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January 2015: Focus on International Mission

January 24th, 2015 No comments

Found over on   Throughout January, the LCMS focuses on international mission. In the 121 years since the LCMS sents its first missionaries abroad to India, the church has been involved in international mission. The primary goal of LCMS international mission work is to proclaim the Gospel to a lost and fallen world, says the Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III, director of LCMS Church Relations and Regional Operations for the Office of International Mission.

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U.S. Church Planting: A New Initiative for the LCMS

January 17th, 2015 7 comments

An article by Melanie Ave found over on   A new chapter on church planting is about to begin in the recent history book of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Faced with population shifts and a request for the Synod to play a larger role in helping districts, circuits and congregations start new churches, discussions are just beginning about how to craft a new church-planting initiative aimed at encouraging, facilitating, funding and sharing best practices, said the Rev. Bart Day, interim chief missions officer and executive director of the LCMS Office of National Mission. The 2013 Synod convention approved a   More…

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Great Stuff — Where’s the beef?

January 15th, 2015 7 comments

Found over on Pastoral Meanderings:   Though many of the recent worship battles have focused on style, style doesn’t really matter, said J. Daniel Day, retired senior professor of Christian preaching and worship at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, N.C., and author of the 2013 book Seeking the Face of God: Evangelical Worship Reconceived. “Worship can be facilitated and used around any kind of style,” says Day, a former pastor of First Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. The music and sanctuary decorations can be tailored to fit the tastes of the congregation. “But the question becomes … ‘where’s the   More…

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Great Stuff — ULC – Of Woundedness, Trials, Trust and Faith

December 27th, 2014 6 comments

Found over on By Oliver Young – a perspective from a long-time member of University Lutheran Chapel    A quick Google search will reveal that woundedness is ‘The quality or state of being wounded.’ That very simple, succinct definition leaves a lot out of what it means to be wounded. Our society has become increasingly aware of this concept of woundedness. We see service men and women returning from active duty to ‘regular’ civilian life. This transition is hard and wearing, not only on the service person but also family, friends, employers, and broader society. While external wounds are visible, tangible, and often   More…

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Great Stuff — Creches and Crucifixes

December 19th, 2014 5 comments

Another great article found over on   Crucifixes can scare Lutherans. Even good Lutherans. The kinds of Lutherans who like to sing hymns with their families on Christmas Eve and who write checks each Sunday and who love their pastor right down to his white socks and black shoes. Oops. That’s their seminarian. Still, we stiffen up a little when we see a crucifix. It’s uncomfortable. It’s not the Jesus we like. We like the Good Shepherd Jesus, the one surrounded by wandering sheep. Or the smiling Jesus, holding little children in His arms. Or the Jesus robed in white,   More…

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Great Stuff – Reformation of Suffering

December 18th, 2014 2 comments

Suffering. The many explanations are pretty much a pile of rubbish. People suffer on without consolation. The explanations more or less just pile on, making suffering worse. Think of Job’s comforters; and let’s not be too harsh on them. Do you have three friends who will sit on the smoldering ash heap with you for seven days without saying a word? They were his friends, and good ones. But they were wrong. With good intensions, they poured salt in Job’s wounds. What is a pastor to do? Luther faced this. He made a breakthrough. He reformed suffering. This is valuable   More…

Great Stuff — Four things Lutherans believe about the Law that are false … and true

December 4th, 2014 177 comments

Found over on Pr. Surburg’s blog:   In our study of Scripture we return to the same texts, yet we often do not find them to be same.  Naturally the text hasn’t changed.  Instead we have changed in our knowledge and experiences, and so we recognize things that we had not noticed before.  We ask questions of the text that we had not thought of before. In preparing for a sermon, I had occasion to read again 1 Thessalonians 4:1 in which Paul says: Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received   More…

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Great Stuff — Engage the Culture? Don’t.

