With theWholeChurchA Study Guidefor Renewing Worshipwww.renewingworship.orgEvangelical Lutheran Church in America

With theWholeChurchA Study Guidefor Renewing WorshipEvangelical Lutheran Church in America

CONTENTS3With the Whole Church: Introduction6To the Leader9Session 1: Mission—Worship and the Unfolding Purpose of God18Session 2: Worship Is Central27Session 3: Means of Grace—The Word Preached, Proclaimed39Session 4: Means of Grace—The Word in Holy Baptism and Holy Communion48Session 5: Hospitality—The Promise to All59Session 6: Beyond Speech68Session 7: Renewing the TreasuryCopyright 2005 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. All rights reserved.Published by Augsburg Fortress, Publishers. Additional copies of this resource are available from Augsburg Fortress, (800) 328-4648 ( Permission is granted to reproduce With the Whole Church for local use, but not for sale, provided that all copies carry thecopyright acknowledgment printed at the bottom of each page. All other requests to reproduce the contents of this resource must be directed toPermissions, Augsburg Fortress, P.O. Box 1209, Minneapolis MN 55440-1209 ( from the Small Catechism by Martin Luther are from the contemporary translation by Timothy J. Wengert, copyright 1996Augsburg Fortress.Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible 1989 Division of Christian Education of theNational Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission.Selected quotations in sidebar copy are taken from Principles for Worship, copyright 2002 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, admin.Augsburg Fortress, and The Use of the Means of Grace, copyright 1997 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, admin. Augsburg Fortress.Contributors: Barbara Berry-Bailey, Lorraine Brugh, Michael Burk, Craig Mueller, Melinda Quivik, Robert Rimbo, Craig Satterlee, MarkStrobel, Scott WeidlerIllustrations: Daniel ErlanderDesign: Diana RunningEditors: Andrea Lee, Suzanne Burke, and Jessica HillstromManufactured in the U.S.A.6-0002-0827-8123

With the Whole ChurchIntroductionFor Lutherans, worship matters. In fact, worship lies at the heart of howwe understand ourselves together. Today, worship practices amongLutherans reflect different patterns, different pieties, different ethnicbackgrounds and experiences, and some influences that are not Lutheran at all.For the sake of the mission we share and with the hope of coming to understandmore deeply who we are as Lutheran Christians together, With the Whole Churchinvites people from every corner of the church into conversation and study aboutworship.This study guide is part of the Renewing Worship project, which was initiated bythe Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) inthe fall of 2000. Over the next five years, Renewing Worship involved thousandsof people in the process of identifying things we hold in common and developing materials that will shape the next generation of worship resources. Timing forthis shared work was determined by need. Recognizing growing diversity withinthis church regarding worship practices and the challenges of being responsive tochanging mission needs, Renewing Worship literally renewed an ongoing conversation.WITH THE WHOLE CHURCHWith the Whole Church copyright 2005 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. May be reproduced for local use.3

With the Whole ChurchIntroductionNotesAfter the first two years of consultation and work together, it was determined thatRenewing Worship should move forward toward the development of a diverseand more lasting family of worship resources that would have atits center a new primary book of worship. This newbook, available in both print and electronicforms, will be an important resourcefor worship and worship renewalamong Lutheran congregationsfor a generation to come.Asimportantasworshipresources can be to shaping thegatherings of faith communities, even more important isthe participation of people inworship and in the conversations that surround and supportworship. With the Whole Churchweall have a stake inwhat happens whenwe worship and a stake inreflects the conviction thatunderstanding why.This seven-session study is intended for the whole church: individuals and congregations, pastors and lay people, worship leaders and other members of Christian faith communities.4WITH THE WHOLE CHURCHWith the Whole Church copyright 2005 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. May be reproduced for local use.

