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Topics - Harvey_Mozolak

Your Turn / Communion Reception
February 26, 2022, 03:05:11 PM
Does the LCMS have an official teaching in the following instances (assuming each of the clergy is faithful in belief, practice and teaching true to their various church bodies):

What do communicants receive from the Eucharist in each case:
-the body and blood of Christ
-just bread and wine
-body and blood of Christ to their condemnation

when the celebrant is:
  an NALC pastor who is a woman?
  a Roman Catholic priest?
  a Presbyterian or Methodist pastor?
  Billy Graham when he was alive?

(please to do not write about the right or wrongness of any of the church bodies or their views on ordination but on whether the Sacrament received is what is promised by Christ as his body and blood presence for forgiveness, life and salvation.)

I assume mostly LCMS folks are the only ones who might know these answers for sure. 
Your Turn / punishment with or without forgiveness
February 18, 2022, 12:51:41 PM
Just watched the sentencing of the woman police officer who accidentally used a gun instead of a taser.

Whether you agree with the downgrading of the prison time or not or can accept her desire for forgiveness and sorry for what took place and the family's and others desire for the greatness of the error and the loss of life to account for a greater prison sentence....

Why did St. Paul not get any punishment for imprisoning Christians and for, in all probability, killing or participating in the killing of Christians accused only of being Christians?

Silly question, but should he have received punishment had there been a decent, by the best of our democratic standards, court and judge?   (I know God can do whatever he wants and he is the ultimate appeal, so aside from that.)
Your Turn / War
January 28, 2022, 09:21:08 PM
Just reading an article that spoke about Roman Catholic bishops beginning to form critiques of the church speaking about peace while allowing war, especially through its continued reference to the Just War theory and the bishops searching for other ways to look at war and its moral necessity and the moral need for avoidance. 

One thinks of the Ukraine, the many Christians of that country, and how unjust it might be to watch them destroyed by the tens of thousands if Russia invades with what it has now pre-positioned and yet how protecting them by entering a war begun, even by others, in these days when wars are fought with missiles at great range and vast armies of armor, air forces, communication and utility disruption and even the possible use of nuclear tipped weapons... such wars are not begun, nor ended wisely or with enough care, apart from any Christian judgement or theology. 

Apart from the politics (if that can somehow be avoided) has the old Just War justification faltered in the face of modern threats, the vast military capabilities of nations and the madness of those who cause wars to rain terror, satisfy egos, gain territory, crush perceived religious, cultural or political foes?
the consecration of oils... well, by a Bishop/President sort... well, even the use of oils and candles at Baptisms

a number of years ago I started a list of all the new rites, liturgical actions and activities that have found their way into mainstream Lutheranism (say today LCMS, ELCA, WiscSynod, NALC) since the publication of the LBW roughly, 1960's was the lead up period.

Use this new discussion for posting (not paragraphs please) but just listing items that are new to American Lutheranism in the time period of 1960-today.  Some things, I know many were used historically and brought into Lutheranism's usage and a few were used prior in a very small number of Lutheran parishes in the States.

