One thing I love about our tradition within Christianity is our deep love of the Scriptures. We in the LCMS are committed to the wisdom and authority of the Bible. With the psalmist we affirm, “I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (Psalm 119:16). The Word is as lofty as seeding our hope of everlasting life and as mundane as informing our decisions on trending social issues. It is a dynamic Word, working faith and dynamically shaping our life together. We see the Word as the truth about God, about us, and about everyone, not a truth, but the truth. We are people of the Book.
As Christ unites us, the written Word creates a cherished concord among us, a oneness of belief and confession, nurtured by a deep love and respect for one another. This is no small treasure. It defines us, and it has us talking theology, frankly, more than most denominations.
So on Saturday, February 18, representatives of MN South District churches will gather in six locations to talk theology. We’re calling it Koinonia 2.0. “Koinonia” is a New Testament word describing the deep fellowship we have with God and with one another. The Koinonia Project works toward greater concord in our confession and practice. The first round of Koinonia involved pastors meeting to discuss issues and practices calling for greater agreement among us.
Koinonia 2.0 will involve pastors, commissioned workers, and lay people. Each congregation may send up to three representatives. At six locations around the district a one-day colloquium will be held on one of the six chief parts of Luther’s Small Catechism: the Ten Commandments; the Creed; Holy Baptism; the Lord’s Prayer; the Lord’s Supper; and Confession and Forgiveness. At each location a resource theologian will present a brief paper on one of the six chief parts, focusing on the importance of that chief part for the church and culture today. Then small groups will meet to respond to these questions: What do we confess together regarding this chief article of doctrine? What do we reject together? And what aspect of this chief part do we need to discuss further?
On the basis of these discussions, our six resource theologians will develop “A Statement of Agreement” on the six chief parts of the Small Catechism. That statement will in turn be formally read and discussed with a follow-up plenary session of all representatives at a single site on a Saturday after Easter. The date will be announced. During and after this event, the statement will be offered for signatures, study, and conversation across our district.
If all this sounds a bit like Reformation-era convocations and diets, why not? It’s the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, for heaven’s sake! So think about setting aside Saturday, February 18, 9:00a – 3:00p, for a colloquium not far from where you live and worship. See your pastor for more details. Let’s celebrate the concord we have as we worship and witness together in our time. After all these years, the Word still has its way with us! And we love it!