Texas Confessional Lutherans 2011 Free Conference

Report from the Twenty-Second Texas Confessional Lutherans Free Conference (2011):


Theme: “The Koinonia Project, Witness, Mercy, Life Together”

First Vice President Herb Mueller presented information concerning the Koinonia Project and the study: Witness, Mercy, Life Together. This study and project were presented and will be offered to our synod as a way of bringing unity back to synod.

From lcms.org we read:
“As President Harrison pondered his new role and the task of restructuring the national office, he focused on the work and emphasis for the church.”

“These phrases—Witness, Mercy, Life Together—illustrate how the church lives and works together to proclaim the Gospel and to provide for our brothers and sisters in Christ in our congregations, communities and throughout the world. And in all we do, Christ is at the center, leading us, sustaining us, keeping us focused on our mission.”

“The 2007 convention of the Synod mandated a Task Force on Synodical Harmony appointed by the Board of Directors and Council of Presidents. After more than three years of work, this Task Force has issued a final report with a number of possible strategies.”

“The Koinonia Project, managed under the Office of the President, will enfold the suggestions recommended by the Task Force. To that end we offer the following four documents:

A cover letter from President Matthew Harrison

A four-page introduction to the material titled, “A Way Forward”

The full text of “The Final Report of the Task Force on Synodical Harmony” followed by

The present draft (9.0) of a concept paper broadly outlining the goals of our “Koinonia Project.”

Please take the time to look at these articles and get involved, personally, as a congregation and as a circuit!



“The Koinonia Project”, Part 1 of 4, 2011 TCL Free Conference


“The Koinonia Project”, Part 2 of 4, 2011 TCL Free Conference


“The Koinonia Project”, Part 3 of 4, 2011 TCL Free Conference


“The Koinonia Project”, Part 4 of 4, 2011 TCL Free Conference


“The Koinonia Project”, Panel Discussion, 2011 TCL Free Conference

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, LCMSsermons.com, 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.


Texas Confessional Lutherans 2011 Free Conference — 9 Comments

  1. A process full of good intentions but I thought we already had a formula for concord. What makes us think another protracted “conversation” will yield better results than what we already have and yet do not require or enforce? I am not being cynical. I am truly puzzled by all this talk while so many of our Pastors are burning down our house with errant practice and doctrine.

  2. @mames #1 Might I add that this is not a Matt 18 process but a process borrowed directly from secular conflict resolution. It would be great if it worked but it does not and most resolutions are simply methods of self delusion.
    I pray for a Godly outcome and a GODLY OUTCOME REQUIRES DISCIPLINE WHERE NEEDED and loving support for those who are faithful.

  3. Noreen, is there something new that we should be praying about? Or something new that we should be doing to support ULC?

  4. @Carl Vehse #7 If they disappear it will not be for reasons of abuse or lack of integrity. They are all valid points and deserve a measured and reasoned response from the brain trust.

  5. I finally read all of the referenced documents. They are great.

    Having read the Task Force docs first, I felt a certain despair. It’s that ‘swimming through fog’ feeling that I always get when people talk about our issues as though they are only or mostly matters of mutual treatment and not of true and important theological disagreements. It may not have been the intention of the task force to imply that, but that’s the feeling that comes through from their writing. There is so much emphasis on embracing diversity and the underlying assumption seems to be that there is a tremendous and fully adequate agreement on theology and doctrine that should underlie that embrace of acceptable diversity. Since that is utterly not my view, implying it as an assumed premise of the entire document and focus is problematic for me from the outset.

    Then, reading the others, what a relief. This is our historic and living Missouri Synod. This starting with true discussion of the real, underlying theological issues is what we need. The focus on prayer, worship, repentance, confession, absolution, and the Word of God, not as a perfunctory assumption of commonality but as the true center of what we are and do together is exactly where we should start. If we don’t agree on theology, if we don’t consider how our practices reflect our theology and how they should reflect our mutual Christian love for each other, if we don’t consider the weight of our tremendous history in determining how to move into the future, we will not have the God-pleasing unity that we should. We have a theological problem, and we need to start there. Thanks be to God that that is being said, and said clearly, and acted upon, at high levels in our beloved Synod.

    I don’t believe that the KP is primarily derived from secular conflict resolution sources. I believe that it is deeply rooted in our Synod’s historically effective, Godly approach to such problems, with which many of us are unfamiliar. It is founded on the Word of God as expounded in the Lutheran Confessions. It is a long shot, and only God knows where it will land. But as we have heard recently here at BJS, “We have to try.” I believe that we have to try prayerfully and realistically, but with a conscious laying aside of cynicism. We have to try with BOTH kindness and truth, with the help of God.

    And, yes, finally, there does have to be ecclesiastical modelling and supervision of theology and practice in addition to supervision of our mutual treatment of each other. How could it be otherwise? We cannot ask the ecclesiastical supervisors in our Synod to step in regarding our behavior, but never to step in regarding how we teach–that’s ridiculous. There is obligation and substance in both areas. Both must be addressed.

    Regarding the ULC situation and how that relates to this, it is an open wound that must be addressed more fully, and urgently–the evil that has been done to ULC must not stand, or it will be a tremendous stumbling block to this entire Koinonia Process for many. The tremendously widespread horror over this throughout the Synod is so raw, and the plight of the ULC so unrighteous that that cannot help but be tremendously problematic to any progress toward Godly unity within the Synod as a whole. I’m grateful to have Synodical leaders who are sympathetic to ULC’s plight–we have not had that blessing in a long while previously. I pray that they will take further action on ULC’s behalf, and I believe that that would be tremendously helpful to the KP as well as good and right. Even if they attempt to help ULC and fail, I hope that they decide, as they have for the KP, “We have to try.”

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