The Official Publication of the Lutheran Church-International Volume 2 Number 1 October 2011
this issue Archbishop’s Message p. 2 2011 Annual Synod Re-cap p. 4 On Lay Presidency p.4
“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.”
And much more!
The 95 Theses were posted by Martin Luther on the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31, 1517, the eve of All Saints’ Day. In these now-famous statements by the young Augustinian monk, the sale of indulgences for the remission of temporal sins which had already been forgiven, came under attack. Luther was a scholar, yes, but he was unaware of the secondary purpose of the sale of indulgences— to pay for the renovation of St. Peter’s Basilica and to repay bishops and archbishops for the personal funds spent in order to be made bishops and archbishops. Little did he realize how his words of challenge, issued on strictly theological grounds, would indeed begin the process of changing the world. As we begin the 45th year of the Lutheran Church-International, and the 495th year of the Reformation, let us all be encouraged and strengthened in our work, and be encouraged to change the world as well.
What is an “Evangelical Catholic”? The term “evangelical catholic” has been used to describe many Lutherans, including some in the LC-I. But the problem with the term is that it has different meanings to people. In this issue of LC-I News, we introduce the term and begin an effort to define it—at least for our common work. Our first commentator is actually not a Lutheran, but a former Lutheran who is now in the Orthodox Church, T. D. Griffin. From the Lutheran clergy and seminary professors I have known in my life, I would say "Evangelical Catholic" might be defined like this: (Continued on page 11)
The LC-I News
Archbishop’s Corner Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, As we as Christians continue to carry the good news of the Gospel to all nations, we in the LC-I have many reasons to thank God for His mercy and grace. This issue of the LC-I News has many articles of information regarding our most recent Conference and Synod as well as progress being made in increasing membership and expanding ministries. We are grateful for the addition of new members and the labors of many members who have collaborated to ensure the recognition of the LC-I as a church body under both federal and state laws. Many are to be thanked for the efforts, but special mention should be made of the constant work of our Secretary, Pr. Art Hebbeler. The month of September, marking the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Twin Yowers has meaning for those of us in the United States. For us in the Lutheran Church-International as a whole there are special reasons for reflection. The Lutheran Church-International (LC-I) is a portion of the Universal Church, part of the kingdom of God united by a firm belief in Salvation that comes through Christ alone, by faith alone, grace alone, as taught by Holy Scripture alone. We in the LC-I have a special mission to make the good news of the Gospel available to all peoples in a form that is in full accord with the intent of the Lutheran reformers and the patrimony of the Universal Christian Church. On that day in 2011 the entire world suffered...not only the world as Christians know it, but the world as a whole. All of us were damaged by the spirit of evil that caused the events of that day. The entire world suffered through man’s misunderstanding of the will of God. It has ever been so. But we were strengthened by our faith then, as we are today, as we strive to bring the light of Christ to all nations, one soul at a time (John 3:16-21). Christ came to banish fear. Let us pray for peace with a steadfast spirit. And may God in His wisdom bless and heal the United States of America as the world commemorates the anniversary of the universal tragedy of September 11, 2001. We pray this in the name of Christ our Lord and Lord of All. Brothers and Sisters, I ask you to continue in the Faith in Jesus Christ and the confidence that we have in the salvation that comes through His holy name and the understanding of the mission that He has set before the Lutheran Church-International. May God continue to bless us all. In Christ’s Service
LCI-News Publication and Staff Information The LC-I News is the official publication of the Lutheran ChurchInternational. The LC-I was founded in 1967 as The International Lutheran Fellowship in Bismarck, North Dakota. The founding president was Pastor Edward Tornow, who served the church in that capacity until 1996. The LC-I News is published four time a year in print and electronic format, with additional special editions in electronic format throughout the year. Electronic editions, including electronic copies of print editions, are found on the LC-I web site. The co-editors are Pastors James Townsend and Art Hebbeler. The electronic edition is published by Pastor Hebbeler through our subscription email service at iContact.com (sign up form on the LC-I website). The print edition is published through the generosity of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Christ, Rosedale, NY. Opinions expressed are those of the authors, unless identified as the official position of the LC-I. Contributions of articles and photographs are welcome, and should be submitted electronically to email@example.com
The next print edition deadline is December 10, 2011.
