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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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One Lord, many songs

Wash. congregation finds a unifying way out of the worship wars

There's a controversy going on in many congregations. It's not about politics or theology but worship — traditional vs. contemporary. To accommodate tastes, many congregations offer two different worship services, one traditional, the other contemporary. But not Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Vancouver, Wash., across the Columbia River from Portland.

"We don't really like those terms," says Richard Jaech, the congregation's pastor. "It's a false either/or. It can also polarize a congregation, keeping people locked into just what they're getting."

Beautiful Savior draws upon a variety of resources to create worship that is at once liturgical and contemporary, seeking to appeal to various tastes while encouraging worshipers to expand their repertoire of ways to praise God.


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August issue

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