“Christ For Us: The Lord’s Supper”
@ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Lincoln Nebraska
Few matters have stood so consistently central as a point of contention in the Christian Church than the doctrine and practice of the Lord’s Supper. From the first century controversy in Corinth regarding the very nature and purpose of the Lord’s Supper (I Corinthians 10-11), to the Reformation debate between Luther and Zwingli concerning the presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper (Marburg Colloquy), to the contentious councils of early American Lutherans over Communion fellowship (Akron/Galesburg Rule), we still find today ongoing controversy as to who and under what circumstances is Holy Communion to be administered at our Lutheran altars.
Though already resolved in the Missouri Synod in C. F. W. Walther’s Theses on Communion Fellowship With Those Who Believe Differently, these matters have nevertheless come to be points of contention today within our own fellowship, leading us to ask: How did this most blessed expression of Christian unity become such a matter of disunity in the LCMS? What do Scripture and the Confessions of the Church teach us, and are they still relevant for us today? Do historical context and situational ethics justify variances in understanding and application of the Supper in our times?
In keeping with our objectives to address errors within our fellowship “and institute Biblical practices that hold the promise of God’s blessing” (A Fraternal Admonition), we offer this Conference as an opportunity to provide the pastors and congregations of our Synod with both theological and practical helps from which to evaluate our current practices and challenges toward both faithful administration of the Sacrament and unity of faith in our common ministry and mission in the LCMS.
This Conference is designed to be a “working” Conference which will include both presentations for doctrinal study and Table Talk discussions to engage in “what does this mean” in carrying out faithfully the ministry and mission of our Lord. We pray that you will consider joining us in this fraternal effort to again find unity in our understanding and administration of the Holy Supper as taught in Scripture and our Lutheran Confessions.
Rev. James Gier, Conference Committee Chairman, ACELC
Guest speakers at the conference:
Dr. Detlev Schulz, Professor and Chairman of Pastoral Ministry and Missions, Concordia Theological Seminary—“Fellowship in Holy Communion”
Rev. Clint Poppe, Senior Pastor, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Lincoln, Nebraska—“Walther, The True Visible Church, and Holy Communion”
Dr. Holger Sonntag, LCMS Pastor and Author—“The Ban and Church Discipline in Holy Communion”
Dr. Mark Buchhop, Senior Pastor, Wittenberg Chapel – University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota—“TABLE TALK – Teaching Orthodox Communion”
Rev. John Pless, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions, Concordia Theological Seminary—“Holy Communion: Doctrine and Practice”; “TABLE TALK – Orthodox Communion Statements”
Rev. James Gier, Senior Pastor, Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Excelsior Springs, Missouri—“Exceptions in the Practice of Holy Communion”
Rev. Brent Kuhlman, Senior Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, Murdock, Nebraska—“Berthold Von Schenk: Historical Context and Critique”
Rev. Brian Saunders, LCMS District President, Iowa East District—“TABLE TALK – Orthodox Communion Casuistry”
Rev. Richard Bolland, Pastor Emeritus, Holy Cross Lutheran Church Kansas City, Missouri—“Our Lutheran Heritage”