The Most Rev. Robert W. Hotes, Ph. D., D. Min. Archbishop, Lutheran Church-International
© 2011, Lutheran Church-International. All rights reserved. Oct-Dec 2011
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Synod Sidebar Topic: Video Conference
2011 Annual Synod Recap
The 2011 Annual Synod of the Lutheran Church-International was a great success. In addition to the business of the Synod, this historic assembly brought several years of work to fruition, as well as introduced a great deal of newness to the annual event. This year's synod was held on the historic grounds of the University of St. Mary's of the Lake and Mundelein Seminary, the seminary of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. This was our first Synod in Illinois, but certainly will not be the last. The most significant action taken at the Synod was the completion of actions begun in 2009 to change our name from The International Lutheran Fellowship to Lutheran Church-International. The Articles of Incorporation were changed early in 2011, and at the Synod the necessary changes to the Constitution and Bylaws were made. We begin a new decade--and our 45th year--with a new name and a new spirit of mission. Administratively, the Synod approved moving the State of Maryland from the Northeastern Diocese to the Southern Diocese. This action places two active parishes into the Southern Diocese, and creates a more logical geographic and historical bond. Mrs. Lynn Hotes was elected to a two-year term as the lay member of the Executive Board. This position was overlooked at the 2010 Annual Synod. Additionally, Deaconess Antonia Atunado was appointed by the Archbishop to serve as the Chair of the House of Laity and Vice President of the LC-I for the coming year. Another change allows the Executive Board to approve both candidates for our various clergy rolls and congregations for reception into the LC-I, without the requirement for reception at the Annual Synod. This change was made because of the current situation in North American Lutheranism, and the dynamic flow of congregations and clergy from one denomination to another. Because of constitutional issues within some denominations regarding the ability of a congregation to retain property ownership only if transferring to another Lutheran body, this action allows us to more easily receive new members. It will be the duty of the diocesean bishop to formally receive clergy and congregations at a mutually convenient time following acceptance, and all new clergy and congregations will be formally recognized at the Annual Synod as well. We were honored to be joined by the Rev. Dr. Gregory Singleton, ofr, of the Ecumenical Catholic Community. Fr. Greg is also a (Continued on page 6)
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For the first time in our history, the Annual Synod was made available to the public via the LC-I’s web channel on uStream.com, a public webcasting system that allows individuals and organizations to stream live programming as well as pre-recorded events over the web at little or no cost. This year, we used a very simple system of one camera and a laptop to manage the broadcast feed. At various times during the Synod, we had as many as a dozen viewers from the USA, Canada, South America, Africa, and Europe. In all fairness, the broadcast was very low-budget, and there were times when the audio could have been better. However, the important thing to remember is that that we took this first step in bringing more people into the activities of our church. In addition, the Executive Board had the opportunity to meet candidates from Spain and Venezuela via video conferencing on Skype and Yahoo Messenger. For the first time, the Board was able to meet face-toface with candidates for our church membership without having to go to the candidates or expect them to travel to us. This is especially important for our Venezuelan brothers, who have additional burdens for international travel—especially to the USA. We fully expect to increase the use of web conferencing technology, not only for our quarterly Executive Board meetings, but also for the communication between our bishops and candidate clergy and congregations. In addition, thanks to the advance work done by our Secretary, Pastor Art Hebbeler, we see the day when we will be able to join together in worship with our brothers and sisters globally—with two-way communication and active participation heretofore impossible. Thanks be to God for this gift of technology! 3
Opinion: On Lay Presidency at the Table Pastor James Townsend, co-editor, LC-I News Lay presidency, that is, the practice of "authorizing" unordained persons to preside at the Lord's Table appears to be gaining ever greater currency within Lutheranism in general and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in particular. Now, it should be obvious to any discerning person that this practice makes the Service of Ordination as found on page 192 of the Occasional Services book a completely empty and meaningless ceremony. When individuals are "authorized" to exercise the Ministry of Word and Sacrament by a phone call or an email without observing the Biblically prescribed method of conferring authority in the Church through the laying-on-of-hands and prayer, just exactly what "authorization" is conferred at a Service of Ordination, some sort of "Ministry of Parish Administration?" Of the fact that the Lutheran Confessions presuppose a Service of Ordination in the traditional sense before one assumes the Ministry of Word and Sacrament there can be no doubt as indicated in Article XIV of the Augustana (Augsburg Confession). Strangely enough, the Kolb-Wengart edition of the Book of Concord (2000 edition), boldly states on page 47, footnote 81, regarding the Latin text of this article, which uses the phrase rite vocatus ("rightly called") in reference to those who may exercise public Ministry in the Church, "Rite Vocatus means called in a regular manner by a proper public authority. This is not a matter of 'ritual'." In other words, this footnote puts forward the proposition that ordination with the laying-on-of-hands and prayer is not necessary for the exercise of the Ministry of Word and Sacrament. Reading this, one may be made to think of that line from the 1939, MGM production of "The Wizard of Oz" when the wizard is discovered to be nothing more than a mere mortal hiding behind a drape twisting various knobs and pushing certain leavers to create a display of power, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" In other words, this footnote is saying to the reader, "Disregard the generally accepted translation of the word rite," which is, "in due form, with proper ceremonies, properly, fitly, rightly." If all the Latin text wanted to convey was, "in a regular manner by a proper public authority," most likely the Latin word used would have been recte, which means "rightly or properly" but without any reference to proper ceremonies. It is important to note that this article was accepted by the Roman authorities. It should be evident that each side understood the phrase in the same sense. Melanchthon was not guilty of obfuscation and "playing word games." With regard to the above quoted footnote, one is tempted to echo to those present-day translators Luther's words before his Roman adversaries when he said, in essence, "We can read Latin too, ya' know!" Lutheran theology does not teach that ordination "infuses" the candidate with a kind quasi-magical "power" to turn bread into flesh through some sort of "spiritual alchemy." Such a concept is more "medieval" than it is "Patristic." Nor does Lutheran theology hold that "lay celebrations" are ipso facto "invalid." The Holy Spirit alone judges and knows what is "valid" and "invalid," a truth which some of our beloved Roman brethren have yet to learn. According to Luther, the Sacrament belongs to all. In other words, it's not the possession of a priestly caste to be doled out as that caste sees fit. However, since it does belong to all, no one should presume to preside at the Sacrament without the authorization, approval and assent of all, and by "all" is meant the Church of all times and in all places, not just the Church of our own time and in our own place. The bishop and presbytery, representing the whole (catholic) Church of all times and in all places, through the laying-on-of-hands (not a phone call from some synod office or an email from some bishop saying, "You can do it" since the Scriptures themselves have prescribed the method by which authority is to be conveyed in the Church) and prayer confer upon an individual that authorization, approval and assent of the whole Church, without which no one should have the audacity to stand before the People of God and repeat those divine words over bread and wine, "This is My Body...This is My Blood."
