I want to thank Reporter and Dr. Bruce Hartung for his April “Pressure Points,” which addressed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
My husband is a Vietnam War veteran and retired LCMS pastor who has PTSD. He retired from our church of 18 years because of this disability.
Many in our church family did not understand, as was also the case with some pastors, family members, and friends. It was so hard on my husband to explain to people how this affected our daily lives.
I pray sincerely that our pastors and church families have a kind and understanding heart for men and women affected with PTSD.
It is real, and it doesn’t go away.
The “President’s Leadership News” insert with the March Reporter carried an article describing one church’s approach to evangelism.
The article stands as an important reminder that our congregations should be “people-friendly” places. More than a program, this entails an individual commitment to being friendly and welcoming.
Still, I believe the application of those principles should be carried out thoughtfully.
Yes, greet one another when you come to church. You don’t have to look like you resent being there. The people you sit with to hear God’s Word are your family in Christ!
In my opinion, there is no great merit in a sanctuary “abuzz” with loud conversation. Many people wish to greet their neighbors and then use the time before the service to prepare for their encounter with God as He comes to them in the preaching of the Word and in Christ’s true body and blood.
It was stated in the article that new members are trained in classes to welcome those they meet.
Perhaps it would serve new Lutherans better to train them to use the time before the Divine Service in prayer and reflection on the texts and themes of the day.
In that regard, I recommend Lutheran Service Book, which has inside its front cover an extensive section of prayers to help prepare for worship.
Yes, be friendly. But the most important encounter that congregations should prepare for in worship is their encounter with God.
Rev. Steve Sommerer
Please send letters via e-mail to REPORTER@lcms.org or by mail to REPORTER Letters, 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7295. Please include your name, postal address, and phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. — Ed.
Posted May 1, 2007