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LCMS Theological Conference on Worship: part 1 of ?

January 14, 2010

As several other bloggers have begun posting, I too just returned from the LCMS Model Theological Conference on Worship.  I offer a few thoughts as I begin to process it all.

Coming out of the conference, I took home the idea that there must be a tension in our service between two (and possibly more) ideas:

1) “One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” – By this I mean that a Lutheran service will show our catholicity, our connection to other Christians throughout time and space.  We are not an island unto ourselves, but we acknowledge that there is a larger Church with a history and tradition in which we take part.

2) “In this place” – By this I mean that we are a specific congregation in a specific place.  This is where “Contextualization” (a major buzz-word at the conference) comes into play.  This can affect the language that is used, the instrumentation, and other local customs.

Since these are in tension with each other, we can never go too far in either direction.

More on this later…

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3 Comments
  1. As a musician serving an urban parish, I will say that this tension does exist. Pastors and musicians want to be faithful to our Confession and as the same time want a worship service to have the “flavor” of the community. It is a tricky balancing act. It takes a partnership of pastor/musician/congregational leadership that is intent on doing both without compromising our Confession. It takes patient catechesis for the congregation and much discernment from the worship planners.

    Looking forward to continuing the conversation!

  2. I agree that it does exist all over. I mention those principles as two that can help guide our discussion of worship. And to some extent or another they will exist in all congregations; the question may be “are they tipping too far in one direction or another?”

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