Wednesday, June 9, 2010

You gotta check this out!

Okay, so I'm a day late and a dollar short on this, but I know there are still some of you who have not yet been introduced to the most excellent video presentations of my friend, Rev. Jonathan Fisk.  I met Pr. Fisk at the Brothers of John the Steadfast Conference earlier this year and had the opportunity to chat with him, get to know him a bit, and swap stories about life as a parish pastor, and about the writing assignments each of us are working on (which I'm betting that he'll complete far sooner than I ever will!).  Anyway, he uploads videos every Tuesday and Friday to his youtube channel, and not only are they wildly entertaining, but they are solidly Lutheran and very informative.  I HIGHLY SUGGEST that you check them out!

The video posted below is from a couple of weeks ago.  In it, Pr. Fisk does an awesome job of showing us what it actually looks like to change the style, but keep the substance of Lutheran worship by providing clips from our Lutheran brethren in Africa, and comparing and contrasting those clips with clips from American Lutherans whose changed style results in changed substance.  The constant argument employed by those in our midst who advocate and practice contemporary worship is that they are changing the style, but keeping the substance of our Lutheran confession of the faith.  Um, not so much, as can be clearly seen by Pr. Fisk's fine display in this video.  Again, check it out!  (I love the Sesame Street song - so on target!).   

Also in this video, Pr. Fisk presents a challenge to support the work of Pr. James May, who is a real, flesh-and-blood missionary doing wonderful work in Africa (i.e. he's not the sort of "missionary" so oft promoted in our midst today; you know, the kind of lay "missionary" who goes on a two-week vacation short-term "mission" trip to teach English as a second language and see the sights - NOPE!  He's a real missionary doing real Word and Sacrament Ministry in Africa, which is, sadly, a rather novel concept in our synod today).  Pr. May and his family need our support so that they can remain where they are and allow Pr. May to baptize, catechize, and feed the people there - you know, do what real missionaries do!  If you have the means, this is something well worth your support!  You can send donations to Pr. May's home congregation:

Bethlehem Lutheran Church
7500 State Road
Parma, Ohio 44134
(indicate "support Lutherans in Africa")

Okay, so here's the video (be sure to visit Pr. Fisk's youtube channel to see more of his great videos):


MITCH said...

Cool! Johnny and I are going on a short-term Missionary trip to Honduras July 17-24.

Trust me I don't think in La Ceibla
they have many tourist spots.

I hope on this short trip my son Johnny will come back with a different perspective of the world.
I guess the trip is really more for me and my Son to learn about Honduran's and how we can help them out when we have been given so much. HEBREW 13:20-21 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.

This is my prayer from the word of God to all my Brothers and Sisters reaching out to the World and spreading the Good News and Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and Savior.

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

Dear Mitch,

I pray God's blessings upon you and Johnny during your upcoming trip. For the record, I don't have a problem with the people of God traveling abroad for these short-term "mission" trips. My issue is with those who promote those who take these trips as missionaries on par with actual missionaries, who are called, ordained, and sent to establish Christian communities by baptizing, catechizing, and feeding people with the Word-Made-Flesh.

It is wonderful for the people of God, both clergy and lay, to travel abroad on a short-term basis and share their gifts with those in need (rebuilding after catastrophes, providing relief, teaching English as a second language, etc.), but this doesn't make them missionaries. It makes them caring, compassionate Christians who desire to love and help their neighbors (both near and distant) in need.

It is simply a lie to claim that our synod has hundreds of missionaries in the field, since that claim includes the counting of those who are not actual missionaries. We have redefined the word "missionary" to include any and all Christians who do any and all things in any and all places they go. That's just not true. That's my point.

I hope this makes sense. And, again, God's blessings be upon you and Johnny during your trip.

In Christ,
Pr. Messer

IggyAntiochus said...

I can't find the channel right now, but there is a clip of our african seminary singing hymns from the new French hymnal.

Rev. May is going to help me do a post regarding the ministry and training down there when he gets a little free time in the next few weeks.

IggyAntiochus said...

Oh, and those men can SING!