REMINDER – Worship & Liturgy Seminar – Session 2, 24 Oct 2015

Reminder – session 2 of our Worship & Liturgy seminar hosted by Bangsar Lutheran Church will proceed tomorrow 24 October 2015, from 9am – 1pm at The Father’s House, Bangsar Lutheran Church. An RM25 fee will be levied to offset costs for materials and lunch.

Taught by Rev. Augustin, the seminar will cover topics that include:

  • Worship in the Bible
  • Worship in the Early Church
  • Contemporary Worship
  • Lutheran Worship
  • Lutheran Liturgy
  • Adapting the Lutheran Liturgy
  • The Liturgical Year
  • Practical Helps on being Worship Lead / Liturgist.

This seminar / workshop will be good for all those in the worship ministry as well as others who may be interested. This is an open event – so, even if you’re from another church you are welcome to join us!

For Bangsar Lutheran Church worship leads and other worship enablers, attendance is compulsory.

Please email Rev. Augustin at revaugustin[at]yahoo[dot]com for enquiries or for more details.

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REMINDER – FREE Worship & Liturgy Seminar – 10 & 24 Oct 2015

Reminder – the FREE Worship & Liturgy seminar hosted by Bangsar Lutheran Church will start tomorrow 10 October 2015, from 9am – 1pm at The Father’s House, Bangsar Lutheran Church. The next session will be held on 24 October 2015, 9am – 1pm.

Taught by Rev. Augustin, the seminar will cover topics that include:

  • Worship in the Bible
  • Worship in the Early Church
  • Contemporary Worship
  • Lutheran Worship
  • Lutheran Liturgy
  • Adapting the Lutheran Liturgy
  • The Liturgical Year
  • Practical Helps on being Worship Lead / Liturgist.

This seminar / workshop will be good for all those in the worship ministry as well as others who may be interested. This is an open event – so, even if you’re from another church you are welcome to join us!

For Bangsar Lutheran Church worship leads and other worship enablers, attendance is compulsory.

Please email Rev. Augustin at revaugustin[at]yahoo[dot]com for enquiries or for more details.

FREE Worship & Liturgy Seminar – 10 & 24 Oct 2015

Bangsar Lutheran Church will be hosting a FREE Worship & Liturgy seminar over two days: 10 & 24 October 2015, from 9am – 1pm each session. The sessions will be held at The Father’s House, Bangsar Lutheran Church.

Taught by Rev. Augustin, the seminar will cover topics that include:

  • Worship in the Bible
  • Worship in the Early Church
  • Contemporary Worship
  • Lutheran Worship
  • Lutheran Liturgy
  • Adapting the Lutheran Liturgy
  • The Liturgical Year
  • Practical Helps on being Worship Lead / Liturgist.

This seminar / workshop will be good for all those in the worship ministry as well as others who may be interested. This is an open event – so, even if you’re from another church you are welcome to join us!

For Bangsar Lutheran Church worship leads and other worship enablers, attendance is compulsory.

Please email Rev. Augustin at revaugustin[at]yahoo[dot]com for enquiries or for more details.

BLC Council Studies: Review & Re-cap: Being Lutheran

Introduction: The Church Council will be embarking on a series of studies that are led by Pastor Augustin, to explore each of our portfolios – which aligns back to life at BLC. We encourage everyone from BLC family to join us especially if you feel particularly called to a specific ministry and wish to know more. If you wish to serve in the future, but do not know where to start, feel free to join every or any session at all! We have just completed our first study of the series and wish to provide a review of what we have gathered. The details of future studies are listed at the end of the article and we welcome you with wide arms to join us. For further details of how to, please scroll to the end of the article. Thanks!

– Sincerely, BLC Council Members

***

Being Lutheran

 June 21, 2015

Luther Rose

Introduction

During the 16th century, Martin Luther challenged the teachings, practices and structures of the Roman Catholic Church. He insisted that the central message of Christianity is the good news that sinners become reconciled to God by grace through faith because of the saving work of Jesus Christ. It is important to remember that Luther did not intend to start a new church. He wanted to reform the existing church so that the Gospel message was communicated clearly and that the church reflected that Gospel center. Lutherans organized into a separate church only after Luther’s views was repeatedly rejected by the Roman Catholic Church.

