We would really appreciate your comments on this post as we reflect on the past six months and look ahead to the coming year. Let us know what we have done well and what needs improvement.
Before we review the stories that got the most attention it is important to remember the regular efforts we make to help the Brothers and all of our readers better understand the Lutheran Confessions, the liturgy and our role as heads of the household and in the church. There are so many juicy story lines going on in the synod that it is easy to get caught up in the headlines and forget that our primary job is to promote and understand the Lutheran Confessions. To that end we will keep up with our Confessions weekly readings, our teaching on the parts of the liturgy, and Rev. Hein’s regular column on headship. Take some time in the new year to explore our “Confessional Growth” page on the website for more information on the Lutheran Confessions. We will also try to offer more confessions quizzes in the coming year. If you haven’t taken quiz two you can check it out by clicking here. We are most proud of our work to start confessions reading groups. We have 22 recorded on our ticker with a few more to add that have come in since our last update. Most of these were in existence before BJS but some of them have come to be by inspiration of this website. We hope in the new year to more than double that number to at least 50 groups.
No review of our first six months would be complete without reference to our major project, Issues, Etc. Pastor Wilken and Jeff Schwarz are great gifts from God to the confessional cause. We have already been able to support them with advertising money, a $750 gift from our first chapter fundraiser, and individual gifts. Very soon into the new year we will start our rolling, annual, member fund drive for Issues. Click here for information on how BJS finances are organized and for information on how to become a dues paying member.
We are very enthused about our upcoming national conference. Click here or on the conference poster logo for more information.
Now for a review of our most interesting stories from the first six months. If you missed any of these you may want to click and read the string of stories from each topic. (Each bullet point below takes you to the primary story on the given topic. From that story you will see links to other posts on the same story.)
- Texas LCMS Youth Gathering has Pentecostal Women Pastor Lead Worship
- Concordia Chicago Professors Sign Petition in Support of Anarchist William Ayers
- LCMS Congregation Promotes Gay/Lesbian Agenda through its Music Director
- Blue Ribbon Task Force Announces Proposed Structure Changes for the LCMS
Our first six months have been graced by the regular blogging of Pastor Klemet Preus and Mollie Ziegler Hemingway. We are pleased that they will continue into the new year and indefinitely. Pastor Preus’ series on closed communion is typical of the clear, concise and engaging writing that we get from our two primary bloggers.
We have also been able to meet dedicated confessional Lutherans in the Pacific Northwest, at the Walther Conference, in Texas and elsewhere. Speaking of the Walther Conference, we are very enthused about exploring the candidacy of Pastor Matt Harrison who many are promoting for the synodical presidency in 2010.
One of the best benefits of membership in the Brothers is a free subscription to our quarterly. We also post it online after it has been mailed out to each dues paying member. Be sure to check out Martin Noland’s article on the restructuring plan in issue #2.
We encourage you to explore the site for other stories of interest. It’s been a great first six months. Be sure to pass the web address on to everyone you know (www.steadfastlutherans.org) so that we can grow our readership and keep increasing the understanding of the Lutheran Confessions so that the Lutheran Church can continue to be built on the truth of God’s word.
For the Year of Our Lord 2009 we are committed to the same approach in this last year. The organization is committed to promoting and learning the Lutheran Confessions, supporting new Lutheran media, upholding male headship, and encouraging appreciation for the historic liturgy. The website will support those goals. We will keep looking for the stories around the synod that promote these things and those that threaten Confessional Lutheranism. We will also continue to feature our regular columnists who have done such a fine job in this first six months. We will also continue to do what we can to bring the various Confessional groups together.
I need to get this story posted so I can devote my full attention to the Iowa Hawkeyes football game in the Outback Bowl. As long as we are talking about 2009 how about a few sports predictions. My beloved Big Ten will continue to have a tough bowl season. The Hawkeyes will win big but they may be the only Big Ten team to win. Penn State will lose to USC and I pity Michigan State against a much tougher Georgia Bulldog team. (Bethany Associate pastor and longtime Georgia fan Stephen Schumacher will appreciate that call.) Actually all of this is just an excuse to make one last prediction to get under the skin of Mollie. Yes, Mollie, the Cubs will will the division again in 2009 and if your lucky that Red team from the holy city may finish second.
We have a great steering committee working behind the scenes. We thank them all for their hard work, particularly Norm Fisher and his computer work for us. Thank you to everyone for taking the time to read the website. Please post your comments, both positive and negative, on our first six months. We look forward to serving the confessional cause in 2009.