November 24th, 2014 8 comments

Do you engage the culture? Are you culturally relevant? If not, then how can you say that you believe in sharing the Gospel? Or didn’t you know that “lost people matter to God”?
I hear this a great deal, in the broader

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Redeemer Conference with Dr. John Stephenson

November 19th, 2014 No comments

Found on the Lutheran Calendar — post your items here and put it on your blog’s sidebar to announce events to others.   The Good News: It is free! No registration. More Good News: Dr. John Stephenson, of Concordia Seminary St. Catharines, will be our speaker. Monday, January 19, 2015, from 8am to 8pm Stephenson will spend his time with us reconsidering and visiting his volume on Eschatology – which was published 21 years ago. What has changed? How has his thinking on this expanded? He will speak, in particular, about God’s wrath and also the case and fate of   More…

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ACL / Luther Academy – Marriage, Sex, and Gender in the Lutheran Church Today

November 13th, 2014 59 comments

As found on the Lutheran Calendar here. Mark your calendars for this event!   The Association of Confessional Lutherans   and   The Luther Academy are in the process of planning the next Congress on the Lutheran Confessions ACL National Free Conference # 26 Luther Academy Lecture Series # 22   April 15 – 17, 2015 Ramada Mall of America Bloomington (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota     The overall theme for this congress is: Marriage, Sex, and Gender in the Lutheran Church Today — In Light of the Lutheran Confessions     PROPOSED TOPICS FOR THE 2015 CONGRESS ON   More…

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Great Stuff — Talking Sheep: The Role of the Laity in the Church

November 10th, 2014 17 comments

Found over on Bible Beer and Babies written by Vanessa Rasanen:   I’ve never been known for my tact. I rarely say the right thing, and even when I do I usually say it in the completely wrong way. Perhaps it would be better to remedy this problem by keeping my trap shut and learning to be quiet, but instead I’m learning when to speak up and how. This is an important skill to develop, too, as it can benefit our jobs, our families, our communities, and even our church. Yes, even our church, and even as laity. We laity   More…

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Great Stuff — How I Became a… Church Growth Disciple

November 8th, 2014 3 comments

Found over on InternetMonk, written by Mike Bell:   First of all a confession. The title is really just an attention grabber, and a weak attempt to get Miguel to sputter coffee through his nose. Although a second confession would be that in the eighties and nineties, I did read all I could get my hands on from the Church growth movement. There are a couple of interesting things that I learned from that time, and I wanted to present a sort of random stream on consciousness on the topic. The numerical growth or decline of a church is strictly   More…

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Great Stuff — Livestream Broadcast of Hymn Festival in Honor of Richard Resch Tonight

November 3rd, 2014 6 comments

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS), Fort Wayne, Indiana, is pleased to announce a special livestreaming event this evening from the Good Shepherd Institute Conference. “My Times Are in Your Hand: A Musical Festschrift in Honor of Kantor Richard C. Resch,” will be livestreamed from Kramer Chapel this evening at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern). Go to and click on Watch Live! in the Livestream Events box. Organist for the evening will be CTS Associate Kantor Matthew A. Machemer. CTS Kantor Kevin J. Hildebrand will direct the Seminary Kantorei, and the Rev. David H. Reed, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Auburn,   More…

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Great Stuff — Forget The War On Christmas, The War On Advent Is Worse

October 21st, 2014 6 comments

A great post found by original BJS columnist Mollie Hemingway found over on excerpted below:   I just received an email asking me to “save the date” for a “Christmas” party to be held on Wednesday, Dec. 3. “Hi friends, get a jump start on your holiday planning with our Save the Date for the [redacted] Christmas party,” the email read. Attached was a card that read “sleigh bells will ring, JINGLE, JINGLE, JINGLE So let’s get together to MIX & MINGLE.” … Even though Advent is marked in this country by millions of Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians and many   More…

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Great Stuff .. Why I stand with the Houston Five (COMMENTARY)

October 20th, 2014 45 comments

A post by LCMS 4th Vice President (and Houston Pastor) Rev. Dr. Scott Murray over on ReligionNews:   Excerpted … Recently, Houston city attorneys, acting on behalf of Mayor Annise Parker and the City Council, issued subpoenas to five area pastors requiring they hand over copies of all communication with members of their congregations about a gay rights ordinance. … So what is a Christian pastor to do? The mayor or members of the City Council are always welcome in my congregation. Sermons aren’t exactly private or privileged communications; they are proclaimed to audiences in public and placed on our   More…

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