Use of LSB for special worship events.

One of the things that are needed are overture submissions from churches or circuit forums; they must be submitted by a specific date for each district convention. If you have a overture that you would like to submit for your district, it may help to get other churches in your district, or other churches in other districts, to submit a similar overture. BJS is going to make it easy to find overtures that are submitted by others by including a link on our sidebar to list all overtures.

by Brian Yamabe on Vocation in the Valley

With district conventions coming next year, I thought I’d repost my proposed overture. I’m going to submit this at my circuit forum for submission to the district convention and then figure out how to get it to the national convention. Please consider submitting something similar to your district convention.

I’ve seen enough oddball services held at various LCMS gatherings. Many people have been offended by these cooked up orders of service. Sure some are offended as a matter of personal preference, but some truly take theological issue with the services. As we all know there is no order of service commanded in Holy Scripture, but it is quite clear from them and our confessions that worship should be orderly and peaceful. To that end I am going to submit the following overture to my district and the national conventions; You know “bubbling up from the grassroots” and all. If you have any suggestions to strengthen the wording, please feel free to leave a comment. I know we’ve go a couple of years, but this kind of stuff will drift out of my mind by then if I don’t put it down now.

To Use Lutheran Service Book at Services During Official District and National Gatherings

WHEREAS, God, in His 3rd Commandment, places an expectation upon us to worship Him; and

WHEREAS, God calls us to the Divine Service such that He might distribute His gifts to us; and

WHEREAS, AC XXVIII.55 states, “… that all things be done in the churches in order, and without confusion”; and

WHEREAS LC – The Ten Commandments 84 states, “…on this day of rest (since we can get no other chance), we have the freedom and time to attend divine service. We come together to hear and use God’s Word, and then to praise God, to sing and to pray.”

WHEREAS, Article III.7 of the Constitution states, “Encourage congregations to strive for uniformity in church practice, but also to develop an appreciation of a variety of responsible practices and customs which are in harmony with our common profession of faith”; and

WHEREAS, Article VI.4 of the Constitution states, “Exclusive use of doctrinally pure agenda, hymnbooks, and catechisms in church and school.”

WHEREAS, 1998 Resolution 2-12 commissioned a new hymnal to be produced, 2004 Resolution 2-03A approved Lutheran Service Book, and 2007 Resolution 2-03A thanked the Commission on Worship for its work on Lutheran Service Book; and

WHEREAS, Nearly 70 percent of all LCMS congregations have adopted Lutheran Service Book (2010 Convention Workbook pg. 46); therefore be it

RESOLVED, That for the sake of “love and tranquility” (AC XXVIII.55) all services during official District and Synodical gatherings use an order of service out of and as it is outlined in Lutheran Service Book.

If you can enhance this overture, or say you’ll submit it to another location, feel free to comment below. These are works in progress until they are finally submitted.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

Norm has been involved behind the scenes in many of the "go-to" websites for Lutherans going back many years.


Use of LSB for special worship events. — 13 Comments

  1. Amen! Do we need to specify ‘youth events’ also?

    How about adding…

    WHEREAS, Article VI.4 of the Constitution states, “Exclusive use of doctrinally pure agenda, hymnbooks, and catechisms in church and school.”

  2. Pr. Weinkauf,
    I intended that “youth events” would be covered as an official synodical gathering (video from the last NYG was a large driver for this overture). Seeing as we just had our first National Mission Conference I would hate to have to specify each and every “official gathering” and then amend the thing every time we had a new type of event. Maybe replace “gatherings” with “sponsored events”.

  3. And here is the response…

    “For the sake of love and tranquility,” um yeah, this is for the sake of your hang ups. If you can not trust me as a fellow pastor to put together a Divine Service that confesses the scriptures in their purity then why are you even in this voluntary fellowship?

    It is truly sad, that I as a person entirely sympathetic to many of the views put forth by Brothers can think these thoughts. You don’t even want to know what those who are unsympathetic think. Keep this up and you will lose the so called grassroots, because folks such as myself who strive to be confessionally solid in practice and proclamation are going to get tired of being slapped around because we refuse to be slaves to the hymnal and will begin turning a deaf ear.

  4. @revaggie #3
    If you are still using TLH, revaggie, that would be a synodically approved alternative.

    I’m “grassroots” Lutheran and I see no need to run after Baptist worship forms.
    This is what we get from the non Lutheran indoctrination at national youth gatherings!
    And willowcreek, and pli, and rickwarren, and similar garbage. I get a bellyfull of it from lwml!
    Seems like the most devoted Lutherans here were something else first, so they know what the “born Lutherans” are throwing away!
    [The other possibility is reformed who do colloquy but never really convert?]

  5. @helen #4
    I haven’t used TLH regularly since I was a kid. I haven’t had any need or desire, I like LSB more. Though I use LSB a lot, I do also frequently use a modified liturgy rather frequently, in addition to a Divine Service with a contemporary setting. I am very careful in song selection, and in preserving the proclamation of Law and Gospel in the service. Yet, I find myself labeled a sell out – a Warrenite, and fan of Willowcreek – despite the fact I can’t stand them and find them entirely lacking. To be honest, I am tired of it. This resolution is just another slap in the face.

  6. @revaggie #5

    revaggie: If the shoe doesn’t fit don’t try so hard to shove your foot into it!
    (But with the variety of services in LSB, you might ask yourself why you think you can do better.)