With the Whole ChurchIntroductionIt is designed to be used in a variety of settings—in small groups and classes,Notesat committee meetings, or in homes. An entire congregation can read the session essays, then think and talk about them together. Any one person can usethe sessions within this booklet as a guide for reflecting on their part in theThe point and the hope is forpeople—lots and lots of people—to thinkand to share with one another, growing together inchurch’s worship life.our understanding of why worship matters and how worship draws us into God’sown mission.Each session includes an essay to be read by all participants, with suggesteddiscussion questions and activities that will help shape the conversation. In addition to the participant pages, leader helps are provided, which include summarydescriptions of each session, pointers for facilitating conversation, and suggestions for additional reading.With the Whole Church is not intended to cover everything about worship thatmatters. But because everything about worship does matter, churchwide conversation about worship has the potential of being a great gift to the church—thewhole church.WITH THE WHOLE CHURCHWith the Whole Church copyright 2005 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. May be reproduced for local use.5

To the LeaderWhether you are the one who leads your congregation’s weeklyadult forum, the chair of the worship committee, or the congregation’s music minister, as facilitator of this seven-session studyyour primary task is to create a setting in which people feel they can contributeto the conversation in ways that are comfortable to them.To this end, keep in mind that:1. You may need to fill some gaps.Be prepared with back-up resources,quotations, Bible texts, and your ownideas if conversation gets bogged down.2. You are the timekeeper. You may need tohelp the group, whether large or small,keep their conversation moving forward.3. When talkers dominate the discussion,you may need to break in—sometimesgently, other times more directly—sothat other people can offer their ideas.A simple “Thank you, Clarice/Clarence,for your insights. What do the rest of you think about that?” often isenough.4. You may need to establish ground rules for your conversation at your firstsession, such as:giving everyone a chance to speak;not insisting that everyone speak;being active listeners (as opposed to grabbing the next opening in theconversation);6WITH THE WHOLE CHURCHWith the Whole Church copyright 2005 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. May be reproduced for local use.

To the Leaderhonoring, rather than judging or condemning, differing ideas;Notes“telling what’s yours to tell” within the discussion group and beyond.If your study group numbers ten to twelve people or fewer, try having yourdiscussion as one group. If you discover you have a group with many verbal people, then break the group into smaller groups of three to five people. The essentialthing to consider, more than exact number, is the mix of people and their personalities. Aim for a mix and a number that will allow everyone to contribute.If your group is large, create smaller conversation groups of about five people. In each of these groups, ask someone to facilitate the conversation. Theirjob is to keep the group “on task” with discussion questions and any other activities you have decided to include with the session.General preparationBefore Session 1, read With the Whole Church: the introduction and all seven sessions. Review the session opening and closing suggestions and make adaptationsas needed to suit your study group and your setting. Identify and gather the resources you will need for the sessions, suchas hymnals, Bibles, worship books, and items related to baptism andcommunion. Visit the Renewing Worship Web site at tolearn about available resources. Review the list of further resources included with each session and selectthose you will want to consult or to have at hand for the session. Publicize the study and make copies of the guide available in advance tointerested participants.WITH THE WHOLE CHURCHWith the Whole Church copyright 2005 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. May be reproduced for local use.7

To the LeaderNotesGeneral resourcesThe following resources provide additional background on worship matters.See the leader helps with each session for resources related to that particularsession. The books in the following list are available from Augsburg Fortress,Publishers, 1-800-328-4648 or Principles forWorship and The Use of the Means of Grace can be reviewed and downloadedat for Worship. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2002.The Use of the Means of Grace. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1997. (Alsoreprinted in Principles for Worship.)Worship Matters Series. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2004–. The seriesexplores worship-related topics growing out of the Renewing Worshipinitiative.Christopherson, D. Foy. A Place of Encounter: Renewing Worship Spaces(2004).Dahill, Lisa E. Truly Present: Practicing Prayer in the Liturgy (2005).Lathrop, Gordon W. Central Things: Worship in Word and Sacrament (2005).Quivik, Melinda A. A Christian Funeral: Witness to the Resurrection (2005).Ramshaw, Gail. A Three-Year Banquet: The Lectionary for the Assembly (2004). The Three-Day Feast: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter (2004).Rimbo, Robert A. Why Worship Matters (2004). Foreword by Mark S.Hanson.Torvend, Samuel. Daily Bread, Holy Meal: Opening the Gifts of HolyCommunion (2004).Ylvisaker, John. What Song Shall We Sing? (2005).8WITH THE WHOLE CHURCHWith the Whole Church copyright 2005 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. May be reproduced for local use.