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To Rebuild the Walls of Jerusalem The Rev. Richard Sorfleet In his “Address to the Nobility of the German Nation” (1520), Martin Luther writes of walls surrounding the medieval Roman Church and proceeds to demolish each one and concludes with 27 proposals for the improvement of Christendom, or the re-building of a Godly and evangelical world to replace the ruins and theological wreckage of the old. The assault was from without for the reform of what was within [both the Church and the hearts and minds of men]. What we have today has been another relentless assault on the Church over the past 25 years plus, but this time from within and mostly led by clergy equally bent on the demolition of its new walls. It has included liturgical upheaval, women's ordination, and same-sex issues. The driving motivation has been for fashionable and supposed relevance. Designer vestments and dumbed-down language has not brought young people into the Church and has remained irrelevant to far more. Nevertheless, Pope John XXIII did say that we are not guardians of a museum. The balance between the two is a precarious and oft times an elusive achievement. The final assault is now underway. This time it is the keep of the fortress itself, that of the dominical sacraments—Baptism and the Lord's Supper. The linkage of not requiring baptism for access to the Lord's table finishes off the demolition of the sacraments, since the other five have already fallen. Penance and Confirmation are ignored; Marriage and Orders are reduced to rubble. The last rites have become comforting words with anecdotal addresses on the life and times. Theological catapults are not knocking down medieval walls of corruption to let in the Gospel light. The Church of “What's Happening Now” is becoming a coffee hour preceded by an hour of shallow feel-good/dogood social gospelism. We stand in the final breach, the last trench, armed only with faith, the Gospel message and the perimeter fence of the Small Catechism.. Our calling is the same as that of the prophet Nehemiah, to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Fr Sorfleet is a candidate priest of the LC-I and currently a priest in the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada. He resides in Renfrew, Ontario, Canada. The LC-I News
2011 Annual Synod Recap Continuing in Faith and in Confidence (Continued from page 3)
professed member of the Order of Franciscans of Reconciliation, the ECC's body similar to our Order of St Francis/ Lutheran. He is also the head of the ECC's St. Bonaventure House of Studies. We look forward to more conversations with Fr. Greg and the ECC. The Synod received and approved an annual budget for the 2011-2012 church year. The budget is in excess of $16,000, a three-fold increase. However, with the addition of two Church-wide appeals for Stewardship and gifts, as well as additional tithes and offerings from our parishes and ministries, this budget will not only allow us to conduct the business of our Annual Synod, but continue our efforts at new mission starts and the overall growth of the LC-I here and abroad. We were blessed to celebrate the anniversaries of several of our clergy during the Annual Synod. Anniversary celebrants present and absent received certificates and were publicly recognized. Please see the related article in this edition of the newsletter. During our plenary sessions, the delegates heard presentations from three congregations seeking to host the 2012 Annual Synod. Under consideration were First Lutheran Church, Lyons, New York; Trinity Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Augsburg Evangelical Church, College Park, Maryland. After a period of questions and answers from each of the parish representatives, a ballot was held to select not only the site of the 2012 Synod, but also the 2013 and 2014 Synods. For 2012, we will gather in Lyons, New York. In 2013, the Synod will be in Philadelphia, and the 2014 Synod will be in Baltimore/College Park. Preparations are already underway for the 2012 Synod, and Pastor Art Sziemeister and his congregation are looking forward to welcoming us to the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. In perhaps the most startling event of the Synod, and quite possibly a first in the history of church conferences, the work of the Synod was completed ahead of schedule. In fact, the work was done nearly a day early. Unfortunately. because of the schedule of groups at the Conference Center, we were limited in our options to move our schedule ahead, preventing earlier departures on Saturday morning. However, the extra time was used for small group conversations, private prayer and reflection, and some well-enjoyed extra rest. The Synod was closed in usual form with a Eucharist and the formal reception of Fr. Earl Sias, of Madison, Wisconsin, as the newest member of our clergy, and the installation of our new Executive Board member, Lynn Hotes.
2012 Annual Synod to be in Lyons, New York The Village Square Park (left) is one of the beautiful places to visit in Lyons, New York, where the LC-I will gather in July 2012 for our next Annual Synod. Our hosts will be our brothers and sisters a First Lutheran Church, Fr. Art Sziemeister, pastor.t Watch for more details in our Jan-Mar 2012 edition of the LC-I News, as well as our electronic updates. 6
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Formula of Concord II — Has the Time Come? Pastor Arthur F. Hebbeler III, STS, Co-editor, LC-I News Editor’s Note: The following is a theological editorial, and does not necessarily represent the official position of the Lutheran Church-International. Rather, it is a call for conversation among all Lutherans and those who know Lutherans.
