Archive for March 2012

Leading Swedish Confessional Pastor Defrocked for Support of Mission Province

The consistory of Lund Diocese has declared Pastor Jan-Erik Appell no longer authorized to serve as a pastor in the Church of Sweden. Pastor Appell is retired after nearly 40 years of faithful service. A complaint was filed by an anonymous accuser over his current service on behalf of a Mission Province congregation in Kristianstad, in the southern Sweden’s Skåne (Scania) province. The decision, rendered March 14 was published yesterday, March 22. Pastor Jan-Erik Appell is chairman of the board of Kyrkliga Förbundet (The Church Federation), which sponsors the Lutheran School of Theology in Gothenburg, the Gothenburg Lutheran High school, the Confessional weekly magazine Church and People, and other leading Confessional Lutheran institutions in Sweden.

For the past twenty years, the Church of Sweden (CoS) has pursued a strategy of isolating and marginalizing its small confessional remnant. New ordinations of confessional men have been blocked since 1993. The politicians who control CoS planned that Confessional pastors would simply die off and not be replaced. The establishment in 2005 of the Mission Province jeopardized this strategy by reopening a path to ordination for confessional candidates. In fact, two of the first Mission Province pastors ordained were Jan-Erik Appell’s sons, David and Jakob Appell. The Rev. Jakob Appell is well known in America as a S.T.M. graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary and as chairman of Corpus Christi, the pan-Scandinavian Confessional Lutheran youth movement patterned after Higher Things.

For seven years, CoS and the Swedish media have attempted to isolate and silence the Mission Province by ignoring the movement, hoping it would fade away. Lately, apparently in response to pressures from impatient radicals, CoS has embarked on a strategy of more active persecution. In addition to the action against Pastor Appell, Bishop Per Eckedal of Gothenburg Diocese recently issued a letter to all pastors in the diocese warning that involvement in Mission Province congregations or koinonias would be grounds for being defrocked. Pastors in that diocese are only beginning to respond, some challenging the legality or accuracy of the bishop’s interpretation of Swedish church law – which has not previously found involvement in such movements problematic, at least since repeal of the Swedish conventicle acts in the mid-1800s.

The formal accusation against Pastor Appell is that, by engaging with the Mission Province congregation, he has violated his ordination vow to obey the church ordinance (kyrkoordning). It is at least unclear that such involvement actually does violate the kyrkoordning. Meanwhile CoS ignores leftist pastors who openly flaunt their rejection of the faith, doctrine and confession that they vowed at their ordinations they would keep. In a recent case, “Pastor” Ulla Karlsson was not defrocked even though she denied the existence of sin or the need for atonement, and demanded an end to “talk of slain lambs” (Karlsson has since resigned, complaining that she felt offended that her colleagues did not agree with her views, but she was not defrocked by CoS).

In other news, it was also announced today that the CoS appeals board has reversed the defrocking of a pastor who had sexually harassed a young girl on Facebook, and about whom several women had complained that he had behaved inappropriately in an Internet “chat room.” It was reported that this pastor had received “professional help” and the appeals board felt he should have been given a chance to apologize before the consistory rather than being defrocked. After all, this pastor had not done anything really offensive, such as serve a Mission Province koinonia.

– – – – –

Coverage (in Swedish) in Dagen:
And (in Swedish) in Kyrkans Tidning:

Defrocking of sexual abuser reversed (in Swedish), Kyrkans Tidning:

Hot Off the Press! A New Generation of Organ Literature from CPH!

Hot off the press! CPH has just released the first of twelve volumes of organ preludes/postludes on every hymn tune found in Lutheran Service Book. Composed by some of our Synod’s finest musicians and dited by Kantor Kevin Hildebrand of Concordia Theological Seminary—Fort Wayne, IN, this series will serve organists and congregations extremely well for the life of LSB and beyond.

Every LCMS parish should subscribe to this series to provide playable and musically accessible service music for their organists! Below are the official specs, or visit the LSB Preludes page at CPH to order.


Comprehensive organ preludes based on the hymn tunes of Lutheran Service Book. In the tradition ofThe Parish Organist and the Concordia Hymn Prelude Series, this is the first of 12 volumes of creative,  substantive, and practical preludes for every organist and congregation.

