If you were in Hollywood

and were looking for a good confessional Lutheran congregation, where would you go? (and please pardon this personal blog post!)


Comments

If you were in Hollywood — 28 Comments

  1. I can also vouch for Mt. Olive (I was confirmed there) and Holy Trinity (my wife has confirmed there), but 27 minutes from Hollywood to Hacienda Heights sounds generous even on a Sunday morning.

  2. I have the same question about Boston. Any good confessional Lutheran churches in or around Boston? May sound corny but I think I may have actually become a Lutheran because of BJS.

  3. Corny? Not at all. On an earlier post this week I confessed that I became a Lutheran in my fourth year of seminary. (See the post on Issues, Etc. from earlier this week.)

    That is the greatest comment one could ever write on this site. If it wasn’t worth it already (which it has been), ten months of countless hours by dozens of volunteers just became meaningful. Thank you “lusade.”

    If no one posts an answer to your query here in the next few days I can give you some folks to contact who may be able to get you an answer.

    TR

  4. In Bahstn (sorry, Boston) there are two (2) possibilities:
    First Lutheran — medium size, about 450 members
    (617) 536-8851

    and Trinity, quite small, less than 100 members
    (617) 327-5155

    You makes the phone call, and you takes your choice. Warning: I don’t know any Lutheran church in New England that isn’y “progressive.”

  5. lusade,

    Yes, come to the First Lutheran Church of Boston (FLC) in the downtown kitty corner from the Public Garden. FLC is not “progressive” in any sense of the term I can think of. We’re a strictly liturgical and confessional congregation with the best Bach organ in the LCMS. I’m a member and the chair of the board of ed., so I’ve got a pretty good inside scoop. The only downside of FLC is the fact that a few members have gone Ablaze!(tm) (you’ll see a banner in the nave), but joyfully they are so theologically inconsistant that they are unable to see the conflict with worship style and theology, thereby leaving things unaffected for now at least. But, knowing that no congregation is flawless, FLC is a very solid congregation overall. If you want anymore info on FLC or need directions I would be more than happy to provide them. You can get in touch with me at [email protected].
    Also, when I am in Manhattan I make the commute to attend Redeemer Lutheran in the Bronx.
    Best,
    Bethany
    PS – I would avoid Trinity for now, as they are in the midst of a pastoral vacancy. The guy who is covering is sound though.

  6. So where are you all getting these names from? Is there a central listing of confessional congregations? I would really like to see if there are any that are near my area.

  7. Thank you one and all for your responses and encouragement. New England (or at least Metrowest Boston) is generally Gospel-hostile and increasingly seeker-sensitive. We belong to a CRC church that has replaced the Gospel with Life Lessons. I had been following the White Horse Inn, heard Rod Rosenbladt speak about the Lutheran position on election, baptism, Lord’s Supper, etc. and was introduced to Issues, Etc. by way of an announcement on WHI over a year ago now that IE had mysteriously gone silent. Upon it’s return I began listening to every IE podcast. Reformed thinkers like Horton, Riddlebarger, and Sproul kept me engaged mentally. I’d listen to them and think, “that makes sense.” But, when IE covered a topic I’d think, “that’s true.” Now that’s perhaps an unreliable and decidedly non-technical assessment but to me there’s a difference and the difference is supported by both Scripture and Confession. Maybe I’ve trivialized something bigger than what I am equipped to express but BJS, the postings and articles, references to other like-minded blogs, the devotion by BJS to Lutheran essentials of worship and sacrament, and so on have all led me to re-asses what the Gospel means to me and to a fallen humanity. If I’m resting my hope for salvation from sin on something that makes sense or something that must be true, I’ll take Scripture and Creed pointing me to Christ and the Cross over reasoned explanations that satisfy my intellect. I’ve studied the Small Catechism, started reading the Book of Concord, subscribed to Logia, read Bondage of the Will (brilliantly written — how come I never knew about this?), scoured Romans and Galatians with a new perspective (a new perspective on the Cross, not on Paul) and am feeling at home. Now I need a church. Thanks for your encouragement.

  8. If you do not mind driving to Filmore, CA. in Ventura County ,CA only about 40 minutes from Hollywood there is Wayfarer’s Chapel Lutheran Church (ACLC).

