The Pastor Challenge

The Pastor Challenge

The Assist Pregnancy Center's Walk-Run-Ride for Life is coming up in May and this year I am challenging myself in order to challenge all of you! I am challenging myself to ride a "Metric Century" (100 kilometers) in four hours, and if I can ride farther than I ever have at one time before, I challenge all of you to support me more than ever before. I set my goal this year at $5,000, and our team (Lutherans for Life) at $7,500! If I can do it, you can do it. Assist helps so many mothers and babies, and they are expanding their facility to help even more - and so need our help more than ever, especially coming out of this pandemic. So please help! CLICK HERE to go to my sponsor page to sponsor me, or you can sponsor anyone else who joins the team, or the team as a whole.

Will you step up to the challenge??

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Undoing the Reformation?

With Reformation day on Saturday, a post for the Reformation . . .

Undoing the Reformation?

One of the things that greatly helped the cause of the Reformation was technology - the advent of the printing press. Could technology now be undoing the Reformation?

Before the Reformation, the people were largely spectators in church. People watched what was happening (when they could see), but didn’t participate. There was very little preaching. Many didn’t understand the language (Latin), they didn’t sing (the choir did that), they seldom received the Sacrament of the Altar. It was for most “ocular” communion - the belief that they could receive some kind of benefit just by seeing the Body and Blood of Jesus lifted up by the priest, whatever “hocus pocus” had caused the bread and wine to be changed. For most, it was the “professionals” who were doing what needed to be done. The people just watched (when they could see), or prayed at side altars.

The Reformation changed all that. With the German Mass, people sang parts of the liturgy in their own language. They sang hymns that taught the faith. The Words of Jesus in the Sacrament were spoken loudly and clearly for all to hear. They received the Body and Blood of Jesus (both kinds, not just one), and frequently. Church was for them again!

But today, and especially with the rise of Covid, many people have reverted to watching church again. Because people could not come to church, churches (including mine) now live stream services on the internet. But I wonder - are people participating? Certainly, they cannot receive the Body and Blood of Jesus at home, but what else are they not doing? Do they stand at the appropriate times? Speak the congregational parts? Kneel? Confess? Bow their heads? Or do people just sit and watch as spectators again? The situation is not quite as bad as before the Reformation, since the preaching and liturgy are in the language of the people, but I wonder how many are watching the whole service? How many fast forwarding to the sermon? How many not even listening to the whole sermon?

Live streaming and recorded services can be good and provide a valuable service . . . for those who must quarantine, those who cannot physically come to church, the sick, and perhaps also as an introduction to the church for those unfamiliar with it. It is easier to click and watch before stepping in the door. Those are good things. But if the electronic church becomes a substitute for those who can come, and should come, if it makes the people into spectators again (as sometimes happens in some “contemporary” services, which are more of a show than participation by the congregation), then are we unwittingly undoing the Reformation (at least in regard to worship)? Leaving church to the “professionals” again. That would not be good.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Good Virus and Coronavirus Information Video

I was informed about this video which explains viruses in general, and has a lot of information about the coronavirus in particular. The man presenting is a virologist and also the mayor of a town in California. His presentation is clear and easy to understand. I believe it is non-partisan, which seems to be hard to come by these days! (I cannot tell what political party he belongs to.) About 25 minutes into the video, after he gets through a lot of virus stuff, he starts to talk about the situation in California in particular - but not for too long. There is good stuff after that section, too, so don't turn it off at that point. So anyway, if you're not too Covid-weary and would like some clear information (and about viruses in general), click here.