a thorough, clear, correct, and Final Repetition and Explanation of Certain Articles of the Augsburg Confession on Which Controversy Has Arisen for a Time among Certain Theologians Adhering to This Confession, Resolved and Settled according to the Direction of God’s Word and the Summary Formulation of Our Christian Teaching
The quotation above comes from the opening of the Epitome of the Formula of Concord (1577) as translated in the 2000 edition of the Book of Concord, edited by Robert Kolb (LCMS) and Timothy Wengert (ELCA). I believe it is a perfect introduction to this article as well, and for future conversation among Lutherans in general, in an effort to seek reconciliation and union within the Lutheran community during a time of extreme disunion and turmoil. At the time of the Formula of Concord, there were twelve basic issues in dispute. Some of them were directly related to interpretations of articles of the Augsburg Confession, while others dealt with issues included not directly linked to a given article, or how the churches who accepted the Augsburg Confession stood regarding issues raised by non-subscribing groups (the Anabaptists, for example) These issues, while not unknown during Luther’s lifetime, became sources of great conflict within the fledgling Reformation movement after Luther’s death in 1546, and even more so after the defeat of the evangelical princes and estates in the Smalkald War of 1547 by the Imperial forces. The defeat in 1547 could have meant the end of the entire Reformation movement, but instead, the princes and leaders of evangelical territories worked to find ways in which the Emperor (and Pope) would permit the evangelicals to continue their work. While accommodations with the Emperor were possible (after all, the time and expense of travel was significant enough to allow a “don’t ask, don’t tell, pay up” approach to be workable; it was within the Lutheran community were the greater conflict existed). In his excellent 2005 article on the Formula of Concord, Dr. Andrew Pfeiffer, a professor at the Australia Lutheran College in Adelaide, wrote the following regarding the gift of the Formula of Concord to 21st century Lutheranism, “The genius of the Formula of Concord is that it shows us how to do theology today. First, it teaches us to define disputed issues. Then it seeks to find clarity on the controversy by looking at the Scriptures, the early church and the former confessional writings. On that basis it makes a clear confession. ‘We believe, teach and confess…’ ‘We reject and condemn…’” (http://www.ilc-online.org/graphics/assets/media/ International%20Lutheran%20Council/11%20November_Formula%20of%20Concord.pdf )
Now, there is a challenge for us with the example given, one which Dr. Pfeiffer also notes, and probably an even greater one for those of us in the USA. We Lutherans don’t like absolutes. We generally don’t like (Continued on page 14)
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Prayer Requests and Intentions October through December 2011
Archbishop Hotes asks the men and women of the Lutheran Church-International, and the whole Church, to join with him in praying for these individuals and organizations over the next quarter. Additions, deletions, and updates may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pastor Charles Edwards, and the Lutheran Church in Myanmar. Christ Lutheran School, Rosedale, NY, that it might reach more students for the 2011-2012 school year. First Lutheran Church, Lyons, NY, as it continues its discernment for an associate pastor. Fr. Larry Goodnough, OSF/L, as he resumes his labors as Father Superior in Canada, and his ministry there. Fr. Bill Babbitt, OSF/L, as he explores new ministries by God’s Grace. Army Specialists Matt Melancon, and Cory Nesbitt as they recover from injuries received in Afghanistan. Pastor Art and Debbie Hebbeler, on the birth of their first grandchild and the engagement of their son, Matt. For those congregations and ministries, especially in the ELCA and ELCIC, discerning God’s call for their work and denominational affiliations, and especially for those congregations suffering from divisive votes. For all candidates for ministry in the Lutheran Church-International. For Bishop Jesus Sierralta and the members of the Iglesia Catolica Luterana de Venezuela.
News from the Northeastern Diocese Bishop Aubrey N. Bougher, STS, Diocesan Bishop The Northeastern Diocese of the Lutheran Church-International has not met this year in a Ministerium because of an injury to Bishop Bougher in February and his required rehabilitation. On February 4, the bishop was struck by a pickup truck and diagnosed with a broken pelvic bone (acetabulum) which required therapy and two months to fully heal. He was in hospital a week and another ten days in another hospital's acute physical therapy section. He was mobile (with crutches) on Ash Wednesday, and presided with the help of LC-I pastor Ken Keenan, who preached, on Lent I and at times thereafter. By Holy Week, he was back to full liturgical service. He was given right to drive on April 1st, and from then on resumed his parish duties. In the past few months, First Lutheran Church in Lyons, New York, which has been designated as host of the 2012 synod, has been interviewing LC-I pastors for the post of associate pastor. Pray for the parish as it seeks one to call to this post. At the cathedral in Rosedale, a full program has been ongoing, and recently the 26th Rosedale Eucharistic Conference was held featuring a presentation by the Rev. John R. Cochran, CSC, D.D., on Evangelism and the Eucharist. Christ Lutheran School, the parish school, opened, but with an enrollment lower than desired. Pray for the increased student population of the cathedral school. In early April, the oldest in age and newest in ordination presbyter of LC-I, the Rev. Charles H. Shoemaker, passed from this life. A goodly number of clerics and lay people joined at Rosemont Lutheran Church in Bethelehem, PA, on Holy Monday for the Mass of the Resurrection and burial of the ashes. Bishop Bougher presided and long time Rosemont pastor and a classmate of the bishop's at seminary, the Rev. Raymond C. Hittinger (ELCA, ret.), preached. Pr. John R. Schilling, III, who had frequently concelebrated the Eucharist with Fr. Charles at his bedside, made appropriate remarks both in English and the Deutsche dialect they loved. Charles was a profound theologian, a great asset to LC-I, though only with us as a presbyter for less than four years. LC-I clergy in this diocese are continuing their various ministries in their locations. Fr. Wendell Eisener holds forth at the university and seminary in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Fr. Larry Goodnough, whom the bishop visited in Au(Continued on page 13)