In a way it is almost breathtaking or at least a wide window open with the wind coming in pushing years of curtains aside... 
Your Turn / Bible Study Group
January 08, 2019, 02:48:32 PM
Our neighborhood facebook page in the last couple of days featured a number of women asking about starting a Bible Study group.  Wow... about 20 or more women said they were interested.  I was going to ask whether men were invited or couples and who was leading the group, any pastor or someone with some training and what and how they were going to study but that sort of thing was not being talked about... it was all about excitement over the prospect and whether it would be a daytime or evening setting.  And somehow I knew that a post would come today asking about couples and the response was that it was a women's group.  Being a male pastor, should I ask if they need a leader?  I knew the answer, so I did not ask.  But it is interesting... a study without a known teacher or leader studying what about the Bible.  And only women.  Strikes me strange tho quite culturally current.  Would you start a group to study first aid and not want an EMS or nurse or MD or at least a standard text of some sort?  And if you show your colors... pastor, male, Lutheran, retired, whatever... it will be damper, eh.  I have talked to my wife about starting a group but I do not have an NALC church close enough to invite folks to if they have any interest being a Bible Class.  A close by ELCA and not too distant LCMS meeting in storefront.  The NALC parishes are all about 40 minutes away.  Thoughts?
Your Turn / Christmas Verse 2018
December 08, 2018, 07:50:23 PM
removed poetry
Recently (I think in these parts) there has been some discussion of imprecatory psalmody and how it might be rightly prayed against the unbelieving or certain great public sinners.  How do you parse the young man who was shot to death by arrows?  Is he a true believer zealous for Christian evangelism, a misguided missionary using foolish methodology or what?  Also of some importance, how do you parse those responsible?  Are they like those whom the psalms say should be wiped out?  Are they folks who should fall under the wrath of civil kingdom authorities and receive capital punishment?  Are they (non-theologically speaking) innocents whose innocence should be preserved as long as possible and, if so, for what reason?  Are they to be carefully studied from a distance and for what good reason?  Are they a group that should carefully (with full medical and psychological care) be brought closer to modernity and its, even limited, salutary gifts?  Lastly, the young man's Christian background is not part of what Lutherans might call orthodox— Oral Roberts schooling— how does that taint our reaction to calling him a Christian missionary attempting to share the Great Commission?
The new LCMS SC has at its question 311 the question as to the purity of confidentiality of private Confession and it gives as an answer that in the Rite of Ordination the pastor promises never to divulge the sins confessed to the pastor.  OK.  In many, indeed, most of the Q/A's there are scriptural passages printed out and cited.  None here.  What is the scriptural basis, not for confession or even private confession, but for compete confidentiality by the pastor, what is basis for its inclusion in the vow.  Simply ecclesiastical practice, tradition?  Do we have stories from the apostolic days of the practice of private confession?
ML, of course is quoted as witnessing that he will stand firm unless convinced by Scripture (yes!), plain reason (OK, not sure what was meant by that German or Latin at the time) (note that he does not reference the BoC because, well, you know why) ....

seriously, Scripture, plain reason and why not something slightly along the lines of feeling, gut reaction, his Christian heart?  Certainly he was not putting plain reason on the same level as pure reason, so why not the other part of corrupt human nature... the ordinary compassion of the human heart?

now on the other side of the statement is what he had to be convinced of... the authority of Pope and Councils that erred...  and I know Lutherans tend to look down on Schw"armer.... but the  "enthusiasts, sentimentalists or dreamers" so called, is that less descriptive and more a put down name, not necessarily including anything to do with a plain compassionate nature?
Your Turn / Reformation Stamp
April 03, 2018, 06:56:52 PM
Did anyone get the Vatican Reformation stamp issued last fall?  If so, how did you do so?  Any helpful hints or info.  Thanks.
Your Turn / Holy Week or The Great Week of Holiness
March 24, 2018, 02:20:59 PM
Your Turn / Close to Closed
February 12, 2018, 06:15:19 PM
Don't want this topic to be a discussion or argument on whether open, closed or close communion is best, truest or whatever.  SO PLEASE DO NOT.   Rather a simple question based upon my training, which I would be open to someone telling me I remember wrongly or even was taught wrongly but... Graduated from Springfield Sem in 1969 and my education included (at least I learned) that the LCMS does not teach or practice open communion but rather CLOSE communion.  If that was what I was taught at the conservative Seminary... when did the LCMS begin teaching CLOSED communion as a description of their altar practice...  It is openly done now as the new LW mag says on page 19 and there quotes the Small Catechism with Explanations pp. 343-344 and I assume the reference is to an Explanation section not to ML's actual SC text.  When did the LCMS stop using CLOSE and begin to officially proclaim CLOSED as its publicly endorsed and proclaimed term for HC reception?
Your Turn / Pre-Feb 14 Discussion
January 17, 2018, 12:18:46 PM
I have never been very happy with most artistic representations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, whether as a disembodied organ or one exposed on his closed chest.  They render a symbol often leaning toward the silly somehow IMO.  I also have lived with the notion that Lutherans, by in large, are not very enthusiastic about the Sacred Heart as a Christological theme or doctrinal point. 

