Posts Tagged ‘wmltblog’

Great Stuff — Response to Court Opinion on Clergy Housing Allowance

November 26th, 2013 81 comments

Found over on   On November 22, 2013, a Federal District Court in Wisconsin held that the clergy housing allowance is unconstitutional. Specifically, the judge entered an Order and Opinion declaring 26 U.S.C. Section 107(2) unenforceable because it violates the First and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The judge entered an order enjoining the IRS from enforcing the provision but provided that the injunction will not be effective until all appeals have been concluded or the deadline for filing an appeal has expired, whichever comes later. Click here to read the opinion. This Order and Opinion most   More…

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Great Stuff — Gutachten: The Word of Forgiveness Spoken by a Lay Person

October 5th, 2013 17 comments

Great stuff found over on   Two pastors in the Nebraska District requested the opinion of the Department of Pastoral Ministry and Missions of Concordia Theological Seminary on the following issue: “There is considerable discussion and confusion in our district regarding the biblical and confessional position regarding the speaking of the Gospel by a member of the holy and royal priesthood. Some in our district contend that according to the Scriptures and the Confessions only the men in the Holy Office speak an efficacious coram Deo Word of Gospel and that the unordained speak merely a word that gives   More…

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Great Stuff — Boy Scouts of America: Why the Proposed Policy Change Matters

May 17th, 2013 31 comments

Found on the WMLTblog. President Harrison speaks of a possible change that will affect hundreds of LCMS churches across the country, including my own. Our leadership is very concerned with what we will do if this change takes place.   A statement by the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod May 16, 2013 Western culture is at a crucial moment in history. After 103 years of existence, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) may vote to change drastically its membership policy. For those who may be unaware, the BSA, in recent months, has discussed allowing both   More…

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WMLTblog — LCMS Campus Ministry Conference Largest in 30 Years

January 6th, 2013 1 comment

Found on WMLTblog:   God the Father gives His Son as a gift to the world, and His Word unwraps that gift and holds Christ up for the whole world to see! Life is anything but normal for Lutheran college students after they step away from church, home and family. Today’s post-modern college campus provides them with a challenging climate, where the reliability and truth of God’s Word is mocked and their faith in Christ is often ridiculed. St. Peter implores all of us to “always be ready to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason   More…

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“Koinonia Project” – Brief Report – October 2012

November 5th, 2012 8 comments

Found on WMLTblog:   Purpose:   The “Koinonia Project” is a long term initiative of the Office of the President of the Synod developing spiritual and theological solutions under the Word of God for some of our long term spiritual and theological issues in the Synod. The project fosters theological study and discussion groups at many levels designed to bring together capable and respected people to study God’s Word and the Confessions of our church so that, by God’s grace, we come to clear agreement on 1) the points at issue, 1 2) what we confess together, 3) what we reject and   More…

Sasse: “But the church has a special understanding of time. She can wait.”

October 20th, 2012 4 comments

Found on MercyJourney by President Harrison:   It is certainly not an accident that in the modern world the church year and the secular year, which at the time of Luther still coincided, have moved further away from each other. When we today celebrate the beginning of a new church year there is a hint of the fact that the church has a different division of time than the world has. The church lives in the world and there the law of the creator is in force expressed in the Old Testament in the great words: “There is a time   More…

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WMLTblog — Latest from CPH: The What?

September 10th, 2012 17 comments

Found on WMLTblog:   As a child attending Lutheran school, I remember our annual parading outside the school building on October 31, all children, pastors, and staff lining up on the west side of the building (facing the Roman Catholic church four blocks away) and singing “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” very loudly. It was an example of how we felt about things “Catholic” in those days. I guess we were hoping that our voices would carry those four blocks to their church and school in some meaningful way. This aversion to things “Catholic” included the Bible they used. It included “extra books” that didn’t belong   More…

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St. Paul on Visitation

September 2nd, 2012 1 comment

Found on Mercy Journeys with Pastor Harrison:   St. Paul If we try to discover something like visiting activity with Paul, it is necessary to realize what role, according to his own words, he had to play in “his” congregations. Paul saw his life’s work in bringing the saving Gospel to the gentiles. God lets the apostle take part in his saving activity, since he called him as a witness to Easter. He (co)founded several congregations. From this Paul derives a permanent obligation to take care of these congregations, to strengthen their faith, to comfort where necessary, where necessary to admonish   More…

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WMLTblog — What’s Your Definition of Marriage?