The Library
• Complete library will include 12 volumes
• Organized alphabetically by hymn tune
• Volume 1 (A VA DE through AZMON)
• More than 100 contributing composers
• Series edited by Kevin Hildebrand

• All newly composed
• Each prelude is 2-4 pages in length
• Useful for preludes, postludes, offertories, introductions, during distribution
• A rich assortment of styles, harmonies, and registrations
• Alternate keys provided to match LSB

• Every volume can be used throughout the Church Year
• Useful with other hymnals and worship books
• 9” x 12” portrait layout
• Sewn binding is long-lasting and lies flat on the music stand

Subscribe and Save
• Receive each volume as it is released
• Only $40.00 per volume for subscribers (a 20% savings)
• Purchase previous volumes individually at the discounted rate
• To learn more, call 1-800-325-3040 or

Series editor Kevin Hildebrand, M.Mus., M.A., is Associate Kantor at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Composer, educator, and recitalist, he is a frequent organ workshop leader. He has over 40 music publications with Concordia Publishing House, including the popular “Six Hymn Improvisations” series.

Life Together — District Convention Representation

With three district conventions down and 32 to go, delegate representation is a subject of considerable interest and conversation in the Synod. This blog provides an opportunity to address five frequently asked questions.

        1. Q: How has delegate representation changed from previous conventions?  A: Actually, representation has not changed. Article V A of the Synod’s Constitution still determines delegate representation at district conventions: “At meetings of the districts of the Synod, every congregation or parish is entitled to two votes, one of which is to be cast by the pastor and the other by the lay delegate.”
        2. Q: Well, something has changed. Why must some congregations now share a lay delegate when they had not done so in the past? A: We are more now applying more consistently and uniformly the historical definition for a “parish” in our Synod: “Two or more congregations served by the same pastor.” With the assistance of our Rosters and Statistics Department, this definition is being painstakingly applied across the Synod to make certain that congregations are represented equally and fairly throughout our 35 districts.
        3. Q: If nothing has changed, why are some congregations that were previously regarding as “permanently vacant” now regarded as part of a “parish”? A: The decision by the 2010 Synod convention that delegates to district conventions would also be the voters in the election of the President of the Synod prompted greater care in determining those situations to which “parish” is to be applied. A phrase from Bylaw 2.11.1 is pivotal: “regularly performing the duties of…an ordained minister.” Accordingly, a pastor providing regular Word and Sacrament ministry is being regarded as the congregation’s pastor for delegate representation purposes. If he is providing such regular ministry to two or more congregations, he is serving a multi-congregation parish.
        4. Q: Are there any exceptions to this rule? A: Yes. If a congregation is in the process of actively calling a pastor, it is regarded as truly “vacant” even though it is receiving regular word and sacrament ministry from a pastor. The above (#3) applies only to what were once regarded as “permanent vacancies.”
        5. Q: What about congregations that have been served by “emeritus” pastors? A: Congregations (or parishes) receiving regular word and sacrament ministry from a rostered pastor of the Synod deserve two delegate votes at their district conventions: a pastoral vote and a lay vote. The roster status of “emeritus” pastors (advisory and therefore non-voting) is being changed to “active” status when possible to reflect the fact that they are providing regular Word and Sacrament ministry to a congregation of the Synod. Such roster status change does not adversely affect retirement status or benefits. It does provide the congregation with its rightful privilege of two votes (pastoral and lay) at district conventions and in the election of the President of the Synod.

There are, of course, many other questions that arise while working through this process with our 35 districts and their conventions. You may wish to respond to this blog with such questions.