  9. Sad to hear that about a CRC church! I didn’t even realize there was one in Boston. I attended Calvin College and so have great affection for the CRC. Do give FLC a try though. It really is a great congregation.
    Best,
    Bethany

  10. If I were in Hollywood I would try UCLA Lutheran Chapel, El Segundo, or Westchester churches. Those would be the closest and easiest for driving time and distance.

  11. Yes, Ariel, there is a ‘central listing’, though it is temporarily down for repairs.

    God willing, in a couple of weeks, you can once again turn to:

    http://LutheranLiturgy.org

    for all such information.

    Two bouts with kidney stones and a couple of weeks in Sri Lanka have interfered with my helping Pr. Gehlbach to get his site back up to speed, but we will be revising and re-entering data soon and then turning to BJS’s own Norm Fisher for help in beautification and streamlining of code, etc.

    EJG

  12. Ariel,

    I see that the link Pr. Stefanski provided above is “under contstruction”.

    In the meantime, you could go to http://www.lcms.org and use the “find a church” feature.
    But, of course, if you have been reading the Kantor Magness’s posts on this BJS site, you will know that not every LCMS church is necessarily “confessional” in their practices.

    Why not tell us your geographic area, so that if anyone knows of any churches, we could post a response?

  13. lusade,

    I’m thrilled that you have begun reading the Book of Concord. 😀

    In case you were not aware, this BJS site has weekly readings from the Book of Concord, that you can post questions/comments on. Feel free to read along!

  14. Heartbroken, now that I can no longer lurk out here anonymously I will begin participating.

    Bethany, your posts on Lutheranism / Calvinism have been great. I hope to see you at FLC and will contact you via email.

  15. I’m thrilled to hear lutheranliturgy.org will be up soon, I leaned heavily on that site to find churches for vacationing (including myself) and relocating parishioners, especially since many have been catechized in Liturgy at home and unpleasantly surprised abroad.

  16. “I’m thrilled to hear lutheranliturgy.org will be up soon”
    I would hope so too, but is this just fancy rumor? On my to-do list is to track down Rev Gehlbach to see if there’s anything I can do to help get it back up. Maybe somebody here can beat me to it?
    If I wasn’t out of town at the moment, I’d have a 40 page printout of its late 2007 listings in front of me. It’s also somewhere on the web, but not the easiest thing to find. I emailed those listings to Pr Douthwaite in Vienna, VA. Perhaps he has it at his fingertips.

  17. I would hope so too, but is this just fancy rumor?

    Thank you, I always like to begin the week by being called a liar.

    Pr. Gehlbach never could quite get the zipcode locator working. I have already fixed that. Now, it is updating the information that Pr. Gehlbach was not able to get to since mid-2007.

    As said earlier, this was a mid-January project that got put off because:

    1) In mid-January I had a kidney stone;
    2) In late january I had an ice storm that left me without electricity for a week;
    3) In early February I went to teach in Sri Lanka;
    4) *Lent happened* when I returned home;
    5) I ended up in and out of the hospital with kidney stones from Saturday of Laetare through Monday of Holy Week;
    6) I nonetheless has thirteen services during Holy Week;
    7) I spent most of this past week running back and forth to an out-of-state hospital.

    Nonetheless, when I tell you, “we’ll get to it,” as I did in a post above, I mean it, and for it to be referred to as “fancy rumor” seems somewhat less than a Christian sentiment. Doing what Pr. Gehlbach did and continues to want done is not just a matter of coding, nor is adding congregations to it going to be a matter of some pastor or parishioner simply saying “our church is good.” The initial update should take about two weeks. The next level will be longer; however, the site will be online after the initial update. The reason Pr. Gehlbach asked me to pull the site was the potential inaccuracy of the data.

    One of the things that has to be remembered is that a congregation’s being listed is largely related to its current pastor; often, a parish has been listed because its pastor was trying to establish Lutheran practice…but has since been kicked out of that church for just that reason and, thus, the church should no longer be listed.

    For this and other reasons, the initial update has to be carried out by a pastor that Pr. Gehlbach trusts…and, as much as possible and in a queue of other projects, it is.

    EJG

  18. “1) In mid-January I had a kidney stone”
    cool. I had one of those. They’re the best. [sarcasm]
    “Nonetheless, when I tell you, “we’ll get to it,” as I did in a post above, I mean it, and for it to be referred to as “fancy rumor” seems somewhat less than a Christian sentiment.”
    Geez. Sorry. It’s no reason for a hissy fit. It was an honest query not an outright accusation of gossip. The old website has only been saying that it’ll be back up since the end of 2007. Repeating that does not necessarily mean much without much more elaboration. Thank you for stepping in. In years past, I suggested more inclusion of overseas Lutheran congregations into the listing, but there may be some difficulties in communicating due to foreign language. How’s that to add to the list of things to do?
    By the way, isn’t it a bit pietistic to declare what is a “Christian sentiment” and what isn’t? We might as well attribute degrees of Christian-ness to sentiments? Is it like a 4mm kidney stone, more or less?

