzling name make it easier on them?


So I got to thinking—what doctrine should all Christian churches have in common? The answer jumped right off the calendar at me: Easter Sunday! What all Christian believers have in common is the doctrine of the Empty Tomb on Easter Sunday! Certainly most non-Christians and non-churchgoers ought to have some familiarity with the story of Jesus’ crucifixion on Friday and resurrection on Sunday. Then what about “Empty Tomb,” as in “Church of the Empty Tomb” or “Empty Tomb Christian Church”?


Succinct enough. Doctrinally accurate. Perhaps too macabre.


Hmm. On second thought, putting “Tomb” in my congregation’s name in a world obsessed with the undead may convolute what Christians believe about resurrection and the afterlife,and the zombie culture with its lack of purpose, lack of joy, and relentless urge to consume is hardly looking for a church (but it sure could use one).


The Church of the Empty Tomb. I’m certain there’s one near you, even if there is “Lutheran” or some other name on the sign. What better time to visit than Easter Sunday?


You might even catch a passing reference to an apocalypse.


Pastor E.B. Holschuh serves at Zion Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Alamo. He is a retired Navy senior chief and former English and Russian teacher.