Ray Hartwig

Bach 327 Birthday Bash at First Lutheran, Boston

Church of the Advent, Len Levasseur photo

  • Saturday, March 24, 2012—10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • FREE admission throughout the day
  • Cosponsored with and held at The First Lutheran Church of Boston, 299 Berkeley St. (at Marlborough St.) Richards, Fowkes & Co. Organ, Opus 10 (2000/2010)
  • A German Lunch at the church (reservation required, see below) $13
  • CONTACT: or
  • Phone: 617-536-8851 (First Lutheran)
  • Website:
  • T stop: Arlington (green line)
  • Parking: Boston Common Garage (flat rate Saturday $11)

For the fourth consecutive year our AGO chapter and The First Lutheran Church of Boston invite all to attend a day of Bach organ recitals and programs near the date of Bach’s birthday (March 21, 1685). There will be six organ recitals, a dramatic narrative about Bach being hired in Leipzig, a gourmet German lunch, and a program for children of all ages, including the Toccata and Fugue in d minor.

Attend for all or part of the day and do bring guests! Please note that the children’s event is now scheduled for 1:30 p.m.; children’s choirs will enjoy attending Principal Paul. The full schedule is as follows.

10:30 am — Jonathan Wessler (St. Paul’s RC, Harvard Square)

Concerto in d minor, RV 565 (BWV 596)

From Clavierübung III, manualiter chorales:

BWV 685, 672, 673, 674, 687

Pièce d’Orgue, BWV 572 (Kenneth Gilbert, ed.)

11:15 am — The Third Choice, written by Paul A. Blanchard: a historical narrative about the appointment of J S Bach as Cantor in Leipzig

11:45 am – Colin Lynch (Trinity Church Boston; 1st Prize winner, 2010 Fort Wayne Organ Competition) Trio No. 4 in e minor, BWV 528

Prelude and Fugue in e minor, BWV 548

12:15-1:15 pm – A German Lunch, in First Lutheran Fellowship Hall (Ticketed event – $13; reservations required: 617-536-8851, by Thursday, March 22).

1:30 pm – Children’s program: Principal Paul.

Peter Krasinski (1st Prize winner 2002 AGO National Competition in Improvisation) improvises in a story about the organ by Sietze de Vries. Program concludes with:

Toccata and Fugue in d minor, BWV 565

2:30 pm – Margaret Angelini (St. John’s RC, Sharon) Herzliebster Jesu, BWV 1093 – from the Neumeister chorales O Gott, du frommer Gott, BWV 767 Partita

O Lamm Gottes unschuldig, BWV 1095 – from the Neumeister chorales Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 545 – “Weimar”

3:15 pm – Brandon Santini (Holy Trinity Lutheran, No. Easton) Trio Sonata No. 1 in E-flat major, BWV 525

Vater unser im Himmelreich, BWV 682 – from Clavierübung III Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 550

4:00 pm – Agnes Joo-Hee Lee (South Korea and New Jersey) Trio Sonata No. 5 in C major, BWV 529

Allein Gott in der Höh sei, BWV 662 – from the Leipzig chorales Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 547 – (9/8)

4:45 pm – Bálint Karosi (Minister of Music First Lutheran, Boston 1st Prize winner 2008 Leipzig International Bach Competition) Program to be announced.

Located in the center of historic Back Bay Boston, The First Lutheran Church was designed in 1957 by MIT Dean of Architecture, Pietro Belluschi. At that time, a Wicks organ was installed in the back gallery. In 1995, under the direction of organ advisor William Porter, and church organist Mark Meyer, discussions began for a new tracker organ to replace the previous instrument.

Organ builders Richards, Fowkes & Co. installed their Opus 10 in 2000 and completed the instrument with the remaining four stops in 2010. The handsome, slightly austere North German case of white oak blends well with the simple linear characteristics of the church interior. The Rückpositive has the distinction of having the intra-manual coupler connect the Werk (Great) to the Positive in the Dutch tradition rather than the more normal Positive to Werk.

This organ is stunning for Bach’s music, and First Lutheran is an example of a church that was “turned around” by getting a new organ.

Many people work behind the scenes and donate their services to make Boston Bach Birthday possible. Thank you, recitalists, and thank you, all our hosts at First Lutheran. Also, thank you, Len Levasseur for the handsome flyer design. We need to post these flyers throughout Boston. If you will help with this or would like copies of the flyer, please contact me.