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The Common Confession Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Renewal) The Common Confession is a seven-part statement of faith that highlights key parts of the orthodox Lutheran tradition. It came into existence early in the efforts of many within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to keep it in an orthodox Lutheran position, especially in light of the human sexuality discussions then underway. It was first presented and adopted by Lutheran CORE members in 2005. At this time, the LC-I is considering membership in Lutheran CORE. Some congregations and pastors are individually members at this time. 1) The Lord Jesus Christ We are people who believe and confess our faith in the Triune God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We trust and believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. El Señor Jesucristo: Somos personas que creemos y confesamos nuestra fe en el Dios Trino – Padre, Hijo, y Espíritu Santo. Creemos y confiamos en Jesucristo como nuestro Salvador y Señor. 2) The Gospel of Salvation We believe and confess that all human beings are sinners, and that sinners are redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God alone justifies human beings by faith in Christ – a faith that God creates through the message of the Gospel. As ambassadors for Christ, God uses us to speak his Word and build his kingdom. El Evangelio de Salvación: Creemos y confesamos que todos los seres humanos son pecadores, y que los pecadores son redimidos por la muerte y Resurrección de Jesucristo. Solamente Dios justifica a los seres humanos por fe en Jesucristo – Una fe que Dios crea a través del mensaje del Evangelio. Como embajadores de Cristo, Dios nos usa para hablar su Palabra y construir su reino. 3) The Authority of Scripture We believe and confess that the Bible is God's revealed Word to us, spoken in Law and Gospel. The Bible is the final authority for us in all matters of our faith and life. La Autoridad de la Escritura: Creemos y confesamos que la Biblia es la Palabra de Dios revelada a nosotros, hablada en Ley y Evangelio. La biblia es la autoridad final para nosotros en todos los aspectos de nuestra fe y vida. 4) A Common Confession of Faith We accept and uphold that the Lutheran Confessions reliably guide us as faithful interpretations of Scripture, and that we share a unity and fellowship in faith with others among whom the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached and the sacraments are administered in accordance with the Gospel. Una Confesión Común de Fe: Aceptamos y sostenemos que las Confesiones Luteranas confiablemente nos guían como interpretaciones fieles de la Escritura, y que compartimos una unidad y fraternidad en fe con otros entre los cuales el Evangelio de Jesucristo es predicado y los Sacramentos son administrados en conformidad con el Evangelio. 5) The Priesthood of All Believers We believe and confess that the Holy Spirit makes all who believe in Jesus Christ to be priests for service to others in Jesus' name, and that God desires to make use of the spiritual gifts he has given through the priesthood of all believers. El Sacerdocio de todos los creyentes: Creemos y confesamos que el Espíritu Santo hace que todos aquellos que creen en Jesucristo sean sacerdotes para servicio a
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Youth Encounter National Event Set for July ’12 The great folks at Youth Encounter (originally Lutheran Youth Encounter) have many great events scheduled around the country for young people. We have received word about their 2012 IMPACT National Youth Event, set for July 5-8 in Nashville, Tennessee. Many Lutheran groups (including from the LCMC and NALC) will be attending. Here is their current announcement. We're planning a great youth event in Nashville, Tennessee - four days of worship, small groups, service projects, breakouts, bible studies, concerts, and games. Hope to see you in Nashville July 5-8! This year, we will have an on-site service project through a partnership with Kids Against Hunger. We will be packing life-saving emergency meals that will help feed children suffering from starvation and malnutrition around the world. Find out more about the partnership and project at www.youthencounter.org/ kidsagainsthunger. The program fees ($189 by 2/8/11, $209 by 5/2/12) are inclusive of all programming for the event. The hotel room cost has been removed from the registration cost to allow your group more freedom in choosing where to stay. We have rooms at the event hotel available for $92 per night; you can register for as many of these rooms as you need when you register for the program. This rate is available two days before and after the event as well. Contact email@example.com to find out how you could come early or stay late as an opportunity for your group to see the sights or do some local service projects around Nashville. Looking to share car-pooling or find another group to go together with to rent a bus? Contact Impact event director David Frei at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if there are any groups in your area interested in sharing a ride.
