These are low-production videos of three of the four evening of the Lutheran identity/renewal week. The fourth evening’s video should be up by Friday, June 12.

The first, third and fourth evenings were held in the fellowship space of St. John’s Riverside Lutheran Church outside of Gillett, Wisconsin. The second evening was filmed in the sanctuary on the evening of June 2, 2009–Tuesday after Pentecost.

Again, many thanks to Pastor Cota for serving as chaplain during the event.

Your comments are encouraged so that we can refine this for use throughout the circuit. Ideally each evening would have a different presenter.

May God use our feeble efforts to strengthen the faith of the faithful.

Treasures in the Attic, part 1:

Treasures in the Attic, part 2:

God’s Pottery Wheel, part 1:

God’s Pottery Wheel, part 2:

On the third evening, the record button was pressed — but the camcorder had not been turned on. Sorry!!

Honorable Beggars, part 1:

Honorable Beggars, part 2:


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

Being Lutheran — Nothing to Be Ashamed Of!

St. John’s Riverside Lutheran Church
5686 Highway 32 South
Gillett, Wisconsin

June 1 – 4, 2009

Four Evenings to Renew and Deepen Our Faith and Understanding

June 1
Treasures in the Attic
Our Faith Is Not Clutter
June 2
God’s Pottery Wheel
The Shape of Worship; Worship that Shapes
June 3
Everyday Life
Where Faith Bears Fruit
June 4
Sharing the Gospel
Being Honorable Beggars

7:00 p.m. — 8:30 p.m.

Everyone is encouraged to attend all four evenings. Each evening will be valuable on its own. If you can’t join us on a certain evening, come on an evening or evenings that work out for you.Each evening will include the participation of a presenter and a pastor who will lead opening and closing worship and provide opportunities for conversation and advice.

Schedule for Each Evening
7:00    Responsive Prayer and Hymn
7:10    Presentation
7:55    Questions and Discussion
8:15    Compline Service

On Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, we will meet in our fellowship space in the basement. Tuesday evening, we will meet in the sanctuary.
A handout will be distributed each evening so that what is learned can be reviewed and shared with others.
Chaplain: Pastor Shane Cota
Presenter: Michael Zamzow Continue reading

April 20th — Johannes Bugenhagen


A Short Synopsis of Bugenhagen’s Life

On April 20, 1558 Johannes Bugenhagen was born to eternal life. His earthly life began on June 24, 1485 in the Hanseatic city of Wollin in Pomerania. Bugenhagen’s father was a member of the town council and made sure that Johannes was given an especially good education. In 1502 he began his studies at the university in Greifswald where he came in contact with the growing Humanist movement, but did not pursue theological studies. In 1504 Bugenhagen was called to serve as a teacher and rector of the municipal Latin school in Treptow on the Rega. In the following year he was called serve simultaneously as lector (lecturer) for the canons of the Premonstratensian Abbey of Belbuk outside of the city. The abbot not only headed the abbey, but was the patron of the congregation and the school in Treptow. He was to give the canons an introductory course in Holy Scripture with an emphasis on Paul’s Pastoral Epistles and the Psalms. His reputation as a scholar grew and spread. In 1509 Bugenhagen was ordained a priest and began preaching (it is worth noting that his sermons in Wittenberg sometimes lasted three hours).

In 1517 Bugenhagen traveled throughout Pomerania gathering documents in order to write the first history of the Duchy of Pomerania. This enterprise was commissioned by Duke Bogislav X. Bugenhagen was thus connected with the past and then the future of his Pomeranian homeland.
Continue reading

The Meaning of Words, a Man’s Word, the Word of God — Part II

One of the things which saddens me most about the present state of the Lutheran Church is the basic lack of integrity among those called to proclaim and teach God’s Word and rightly administer the sacraments. By this I do not mean the human weakness and sinfulness in which we all find ourselves. We all are tempted. Only Christ was and is without sin. My concern is more focused and is basic to the health of the Church and the proclamation of the Word. Rather than beat around the bush, I’ll get to the point. If a pastor is going to be a faithful servant of the Word, he has to be a man of his word. Pastor’s make solemn vows when they are ordained. Those vows are not coerced, but freely spoken. They are not based on some fine print which the pastor has overlooked, but on years of hopefully careful study and acquaintance with the teachings of the Church, especially Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. Studying the ancient languages, learning to listen to God’s Word through careful and faithful exegesis, being immersed in the witness of the consensus of the church catholic in general, and the Lutheran Church specifically — these are not mere hurdles to be jumped, but preparation for ministry and a part of the informed consent involved in the ordination vows and subscription to the Confessions. The Church, including the average person sitting in the pews, should be able to trust that the pastor before them did not cross his fingers when saying his vows. The hearers of the Word should be able to trust that the man in the pulpit did not engage in some Lutheran form of the Jesuits’ reservatio mentis when he promised fidelity to God’s Word as witnessed in the Lutheran Confessions. Continue reading

Evolution Weekend

There seems to be no lack of foolishness in this world. One may even sign on to a letter declaring evolution established fact and truth. One only has to be a clergy person. It is interesting that the letter does not declare an open mindedness to consider all possibilities. It declares evolution to be established fact. It seems that for over 11,000 clergy, the doctrine of creation is not established, but evolution is. The real shocker is that over 400 LUTHERAN clergy, including seminary and college profs have signed on. To sign on to the letter goes beyond a mere willingness to consider a theory. It declares a working theory to be fact which must be accepted. I wonder if those Lutheran pastors and professors are willing to subscribe to the witness of Scripture or the Lutheran Confessions. I guess that’s all optional. Evolution is mandatory and not up for discussion.

As we observe the First Sunday in Lent, others observe Evolution Weekend—in past years observed as Evolution Sunday.

We can only cry: Kyrie eleison.

Posted by pomeranus

If This Is How We Pray, What Do We Believe?

A rather disturbing video of an Ablaze!(c) event is available online. The event took place at Salem Lutheran Church in Houston, TX. President Kieschnick spoke at this “worship”. Beginning with shofar and an idiosyncratic confession of sins, the “worship” moves to liturgical dance and then something which might remind one of the Lord’s Supper if all the dispensationilist trappings were removed. If this is where the LCMS has moved or is moving to, there are serious questions which need to be asked by every pastor and congregation faithful to the witness of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. There are so many questions—and I fear the answers. Personally, I am so weary of wackos taking over the Lutheran Church. In the ELCA the left-wing revisionist have seized the reins. If this “worship” which featured Lutheran bishops from overseas (some of whom were not amused by the foolishness) is how the LCMS wants to present the Gospel and itself to the world, it can hardly be considered Lutheran. Has Zola Levitt superseded Loehe, Walther, Pieper and Sasse in matters of worship and doctrine? The “worship” seems like some sort of dispensationalist production with tiny remnants of classical Lutheran liturgy. If this is what Ablaze!(c) is all about, then it seems more like the flames of hellfire than the kindling of the Holy Spirit.

Posted by pomeranus.