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Archive for the ‘Lutheran Worship’ Category

From the Ekklesia Project:

And while a decoration of a grave may dwell on our loss, All Saints’ Day sharpens our focus on the resurrection. A death date on a gravestone may remind us of the day someone “left us.” The tradition of lifting up the death dates of historic Christian martyrs calls us to dwell not on loss and separation but hope and reunion. Jesus called Lazarus out from the grave, unbound and unfettered. Doing so, he removed Mary and Martha’s grief and foreshadowed something that we can all look forward to. God has “swallowed up death forever!” We will not remain in the grave, stinky and broken. We will be made whole and found forever with the Lamb and all the faithful departed. A Church which takes seriously its liturgical responsibility on All Saints’ Day provides a tremendous act of pastoral and congregational care to those who grieve. Let us offer something greater than putting flowers on a grave.

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ReformationReformation Day is October 25. Here is an order of worship from Reformed Worship that contains a lot of Reformation-era texts:

This order of service was prepared for Reformation Sunday 2003 at First Presbyterian Church, Royal Oak, Michigan. It includes several liturgical elements from the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, including contributions from Luther in Germany, Bucer in Strassbourg, Calvin in Geneva, Zwingli in Zurich, Knox in Scotland, and from the English Reformation. The songs include a psalm, canticle, and hymns from these traditions; they can be found in the Presbyterian Hymnal as well as in many other hymnals.

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Article from The Lutheran Staff Blog:

Almost two-thirds -64 percent- of congregations that switched to contemporary worship in the last five years saw an increase in worship attendance of 2 percent or more…

Robert Schaefer responds:

When thinking about worship, first I would propose Lutherans need to start with the center — namely it is the Triune God who acts in the means of grace, the word and sacraments. Second, we have a simple pattern for our worshiping assemblies that shows up in the New Testament church and has been used by generations of Christians ever since: gathering, word, meal and sending. Only third does style capture our attention. Here there is great freedom and flexibility in the song and style a given assembly uses to express what God is doing through this common pattern of gathering around word and sacrament. In this context we would encourage an ever expanding repertoire of contemporary, global, as well as classic music and texts to make the proclamation of the gospel accessible in this time and place, while linking it to every time and place.

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This weekend I taught a workshop for the Fall Leadership Summit of the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod of the ELCA. The session was titled “Worship – All Things Alternative.”

Here is a brief overview of what I talked about:

  1. Definition of worship
  2. Attempt to define differences between worship styles
  3. Problems with trying to define worship styles
  4. Questions for reflection
  5. The alternative perspective of Convergent Worship
  6. Some alternative elements to use in worship
  7. Resources

Dowload the handout-notes here: “Worship – All Things Alternative”

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From the Nairobi Statement on Worship and Culture

4.1. Jesus Christ came to transform all people and all cultures, and calls us not to conform to the world, but to be transformed with it (Romans 12:2). In the mystery of his passage from death to eternal life is the model for transformation, and thus for the counter-cultural nature of Christian worship. Some components of every culture in the world are sinful, dehumanizing, and
contradictory to the values of the Gospel. From the perspective of the Gospel, they need critique and transformation. Contextualization of Christian faith and worship necessarily involves challenging of all types of oppression and social injustice wherever they exist in earthly cultures.

4.2. It also involves the transformation of cultural patterns which idolize the self or the local group at the expense of a wider humanity, or which give central place to the acquisition of wealth at the expense of the care of the earth and its poor. The tools of the counter-cultural in Christian worship may also include the deliberate maintenance or recovery of patterns of action which differ intentionally from prevailing cultural models. These patterns may arise from a recovered sense of Christian history, or from the wisdom of other cultures.

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ELCA News Release:

In an effort to incorporate music from around the world into a singing assembly, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is training young adult musicians like Ernst to use and teach global music.
Music offers the opportunity to create partnerships and share stories of how God works in the lives of people, said Ernst.  One doesn’t need to be fluent in Spanish, Swahili or French.  The singing assembly can still sing songs in various languages, she said.

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