Author Topic: What's Next For the ALPB?  (Read 6809 times)

John_Hannah

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What's Next For the ALPB?
« on: April 29, 2018, 04:26:05 PM »
If you have read Richard Johnson's spectacular history of the ALPB's first 100 years you will know that as the world changed, the ALPB frequently adapted in order to serve changing needs. Entering now our second century of service, your distinguished Board of Directors is considering how we might better serve you, your congregations, and your colleagues in ministry.

What is it that you would like to see from the ALPB? How can we help you proclaim the changeless Christ to your people and to your community? Are there tools we could produce for you? We welcome any and all suggestions, comments, and complaints.  Ask your friends who don't participate in this forum.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH (Board President)
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2018, 08:04:55 PM »
The ALPB resources that were most beneficial to me:

1)  For All The Saints.  My only suggestion is to offer a clear polyethelene slip cover.   Most of my volumes required careful taping of the spines after years of toting to hospital rooms.

2)  Aubrey Bougher's excellent tract 10 Questions and Answers about the Weekly Eucharist

3)  The bulletin-insert formatted pages on Private Confession and an examination of conscience based on Luther's explanation of the 10 Commandments which appeared many years ago in an issue of Lutheran Forum

It would be wonderful if ALPB could acquire the rights to reprint the About Being Lutheran series which had appeared in The Bride of Christ.   Lutheran Liturgical Renewal did publish a slim volume containing the first thirty or so, but there were quite a few published in the magazine subsequent to the book's printing.
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Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2018, 08:36:23 PM »
what about a supplemental volume to FOR ALL THE SS?  Possible contents might be texts of the other daily offices, additional readings, more prayers and litanies, even a few texts of hymns.... other ideas?  I use Pfatteicher's Daily Prayer of the Church which does contain much more and I use For All the SS for the Biblical Readings (used the non-Biblical readings for a couple of cycles a few years back). 
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SomeoneWrites

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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2018, 10:16:56 PM »
Free resources linked from the main page. 
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Dan Fienen

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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2018, 10:18:49 PM »
Some care needs to be shown.  If you try to put everything anybody might like, those volumes could quickly become unwieldy.  Don’t forget, a hippopotamus is a race horse built to government specs, and a camel is a race horse designed by a committee.
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Charles Austin

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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 06:19:49 AM »
Sorry, guys, but I fear future "products" will have to be digital. Those of us who have a remaining love of the "feel" and texture of books and magazines are passing.
Making "For All the Saints" digital would be terrific; but I suspect the task would be virtually impossible.
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John_Hannah

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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2018, 07:35:33 AM »
Sorry, guys, but I fear future "products" will have to be digital. Those of us who have a remaining love of the "feel" and texture of books and magazines are passing.
Making "For All the Saints" digital would be terrific; but I suspect the task would be virtually impossible.

Thank you. You are correct. We have explored at length a digital For All the Saints and found it impossible. The main impediment would be that of obtaining all those copyrights again without all those wonderful volunteers from St. Matthew's Church in White Plains, NY.   :)

Peace, JOHN
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 10:44:41 AM by John_Hannah »
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Dan Fienen

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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2018, 07:49:44 AM »
A similar product, Treasury of Daily Prayer, from CPH is available on Kindle or as an Android app, “PrayNow.”
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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2018, 08:05:02 AM »
A similar product, Treasury of Daily Prayer, from CPH is available on Kindle or as an Android app, “PrayNow.”

Pray Now is also available as an iPhone app.  I love it!  Excellent daily combination of Psalm, OT reading, NT reading, hymn excerpt, prayer for the day, and a relevant writing usually by Martin Luther or an early church father.  Plus a few more items like short orders of the day. 

Dave Benke

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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2018, 09:04:35 AM »
What seem to be coming forth so far are ideas for publications, whether paper or digital. 

Thinking of the name - American Lutheran Publicity Bureau - how about this purposefully inter-Lutheran or pan-Lutheran "bureau" gathering and leading people in conversation about the issues of the day from its unique pan-Lutheran perspective, perhaps in conjunction with a Lutheran university or college (Valparaiso?).  In that regard, it could be valuable to consider either dropping "American" or intentionally globalizing the gatherings of Lutheran leaders, since the Lutheran movement is being propelled most dynamically in the global South.  This would be going public, or publicizing, Lutheran evangelical catholicity, which at least to me would be a most worthwhile way to push forward. 

I could think of a host of topics that would bring global attention to Lutheran priorities.

