Thursday, May 7, 2009

Study Says LCMS Safest from Swine Flu

In a letter to pastors across the nation addressing the swine flu pandemic, LCMS officials reassured clergy that their churches are among the safest from the threat of this disease. The letter cited the two main areas of exposure to the swine flu as evidence:

"The flu has been shown to spread most effectively among those who have recently traveled through the poorer parts of Mexico, as well as those who have close contact with Mexican immigrants. Since the number of LCMS congregations actually going to Mexico on mission trips is negligable and the percentage of Hispanics in our congregations is miniscule, we should be relatively well protected."

The letter went on to state, however, that LCMS members should still be cautious in their everyday activities, taking special care not to get too friendly with anyone who looks too different from themselves.

Also in the letter was an encouragement to show "solidarity" with our Hispanic brethren, including a suggestion that congregations sing their token hymn in their Lutheran Service Book hymnal, "Alabare."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Synod Threatens Lawsuits against Email Exclaimers

ST. LOUIS- Tired of getting emails wherein individual words are followed by a long string of exclamation points? So, apparently, are the directors of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

The Synod's Board of Directors on Monday issued a "cease and desist" order to anyone using exclamation points at the end of words because of a pending synodical trademark on exclamatory words. Those who use single exclamation points at the end of exclamatory sentences may not be included. While the language is ambiguous, sources close to those using exclamation points at the end of words suppose a lawsuit is what's entailed in the phrase "Legal Action!"

Phone calls to the Board of Directors! went unreturned.

Webster announces new word for 2009: Close[d]

SPRINGFIELD, MA- The newest word in the Merriam-Webster collection of words is one that's near and dear to the hearts of many in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The world's leading publisher of dictionaries has added a word that's been circulating in Missouri Synod circles for decades. The word? Close[d].

Pronounced, "oh-puhn," it's a word that Missouri Synod pastors use to describe their altar fellowship. Both "close" and "closed" have been in Merriam-Webster's dictionary for quite some time, but neither correctly describes the practice of letting parishioners decide for themselves if they're supposed to be receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus at the eucharist.

John Morse, president and publisher of Merriam-Webster describes the includion of a word with brackets as a "bit wacky," but he concludes, "I guess we had to include it. Dictionaries, like CTCR decisions, are descriptive and not prescriptive."