  19. “I suggested more inclusion of overseas Lutheran congregations into the listing”
    It would also be good for a comment section on “other” overseas Lutheran congregations, like those that do not pass the “fussy family test.” This inclusion would be so that others aren’t shocked to discover what others have already discovered the hard way. It can be a chore to look up times/locations of places within ILC synods. Ablaze has spread badly in some places and not so badly in other places. Perhaps a review section like in airline quality reviews would be good with checklists for liturgy, priestess, etc.
    By the way, Rev Stefanski, you have my email address and I have yours. We can write direct. But discussion of a locator medium probably needs a good home and this Brothers places seems like a good one to start.

  20. “Nonetheless, when I tell you, “we’ll get to it,” as I did in a post above, I mean it, and for it to be referred to as “fancy rumor” seems somewhat less than a Christian sentiment.”
    …By the way, isn’t it a bit pietistic to declare what is a “Christian sentiment” and what isn’t? We might as well attribute degrees of Christian-ness to sentiments? Is it like a 4mm kidney stone, more or less?

    There’s nothing pietistic about it: I made a direct statement of fact and you treated it as rumor. No, I don’t take kindly to that.

    I would have loved either stone to have been only 4mm.

    “I suggested more inclusion of overseas Lutheran congregations into the listing” It would also be good for a comment section on “other” overseas Lutheran congregations, like those that do not pass the “fussy family test.” This inclusion would be so that others aren’t shocked to discover what others have already discovered the hard way. It can be a chore to look up times/locations of places within ILC synods.

    I think that is an excellent idea. What I am doing now is moving all of the U.S. congregations to be accessible via search only, as one of the things bogging down updates for Pr. Gehlbach was the maintenance of two completely separate databases (or, rather, about 25, but for two different purposes), which will mean that the drop down menu will be outside of the U.S. only.

    Once we get the current stuff updated, I will be visiting with Norm Fisher as to what he thinks might work to make future updates less painful. Then it will be time for new submissions, and I’d like to see overseas churches included. It is up to Pr. Gehlbach, though, as to whether we make that list into both a ‘recommend’ and a ‘warn’ list.

    EJG

  21. “you treated it as rumor.”
    This is most certainly not true. “…is it just a fancy rumor?” What does this mean? It is a yes or no question asked by someone who did not know. It is not a presumption or personal attack no matter how much we wish it were so. See the question and answer the question.
    For us laity, we have to ask _a_lot_ of questions especially when trying to figure out if some congregation in some strange place is or is not legitimate. The subjective What-does-this-mean-to-you does not mean much compared to the objective What-does-this-mean. [or in the original vernacular Was-ist-das.]
    If some native Tamil speaker tries to speak English, it is especially more important to address a question on face level and not assume some other level. Asking for clarity makes more sense than assumption and/or accusation of some intention.
    “Catechism is translated literally as “question-answer” in some languages. Some of the biggest current problems plague’ing the Lutheran Church and congregations everywhere have come from failures in catechesis. So stop dampening catechesis when we don’t want to dampen it.
    A good church wouldn’t be so hard to find if stomping on catechesis wasn’t so rampant–intentionally or unintentionally.

  22. “you treated it as rumor.”
    This is most certainly not true. “…is it just a fancy rumor?” What does this mean? It is a yes or no question asked by someone who did not know. It is not a presumption or personal attack no matter how much we wish it were so.

    1) ‘A’ is asserted by the only authority on the subject.

    2) You question whether ‘A’ is true.

    3) When you are called on it, you make the accusation that I wish you were attacking.

    4) More, I come home from three hours of actualcatechesis and you now accuse me of stomping on catechesis because I take issue with your questioning of my veracity.

    Since I am working on LutheranLiturgy.org, I really have no time to play word games with you. I stated that the site is being worked on; there is nothing to question.

    EJG

  23. St. Paul’s First Lutheran Church in North Hollywood. Used to be LCMS; is now WELS, but has more traditional services than is usual in the WELS these days.

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