Friday, May 29, 2009

Outstanding Lutheran Video

As we say in the South: "Hey y'all, watch this!"

This is a new YouTube video produced by Grace Lutheran Church is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Grace Lutheran's pastor, Rev. Mason Beecroft, along with having what may be to coolest name of any Lutheran pastor, is a really a bright, faithful, articulate and caring pastor.

This is really a well-done video that not only points out, but celebrates, the contrast that traditional, liturgical Lutheranism offers in a transient fad-driven rapidly-changing culture. It also shows that even in the buckle of the Bible belt, it is possible to be faithful to our Lutheran confession that:
"In our churches Mass is celebrated every Sunday and on other festivals when the sacrament is offered to those who wish for it after they have been examined and absolved. We keep traditional liturgical forms, such as the order of the lessons, prayers, vestments, etc." (Apology of the Augsburg Confession 24:1)
Pastor Beecroft and his parishioners are living proof that these are not just idle words, dusty and meaningless relics of a bygone age, but are part of a living, breathing, vibrant confession of a faith that is as fresh today as when it was founded by our Lord and handed over to the apostles. Long after coffeehouse "churches" have had to become tea houses, day spas, mini golf courses, bowling alleys, and line dancing studios (or whatever the latest and greatest desperate fads to keep people in a "church" will be over the years) - I suspect (and hope and pray) that Grace Lutheran Church in Tulsa, Okalahoma will continue to bring the very Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ to those of every age, race, and background to confess, receive forgiveness, pray, praise, and give thanks together - century after century, without gimmicks and without guile.

Well done, Father Mason and our brothers and sisters in Tulsa! (I have family in Tulsa, and I certainly know where to go to church when I'm in town).

And here is a nice bit of background about Grace Lutheran Church from the Brothers of John the Steadfast.

There are also a couple other videos out there as well, here and here.


Peter said...

Nice video. And, do you happen to use the same barber? The resemblance is striking.

James Sarver said...

I've been a member of Grace for 8 months after 42 years in another local congregation. I assure you it is an oasis in the desert. We would be honored to have you join us for worship.

Fr. D. said...

Just curious as a non Lutheran: does the Missouri Synod allow female Crucifers, Readers and Servers? Or any female presence liturgically East of the Altar Rail?
Fr. D.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Fr. D.:

Thanks for the excellent question.

My parish doesn't.

I do all the readings, and we have only altar boys. We only have male ushers and lay assistants for the liturgy.

We have women who serve on the altar guild, taking care of the holy vessels and linens. They serve reverently within the chancel before and after Mass, but in no way as part of the public liturgy of the Church.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of diversity in the LCMS in this regard. As far as Grace Lutheran in Tulsa goes, I think I'll contact Fr. Beecroft and ask him about it.

It may be that he has inherited a practice that he is working to do away with (which takes pastoral tact). Or, he may not see a problem with it. I honestly don't know.

The Gospel is a double-edged sword in Missouri.

The good news is: we do have a real sense of Christian liberty in that we don't have canon law regarding things not explicitly addressed in Scripture (adiaphora).

The bad news is: we do have a real sense of Christian liberty in that we don't have canon law regarding things not explicitly addressed in Scripture (adiaphora). ;-)

So, while we don't have stifling bureaucratic control over local liturgical custom, we also have outright liturgical chaos in some places.

In a way, I wish we did have canon law, but on the other hand, if we did, we might find ourselves banned from genuflecting and elevating in some jurisdictions in the LCMS.

So, I suppose we should just let well enough alone and strive to convince our brother pastors to respect ancient tradition and catholic practice.

Thanks again!

Mason said...

Fr. D.,
Father Hollywood has answered the question for me. I wish we had canon law.... Our congregational polity allows for a wide range of freedoms that can bind the parish pastor.
+Pr. Beecroft