A very courageous decision, Reverend President!

I think this is what Sir Humphrey would call a “courageous” decision. My one time neighbour at Luther Seminary, now President of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the Revd Matt Harrison, has appointed a member of the Sentire Cum Ecclesia commentary table as the National Director of Worship for the LCMS.

Yes, we here at SCE all congratulate Pastor William Weedon on his new appointment. We say “courageous” because there was a time back in the 1990s when there was a distinct possibility that the LCMS would go the way of the Evangelical mainstream in the US and embrace the “Church Growth” methodology that treated worship as a tool for outreach and might well have gone the way of Willow Creek and Hillsong. Not so today! With the appointment of Pastor Weedon, Pastor Harrison has signalled a distinct shift in the direction of – not just the historical liturgy of Confessional Lutheranism, but a decidedly “catholic” (small c) direction in liturgy.

You can find out more about Pastor Weedon by visiting his blog – although, like your host here at SCE, Pastor Weedon doesn’t get as much time for blogging as he once did.

A search of “William Weedon” and “liturgy” on YouTube will throw up a lot of examples of Pastor Weedon’s liturgical preferences. Here is just one of them:

We should not assume that Pastor Weedon’s preferences for liturgical style are universal in the LCMS – although the same base that supported Pastor Harrison’s election as President will no doubt also support this appointment. The “worship wars” of the 1990s are far from over, however, so please pray for Pastor Weedon as he takes up this new appointment.

One of the fruits of the liturgical movement in the Catholic Church was the encouragement of a reawakening of liturgical sensibility among our Protestant brethren and sistern. As Catholics, we should view this development positively, as it emphasises the common Western liturgical heritage that they share with us. If we draw closer to one another in our way of praying, we can reasonably expect – according to the dictum lex orandi, lex credendi – that there will be a similar growing together in articles of faith. This can only be viewed as a good thing.

About Schütz

I am a PhD candidate & sessional academic at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. After almost 10 years in ministry as a Lutheran pastor, I was received into the Catholic Church in 2003. I worked for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for 18 years in Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations. I have been editor of Gesher for the Council of Christians & Jews and am guest editor of the historical journal “Footprints”. I have a passion for pilgrimage and pioneered the MacKillop Woods Way.
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