    [“Modifying the liturgy” in my limited experience, has meant leaving things out.] 🙁

    You might also consider that the resolution did not speak to the practice in your congregation. Its intent is to get everyone on the same page at various meetings of LCMS Lutherans. If you use LSB some of the time, that shouldn’t be a hardship to you.

  7. @revaggie #3

    As @helen #7 points out this has nothing to do with telling local congregations what order of service to use. When there is a district or especially a Synodical sponsored worship event the order of service should come out of the LSB. I don’t know if you were at the last national convention, but I and others were quite distracted and confused by the insertion of the Kyrie between confession and absolution.

  8. revaggie @ #5,

    “Though I use LSB a lot, I do also frequently use a modified liturgy rather frequently, in addition to a Divine Service with a contemporary setting. I am very careful in song selection, and in preserving the proclamation of Law and Gospel in the service.”

    I am certainly sypathetic to your position on this. I don’t think anyone is saying it is not possible to use a modified liturgy correctly (or even a “contemporary” format – though I have not seen that anywhere so far). There is certainly scriptural precedent for setting aside properly exercised freedom for the sake “weak brothers”. I think that is where we find ourselves.

    Perhaps the weak ones are those who are offended by what they perceive as innovation for its own sake. Perhaps the weak ones are those who clearly are unable/unwilling to exercise their freedom responsibly. If I agree not to eat meat sacrificed to idols am I a slave to those who are offended by that practice? Only if I leave them in their weak condition.

  9. @revaggie #3
    “For the sake of love and tranquility,” um yeah, this is for the sake of your hang ups.”

    No, this quote from the BOC is used within the context as meant by our Lutheran confessors, exactedly as they were addressing why we are a liturgical church.

    “If you can not trust me as a fellow pastor to put together a Divine Service…”

    No I can’t. I am to test according to Scripture what is before me. I can’t on the basis of ‘trust’ wholeheartedly accept what any individual pastor puts together on a Tuesday afternoon or what is borrowed from evangelical, pentecostal worship forms and tried to Lutheranize it. And if it is has not passed by doctors of the church reviewing it I am highly cautious. I have seen too much false doctrine, misleading theology even by well intended pastors in congregation services and at our gatherings. How many examples of heresy taught to our Lutheran youth at District and Synodical gatherings and our other church gatherings need to be cited? Just how much false teaching do we put up with in the name of Christian freedom? How many gatherings even where non-Lutherans are leading portions of the service and making up what they want to do? As a member of Synod we have vowed to “exclusively use of doctrinally pure…” This does not rest on individual authority. This isn’t me in my office approving it.

    It amazes me how we Lutherans, Christians want to confess “I believe in one, holy Christan and apostolic Church” but don’t want to worship as the “one, holy Christian and apostolic Church” worships. But as our own individualistic congregation and individualistic pastor chooses. Of course this is not making a law to what service is used or everyone is using the exact same thing, our Confessors address this. But to use an order of worship that is not widely held is uncatholic, completely unLutheran according to our BOC standards. It is unheard of by our Church fathers, by our Lutheran fathers for an individual congregation, pastor to make up their own service. How are we walking together as a Synod in unity if everyone wants to do their own things? The LSB promotes our unity and walking together and certainly should not bring offense to anyone. The same blanket statement cannot be said over the other forms of worship.

    “we refuse to be slaves to the hymnal”

    This is a foolish quip, clever and taunting. No one suggests this as you imply. But you call me, many of us ‘slaves to the hymnal.’ Thank you. Your intended insult is a compliment. I am a slave to Christ too and choose to be a member of the Synod so I give up my personal choices, freedoms for the sake of others to walk together. And use the hymnal AND other widely held, catholic, doctrinally pure resources. A wise LCMS doctor once said, “I can do it, but I don’t do it because I am a member of Synod.”

  10. revaggie :@Rev. Weinkauf #10 Thank you for proving my point.

    Wow. Is it me or was that a pretty well thought out and respectful reply followed by nothing more than a snide dismissal. From the one painting others as guilty of this? Sad.

    Listen, I don’t always go along with what is posted here, and sometimes I think people go too far with the snark, but come on.

  11. I’m old enough to recall when there were 2 services in general use on Sunday mornings in the LCMS–page 5 and page 15. Matins was used for dayschool chapel services at my church, and Vespers for the Advent and Lenten midweek evening services.

    Any time we went on vacation my mother would look up LCMS congregations in her Lutheran Annual, and we would visit one on Sunday morning. It was always familiar.

    I miss that common practice. I miss being sure that I will feel at home and familiar with the church service when I visit another LCMS congregation out of town. I think that this is an undervalued benefit of belonging to a synod instead pure congregational polity.

    Furthermore, I think that our current hymnal, the LSB, is really, really outstanding; and I hoped that as a Synod we would be able to form a fairly predominant consensus around using it regularly. It’s too bad that things have not worked out that way. We have lost more than we realize in turning to such a great variety of worship practices that we are unrecognizable to each other. But it’s done, and probably can’t be undone.

    The resolution in question does not try to change this, but rather to specify what is in good order for Synodical gatherings. It is eminantly reasonable to use the LSB for these official Synodical functions. After all, it is the authorized, doctrinally reviewed, current hymnal for our church body. Even if not every single church uses it all the time, it’s still the closest thing that we have to a universal worship resource.

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