July 13th, 2012 18 comments

Found on Witness, Mercy, Life Together blog:   Which is better?  To enter into marriage or to take a vow of celibacy to serve God as a priest? That was the question at the time of the Reformation 500 years ago. In the medieval church it was thought that taking a vow of celibacy put you on a higher spiritual plane than the common folk. Our Lutheran forefathers, however, in writing Article XXIII of the Augsburg Confession, took the position that it is better to marry. They pointed to many grave vices and scandals that took place when priests were required to   More…

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Witness, Mercy, Life Together — District Convention Representation

March 19th, 2012 9 comments

Found on Witness, Mercy, Life Together blog:   With three district conventions down and 32 to go, delegate representation is a subject of considerable interest and conversation in the Synod. This blog provides an opportunity to address five frequently asked questions. Q: How has delegate representation changed from previous conventions?  A: Actually, representation has not changed. Article V A of the Synod’s Constitution still determines delegate representation at district conventions: “At meetings of the districts of the Synod, every congregation or parish is entitled to two votes, one of which is to be cast by the pastor and the other by the lay delegate.” Q: Well, something has   More…

WMLT — Helping Pastors Be Better Pastors

February 4th, 2012 3 comments

Found on Witness, Mercy, Life Together blog:   Neither a vacation nor a pastors’ conference, DOXOLOGY retreats help pastors be better pastors. By Adriane Dorr Pastors spend their days caring for others: praying, counseling, writing sermons, picking hymns, visiting the sick and shut-ins, studying Scripture, catechizing, penning newsletter articles and answering phone calls. But when the day is done, the coffee pot is empty and the narthex is dark, who cares for the pastors? DOXOLOGY, a Recognized Service Organization of the LCMS, took on the profound task of pastoral care for pastors in 2007 in a new and innovative way.   More…

Witness, Mercy, Life Together blog — Chaplain Greg Williamson Installation — CMO

January 12th, 2012 2 comments

Found on Witness, Mercy, Life Together blog: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison introduces Rev. Gregory K. Williamson, who joined the LCMS in January 2012 as the Chief Mission Officer. Learn more in a Reporter article here.   A longer article on this can be found here.   Also available are YouTube videos of the installation sermon:   And comments from Williamson:

WMLTblog — Who Is A Missionary?

December 7th, 2011 12 comments

Found on Witness, Mercy, Life Together blog:   NOTE: Because different church bodies have different definitions of what a missionary is, the LCMS frequently receives questions from partner and sister churches regarding who the LCMS considers to be a missionary. The article below is an attempt to help answer that question for partner and sister churches, but also may serve to be helpful for others as well. Who is a missionary? It seems at first glance to be a simple question to answer. Yet upon more thought, the answer becomes more difficult. One of the dictionary definitions of a missionary   More…

WMLTblog — Think Tank on Campus Ministry Announced

November 8th, 2011 24 comments

Found on Witness, Mercy, Life Together blog:   Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Last month, President Harrison wrote a “Pastoral Letter about Campus Ministry” to the church and signaled that the Office of National Mission (ONM) was prepared to take direct leadership once again in support of campus ministry. He mentioned that the ONM was at work coordinating a task force as well as initiating plans for a national campus ministry conference in the future. As the Executive Director of the ONM, I want to update you on our plans. First, a President’s Think Tank on Campus Ministry has   More…

Theological Dialogue with Other Christian Church Bodies

October 26th, 2011 19 comments

Found on Witness, Mercy, Life Together blog:   In light of the third installment of dialogue between the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), October 27–28, which focuses on “Contemporary Issues Facing the Church in North America,” it is good to consider the new document produced by CTCR staff titled, “Theological Dialogue with Other Christian Church Bodies.” The document explores why it is good to engage in theological discussion with other church bodies, even if immediate fellowship is not foreseen. President Harrison requested the CTCR staff to study whether it is permissible and beneficial   More…