Friday, September 12, 2014

A Tale of Two Conferences

By Larry Beane

The LCMS is quite a diverse church body when it comes to things like conferences.

By way of example, here are descriptions of two upcoming conferences that will be happening shortly, less than one month apart, both of which will include speakers and worship services.

The first example is one of the official district conferences to be held this month (September).

Three of the four main scheduled speakers are pastors.  One of the three is a Lutheran, and his presentation is first.  His topic will be: "Toward Effective Ministry in Transitional Times" and is described as follows:

"Living and serving in God's grace in these changing times involves balance, clarity of purpose and values as well as personal and organizational health.  This time will be interactive, informative, and hopefully a time of introducing you to introspection and possible life ministry changes during this conference."

The two remaining ordained speakers come from outside the Lutheran tradition.  The first is a senior pastor of a Baptist congregation in Virginia.  He is the author of Bod4God: Four Keys to Weight Loss and Get off the Couch.  He is also the creator of the Losing to Live Weight Loss Competition....  The media has labeled him 'The Anti-Fat Pastor.'"  One has to wonder if he'll be attending the "Taco/Nacho/Chicken Wing Buffet (enough to call it dinner)" that includes "free beer, margaritas and sangria/wine."

Next up will be a pastor representing Cornerstone Fellowship, who is going to speak on "rediscovering a New Small Church filled with hope, passion, and innovative spark of the Holy Spirit."

The "opening worship" is not described other than that it will be held at a local parish, while the "closing worship" will be held at the resort where the conference will take place.


Less than a month later, another conference will take place, not a district function, but rather an annual congregational event.

The keynote speaker will be a Lutheran seminary professor with degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, and Durham.  He is the "author of volumes 12 (Lord's Supper) and 13 (Eschatology) of the series Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics.  His topic will be "The Blessed Sacrament in the Theology of Wilhelm Loehe."  There will also be a discussion on "the rubrics and significance of the Mass from the Preface to the Nunc Dimittis."

Like the other conference, there will be food, including a banquet featuring "brats and beer" and an "after the party party" at the pastor's home.

This conference will likewise include worship services, and will open with "choral vespers" and will include "mass" on the next day, as well as a "low mass" and "vespers" on the final day of the conference - all held in the sanctuary of the parish.

If it is true that diversity is our strength, the LCMS must be one of the mightiest church bodies on the planet.


  1. The first conference is centered on "me"; the second on Thee.

  2. It's less two instances together illustrating "Diversity being our strength," than the appalling first example presenting "Dives' city sweating it out."

    I mean, it's like HADES, dude!

    Your (unworthy) servant,
    Herr Doktor

  3. Resolution Number: 3-01A
    To Expand the Koinonia Project

    How is it doing/going?

    COP applies ‘Koinonia Project’
    to church issues. See Convention Resolution Update 2014 | The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod page 21. How does this action address Koinonia issus?

    Steve Harris

  4. The UnGottesdienst Poll

    Choose the one best answer for the following query about the Koinonia Project viz., "How is it doing/going?"

    A.) Like a lead balloon

    B.) Pffffftt.

    C.) Like a gold parachute.

    D.) Anymore "Get Off the Couch" contributions from the Baptists, and the APA is going to make it a DSM-VI disease.

  5. Yes, just as I suspected, all four of course. With any luck at all it will just dry up and blow away for the administration. I rather like number four the most! No one will seriously investigate walking together. How many settings do we have in LSB?, not to mention software for those (Pastors) with great imagination. And then there is the hymnal for Black Lutherans.

  6. "No one will seriously investigate walking together." -- Mr. Beany's friend and long-time companion

    My dear sinuous creature,

    Of course not.

    Surely that still, small voice (the Anti-Fat Pastor must have gotten to it) ... viz., the Inner Child of "Transitional Times" (pardon moi, my mistake; that should be "of Transactional Analysis") ... is "introspectively" and "effectively" informing each one of us: "We should all be swimming together."

    The only reason we are not, is that God has graciously promised man that another worldwide deluge is simply out of the question.

    Not that we don't deserve such, mind you.

    I'll bet the advertised "free-beer" turned out to be that micturated (I wouldn't deign it as being "brewed") Lite abomination of soulless desolation, and the "margaritas" were salt-free contraptions stirred with an umbrella.

    "Innovatively sparking" like an 1898 Maxim machine-gun at Omdurman,
    I remain,
    Your (unworthy) servant,
    Herr Doktor, S.S.P.


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