This is my Pastor’s Ponderings article for the July-early August OS/Em Newsletter.
I want to share some thoughts about conversations that have occurred around the tables of Council meetings and the Parish Agreement Committee (PAC) to invite you all to think about what an arrangement between Our Savior’s, Nazareth and Emmanuel could and should be.
During the first meeting of the Parish Agreement Committee, we discussed one of the topics from the sample Parish Agreement template provided by the Synod. These aren’t their recommendations or suggestions, but simply decisions that need to be discussed and decided upon. One of the topics was worship. The template’s language was EITHER for each church to plan and print its own worship order and bulletin, or for the same order and bulletin to be printed and used by all churches.
The Committee took time to discuss the merits of both. In all honesty, it would be less work for our secretaries and me if each church used the same bulletin and service order each week. However, Emmanuel is still using the green Lutheran Book of Worship. To use the identical service, they would need to buy around 50 copies of the Evangelical Lutheran Worship book. Emmanuel is also the only church of the 3 that does not celebrate Holy Communion every Sunday.
Even if all 3 churches used the same hymnal, each church has a preferred setting, and different ways of conducting worship; even though each church may sing a different hymn of praise or version of “Lamb of God,” the same service is held at each church.
Personally, I don’t think that the service should be identical at the three churches. Each church currently conducts the worship service in slightly different ways. It is like a recipe for any dish; each cook adds their own variation, a bit more of this, a little less of that, or a surprise addition.
A second topic is bouncing between the Councils. I have shared a concern regarding this newsletter as we move forward. We are currently publishing the minutes of Council meetings at Our Savior’s and Emmanuel after they have been approved. In trying to figure out how to add the minutes of Nazareth, I realized we would be dedicating at least 2 of our 10 pages each issue to Council minutes.
At one of the Council meetings we discussed this, and came up with the alternative of printing and providing copies of EACH Council’s minutes upon approval at each church, on the tables where other materials are made available. The other councils discussed this, with some preferring to keep things the way they are, and some wishing to change.
As we move forward in establishing this new parish and ministry in the name of God, we do not need to do all things alike, but I believe we must do some things in unison.
Please share your thoughts with me, with your Council members and with your PAC representatives.
May you always feel God’s loving embrace,
Pastor Brian's Page
Pastor Brian Robert Campbell has served at Our Savior's and Emmanuel since August 1, 2011, and began serving Nazareth on December 1, 2015.
Pastor Brian is originally from Saginaw, Michigan. He graduated from Alma College with a B.A. in Business Administration, and worked for the Saginaw Public Schools' Community Education Department for 17 years before answering the call to ministry. He graduated with a M. Div. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2011. ONE in Christ Lutheran Parish is his first call.
He is the only child of Robert and Charlotte Campbell, both who have entered the Church Eternal.
He is accompanied in ministry by his faithful bulldogge Ananias, who regularly writes for our newsletter. His articles are archived here.
He is a fan of sports teams from his native Michigan, especially the Tigers and the Lions. But we tolerate him despite that.
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