Delegates adopt three worship-related resolutions

HOUSTON – Three worship-related resolutions were adopted by delegates to the Synod’s 63rd Regular Convention here July 17 as Floor Committee 2 for District and Congregational Services offered its resolutions for the first time.

Although there was some debate on two proposals and a recording of negative votes after one was adopted, the third – “To Commend Commission on Worship for Lutheran Service Book” (LSB) – elicited only praise:

• for the Synod worship commission, which led development of the Synod’s new LSB resources,

• for its executive director, Dr. Paul Grime, in a “resolved” added to the resolution and in a standing ovation from the assembly,

• to God, as all in the convention hall sang “Voices Raised to You We Offer.”
Commission on Worship Chairman Gregory Wismar then presented a leather-bound, personalized LSB hymnal to Synod President Gerald Kieschnick.

The other worship-related actions today called for:

•  fostering “greater understanding of worship through theological conferences” that would focus on “our theology of worship and foster further discussion of worship practices that are consistent with that theology.” Starting with a model conference organized by the worship commission and the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, districts are encouraged to hold similar conferences. The commission is encouraged to consult with the Council of Presidents and Synod colleges, universities, and seminaries as it prepares studies on the topic for circuits and congregations to use.

•  providing “guidance and direction for use of diverse/contemporary worship resources.” The resolution points out the “need for contemporary worship songs that reflect Lutheran theological and liturgical emphases;” that LCMS musicians and others are composing such songs but that there is “no means of gathering, reviewing, and disseminating” such resources; that the 2004 Synod convention called for the worship commission “to initiate a process leading toward development of diverse worship resources;” and finally resolving that the commission implement six recommendations it made in the Convention Workbook regarding these matters.

The resolution that calls for “guidance and direction” drew the most debate of the three proposals, with one delegate questioning whether it might be “putting  the cart before the horse” to pass such a resolution before knowing what might result from the theological conferences mandated in the other resolution. Several delegates also made it clear that they do not favor the use of contemporary and/or diverse worship resources.

After adopting the “diverse/contemporary” resolution by a 66 percent margin, delegates took action allowing those who voted “no” to record their negative votes on the resolution.

The theme of the Synod’s 63rd Regular Convention, July 14-19, is “One Message – Christ! His Love is Here for You!”

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