We were pleased to recieve an e-mail the other day which describes a pastors confessions reading group involving Lutheran clergy of many stripes. When Lutherans from different denominations gather together around the Lutheran Confessions that is authentic ecumenical work.
On our Confessions Reading Group tote board we track reading groups consisting of laity, pastors and laity, pastors leading laity and groups of pastors only. We are pleased to add this group to our list and encourage you to start a group in your congregation or region.
Here is the text of the e-mail:
I would like to let you know of a confessions reading group that has been going on for the past five months. An ELS pastor and I started it, and only pastors attend it. We invite all “Lutheran” pastors to come, and we have had regular attendance from the local ELCA pastor, the Lutheran Brethren pastor, a free Lutheran (AFLC) pastor, and another LCMS pastor. It will be expanding in the near future to include more “Lutheran” pastors as well. We have been reading the Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord. We figured that the local community ministerium was laughable as an ecumenical device, so we gathered those together who at least claim to speak the same language and been reading something that we all give credence to. This has been a great thing, and a couple of pastors have really appreciated it (some hadn’t read the Formula since their seminary days way back).
The study has yielded some great theological discussions, and even some actual fraternity among the pastors involved.
Rev. Joshua V. Scheer
Pastor, Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church
Bagley is in Northwest Minnesota on U.S. Highway 2 a few hours from the twin cities.