Renewed and Refreshed

It was a joy for all who participated. Special thanks goes to Pastor Shane Cota who led the opening prayer service each night which included a meditation. They were so good, people asked for copies. There was a general consensus that it was worthwhile for those who were able to attend. Participants included members of St. John’s Riverside, members of sister LCMS congregations, other Lutherans, and non-Lutherans. It is now hoped that this can be refined and expanded to include more pastors and to be held in each parish in the Gillett circuit. God willing, that will happen.

One of the joys of the evenings was closing with Compline. Compline will certainly become a staple in St. John’s Riverside prayer life.

If you would like to gain a sense of what each evening was like, you can link to the handouts which provide the information for the prayer services and a summary of what was covered. Note that these are tri-fold brochures. The content is on the second page of each pdf. We hope to upload video of the evenings also. The third evening did not get recorded because of human frailty. The record button was pressed — but the recorder had not been turned on!

May God guide and bless the continuation of this endeavor to renew and deepen our faith and understanding.

1 – Treasures in the Attic — Our Faith is Not Clutter

2 – God’s Pottery Wheel — The Shape of Worship; Worship that Shapes

3 – Everyday Life — Where Faith Bears Fruit

4 – Sharing the Gospel — Being Honorable Beggars

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The Focus of Worship

Paul McCain’s Cyberbrethren blog has an interesting discussion on worship based on the disaffections from the megachurch model toward the emerging church paradigm. Some of the comments give insight into what is really important in worship. It is worth a discussion in our circles where the rubber hits the road.

Posted by pomeranus.

Is the ELCA Inherently Racist?

Lars Walker’s description of the ELCA’s motivation for reaching out to minorities is right on target. It is inherently selfish and based on a universalist theology. Walker accurately describes the ELCA statistical report process and the dishonesty inherent in the formation of the ELCA. What Walker describes is perhaps also at the heart of why there is such support of the GLBTQ agenda. If the Theology of the Cross is no longer at the center of institutional life, a new raisons d’etre must be found. Inclusivity has become the new definition of the Gospel. It is not about bringing the real Gospel to people, but justifying an institution by statistically proving that it is inclusive. There is a lot to ponder here. It also raises questions for non-ELCA Lutherans about why we evangelize. To meet goals? To justify institutional existence ? To bring the life-giving word of the Cross of Christ to those caught in the chains of sin, death, and the power of the devil?

Posted by pomeranus.

How Dangerous Are We?

Christians have been arrested in Turkey again. This time for “street evangelism.”  A government official claims they are more dangerous than terrorist organizations. Perhaps he is right in a sense. Terrorists can blow up buildings, vehicles and people. The Gospel breaks open the gates of hell. We need to ask ourselves if we are dangerous enough. Do we proclaim the Gospel clearly and boldly? Is the trumpet which sounds from our pulpits clear or muddled. Does our proclamation clearly declare Law and Gospel or do the listeners take away from sermons whatever they want? Perhaps our sacristy prayer should include: Lord, make me dangerous today.

Posted by pomeranus.