Dave Benke


Steven Tibbetts

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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2018, 12:15:03 PM »

2)  Aubrey Bougher's excellent tract 10 Questions and Answers about the Weekly Eucharist


That was published by Lutheran Liturgical Renewal, who also published quarterly The Bride of Christ.  I was on LLR's board at its end, and we offered to give the resources (and the rights to them) to ALPB.  By then LLR was not really operating and most of its remaining materials were already housed at St. Augustine's House, who last I heard still had them and, at least officially, from whom they remained available.  Though at a recent STS General Retreat, +Aubrey brought a box of 10 Questions... he still had stored at home, and was giving the tracts away.

Pax, Steven+
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Charles Austin

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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2018, 12:20:51 PM »
Is Bougher Still operating as an independent Lutheran pastor?
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2018, 12:36:08 PM »
Is Bougher Still operating as an independent Lutheran pastor?

No.  He was received into International Lutheran Fellowship around the turn of the century, and was part of its transformation into the Lutheran Church-International, of whose Northeastern Diocese he has been Bishop for the last decade.  He retired as Pastor at Christ Church, Rosedale, about 3 years ago. 

Pax, Steven+
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Mark Brown

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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2018, 02:47:29 PM »
This is a really tough question for a couple of reasons. First, focusing on the "AL", I just don't think you can honestly create a pan-Lutheran identity with all of the current American Lutheran institutions.  The LCMS/WELS/ELS and the NALC/LCMC groupings can function roughly as they always did, but there just isn't much to say between the first group and the ELCA, and the second group and the ELCA are the results of schisms.  Discussions between LCMS/WELS/ELS/NALC/LCMC can be cordial if somewhat routine. You have the feeling of working from most of the same assumptions.  But the ELCA works with completely different and new ones even if they go by old names.  Second, focusing on the "P", I tend to think that the environment for church is dramatically different than even 15 years ago.  At the founding it was a positive environment where publicity was largely what was needed.  If you got the word out, people responded.  The past 20 years have been something of a neutral environment.  No longer if you build it they would come, but if you provided quality and were "nice and winsome" you could still gain a hearing.  I think we are largely in a negative environment which means that just gathering a crowd doesn't necessarily lead to discipleship.  You see the "nice and winsome" group having sanded off so much offending content that it is hard to tell what they are about, it doesn't seen to be Jesus.  And anyone who remembers the positive environment is old enough today to just be retired.

So, what does a Publicity Bureau do in such an environment?  Everything that I think one should or could be doing that would be effective requires a strategic change.  It could decide that LCMS/WELS/ELS just isn't Lutheran and dedicate itself to healing the schism and making the emerging former mainline merger-church as friendly to neo-Lutheranism as possible.  The goal would be increasing the knowledge of Lutheran ideas (probably modern ones) in non-Lutheran areas.  (Essentially the Thrivent no longer for Lutherans strategy.)  It could decide that the ELCA is no longer authentically Lutheran, and set about building ties between the Lutheran denominations.  Part of that mission I would think would be creating some type of pan-Lutheran modern day clearinghouse of authentic Lutheran voices on relevant topics.  Think The Gospel Coalition or something similar.  Take the Forum Letter and make it a daily stop. Focus on getting pastoral voices, not theologians or even church hierarchs.

My guess is that such strategic decisions are outside the thought and ability of the organization.  That might actually be to its credit.  Like the old westerns, certain times call for men and decisions that aren't acceptable if they themselves are successful in their job.  Athanasius was a necessary cur. 

Richard Johnson

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Re: What's Next For the ALPB?
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2018, 05:12:28 PM »
Fascinating analysis, Pr. Brown. I would push back on two points:

(1) I'm not convinced that a "pan-Lutheran identity" remains impossible (nor am I convinced that it is even something that can be "created"). There are other very limited examples. The Lutheran Historical Conference works very nicely with participation from ELCA, NALC, LCMS, WELS. Lutheran World Relief seems to still be a vibrant cooperative agency. The Society of the Holy Trinity, while predominantly ELCA/NALC, has members as well from LCMS and other bodies.

(2) That "Lutheran identity" is not a reality the can, or does, exist solely in institutional church bodies; it is a reality that exists among individuals. There are many things we have in common, regardless of church body; and there are many in every church body that identify much more deeply as "Lutheran" than as "ELCA" or "LCMS" or "NALC" or "WELS." The current hostility between various church bodies is certainly a serious issue, and arguably at the lowest state in the memory of most of us. But to read American Lutheran history is to know that there was great hostility as well at other points in that history, and in God's grace, that hostility was ultimately overcome. The troubled times in which one lives generally seems to be the worst it has ever been, but that is seldom true. The ALPB has lived through some of those hostile times, and has been an instrument for bridging hostilities more than once in its history. Who knows if it might play that role again?
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