Author Topic: AFLC 2022 Conference  (Read 1069 times)

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: AFLC 2022 Conference
« Reply #45 on: Yesterday at 06:53:07 AM »
We are entering a likely season of increased pastoral vacancies. We who are German heritage may gain insight from the experience of the Norwegians.

As available clergy disappear, the laity will work out ways to care for one another spiritually. That is what the isolated communities did in Scandinavia. It's also what lay persons under Soviet domination had to do as well. They might form roles and offices of service not yet considered as has happened repeatedly across the history of the Church.

I think, for example, of the exorcists in the Lutheran congregations in Madagascar. Who foresaw the renewal of that office in the Lutheran Church?
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: AFLC 2022 Conference
« Reply #46 on: Yesterday at 07:56:15 AM »
We are entering a likely season of increased pastoral vacancies. We who are German heritage may gain insight from the experience of the Norwegians.

As available clergy disappear, the laity will work out ways to care for one another spiritually. That is what the isolated communities did in Scandinavia. It's also what lay persons under Soviet domination had to do as well. They might form roles and offices of service not yet considered as has happened repeatedly across the history of the Church.

I think, for example, of the exorcists in the Lutheran congregations in Madagascar. Who foresaw the renewal of that office in the Lutheran Church?


The ministry of lay people is a large part of the growth of Lutherans in Africa. A pastor friend wrote about a new, very large congregations he was called to. He went to the hospital to make a pastoral visit on a member, like he had done in previous congregations, and found a group of lay people there. They told him that they didn't expect the pastor to do all that, it was part of their ministry to visit, pray, and care for members in the hospital. Conversely, when another pastor friend had become an assistant to a bishop, and later elected bishop, I asked him what he missed most in those new offices, he said, "Hospital calling."


A struggle that I had was whether or not to let lay people do jobs that wouldn't be done as well as I would do them; and this included things like picking hymns, typing and formatting bulletins, accompanying hymns. (I have held paying jobs as a type-setter and an accompanist.) I and a lay person led a workshop for council members and one of our questions was whether the lay people should lead devotions or should the called and trained pastor be the one to expound on biblical texts at each meeting.


This leads me to wonder if the problem is not so much the lay people being willing to be workers in the field as it might be us shepherds being unwilling to give up some of our power, authority, and expertise, to allow the laity to share their gifts and fully as they could? Would we be willing to accept a group of people who wanted to do exorcisms (or other healing services) in our congregations like what has happened in Africa?
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 07:57:54 AM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]