The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


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Worship needs more than leaders

Soon ELCA congregations will begin using a new constellation of worship resources. We’ve looked at several proposals over the past five years. Now we’ll look at a new book to help us worship. I hope you will dive into the pool and enjoy Evangelical Lutheran Worship.

I’m not trying to sell books. I’m inviting you into the ongoing renewal of our church’s worship life, which for many of us has been shaped by the Lutheran Book of Worship. That was and is a wonderful book. Now we’ll experience renewal’s next steps—on a path paved in many ways by LBW and continued with ELW.

The LBW brought significant changes in our worship. Baptism became far more central. We now sing the Psalms. We share texts held in common by most Christians. Hymns shared across denominations were included. LBW was the pacesetter for a remarkable series of new worship books in many Christian communions.

All of these worship practices about which I’ve been writing are for the sake of the assembly—a word that’s a bit slow in catching on.

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