Monday, March 2, 2009

The CLCC - An Idea Whose Time Has Come

My wife Cheryl and I made the trek up I-5 to Marysville, Washington this weekend to attend the CLCC seminar on Evangelism, Outreach, and Assimilation. The seminar was held at Messiah Lutheran Church, whose undershepherd is a former pastor of ours, the Rev. Kurt Onken. I tried to get my wife to write this particular blog post, since she was there too, but she just wouldn’t buy off on the idea, so I guess you’re stuck with me.

The CLCC, or Confessional Lutherans for Christ’s Commission, is just under a year old, and is growing rapidly. Their objectives are “to foster a united and coordinated voice among Confessional Lutherans and to build up Christ's Church by providing education and training primarily for the laity, but also including commissioned workers and the clergy.” They travel the country giving seminars in host congregations to promote Confessional Lutheranism.

The instructor for our seminar was Pastor Dan Freeman, whose parish is in Chehalis, WA. We thoroughly enjoyed Pastor Freeman and his humorous but thoughtful style. The seminar started off discussing the theological side of evangelism, digging right into the Book of Concord. We explored the relationship between the role of the pastor and his parishioners as they relate to evangelism. Their entire focus stems from Article V of the Augsburg Confession. It is primarily through the Office of the Ministry and the proclamation of the Gospel and administration of the Sacraments through the pastor that lives are eternally saved, yet it is primarily through the parishioners, in their vocations, that people are brought to the Church.

This seminar discusses various ways that outreach and assimilation take place, always emphasizing that underlying all evangelism is Word and Sacrament, not gimmick and reliance on “us.” If the fundamental truths found in AC V are kept in view, other parts of the “plan” will naturally fall into place.

Our particular seminar was attended by 48 people, representing ten different congregations from area states. The CLCC is adding more instructors, since the demand for their services is rapidly growing, in a Synod where a thirst for catechesis is on the rise. They are also offering seminars on “Your Reformation Walk,” which “provides a history of the faith from the days of the early church father’s to recent times,” as well as a new seminar on Worship and the Divine Service, and another on LCMS Church Polity.

It's not possible to overemphasize the importance of a thoroughgoing catechesis, especially in light of the Synodical and secular climates in which we now live, and the CLCC is one organization that really does help fill that very important need. I hope you’ll consider joining their organization, and hosting them for a seminar in your area. More information can be found on their website.

Pictured above, Rev. Kurt Onken (in all black) with CLCC team members, from left to right, Gene White, Rev. Robert Harris, Rev. Dan Freeman, and Deanna White.

1 comment:

Preachrboy said...

Freeman is a classmate of mine and proof that like Nazareth, something good CAN actually come out of St. Louis.