-Joyce Painter Rice 978-465-1901

Boston Chapter American Guild of Organists

LCMS and GKLI Discussions

Pictured — LCMS: Rev. Daniel Preus, Fourth Vice-President; Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations; Mr. Darin Storkson, LCMS Southern Asia Regional Director. GKLI: The Rt Rev Aladin Sitio, Bishop; The Rev. Jon Albert Saragih, Secretray General; The Rev. Manahan Saragih, Pastor, Consistory Member; Vicar Simson Siregar, Assistant to the Bishop.

The Gereja Kristen Luther Indonesia (GKLI) – Indonesian Lutheran Christian Church split off from the Huria Kristen Batak Protestant (HKBP) – Protestant Christian Batak Church in 1965. The first and founding bishop, Rev. J. Sinaga, of the GKLI was a former pastor in the HKBP. After he attended Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, MN, in 1957. He returned to Indonesia with a new appreciation of Lutheranism and became increasingly frustrated with the influences of modernization and secularization upon the HKBP. He made attempts to reform the HKBP. Because of the secularization that came upon the HKBP in 1958, he wanted to return the church to pure Lutheran doctrine. In 1950 the HKBP had written its own confession, “The Confession of Faith of the Huria Kristen Batak Protestant,” (adopted 28 to 30 November 1958).

Rev. Sinaga’s attempts at reform were not received by the HKBP and he was excommunicated. The pastors and members who were sympathetic to Rev. Sinaga’s attempts decided to leave with him, even though the GKLI was not yet formed. They separated themselves from the HKBP, and eventually founded a movement within the HKBP, called the HKBP-Lutheran. (This might be considered akin to the Swedish Mission Provence today.) There was not originally an intention to begin a new church body. But HKBP forbad them from using the name HKBP-Lutheran. Like Martin Luther after reform failed, Pastor Sinaga felt compelled to form a new church body known as the Gereja Kristen Luther Indonesia (GKLI) – Indonesian Lutheran Christian Church, 18 May 1965. His efforts to return the HKBP to a more Lutheran orientation.

The basis for the teaching of the he Gereja Kristen Luther Indonesia (GKLI) – Indonesian Lutheran Christian Church is the Augsburg Confession. Rev. Sinaga translated the Augsburg Confession into Batak (not Indonesian because most of the members were not proficient in Indonesian at the time) in 1958.

The current GKLI constitution, Article II – Titled Faith, “The GKLI believes in the Triune God as revealed in Holy Scripture and confesses that the Old Testament and New Testament are the sole sources for the teaching and order of the true Church and confesses that the three ecumenical creeds, the unaltered Augsburg Confession, and the Small and Large Catechisms of Luther are correct interpretations of the Word of God.”

So while initially the founding bishop was alone in his efforts, he started an informal school for teaching and training Lutheran pastors. This eventually became the GKLI seminary that is in operation to this day. In March 2012 about 50 students attend the GKLI seminary: 20 are men and preparing for the Holy Ministry; 30 are women training for other church work. The seminary has 10 professors / lecturers. For many years the Norwegian Lutheran Church has assisted the GKLI, particularly in the area of theological education.

Juanita S. studied at the GKLI seminary to be a church musician. She would like to serve as a deaconess.

The GKLI has been aware of the LCMS for many years. The Lutheran Witness and the Reporter reached members of the GKLI 20 or more years ago. The GKLI has had the unexpressed desire to have discussions and fellowship with the LCMS for quite sometime. One pastor mentioned that we have been waiting for more than 15 years for contact with the LCMS. The Secretary General of the GKLI said that today is a historic day that will be remembered 100 years from now, that is, the discussions between the LCMS and GKLI.

A picture of LCMS President Matthew C. Harrison with Bishop Aladin Sitio appears on the cover of the April – June 2012 GKLI Preaching Journal, “Evangelium.”

As of March 2012, the GKLI has 90 Congregations, 24 Circuits, 30 Pastors, and 17,000+ Members. The GKLI voted unanimously to be in fellowship with the LCMS in November 2011.

Mr. Darin Storkson, LCMS Regional Director of Southern Asia and Bishop Aladin Sitio. Darin Storkson laid much of the ground work for the discussions between the GKLI and the LCMS. He also interpreted between Indonesian and English for our discussions.

17 March 2012

– Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Jalan Sisingamangaraja,Medan,Indonesia