Interestingly, Lutherans, have however, been taken by "O Sacred Head."  And while these two body parts are part of the longer Bernard prayer/poem (the other portions largely forgotten or occluded in the hymnody...) it does ask whether Lutherans are more head than heart folks... or at least that could be argued or debated. 

More seriously, two questions beyond these observations:
1.  Why have Lutheran's been cold on the image and theme of the Sacred Heart?  Is it simply something to do with the western art forms or is there some theological point or distinction that is the contention?  Is there some historical context?   Does it merit modern retention?

2.  Is there some (at least homiletical) value this year at the concurrence on the 14th of Ash Wednesday's open valve of repentance (rip your hearts) and the beginning of the Season of Christ's passionate love and our societal throbbing with blood red roses and cordialed chocolates?
Your Turn / Christmas Verse 2017
December 08, 2017, 11:15:03 AM
expired... and removed... message me if you need to read or read again. 
Peter's recent lead article in FORUM LETTER says IMO:
that he is not pleased with the LBW's "bondage to sin" concept in its confession sin
and he seems not to be entirely pleased with any of the other recent books substitute offerings
largely it appears because that confessional phrasing relates more to original sin
and thus does not take enough account of actual sins
and while he is not against the confession of original sin and its total depravity
he is concerned that those who confess get off easy with a more generic confession
he seems to be pushing for private confession (a la SC) but acknowledges that private or individual confession's restoration maybe a loosing battle

if I am correct in the above analysis, what is the good of the article?  He has no substitute that is fully or enough able to overcome the weaknesses he sees in the present -use wordings and no hope for private confession's renewal.  Allowing for the veracity of his argument... where do you go?

I think it is a good thing to confess our total depravity and complete need for God to escape our sinful nature.  And the Lutheran who understands his Catechism knows how our sinful nature lives on a daily basis and confesses that too.  What is the rubric "silence for self-examination" for? 
Your Turn / see I don't understand
October 08, 2017, 03:00:25 PM
did Mike Pence disrespect those who did not "take a knee" or who sang boldly the Anthem by leaving... when does respect and disrespect begin and end...

and I have been wondering "taking a knee" can be taken as praying, subservience, or genuflecting... the bookends of which are reverent acts of disobedience to anything less than the first commandment and the middle meaning... well....

Your Turn / Liturgical Attention Span
July 11, 2017, 02:19:09 PM
I have now been much more retired than even fill-in Sunday occupied....
and so have been sitting in the pew for better than a year where before there were only about four Sundays a year outside of the chancel.

Not counting the sermon...
About how much time during the hymns and liturgy are you pretty much concentrating and thinking and hearing and truly speaking/singing the liturgy in comparison to the time when you get through a whole Psalm or the Gloria and have not really been hearing or speaking to God?

Where are the times in the liturgy when it is harder to pay attention to worship for the Pastor?  When are the times when it is easier?  How can one improve such spiritual attention?

I notice quite a quality difference between the pew and the chancel.  Is this a unique thing with me or do other retired clergy find the same true?

When he first began to say Mass, Luther, experienced fear or terror... how much of it, I wonder, was trembling due to stage fright and first time fears and how much occasioned by the greatness of what was taking place?

