My proposed overture, which didn’t get out of my circuit but was submitted by a congregation within my circuit (thanks LCOS!), got through committee, made it to a floor vote, and was actually passed at the CNH District convention. It lost any teeth, which was expected, but I feel like it even lost the idea of striving for unity of practice completely and in fact emphasized the opposite. Oh well, hopefully I haven’t done any harm.
RE: TO APPLY CHRISTIAN FREEDOM INFORMED BY LOVE IN PREPARING DIVINE SERVICES FOR DISTRICT AND SYNODICAL GATHERINGS
WHEREAS. the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions do not prescribe the structure.form. style. or music of Christian worship; AND
WHEREAS. the basic structure of our current divine services evolved over time beginning with the early church: AND
WHEREAS. the Lutheran Confessions state that it is not necessary that human traditions or rites and ceremonies. instituted by men. should be alike everywhere (AC Vll. Apology Vll & Vlll); AND
WHEREAS. Martin Luther in his preface to the German Mass and Order ofService stated that. ”As far as possible we should observe the same rites and ceremonies” without proposing that all of Germany should uniformly follow the Wittenberg Order. and that all those who desire to follow it “not make it a rigid law to bind or entangle anyone’s conscience. but use it in Christian Liberty as long. when, where. and how you find it to be practical and useful“ (LW 53. pp. 6l-62); AND
WHEREAS. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg submitted a communion liturgy to the Ministerium of Pennsylvania in 1748 which became the basic structure ofthe divine service in the Common Service Book (1918). The Lutheran Hymnal (1941). the Service Book and Hymnal (1958). the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978). Lutheran Worship (1982). Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006). and the Lutheran Service Book (2006); AND
WHEREAS. the 2004 Synodical Convention approved the Lutheran Service Book for use in the worship services of our congregations and recognized the hard work and effort given by the Commission on Worship in developing the worship resource; AND
WHEREAS. a local congregation hosts the divine services at our district and synodical gatherings; AND
WHEREAS. St. Paul recognizes that Christian liberty is informed by love; THEREFORE BE IT
RESOLVED. that those planning the communion services for district and national synodical gatherings be mindful of and appreciate the basic structure of the Lutheran Mass; AND BE IT FURTHER
RESOLVED. that those planning such services do so in the spirit of Christian liberty informed by love recognizing the widespread use of the Lutheran Service Book in our churches: AND BE IT FINALLY
RESOLVED. that all those attending and participating in our district and national synodical gatherings be encouraged to attend divine services at those gatherings.