“Koinonia Project” – Brief Report – October 2012
Purpose: The “Koinonia Project” is a long term initiative of the Office of the President of the Synod developing spiritual and theological solutions under the Word of God for some of our long term spiritual and theological issues in the Synod. The project fosters theological study and discussion groups at many levels designed to bring together capable and respected people to study God’s Word and the Confessions of our church so that, by God’s grace, we come to clear agreement on 1) the points at issue, 1 2) what we confess together, 3) what we reject and 4) what we will therefore do together, on the basis of Scripture and our Confessions. This effort to do so we have chosen to call “The Koinonia Project” because we pray God will build and strengthen our unity in the Word of God and our fellowship, our “koinonia” together.
During the present triennium, we have been developing a number of pilot projects as outlined below. Actually, the “Koinonia Project” will become, we pray, an opportunity for a cultural shift among us, a positive change in our shared expectations.
A Concept Paper for the project is available on the Synod’s website, www.lcms.org/page.aspx?pid=1041. The effort arises from the work of the “Harmony Task Force” appointed in response to 2007 Synod Resolution 4-01A and from a paper produced by President Matthew Harrison in 2009 entitled “It’s Time.” The “concept paper” has been reviewed a number of times by the Synod Praesidium, by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR), by the Council of Presidents and by an “advisory group” of pastors and district presidents. A final draft will be put up on the website soon.
Advisory Group: Pastor Wally Arp, St. Luke’s, Oveido, FL; Pastor Allan Buss, Immanuel, Belvedere, IL; President Terry Forke, Montana District; Pastor Wayne Graumann, Salem, Tomball, TX; President Dale Sattgast, South Dakota District; Pastor Harold Senkbeil, New Berlin, WI; President Anthony Steinbronn, New Jersey District (chosen while he was a district executive). This group has met several times by phone with First Vice President Herbert Mueller to discuss drafts of the concept paper and communicating the concepts more broadly. More evaluation and expansion are needed.
We Are in a “Pilot Phase”: At present we are trying several different approaches to see what works best. Pilot Projects are active in several districts – Nebraska, Northern Illinois and South Wisconsin. The Council of Presidents and the CTCR are helping with the concept and evaluations. Several circuits in various districts are also developing as “Koinonia Project Theological Study Groups,” circuits in Texas, Ohio and Kansas. We have been speaking in several other districts – Northwest, Wyoming, Rocky Mountain, Minnesota South and are looking to develop groups in those areas. We are working with local district leadership to design what will be most helpful in each context. In so doing, we want to learn as much as we can with these pilot projects.
What About the Future? We are just getting started. Just barely. This is a long term effort. Our theological faculties are being drawn into the process. The Office of the President is involved in Koinonia-like study projects. The Advisory Group will be expanded. Much work needs to be done to take this to the next level. More publicity within the Synod. Receive reports on how the various pilot efforts are doing. Develop a website that can be regularly updated with information about the “Koinonia Project.” Develop more resources, particularly Bible Studies. Develop cross-district efforts. Develop ways to share results of studies across the Synod, ways to collate and bring together these results. Involve colleges and seminaries more deeply. A new draft of the concept paper will be published soon. How will the work of local groups be expanded nationally, or at least more broadly? Watch this space for future information. Keep it in your prayers!
+ Herbert Mueller
First Vice President, LCMS
 In concert with the approach of the Formula of Concord, agreeing on the specific points at issue is the first and most important step toward genuine resolution of controversy and the restoration of concord.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Herb Mueller on October 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm, and is filed under Herb's Posts. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
about 3 years ago - Comments Off
Sermon preached by LCMS Vice-President Herbert Mueller on Thursday, September 22, 2011, at the National Mission Conference of members of the COP, District Mission Execs and others, for opening devotion.
about 3 years ago - 3 comments
You already know that Witness, Mercy, and Life Together describe what we, as the Body of Christ, do for the sake of the world. Each of the three depends on the other two. If our witness is separated from works of mercy, both are truncated. When we live together in the fellowship of the Gospel,…
about 3 years ago - 4 comments
Currently under development through the Office of the President of the Synod, the Koinonia Project is basically intended to draw the members of our Synod closer together in our confession of God’s Word. Just that statement alone begs the question – why is the Koinonia Project needed? What are the issues? What’s the real problem?…
about 3 years ago - 1 comment
The 2007 Convention of the Synod mandated a Task Force on Synodical Harmony appointed by the Board of Directors and Council of Presidents. After more than three years of work, this Task Force has issued a final report with a number of possible strategies. The President’s Office also is moving forward with a “Koinonia Project”…
about 3 years ago - Comments Off
In our previous posts we have outlined some of the theological and practical foundations of the “Koinonia Project.” Here we need to see how this effort fits the nature of the Synod as a fellowship of brothers and sisters sharing one confession. Article VII of the Synod’s Constitution reads, simply: In its relation…
about 3 years ago - Comments Off
This effort is being developed collaboratively to provide a means for studying and confessing the Word of God together with the prayer that God will use this process to resolve issues and behaviors that have been troubling our fellowship, our life together. The President’s Office, the Board of Directors, the Commission on Theology and Church…
about 4 years ago - Comments Off
The Word of God And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers (Acts 2:42). God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus…
Comments are closed.