Church Fellowship’ study
When the cliche “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it” is quoted, I’m sure that eyes roll from many readers. But cliches are often true and the resources announced in the April Page 1 story headlined “‘Church Fellowship’ website offers resources for study” remind me of its truth. Why are so many important writings on fellowship ignored?
Rev. Mark Louderback
The Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III, the Synod’s director of Church Relations, who is leading development of the website for the Office of the President, responds to the Rev. Mark Louderback’s letter with what follows. — Ed.
Thanks to Pastor Louderback for expressing a desire to see more resources commended for the study of Article VI of the Synod’s Constitution on the “Church Fellowship” website.
As the Reporter story indicated, the Church Fellowship website launched with some preliminary documents with the intention of adding more. We are in the process of adding more documents to the website and will continue to do so in the future — documents that express the official position of the Synod, documents commended to the Synod for study (primarily Commission on Theology and Church Relations [CTCR] documents), and private writings that help elucidate Article VI.
Although over the years many documents have been written on the topic of church fellowship, the Synod’s official position on church fellowship is primarily found in four documents: Article VI of the Synod’s Constitution; C.F.W. Walther’s book Church and the Office of the Ministry; The Brief Statement (1934); and Theology of Fellowship (1965), adopted by the 1967 Synod convention in Resolution 2-13. These documents state the official position of the Synod.
Other documents from the CTCR have been commended to the Synod for study, but have never been adopted as the official position of the Synod. The ‘Church Fellowship’ website has been updated to include the CTCR documents to facilitate the study of Article VI.
In an effort to keep the website manageable, the number of private documents and opinions regarding church fellowship will be added as they are found to be helpful in explaining the official position of the Synod. Check back periodically, because over the next three years additional materials will be provided to aid the Synod in its important study of Article VI of the Constitution.
This is in response to the March Page 1 story with the headline, “CTCR releases ‘framework’ for addressing immigration.”
Since my parents came to this country when it was just a matter of walking across the bridge, and with all the talk of “illegals,” the article by Adriane Dorr looked interesting. But then the statement “potentially illegal decision of ministry to undocumented immigrants” made me feel that whoever came up with [it] is dealing with something out of bounds.
Did the Samaritan check the nationality of the man lying by the roadside? Did Paul check the nationality of those in prison when he shared the Gospel with them? Did Jesus check the nationality of the ones He healed?
There is an organization in town that offers all sorts of help to those who come to this country in search of a better life. No, it is not a Lutheran organization, but headed by an ex-priest.
Why does the CTCR have to decide whether it’s “legal” to help a person in need?