Opening Worship

Started by Brad Everett, July 14, 2011, 05:41:49 PM

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Brad Everett

After a five hour drive across the scenic Alberta and Saskatchewan flatlands we made it in time for the Opening Worship service. As is usually the case these days, worship and convention business are being held in the same space, a long narrow convention hall.
In an effort to give everyone a chance to see what is going on, there are four large screens across the front of the hall. While I can appreciate the sentiment behind this, what it felt like (at least from my corner in the back where the media is seated) was that I was watching a service that could have been taking place miles away instead of a few feet. I imagine others had a similar sense as many were facing the screens rather than the altar, located in the middle of room. Then there was the projecting of various images while the choir sang Psalm 84 from a Bach requiem. Images of European cathedrals, nature scenes etc. - just reminded me of where else one might want to be rather than in a large windowless room in July (keeping in mind summer in Canada is short enough as is).
The altar is unique. Constructed especially for this event, it is built of wood from a grain elevator that had been torn down. For those not from the prairie, grain elevators were huge wooden structures where farmers would take grain, where it would be stored before being loaded on trains and shipped to market. Every town and village had at least one if not several. However most have been torn down in the last 15 years.
The service itself was.... well there was good, bad and in-between. On the good side the music was very well done and the choir was wonderful. Liturgy from ELW—a helpful reminder for me why my congregation continues to use the LBW. How is it that one can get through and entire communion service and it isn't until the order for opening the convention that the name of God i.e. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is used? Instead we have Triune God, God of this, God of that, various titles describing what God does etc. to reference God. Theological issues aside, if someone introduced themselves to you and gave you their name, isn't it proper to use it? So why not give God the same courtesy.
National Bishop Susan Johnson's sermon was more of a public relations message than a proclamation of the Word of God. She reviewed her initiative to encourage "spirited discipleship" in the ELCIC, noting that many people know they need the "spiritual milk" talked about in 1 Peter, they think it is as palatable as beets. She encouraged the gathered to: pray, read, worship, study, serve, give and tell (the various aspects of "spirited discipleship"). It wasn't "bad" but it wasn't a sermon.
So opening worship wasn't aggravating, it wasn't uplifting, it just was—unfortunately worship should be more.

J. Thomas Shelley

Brad,

Thank you for giving me a window inito Lutheran life north of the 49th.   I too have come away from some liturgies grateful to be still using the LBW.

Regarding your previous posting, I wonder how long it will be before the premissive "may perform marriages in accordance with the law of their Province" will become a prescriptive "shall perform...."

Keep the faith!
Greek Orthodox Deacon - Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Brad Everett

I doubt that it will ever become "shall perform..." at least not in the near future in part because it will be easier just to leave it as is (assuming the motion passes) and let it develop into an unofficial "official" policy. i.e. as minds change and congregations and individuals leave only those of like mind will be left.

Evangel

Quote from: Brad Everett on July 14, 2011, 08:30:04 PM
I doubt that it will ever become "shall perform..." at least not in the near future in part because it will be easier just to leave it as is (assuming the motion passes) and let it develop into an unofficial "official" policy. i.e. as minds change and congregations and individuals leave only those of like mind will be left.

Isn't this one of the item that the CALC/LCMC/Solid Ground folks are concerned about?  That given Canadian law, the church body's statement permitting such a "performance" leaves the pastor who clings to traditional values - if and when a homosexual couple comes to them for a marriage - on their own to face what could even be criminal charges of discrimination?
Mark Schimmel, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church, LCMC
Priddy, TX
--
ACXXIII, "Your majesty will graciously take into account the fact that, in these last times of which the Scriptures prophesy, the world is growing worse and men are becoming weaker and more infirm."

Brad Everett

Yes, but the concern is that the pressure would come from the state and not necessarily the ELCIC—granted no one expects there would be much assistance from the ELCIC if a pastor or congregation found themselves faced with charges of discrimination. Thus some have sought out church bodies that support a traditional understanding of marriage.

Mike Gehlhausen

Quote from: Brad Everett on July 14, 2011, 05:41:49 PM
National Bishop Susan Johnson's sermon was more of a public relations message than a proclamation of the Word of God. She reviewed her initiative to encourage "spirited discipleship" in the ELCIC, noting that many people know they need the "spiritual milk" talked about in 1 Peter, they think it is as palatable as beets. She encouraged the gathered to: pray, read, worship, study, serve, give and tell (the various aspects of "spirited discipleship"). It wasn't "bad" but it wasn't a sermon.

Was there any Gospel in the sermon at all?

Mike

Brad Everett

Mike, in an effort to be charitable I'll just say I was unable to discern any Gospel.

Charles_Austin

Pastor Everett writes:
Mike, in an effort to be charitable I'll just say I was unable to discern any Gospel.

I comment:
Then I assume that in a spirit of fellowship and collegiality, you will be contacting the bishop about your concern that she is preaching sermons that, as you hear them, lack "gospel," especially since you have gone public with your criticism.
It seems to me that the bishop would appreciate hearing the concerns, just as we pastors like to hear from our people if they think a sermon has gone off the rails.

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