PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR LUTHERAN WORSHIP
In the March 2014 WELS Connection video, which featured the 2014 national worship conference, Pastor Dan Sims commented on a trend he has sensed. He said that there has been a resurgence in WELS in the last decade of trying to do Lutheran worship really well. It is the hope of the Commission on Worship and the writers we engage that this series will assist you and others in your congregation toward that goal.
CONFESSIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON WORSHIP
This issue begins a new series to explore various confessional perspectives on worship. May God grant that study and discussion of these confessional perspectives contribute to God-pleasing worship, to synodical unity, and to spiritual impact within our congregations and communities.
CHALLENGES FOR THE LUTHERAN CHURCH CHOIR
A new series begins with this issue. It will explore various challenges affecting Lutheran choirs. Some articles will be written with the pastor’s role as worship planner in mind, others for sharing with a choir director, worship committee, or lay leaders for encouragement or training or solving challenges.
A new series begins with this issue. It will explore twelve key worship concepts. Some articles may be valuable for analysis in a pastors’ study group, board of elders, or worship committee. As WELS parishes work with these concepts, our worship will be enriched for the sake of both members and guests. It will be faithful to Scripture, to our Lutheran heritage, and to the challenges and opportunities of being 21st century followers of Jesus.
CHRISTIAN WORSHIP: SUPPLEMENT
A look at Christian Worship: Supplement by committee members responsible for its planning. The supplement was released in 2008.
New Series: Church Architecture
Winston Churchill’s famous remark at the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament is quoted in numerous books and articles on church architecture: “We shape our buildings, and ever after they shape us.” Perhaps Churchill is frequently quoted because people aren’t completely happy with their church designs. James White wrote, “Church architecture not only reflects the ways Christians worship but architecture also shapes worship or not uncommonly, misshapes it.”
This issue of Worship the Lord begins a series on church architecture. Most readers of this newsletter are not planning to build or renovate. Still, the principles to be articulated are worth our time and thought for minor changes to existing buildings or as catalyst for a more extensive future remodeling project. Design topics can be theological or practical. While there is no single correct way to design various features of a church, there is often room for improvement.
A SERIES ON WORSHIP PLANNING
Planning for worship involves far more than picking hymns and choir music [early enough!] for the coming season or year. Short range planning is important so that everyone can work together for the best possible worship. Long-range planning is also diverse but doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.
With this issue of Worship the Lord, we begin a series on worship planning. We hope that some of the ideas shared will be helpful for you. While pastors are the primary Worship the Lord audience, musicians and worship committee members might also benefit from reading these articles.
A SERIES ON CONTEMPLATIVE WORSHIP
Much recent attention given to worship, at least in some circles, is about making worship upbeat, energetic, and exciting. This trend has contributed to the much-discussed worship wars; a recent Google.com search showed almost half a million worship war links! This trend has led to arguing and division about an event that should display a parish’s love and unity: public worship.
Receiving far less attention, but significant and even newsworthy, is a growing interest in contemplative worship—worship that is quieter, calmer, and slower-paced. This worship allows time to pause and reflect, time for wonder and awe. This worship doesn’t depend on an energetic leader or music for its appeal. Its power lies in a simple dialogue between God and his people with ample time for meditation.
The next few issues of Worship the Lord will bring descriptions of contemplative worship from parishes in WELS that have been exploring such worship.
Worship the Lord
With this short newsletter we will bring you a variety of theoretical, theological, and practical worship ideas. Each issue will not always contain all areas, but the content will eventually be balanced among all three. The first topic is liturgy, and the first issue sets an important foundation by defining liturgy.
WELS Center for Mission and Ministry
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