The Common Confession
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otros en el Nombre de Jesús, y que Dios desea hacer uso de los dones espirituales que El ha dado a través del sacerdocio de todos los creyentes. 6) Marriage and Family We believe and confess that the marriage of male and female is an institution created and blessed by God. From marriage, God forms families to serve as the building blocks of all human civilization and community. We teach and practice that sexual activity belongs exclusively within the biblical boundaries of a faithful marriage between one man and one woman. Matrimonio y Familia: Creemos y confesamos que el matrimonio de varón y hembra es una institución creada y bendecida por Dios. A través del matrimonio, Dios forma familias que sirven como bloques de construcción de toda civilización humana y de toda comunidad. Enseñamos y es nuestra práctica que la actividad sexual debe realizarse exclusivamente dentro de los límites de un matrimonio fiel entre un hombre y una mujer. 7) The Mission and Ministry of the Congregation We believe and confess that the church is the assembly of believers called and gathered by God around Word and Sacrament, and that the mission and ministry of the church is carried out within the context of individual congregations, which are able to work together locally and globally. La Misión y Ministerio de la Congregación: Creemos y confesamos que la Iglesia es la asamblea de todos los creyentes llamados y reunidos por Dios alrededor de la Palabra y los Sacramentos, y que la misión y ministerio de la Iglesia se llevan a cabo dentro del contexto de congregaciones individuales, quienes son capaces de trabajar juntas local y globalmente. © 2008-2011 Lutheran CORE www.lutherancore.org. 10
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(Continued from page 1)
1. An absolute uncompromising conviction that the Holy Eucharist must be celebrated every Sunday. 2. Praising confession and absolution as the "Third Sacrament" and making it available to laity that want it. 3. A great reverence for the received tradition of the Lutheran way of worship (i.e., the Lutheran Mass) and viewing it as essential to Lutheran piety and spiritual formation. 4. A real awe and profound reverence for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and a strong desire to guard the Eucharist from any action or ceremony that might be seen as compromising or diminishing belief in the Real Presence. 5. Strong emphasis on Article 24 of the Augsburg Confession 6. A view of Lutheranism that views it as more of a Reform movement within the Church Catholic than as a Protestant denomination. 7. A theology and practice of worship deeply rooted in the Lutheran Confessions, the Lutheran Liturgy and in the Lutheran Lectionary and that refuses to get caught up in trendy, hip movements of the day (Forty Days of Purpose, the Prayer of Jabez, etc ), the Hallmark Calendar (Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.), the Feasts of Caesar (Fourth of July and fundagelical "Christian America" stuff) and the like. The Evangelical Catholics in the Lutheran Church that I have known placed their confidence in the Word and Sacraments and laid great stress on the corporate worship of the Church, unaffected by worldly trends, politics, fashion or as C.S. Lewis says "trying to be like other folks." I have never believed that being an Evangelical Catholic in the Lutheran Church is about bells and smells. I find that explanation to be a simplistic way of dismissing the Evangelical Catholics without actually listening to what they have to say.
Feasts and Festivals, Oct-Dec 2011 In the coming quarter, we have a number of feasts and festivals of the Church for which we should be prepared. In October, of course, we mark the key festival for Lutherans everywhereâ€” Reformation Day, October 31. We are taught that on October 31,1517, a brash young Augustinian named Martin Luther went to the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Electoral Saxony (present-day Germany), and there nailed a lengthy list of 95 sentences, or theses, against the sale of indulgences, and with that, his public challenge to debate the same with anyone so disposed. Of course, it wasnâ€™t until 1530 that the Augsburg Confession, the declaration of faith and understanding of the Reformers, would be presented, and that document, much more than the 95 Theses, represents a declaration of opposition to the pope and papal authority, but this singular event is seen today as the start of the Reformation. We also have the national days of Thanksgiving in Canada (Monday, October 10) and the USA (Thursday, November 24). While these are secular holidays, set apart by the respective legislatures and executives of the two nations, they are also days on which we, as the (Continued on page 12)
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What is an Evangelical Catholic?
Feasts and Festivals, Oct-Dec 2011 (Continued from page 11)
Church, should gather and mark, offering our gifts and praise to God for all the great and good things with which he has blessed us. In some liturgical circles, these days have taken on some haughty disregard as an “invasion” of the secular into the sacred, but that should not prevent us from proper worship of God for all His benefits to us. The propers for the final Sundays of Ordinary Time (the season after Pentecost) are texts which point to the End Times, that is, to the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. November 6 (for those who do not transfer All Saints’ to that day) offers wonderful texts from Amos, 1 Thessalonians, and Matthew with images of that which will come to us with the Kingdom of God on earth. These are followed with the words of Zephaniah calling on the people of God to be silent before Him and hear the words of promise for the Kingdom, while the Psalmist (Ps 90) offers words of comfort in the face of the wrath of God. Matthew offers us the parable of the talents. The year concludes with the Feast of Christ the King, with the prophet Ezekiel telling of the gathering of the sheep, while Matthew tells of what will be when the Son of Man comes into His glory. The Church Year begins anew on the First Sunday of Advent, which this year falls on November 27. For those who use the threeyear lectionary cycle, the Gospel of Mark will be the focus for the 2012 liturgical year, with the first Sunday reminding us of the prophesy of Joel (Joel 2) and the second announcing the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy and the coming of John the Baptist. The Nativity of Our Lord falls on Sunday this year, offering us that rare opportunity to hear the readings for Christmas Day (II) , which brings us the second half of the Christmas Eve Gospel (that is, the announcement to the shepherds), but also that wonderful text from Paul’s letter to Titus, in which Paul writes of the Incarnation, “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7, English Standard Version) May God bless each of you, and all of us, as we continue to grow in His love and grace. 12
Annual Synod Honors Service Anniversaries The following individuals were recognized by the Annual Synod for their anniversaries of service. Our Golden Jubilee honorees, Fathers Gene Fortune and John Schilling, presided at the Opening Eucharist. All received certificates from Archbishop Hotes and the warm congratulations of all in attendance.