LEADER HELPSSESSION 1MissionWorship and the Unfolding Purpose of GodSummaryThe first session explores the direct connection between worship and mission.Its goal is to help participants see worship as integral to God’s own mission.Prior to the session Locate your congregation’s mission statement and make copies for sessionparticipants. Make copies of the Introduction and Session 1 to distribute to participants. Make copies of Session 2 to distribute to everyone at the end of thesession. Choose a hymn or song that you know will be familiar to most of theparticipants and gather copies to use during the session. Print the list of “Proposed Hymns and Tunes” from the RenewingWorship Web site. Review the list and note hymns that are likely to beunfamiliar to your congregation and session participants. Make copies ofeither (1) the entire list or (2) an abbreviated list of those you have notedto distribute to participants. Set a small table in the center of the room. Place the following itemson it: a Bible, a bowl of water, a chalice (communion cup), and a paten(plate).Opening1. To begin the session, invite participants to gather around the table.2. Lead the group in this greeting:Leader: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.Participants: And also with you.With the Whole Church copyright 2005 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. May be reproduced for local use.WITH THE WHOLE CHURCH9

SESSION 1LEADER HELPSMissionWorship and the Unfolding Purpose of GodNotes3. Tell the group that the circle you form around the table is like awheel with the table and the things it holds (Bible, bowl of water,chalice, paten) the hub.4. Sing one stanza of the hymn or song you have selected.5. After the singing, invite participants to identify their favorite hymn.If the group is small, share the hymn names with one another andrecord their titles. If your group is large, to save time, have eachperson write the title of his or her favorite hymn on a piece of paper,then collect the slips. Tell participants that for each of the followingsix sessions, you will choose one of these hymns to sing.Adapt the session opening, as needed, to suit your setting.Reading and conversationIn this first session, Present ground rules for your conversation. Invite responses anddiscussion. Adjust the guidelines as needed. Briefly summarize the main points from the introduction to Withthe Whole Church (five minutes). Review the topics for each of the seven sessions. Distribute copies of the introduction and Session 1 to those who needthem. If your group is large, break into small groups for the discussion.(See “To the Leader,” pp. 6–8.) Invite participants to read the Session 1 essay to themselves, or havesomeone with a strong voice read it aloud, and slowly, to the group. Then direct attention to the discussion questions, which followthe essay, and the sidebar material. To begin conversation, inviteparticipants to respond to any one of these.10WITH THE WHOLE CHURCHWith the Whole Church copyright 2005 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. May be reproduced for local use.

LEADER HELPSSESSION 1MissionWorship and the Unfolding Purpose of God Fifteen minutes before the appointed ending time, wrap up conversationNotesand distribute copies of Session 2.Closing1. Distribute the full or abbreviated “Proposed Hymns and Tunes” list toparticipants. If you are using the abbreviated list, tell participants thatyou created this short list from the complete one.2. Ask participants to review the list and identify the unfamiliar hymnnames. As a group, decide on one you will agree to learn and, eventually,sing during the next six sessions as part of the Closing.3. Gather in a circle around the center table.4. Pray the Lord’s Prayer together.5. Invite people, one at a time, to go to the center table, dip their fingersin the bowl of water, make the sign of the cross on their forehead, thenreturn to their place in the circle. You, as leader, may go last. The groupis then dismissed.This closing pattern can be repeated each week. Be sensitive to participants’comfort level. For some, this will be a new experience that may take time andconversation to be well received. Adapt it, as needed, to suit your setting.Further resourcesBraaten, Carl E. and Robert W. Jenson, eds. The Strange New Word of the Gospel:Re-Evangelizing in the Postmodern World. Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 2003.Rimbo, Robert. Why Worship Matters. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2004, pp.23–32.Schattauer, Thomas H., ed. “Liturgical Assembly as Locus of Mission,” InsideOut: Worship in an Age of Mission. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999, pp. 1–21.“The Means of Grace and Christian Mission,” The Use of the Means of Grace, pp.55–59.With the Whole Church copyright 2005 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. May be reproduced for local use.WITH THE WHOLE CHURCH11

