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Worship service reflects LCMS Convention theme

July 10, 2010 One Comment

HOUSTON—Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, emphasized the importance of forgiveness in his sermon for the July 10 opening service of the church body’s convention here.

“As we begin this [convention],” Kieschnick told worshippers at the George R. Brown Convention Center, “we do so in awe and admiration of our great and gracious and forgiving God, thanking Him for His forgiveness He offers us through Christ, seeking forgiveness from those against whom we have sinned, and forgiving those who have sinned against us. Such is our duty. Such is our privilege. For we are one people—forgiven!”

A children's choir from Houston-area congregations sings at the Opening Service for the 64th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

The Synod’s 64th Regular Convention is meeting July 10-17 under the theme “ONE People—Forgiven.” Among the approximately 3,000 participants are 1,218 clergy and lay voting delegates.

Kieschnick asked, “Is there anyone in this room who does not need forgiveness? Of course not! We all need forgiveness! We know it and God knows it! That’s why He sent His Son into this world, to live, to die and to be raised—to be the all-atoning sacrifice for my sin and for yours and for the sins of all the world—to bring us forgiveness.”

“Offering forgiveness in Word and Sacrament is the business of the church of Jesus Christ that includes The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. That is the hallmark of our faith,” Kieschnick said. Referring to the three “solas” (Latin for “alone”) of Lutheranism, he continued, “We believe, teach and confess that we are justified by God’s grace alone, saved by the God-given gift of faith alone, as communicated by God to the world in Holy Scripture alone.”

The 4 p.m. opening worship service—hosted by Trinity Klein Lutheran Church of Spring, Texas—included “a multitude of pastors and musicians from area Houston churches [who] have collaborated for nearly two years to contribute their own gifts for worship,” according to an introduction in the worship folder for the service.

Providing music for the service were a seven-piece praise band, a 28-piece orchestra, an organ, and children’s and adult choirs with 24 and 136 voices, respectively. The adult choir was visible through a translucent stage backdrop on which stained-glass and other colorful images were projected. Centered on the stage was the main altar made by the Center for Liturgical Art in Seward, Neb. That altar also will be used during worship for the 2010 National LCMS Youth Gathering, June 17-21 in New Orleans.

Local pastors (including Canadians currently serving congregations in Houston), the 35 LCMS district presidents and the president and vice presidents of the Synod also distributed communion from a dozen other altars stationed in the convention hall—each one representing a Synod congregation in the Houston area.

The Canadians were Rev. Dr. Scott Murray and Rev. Charles P. St-Onge. Rev. Michael Dorn, who served in Lutheran Church–Canada as a pastor and Secretary of Synod was a member of the service planning committee.

Scripture readings and prayers throughout the service were offered in various languages.

Report from LCMS News Service with files from Ian Adnams, LCC Communications

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