Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Model Theological Conference on Worship

The MTC on Worship concluded yesterday (Wednesday, January 13th) at noon. The title of the conference, "Toward a Theology of Worship that is..." was accurate, for I don't believe we tackled many substantive issues. An intended outcome may have been fore-ordained or "expected" by the organizers. More about that once I begin typing in my notes for the benefit of Wyoming District pastors and congregations and QBR readers.

The best parts were the conversations with others from around the country. This happened during some organized table talk times, but more realistically and honestly "after the meeting." Evening and meal discussions were profitable.

What will come of this? Perhaps nothing. I wonder if LCMS folks already persuing alternative practices will really change what they do because of one three-day conference. I hope and pray that this is so.

The big work will be to continue the conversation that has begun and work on District Conferences. Wyoming is looking at June 2011.

Was there any consensus? Perhaps. Maybe. Possibly.

  • Once we realize who we are as Christians under Scripture and as Lutherans with the guidance of and subscription to the Confessions, we can begin.
  • The theology of worship must come first.
  • Pastoral care considerations are a high priority,
  • as is good preaching.
  • Our structures should confess that we are western catholics, so the Mass/Eucharist/Divine Service and Daily Office should/could/ought to be assumed.
  • Instrumentation is not a major consideration. There may be pastoral care concerns that enter the conversation.
  • Giving up who we are as Lutherans is a more major issue. We need to preserve our heritage and add that something from our day that is worth adding.
  • Lutheran Service Book, Synod-approved resources, more psalms, and hymns from Getty & Townend appear to be a proposed repertoire of song.
  • I loved hearing of the need for a balance between evangelical, "walking together," catholic, and contextual considerations. (I'll provide clearer definitions at a later point.)

I wish we had seen more representative forms of what is going on in the LCMS. That may have led to more open conversations. People seemed to be on their best behavior. Tension is not always a bad thing.

More will come from me in due course. I think it only fair to share some thoughts with my brothers in ministry back home first. I also need to share some perspectives/suggestions/constructive criticism with some individuals personally.

In the meantime, I will share some other attendee's perspectives.