50th Anniversary of Ordination as a Pastor The Rev. Gene M. Fortune The Rev. John R. Schilling 20th Anniversary of Ordination as a Deacon The Rev. Mrs. Sevika Sooppersaud 15th Anniversary of Ordination as a Pastor The Rev. Wendell L. Eisener The Rev. William F. Babbitt, OSF/L 10th Anniversary of Ordination as a Pastor The Rev. Arthur F. Hebbeler III, STS 5th Anniversary of Ordination as a Bishop The Rt. Rev. Aubrey N. Bougher, STS
Those unable to attend in person have received their certificates by mail.
Archbishop’s Advent Appeal Help the Lutheran Church-International in its efforts to develop new missions, increase programs in support of existing ministries, and aid in the spreading of the Gospel around the globe. Starting the First Sunday of Advent, congregations and individual members of the LC-I are encouraged to make a special offering to support our 2011-12 mission growth. Contributions may be tax deductible (Consult your tax advisor). Checks payable to Lutheran Church-International should be sent to Fr. Art Hebbeler, LC-I Secretary, 106 Hilton Ave, Catonsville, MD 21228-5727. Contributions may also be made online after October 15, 2011.
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News from the Northeastern Diocese (Continued from page 8)
gust, has published a book, The Prodigal Son, available from Amazon. Fr. Goodnough, now recuperated from a time needing rest and rehabilitation, is resuming his call as Superior of the Canadian branch of the Order of St. Francis/Lutheran, and some ministry at Greycliffe home. He has been in a wheelchair, but seems to be improving . Pr. Art Sziemeister continues to hold forth in Lyons, as does Pr. Harvey W. Von Harten III, both in Coney Island and as Adjunct Chaplain at Christ Lutheran, Rosedale's school. Pr. Von Harten will have eye surgery in October, for which we beseech your prayers. We understand that Pr. Richard W. Horn has been to Germany over the summer, and are waiting for a report. Pr. John McBride, in retirement in West Reading, PA, continues as a member of the Stephen ministry program. Pr. Schilling, mentioned earlier, celebrated his golden jubilee at synod with Pr. Gene Fortune of the Mid-America Diocese, and continues active in multiple pursuits, including encouraging Deacon Bill Wigmore in his work and study at Trinity Lutheran Church in South Philadelphia. Pr. Kim-Eric Williams, who supplied for the bishop one Sunday of his illness last winter, continues his multiple jobs in closing churches for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA and mastering the archives at the Philadelphia Seminary. Candidate Pr. Paul Lorentzen is back to school at New York Theological Seminary, looking to start a new community of faith in Staten Island, having resigned the pastorate at St. Paul's (ELCA), Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Our four deacons continue active in ministry. Deacons Sam and Sevika Sooppersaud at the cathedral are continuing their liturgical and social ministry in the parish. One of Sam's boyhood friends, an active Lutheran layman from another part of Queens, was recently killed in an automobile tragedy, and Sam was instrumental in assisting that man's pastor at the funeral Eucharist for several hundred people. Deacon Bill Wigmore in Philadelphia has had e-mails with the bishop, but they have not met since synod. Deacon Anna Haye, serving faithfully at St. Paul's in Coney Island, also assisted the bishop at the altar at the recent Rosedale Eucharistic Conference. Her ministry continues to sustain that parish and Pr. Von Harten's work. One of the actions of this summer's synod was to send the state of Maryland to the Southern Diocese, which removes from us two of our fine pastors, the Rev. Arthur Hebbeler III, STS, LC-I's secretary, and the Rev. William L. F. Gies, STS, in the Baltimore area. We hope to have a farewell ministerial meeting down there sometime in the fall.
Southern Diocese Update Bishop Richard Johnson, Diocesan Bishop The Southern Diocese is beginning to see some increased activity these days. First, we welcome the State of Maryland to her rightful â€œhomeâ€? in the South, and especially welcome our new parish members from College Park, MD, and Towson, MD. Our archbishop has appointed Pastor Art Hebbeler as assistant to the bishop for the diocese. In this role, Pastor Hebbeler will help Bishop Johnson with candidate interviews, mission development, and diocesan communications. We have, of course, active clergy and communities in Maryland and Florida, and are working with candidates in Virginia and Texas at this time as well. We expect to present two candidates to the Executive Board for approval at its next meeting. The diocese is getting stronger, and we look forward to continued growth and the increased sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the coming year.
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Formula of Concord II — Has the Time Come?
(Continued from page 7)
to say, “This is the right way, and this is the wrong way.” Rather, we work to find ways in which we can allow everyone his or her own point of view, and to accept that point of view (with a few exceptions) as “valid,” at least for the person holding the view. Some of us from the Midwest would call this approach “Minnesota Nice.” We may not agree with it, but we want to be nice, so we find ways to let it go unchallenged. Some will even suggest that the reason we Lutherans are uncomfortable with drawing strict boundaries is our upbringing. After all, we have been taught of Law and Gospel, simultaneously saint and sinner, and a host of other “on the other hand…” positions. Add to this an unhealthy fear that we might be treading on works righteousness, and we have the recipe for theological disaster, if not denominational suicide. For much of the half century I have been on this earth, Lutheranism in North America has been greatly divided. With a brief exception from 1969 to 1981 when the American Lutheran Church and Lutheran Church Missouri Synod were in fellowship, the largest (generally speaking) Lutheran churches in North America have not shared altar and pulpit fellowship, despite the fact that all accept the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as the standard for defining Lutheran understanding, and virtually all accept the Book of Concord (1580) as a true and faithful witness to the Holy Scriptures. So, the question is, how can all of us who agree to the same printed words as truthfully and accurately defining what is “Lutheran” not be in full fellowship with one another? Do these documents, especially the Augsburg Confession, not clearly state that union does not demand uniformity in action? Again, I am in debt to Dr. Pfeiffer’s article for stating a wonderful summary of how we Lutherans should approach our differences among ourselves in the manner in which those writing and subscribing to the Formula of Concord did some 431 years ago:
The six authors of the original Formula of Concord: Dr James Andreae, Dr Nicholas Selnecker, Dr Andrew Musculus, Dr Chirstopher Koerner, David Chytraeus, and Dr. Martin Chemnitz.
