Pr. Sophie's Christmas Sin Quiz: Pastor Sophie remembers fondly the Christmases of her childhood, and particularly the long hours following Christmas dinner when the dishes had been cleared away and the Fortresson family gathered around the table year after year to talk about sin, what it is and what it means.
Pr. Sophie continues to practice Yuletide contemplation of the Happy Fault (Felix culpa), and she encourages you to do the same.
Here are 10 questions to guide your Christmas meditation on sin. If you choose to respond to the questions, Pr. Sophie promises to discuss the results in a future issue of Lutheran (True!) Confessions.
Extravagance (Luxuria): Who says Lutherans don't know about Luxury? When you want to indulge yourself, nothing else says extravagance as boldly as the Official LutheranConfessions.com BASEBALL CAP!
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Evangelical Lutheran Worship: what's all the fuss about? Find out for yourself.
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Pr. Sophie is all a-Twitter. Again.
Pr. Sophie's Tweets:
Hot Dish Hotline: "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." What have you seen or heard that other people really need to know about? Use the Hot Dish Hotline to submit your item online.
Concordia Not For Sale. Really.: On December 16, nine leaders of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) issued a statement denying that there are any plans to sell either of the synod's seminary campuses, Concordia Seminary (St. Louis) and Concordia Theological Seminary (Fort Wayne).
The statement reads in part:
In recent months, speculation concerning the possible sale of one or both of the LCMS seminary campuses has taken place in public and private forums. This speculation has proven detrimental to the mission of our seminaries...
[T]here is no plan or proposal being considered in any of the groups with which we are associated to sell one or both of the LCMS seminary campuses.
As the majority of the participants at the recent Pastoral Ministry Summit concluded, the two LCMS seminaries should continue to serve as the hubs for theological education in the LCMS. We desire that the speculation referenced above would end and that all in our Synod would continue to support our seminaries in Fort Wayne and St. Louis with prayer, prospective student referrals, and monetary offerings.
The statement was signed by Rev. Dr. Gerald Kieschnick (President, The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod), Rev. Donald Muchow (Chairman, Board of Directors, The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod), Rev. Dr. Larry Stoterau (President, Pacific Southwest District; Chairman, Council of Presidents), Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer(President, Concordia Seminary), Rev. Dr. Dean Wenthe (President, Concordia Theological Seminary), Mr. James Ralls (Chairman, Board of Regents, Concordia Seminary), Rev. Wayne Graumann (Chairman, Board of Regents, Concordia Theological Seminary), Mr. John Behrendt(Chairman, Board for Pastoral Education), andRev. Dr. Glen Thomas (Executive Director, Board for Pastoral Education).
Our fact checkers were unable to locate the source of the rumor being squelched.
Trademarking the Papacy: On Saturday December 19, the Secretariat of State of the Holy See issued DECLARATION ON THE PROTECTION OF THE FIGURE OF THE POPE to assert a unique copyright on the figure of the Pope. The declaration reads:
Recent years have witnessed a great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father. There has also been a desire to use the Pope's name in the title of universities, schools or cultural institutions, as well as associations, foundations and other groups.
In light of this fact, the Holy See hereby declares that it alone has the right to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter, and, therefore, to protect the figure and personal identity of the Pope from the unauthorised use of his name and/or the papal coat of arms for ends and activities which have little or nothing to do with the Catholic Church. Occasionally, in fact, attempts have been made to attribute credibility and authority to initiatives by using ecclesiastical or papal symbols and logos.
Consequently, the use of anything referring directly to the person or office of the Supreme Pontiff (his name, his picture or his coat of arms), and/or the use of the title 'Pontifical', must receive previous and express authorisation from the Holy See.
Healing Cain: On December 23, with virtually no shopping days left before Christmas, our friend Pr. Jen Rude sent us a notice about a new book by Pr. Ron Rude, Jen's father: Abel Emerging, A Reconsideration of the Christian Story for a Sustainable World.
The book looks to the Biblical witness for resources to address the environmental catastrophe that looms in the near future. Where in the Bible is there anything analogous to the crisis of our time? What in the Bible helps us live responsibly within God's creation without excusing ourselves from the consequences of the way we have lived?
Jen is pretty excited about this book, and she's not one to be enthusiastic over trifles. We think it's worth a look.
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