Sunday, October 3, 2010

How Sad...

The congregation where my wife was confirmed has a large modern and very tastefully done building.  The chancel is dominated by an Italian marble Christus Rex that is simply beautiful.  The tradition there was "traditional" (hymnal) worship, Eucharistic vestments, assisting ministers, etc..  How sad then to come and find out that only the first (always the early) service is "traditional" and that the late service is now "blended" service "using different styles and music than can be found in the usual Liturgical Service."  As if this departure is not enough, the direction of the congregation is clear in the twice monthly new "contemporary" service called "Pulse."

PULSE is a relaxed, come as you are time to worship God in music, in teaching, and in prayer (note that there is no mention of Word and Sacrament, the means of grace).

PULSE comes from the Bible verse above where God gives us a new heart. We believe that God gives us a new heart that beats with the PULSE of Jesus’ grace  (note that this is worship of the heart and not worship from a book or the formal liturgical service).


PULSE is for everyone who wants to have a time where they can worship and be fed on God’s Word. We are a Lutheran Church and our teaching and some of our tradition are easily seen in PULSE. Yet all are welcome to attend (some of Lutheranism is present here but not enough to offend someone from outside Lutheranism).


PULSE ... is held in our church sanctuary. Don’t let that scare you.  We have drums, piano, guitar, and a bass, in there too (the rock sound and rock concert ambiance will certainly make up for the formal ambiance of the church sanctuary so ignore what you see and focus on the music you hear).
 
So there you have it... one more Lutheran congregation borne of a liturgical service in which the Word and Sacraments were pre-eminent which has sacrificed its identity on the altar of popularity, cultural relevance, and generic identity...  Am I too harsh?  Perhaps... Yes, probably... but it hurts when it is a congregation so near our hearts and when it represents such a severe change...  It is so easy to lose and so difficult to regain a congregation to Lutheran identity and practice... How sad... indeed.

3 comments:

Rev. Allen Bergstrazer said...

And once again the liturgy is marginalized (along with the members who wish to continue worshipping the Lord through the Liturgy). Once again the Blended/Contemporary Worship is given the prime time slot. Once again members of a congregation are forced to choose sides against the each other.

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Pr. Chris Hinkle said...

I don't think "ignore what you see" is likely to work. The current generations are very visual and the disonance will be impossible for newcomers to ignore. Further, can you imagine inviting someone to worship with such caveats? Do you think they would come?