We castigate congregants for not taking the Gospel seriously but we can read the Scripture, preach, pray, distribute the very Body and Blood of Christ and it can be the duties of a job well done or superficially done or sloppily done.... 

anyone have interest in discussing weaknesses and strengths (obviously as gifts)?
Your Turn / 500th Celebratory Verse
June 22, 2017, 10:26:27 AM
Your Turn / Holy Trinity Sunday Prayers
June 10, 2017, 02:59:26 PM
Holy Trinity Prayers by H.S. Mozolak

faithful Father
loving Son
hopeful Spirit
abide for us
in your greatness

in your complexity, blessed Trinity, most holy:
understand me most simply by your one love

Father, you made us
remake us in Jesus

Lord Jesus, show us the Father
remold us in his mercy at your cross

Holy Spirit, come from the Father and the Son
renew us in your resurrecting love

Father, Son and Spirit of Truth, be with us to the close of the age.  So love the world that the Son may be given again at this table.  Bless, keep, shine, be gracious, lift up your face and we will have peace for your name is upon us and upon what we bring and all that is before you.  Amen

Trinity A

Evening Prayer

In the good time of creation when evening preceded the day and when God was first before all, we walked in the hallowed rest of the seventh day.  In the time of our fall and hiding there has never really been a seeking for God, only the cool of the evening and the search of God for us, thanks be to God!  In Christ.  AMEN

Seasonal Prayer

Christ, you ascended to the Father and send to us the Spirit in order to assure us beyond what we see that you uphold and uplift us.   Call us in the name of your glory, grace and good.  AMEN

Another Prayer

Holy Father, heaven cannot hold your love for us.
Lord Jesus, God with us, you gripped not glory to descend into our shame.
Blessed Spirit, ablaze with gifts, you hold us to holiness by embracing us in the grace and glory,  the triune treasure for us.


Seasonal Prayer

O God, our lips open with ease to speak of ourselves.  Cleanse them to sing a soaring praise in witness to your love and holiness, Father, Son and Spirit.   AMEN  (First Reading based, Isaiah 6)

Evening Prayer

Blessed Spirit from the Father, by night we ask to be born anew.  As dawn rises from the depths of sightlessness, show us the only Son, give in love for faith, for eternal light for everyone.  AMEN
(Gospel based, John 3)

Holy Trinity C

Seasonal Collect
Our Father, your sending has gathered us into the oneness of your possession.
Our Christ, your coming has graced us through death into life.
Our Spirit, your pouring has empowered all the promises in which we hope and all the love in which you give faith.   

Evening Prayer
Into the name above all names, written in leaf and rock, bird and fish, dog and cat, and even our own DNA.  In the Divine Name Always we rely and rest.  In the name below all names, embedded in our flesh, imprisoned by tree and iron and crushed beneath the rage and rock, the stone and silence of death.  In the name naming all names, the breathing and hosting holiness of God.  In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit I commend my life, the world's and this day.  AMEN
Your Turn / Funerals for Pastors
May 02, 2017, 07:34:26 PM
moving funereal talk to a new topic which does not need TAPS except perhaps in the case of a military chaplain and that could be part of the conversation suggested below.

I have had occasion to preside at the funeral of a retired former pastor.  What do you all know as traditions, LBW and other worship book rubrics and commentaries on what happens, vestments-- color, how the deceased might or should be vested; special liturgical additions to the usual Book rite and so forth?  And I assume we will also have personal opinions.  Should retired pastors be vested?  Should they be buried if possible from their last parish, all things being equal?  What of the use of Bible, Stole, Chalice, Shell and Crucifix atop the pall?  I think I read that the Roman usage now is white for the liturgical color while Lutherans have in the past used red...?  What is done in the Orthodox communion?  If my memory serves me, not much if anything was said in Pfatteicher's commentary or manual on the LBW.  As one who is retired I am putting together my notes for my own but I will also have to do my 101 year old pastor-father's funeral Mass and when you are that age there will hardly be any parish people or even clergy who knew him while active... which poses some interesting questions.  I know, often, the bishop is asked to preach, celebrate or officiate in some way.  What is the role then of any parish pastor?

I did also once suggest that among the special collects (when such things were being assembled and written) that someone come up with a special one for clergy spouses.  Nothing was done but I thought it an interesting idea, IMO.
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