SESSION 1MissionWorship and the Unfolding Purpose of GodWhat does worship have to do with mission—with the unfoldingpurpose of God for the whole creation?Sometimes people have thought about these two dimensions ofthe church’s life in linear terms: worship is something that happens inside thechurch to equip us for something that happens outside the church’s walls—namely, mission.12WITH THE WHOLE CHURCHWith the Whole Church copyright 2005 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. May be reproduced for local use.

SESSION 1MissionWorship and the Unfolding Purpose of GodBut what if we used the image of a wheel to think about the dimensions of wor-Around God’s grace as the hub,worship and mission rotate in a continuouscircle, intertwined with one another, each leading into the other and outship and mission?again, constantly in motion.That grace-centered wheel, worship and missioncircling harmoniously together, may be seen in thisdescription from The Use of the Means of Grace (background 51A, adapted): Baptism and baptismal catechesis join thebaptized to the mission of Christ. Confessionand absolution continually reconcile thebaptized to the mission of Christ. Assembly itself, when that assembly is an open invitation to all peoples togather around the truth and presence of Jesus Christ, is a witness to theworld. The regular proclamation of both law and gospel, in scripture reading andin preaching, tells the truth about life and death in all the world, calls usto faith in the life-giving God, and equips the believers for witness andservice. Intercessory prayer makes mention of the needs of all the world and of allthe church in mission. When a collection is received, it is intended for the support of mission andfor the concrete needs of our neighbors who are sick, hurt, and hungry. The holy supper both feeds us with the body and blood of Christ andawakens our care for the hungry ones of the earth.WITH THE WHOLE CHURCHWith the Whole Church copyright 2005 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. May be reproduced for local use.13

SESSION 1MissionWorship and the Unfolding Purpose of GodLanguage used inworship has powerto form and shapebelievers, sending usfrom the assemblyto live as mercifuland just people whoserve the mission ofGod in this world.—Principles for Worship,application L-4C The dismissal from the service sends us in thanksgiving from what wehave seen in God’s holy gifts to service in God’s beloved world. By God’s gift, the Word and the sacraments are set in the midst of theworld, for the life of the world.Worship and mission are inextricably linked,not only to one another but also to God. God is the center, the hub that holdsthese dimensions of the church’s life together and empowers them. Our worshipdraws upon and focuses attention on the one who is the source of grace for ourGod is the one whom we meet inworship and who meets us: in the scriptures proclaimed, inlives and our world.the washing of holy baptism, in the triune name, in the meal of Christ’s gracious,self-giving presence, in the community called the body of Christ, in the poor.God is the center. God is the focus. Our invitation welcomes people to God, notto our membership rosters, our classes, our choirs, our words, our table.To the center of God’s grace we are joined. From that center God strengthens ourfaith, gathers us in community, and links us to the rest of the world. Yes, worshipequips us for mission, but this mission is to one another as well as to creation.Surely, worship helps us to share the good news, remember the poor, and serve14WITH THE WHOLE CHURCHWith the Whole Church copyright 2005 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. May be reproduced for local use.

SESSION 1MissionWorship and the Unfolding Purpose of Godthe Lord, because Christ is with us. But the direction is always two-way: we nur-Notesture one another, as well as the world, with God’s gifts of grace.Gathering in and being sent out is far more complicated than those simple directions suggest. The image of a circle helps us here, too. For the Christ aroundwhom we gather is always on the outside. He is the one who hangs out with taxcollectors and sinners, the one who hangs out with losers, the one who hangs onthe cross outside the boundaries of decency, the law, and respectable society. ThisJesus gathers us with the hungry, the naked, the imprisoned, and we don’t evenknow who all of them are. This Jesus stands with, embraces, and becomes one ofthe poor. This Jesus takes on the mortal, frail flesh of the sick, homeless, dispossessed, and hungry people we are.WITH THE WHOLE CHURCHWith the Whole Church copyrig