1. Work out what the problem actually is 2. Discover from Scripture and the early church what was taught and what was in error 3. Reflect again on your current controversy 4. Make your own good confession both what is taught and confessed and what is rejected for the sake of keeping the comfort of the [G]ospel. (emphasis added). When I began working on this article for the LC-I News, I expected to include here the start of a laundry list of topics which might serve as a starting point for the discussion and eventual development of a Formula of Concord II. However, as is often the case in research and reflection, particularly in theology, I have found my own biases and concerns to not be based on the sound foundation of the original Formula of Concord, nor structured within the sound guidelines as expressed in Dr. Pfeiffer’s summary of the Formula’s approach. That isn’t a great problem, of course, because there is sufficient time to reflect and write in preparation for the next edition of the LC-I News, where one will find a sound theological and confessional starting point for what I pray will become not just an exercise of a small group of theologians within this church body, but a conversation across the greater community of Lutherans in North America and elsewhere.
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From Venezuela, In Christian Love... La Iglesia Catolica Luterana de Venezuela (ICALVE) nacio como una necesidad de tener en la Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela una iglesia que integrara tanto la cultura religiosa como la estructura de una iglesia historica pero contextualizada, sin irse a los extremos: catolico romano o evangelico. Este ultimo termino en Venezuela es aplicado a cualquier movimiento religioso no romano, sobretodo a las iglesias informales de corte pentecostal. Sobre la base de nuestra experiencia acerca del gobierno congregacional en Venezuela, aprendimos que este es generador de conflictos y pugnas internas que terminan desgarrando el cuerpo de Cristo, por lo tanto ICALVE nacio con un gobierno episcopal que ha facilitado su crecimiento dinamico, debidamente registrada en la Direccion General de Instituciones Religiosas y Culto de la Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela. Nos definimos jurídicamente y en la praxis como una Iglesia Catolica apegada a los credos ecumenicos y a los concilios de la iglesia indivisa, como luteranos ortodoxos, ya que suscribimos las confesiones luteranas contenidas en el Libro de Concordia del ano 1580. En ICALVE hacen vida parroquias con enfoque carismatico, luterano ortodoxo y comunidades monasticas. Lo cual evidencia variedad en la unidad pero sin apartarse de las confesiones. Actualmente ICALVE tiene un Obispo Primado y un Obispo Auxiliar juntamente con seis Presbíteros que hacen la obra de mision en varios estados del país. Somos una iglesia sanamente ecumenica, misionera e inclusiva. Nuestra sede principal esta en la Ciudad de Barquisimeto, en la region centro occidental de país.
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Our brother in Christ, Bishop Jesús Sierralta, presiding bishop of ICALVE, submitted this introduction to the church. The following is an English translation. Bishop Sierralta and his clergy and congregations are seeking to join the LC-I in the coming year. The Lutheran Church of Venezuela (ICALVE) was born out of a need in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for a church culture that integrates religion and the structure of a historic church, but in context, without going to extremes of either Roman Catholic or evangelical (in Venezuela “evangelical” is applied to any non-Roman religious movement, especially the Pentecostal churches) . On the basis of our experience with congregational polity in Venezuela, we learned that this generates conflicts which end up tearing the body of Christ. Therefore ICALVE’s episcopal government was born. We have experienced growth which has proved dynamic. The church is duly registered in the Directorate General of Religious Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. [Ed. Note, something we in the USA might find highly unusual] We are defined legally and in practice as a Catholic Church rooted in the ecumenical creeds and councils of the undivided church as orthodox Lutherans and the Lutheran Confessions contained in the Book of Concord of 1580. Our parishes within the ICALVE are a blend of charismatic and both Lutheran and Orthodox monastic communities. This shows the variation in our practice withut departing from the Confessions. ICALVE currently has a Presiding Bishop and Auxiliary Bishop, along with six priests who do the work of mission in several states. We are a healthy church— ecumenical, missionary, and inclusive. Our head office is in the city of Barquisimeto, in the central western portion of our country.
Sowing the Seeds Mission starts are on the board for northeastern Pennsylvania, metro New York City, and McKinney, Texas. Congregational and individual mission partners are needed to assist in these plants. Contact our Secretary for details.
Upcoming Events November 5, 2011 — Executive Board Videoconference February and May 2012 — Executive Board Videoconferences July 5-8, 2012 — Youth Encounter Impact National Youth Event, Nashville, Tennessee (Grades 8-12 and adult chaperones) July 2012—LC-I Annual Synod, Lyons, New York
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