Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We Got Spirit, Yes We do! We Got Spirit, How 'Bout You?!

Nothing surprises me anymore about happenings in the LCMS.  That's what saddens me.  I think I've been desensitized to what should shock any true Lutheran.  I'm not over being greatly perplexed about many things, just not as shocked or surprised as I once was. 

Anyway, in the realm of, "Wow, I can't believe this is happening, but not surprised that it is," I was alerted to the Commissioning Service being suggested for participants to the 2010 LCMS National Youth Gathering.  It is suggested that this Commissioning may take place in a congregation's worship service (or as a special service or in a different congregational setting).  The whole Commissioning strikes me as way, way over the top, as if attending the National Youth Gathering is one of the absolute most important things these young people will ever do in their lives.  For Pete's sake, it's just a Youth Gathering!  Calm down, will ya?  Say a prayer for the kids and adults who will be accompanying them during the Prayer of the Church in the Divine Service.  That would be more than enough.  Instead, they put together this super-duper, special Commissioning Service, giving the impression that these kids will be going on some life-changing pilgrimage or something, where their Christian faith will be impacted like never before.  Good grief!

Anyway, besides all that, what really strikes me as not only way, way over the top, but as completely inappropriate for the Divine Service is the "Confessional Cheer" (yeah, that's right, "confessional cheer") which is an optional conclusion to the Commissioning.  Actually, it seems inappropriate no matter where or when it would take place, but it definitely has no place in the Lord's House.  Here is the "Confessional Cheer":

(The commissioning may be completed with this responsive confessional cheer or it may be used by the group prior to the time they depart for the Gathering.)

Leader:      Do you believe?
ALL:          Yes! WE BELIEVE!
Leader:      Do you believe?
ALL:          Yes! WE BELIEVE!
Leader:      Do you believe?
ALL:          Yes! WE BELIEVE!
Leader:      Do you believe in the Father?
ALL:          We believe in the Father!
Leader:      Do you believe in the Son?
ALL:          We believe in the Son!
Leader:      Do you believe in the Spirit?
ALL:          We believe in the Spirit.
Leader:      Holy God, Three in One?
ALL:          Holy God, Three in One!
Leader:      As it was in the beginning?
ALL:          As it was in the beginning!
Leader:      As is now, shall ever be?
ALL:          As is now, shall ever be!
Leader:      We believe, now and forever!
ALL:          We believe! We believe!
Leader:      We believe!
ALL:          We believe!
Leader:      We believe!
ALL:          We believe!
Leader:      We believe!

Leader:  May God bless and keep you, now and forever in the name of our incredible God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Congregation: Amen! Go in peace. Serve the Lord!

Youth and Adults: Thanks be to God!!!

(*) Based on Ephesians 3:18. This commissioning was written by Rev. Dr. Terry Dittmer, Director of LCMS District and Congregational Services – Youth Ministry.

Seriously?  A pep rally?  In God's House?  Seriously?  I thought it was a house of prayer, not a gymnasium.  Oh, well, as I said, nothing surprises me anymore.  

And people wonder why so many of us will not support, or send our youth to, our own National Youth Gathering. 

Lord, have mercy!    


meggers said...

I like the "Benediction." Eww... What IS that?

William Weedon said...

You obviously are an angry, bitter self-determined Confessional sort....


It's HORRIFIC! What was Terry thinking?

Rev. Thomas C. Messer, SSP said...

I have no idea what that is . . . but, it's certainly no Benediction. Whatever!

Rev. Thomas C. Messer, SSP said...

Pr. Weedon,

Bitter and self-determined, but not angry . . . :)

As for what Terry was thinking, I'd say he was thinking as he normally does. Not shocked at all that he put this together.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

But you don't understand. . . if you work in youth ministry, this convention is TEH MOST AWESOME N IMPORTANT THING EVAR!!!!!

At least until the one in 3 years, which will then be the most important thing. Because really, the trips we go on as Teens and the time we spend in high school is the high light of all of our lives. . . oh, wait, now I want to hurl.

IggyAntiochus said...

Sing Alleluia, Amen!
Let your prayers and your praises ascend!

Note to pastors and "worship teams" everywhere: When you tinker with the Gloria Patri or the Triune Invocation, it ceases to be a reminder of our Baptism, because all that extra stuff gets in the way!

Rev. Thomas C. Messer, SSP said...

Pr. Brown,

Like, you know, I tottally git what u sayin'! Like, I worked, like, in "youth ministry" for years and, like, yeah, whatevver is happenin' now is the mostest importantest thing in a teen's life. But, you know, like, that the adults foster this immature mentality, like, makes me want to hurl, too. :)


Amen, brother!