Manna and Mercy Glossary Interview

Apr 15, 2021 9:00:00 AM / by Augsburg Fortress

Daniel Erlander’s retelling of the Bible, Manna and Mercy, has been popular with Lutherans for decades. Now, Augsburg Fortress has made a curriculum based on Manna and Mercy that is appropriate for many age levels and situations. One component of this curriculum is the Glossary, which is in the Leader Sourcebook. Anne Basye wrote the Glossary, and what follows is an interview with Anne about her process of creating the Glossary, as well as the importance of this part of the Leader Sourcebook.

You wrote the Glossary. What was your creative process for creating this content?

Creating a glossary is a bit like practicing Lectio Divina. I read the text again and again, circling terms and creating a master list of words and page numbers. Using that list I would focus on one word at a time, noticing where it appeared throughout the text, noticing how Dan defined or used it, and really sitting with the word or concept as I pondered how to distill its meaning. I got to know these words really, really well.

What is one of your favorite words that Dan uses in Manna and Mercy?


In what ways do you see Dan defining familiar words in fresh ways?

The familiar term “big deal” gains meaning when contrasted with Dan’s invented term “little deal.” Dan’s definition of “manna” is so much larger and deeper than the mysterious white stuff that puzzled me in Sunday School. The concept of “Wilderness School” has formed me since the first time I heard it at Holden Village a couple decades ago.  

How could you envision a congregational leader using the glossary?

Why not use the “People in the Story” section—a very useful cast of characters in the Bible—to track down other prophets and peacemakers who didn’t get a mention here . . . or to delve more deeply into the Essenes and Pharisees?

What is a favorite illustration of yours in Manna and Mercy?

The Messiah Success Seminar on page 42.

Anything else you want congregational leaders to know about the language of Manna and Mercy?

Nope. Just enjoy its playfulness and profundity!

Topics: Daniel Erlander

Augsburg Fortress

Written by Augsburg Fortress

Augsburg Fortress develops engaging resources for Lutheran congregations In our ministry as the publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we create substantive and innovative materials to support the ministries of faith communities in communicating the good news of God's liberating grace. To meet the evolving needs of Lutheran communities, we continually invest in the development of new ministry resources, seeking ongoing input from theologians, educators, church leaders, and church members.

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