Sunday, October 30, 2011

Near Miss at Harper's Ferry

Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, is a GREAT train watching spot.  You can see a video that I shot there a couple of years ago here (the good one got deleted somehow, but that's the way it goes).

But this video, which is making the rounds on trainwatching websites, is rather disturbing.  It reminds us that when you're out train watching, you need to be aware of your circumstances!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Masaki Wins--AGAIN!

Dr. Naomichi Masaki (right), along with Dr. Timothy Quill (center), and Dr. Albert Collver (left), have argued for years that the appropriate response to "The Lord be with You," should be "And with Your Spirit."

Well, now the Pope agrees with them, so I guess it's settled.  See the following:

  • "Perhaps the most basic change will be when the priest says: 'The Lord be with you.' The congregation will no longer say 'And also with you.' The new response is 'And with your spirit.'"

Masaki wins--again!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ACNA/LCMS Dialogue at CTS

This coming Thursday and Friday, October 27-28, Concordia Theological Seminary will be hosting the dialogue between the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and our own Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.  This will be the third in a series of four planned meetings between the two church bodies and will address the theme Contemporary Issues Facing the Church in North America.

The ACNA’s website describes the church body as “the reuniting of orthodox Anglicans who have been squeezed out of the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada by successive changes to historic Christian teaching and Anglican practice.”

Representatives of the LCMS to the dialogue are Dr. Matthew Harrison, president of the LCMS; Dr. Albert Collver III, director of Church Relations – assistant to the president; Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, executive director of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR); Dr. Lawrence Rast, CTCR chairman and president at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne; Rev. Larry Vogel, CTCR staff member; and Dr. Frederic Baue, pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Fairview Heights, Ill.  Dr. John Stephenson has represented Lutheran Church—Canada.

Official representatives of the ACNA have included Archbishop Robert Duncan, primate of the ACNA; Bishop Wes Nolden of the Missionary Diocese of the Central States;  and Dr. Jonathan Riches, associate professor of liturgics theology and assistant academic dean at Reformed Episcopal Seminary; and Bishop Ray Sutton of the Diocese of Mid-America.  They will be joined at this dialogue by Dr. Grant LeMarquand, professor of biblical studies and mission, Trinity School for Ministry, Pittsburgh, Penn.

The first session of the dialogue was held at Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis (November 10-11, 2010), and addressed the theme “The Background and Identity of Our Churches.”  The second was on the campus of the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Blue Bell, Penn. (May 12-13, 2011), and considered “Authority in the Church.”Background on the dialogue may be found at the following links:

Recently, the Commission on Theology and Church Relations of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod offered the following rationale for such dialogues.  I hope you find it of value.

2011-09-17 - CTCR - Theological Dialogue With Other Christian Church Bodies

Former UMC Seminary Takes New Direction in Theological Education

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saint Paul in London Affected by "Occupy" Forces

St. Paul's Cathedral closes, asks protesters to leave

London (ENInews)--Due to health, safety and fire concerns connected with an anti-corporate protest camp at its doors, St. Paul's Cathedral, London's 16th-century landmark, announced it is closing until further notice and asked the protesters to leave. "The decision to close ... is unprecedented in modern times," said the Rev. Graeme Knowles, the cathedral dean, in a statement on St. Paul's website ( With hundreds of people and about 200 tents pitched around the huge building, "health, safety and fire officers have pointed out that access ... is seriously limited. With so many stoves and fires and lots of different types of fuel around, there is a clear fire hazard. Then there is the public health aspect which speaks for itself. The dangers relate not just to cathedral staff and visitors but are a potential hazard to those encamped themselves," Knowles said. [381 words, ENI-11-0572]

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Brazilian Lutherans Prepare for Reformation Anniversary

Brazilian Lutherans prepare for Reformation anniversary

By: Marcelo Schneider

In 1517, German monk Martin Luther published his "95 Theses" – criticisms of Catholic Church practices that inspired the growth of Protestantism. Photo: Shutterstock
Porto Alegre, Brazil  Leaders of two Brazilian Lutheran churches on Oct.18 said that local events in 2017 commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation would include creation of a space called "Luther Square" in Porto Alegre.

This city is the location of the national headquarters of theEvangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil(IECLB) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil (IELB). The IECLB is a member of the Lutheran World Federation(LWF) and the IELB is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church  Missouri Synod (USA).
At a launch event here, the churches also presented a commemorative stamp and shared their plans for common publications leading up to the anniversary. In 1517, German monk Martin Luther published his "95 Theses" in Wittenberg, Germany   criticisms of Catholic Church practices that inspired the growth of Protestantism, including establishment of the Lutheran Church.

IELB president, the Rev. Egon Kopereck, noted that the commemoration is a unique opportunity to emphasize the centrality of the word of God as the greatest legacy of Luther's movement.

The president of IECLB, the Rev. Nestor Friedrich, stressed that anniversary should be relevant to the life of churches today. "[It] allows an analysis of theological heritage and of our own history. We have the possibility to reaffirm, to rediscover and to contextualize Lutheran theology and its contribution, especially in Brazil," said Friedrich.

The event was attended by the mayor of Porto Alegre, Jose Fortunati, Roman Catholic Archbishop Dom Dadeus Grings and the moderator of the Central Committee of the Geneva-based World Council of Churches, the Rev. Walter Altmann, among other authorities.

(Marcelo Schneider is communications liaison for Latin America with the World Council of Churches)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bad News for Lutherans and other Christians in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan religion law would re-impose controls over churches

Warsaw, Poland (ENInews)--A Roman Catholic church leader in Kazakhstan has warned legislators they will be violating international commitments if they press ahead with legislation that would reimpose Soviet-style controls over churches and religious communities. "There's an international agreement between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Holy See, spelling out our rights to freedom of religion and worship," said Bishop Theophilus Howaniec, former secretary-general of the Roman Catholic Bishops Conference. The draft "Law on Religious Activity and Religious Associations," approved on 29 September by Kazakhstan's senate upper house, would ban unregistered religious activities, restrict religious literature and require government permission for "missionary activity." [485 words, ENI-11-0553]

Monday, October 10, 2011

Saint Joanna in Prague

Visiting Saint Vitus Cathedral in Prague on Sunday, we stumbled across a window that included Saint Joanna. Our daughter is Joanna, and this, of course, made us think of her and miss her. She is a saint, after all!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 07, 2011

Major Demographic Shift is under Way in Christianity, Say Scholars

From Ecumenical News International

Manado, Indonesia (ENI)--Scholars claim the biggest change in the history of Christianity is underway amid the religion's move to Africa, Latin America and Asia. "The story of Christianity as a worldwide faith is being written before our eyes," declared Dr. Dana Robert of Boston University School of Theology, as she addressed a group of world church leaders at the Global Christian Forum (GCF) in Manado, Indonesia. [344 words, ENI-11-0539]

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs in Prague

Walking through Prague this evening, Amy and I came upon this memorial to Steve Jobs at the nearest thing to an Apple store in the city.  Interesting...