• Celebrate the Lord's Supper every Sunday.
• Collect money and food every Sunday for mission and for the poor.
• Provide only one worship service for the congregation. If that's not possible, don't distinguish between the services on the basis of style, as if there were a "menu."
• Claim the lectionary as the congregation's book. Pass out the lectionary readings the week before, and read and talk about them at every parish meeting all week long.
• Keep the pastor company in conversation and prayer as he or she prepares to preach.
• Sing hymns at home, learning new ones being taught in church.
• Provide at least one sponsor for every person, child or adult, being baptized.
• Keep water in the font as a reminder of baptism.
• Hold an Easter Vigil, with as many people as possible participating in the liturgy's fire-lighting, the readings, the music, the baptisms and communion.
• Study the ELCA statement The Use of the Means of Grace
Gordon Lathrop may be terminating his 30-year career as a seminary professor, but he hasn't lost the fire in his belly to teach American Lutherans — and others — about what matters in worship.
If anything, the fire burns brighter than ever.
What matters most? That would be word and sacrament, he says without missing a beat.
It's no surprise, coming from Lathrop, a foremost international authority on liturgy. He fears that too many Lutheran leaders are identifying with American evangelicalism, which he calls "the dominant religion on the scene."
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