‘Lutheran’ as an Insult

The word ‘Lutheran’ actually began as an insult used by Luther’s opponents. Luther later tried to discourage his supporters from calling themselves Lutherans since they were followers of Jesus Christ and not followers of Martin Luther himself.

“What is Luther?” he once wrote. “After all, the teaching is not mine. Neither was I crucified for anyone.”

It was the gospel message that remained central for Luther, not his leadership. In a sermon preached in Wittenberg shortly after his return from Wartburg Castle, Luther insisted:

“I simply taught, preached and wrote God’s Word. I did nothing; the Word did everything.”

Core Lutheran Themes

  • Justification by grace through faith for Christ’s sake
  • Law and gospel
  • Means of grace
  • Theology of the cross
  • Saint and sinner
  • Vocation
  • Contextual theology

***

Review: During the session, interesting discussion and elaboration on the above Core Lutheran Themes were made. Having attending a Lutheran church, it was interesting to know the Core Themes and some of the reasons behind what we do today. If you wish to know more and have the notes to the session, please feel free to drop us a comment in the comment box and we will reach out to you.

In the next couple of months, we will be having the following studies after service and we are excited to have you join us.

  •  21-Jun-2015: Being Lutheran
  • 12-Jul-2015: Exploring Church
  • 2-Aug-2015: Worship
  • 27-Sep-2015: Stewardship
  • 25-Oct-2015: Mission
  • 15-Nov-2015: Community
  • 20-Dec-2015: Discipleship

In the coming Sunday, when we talk about Exploring Church, we anticipate interesting discussion on what it means to be “church” and the role of Church Council. We will also learn about the Church set-up in regards to the LCM, KL District and many others.

If you are interested in the topic that will be discussed this coming Sunday, please do drop an e-mail by Friday (10-Jul-2015) to rumahpapa[dot]admin[at]gmail[dot]com or leave us a comment below. Lunch will be provided if you register and express your wish to have lunch to be provided accordingly.

See you there !

Sermon: Christ’s Compelling Call – Upwards and Outwards Towards Our Deep Gladness And The World’s Deep Hunger – Leigh

Christ's Compelling Call

(Some background: For the first six months of the year, BLC will focus on the preaching theme, “Upwards and Outwards“. Also, this sermon is based on this week’s liturgical readings: Isaiah 40:21-31; Psalm 147:1-11, 20c; 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 and Mark 1:29-39)

Sermon summary by Leigh:

If I were to ask you, “What is your deepest gladness?” What would your answer be? Now, hold that thought.

I am told to be more like Jesus and, based on today’s gospel lesson, I don’t think I’ve lived out a life of being a radical, subversive full-time preacher with a penchant for healing, hanging out with people on the fringes, and dying on the cross at the age of 33.

Yet, as a Christian, it is an undeniable truth that we are called to be like Jesus. Put another way, our journey as Christians – literally, “little Christs” – is a call upwards: towards becoming more and more like Jesus, even today.

Not only that, our call is a call outwards as well – having encountered Jesus, we feel compelled – as Paul did in his letter to the Corinthians – to preach the good news. What does “do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings” mean for you, in practice, today?

This week, I went to the Big Bad Wolf Fire Sale and fortuitously picked up a book by Timothy Keller, called “Every Good Endeavor“. I liked what it had to say about integrating faith and work:

“I’d learned that I was supposed to be changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and therefore be “used by God” in my relationship with others, and maybe even be distinctive in the way I [worked]. Nice concepts, but what did they look like in practice?

One CEO would share that he kept a Bible on his desk and that occasionally someone in the company would ask about it. Another prayed and the company thrived. Many viewed their corporate jobs primarily as a means to make lots of money to give away to charities and organizations they cared about. When I asked pastors and business-people how their faith related to their work, they often answered that a Christian’s primary, if not sole, mission in the workplace was to evangelize those with whom they worked. But most businesspeople would quickly add that evangelism was not one of their gifts. And none of these approaches addressed the issue of how Christians’ faith should affect the way they worked.

Living out my faith in my work seemed relegated to small symbolic gestures, to self-righteous abstinence from certain behaviors, and to political alignments on the top cultural and legal issues of the day.”

Keller then draws on the work of Robert Bellah, a sociologist, who highlighted the need for “…a re-appropriation of the idea of vocation or calling, a return in a new way to the idea of work as a contribution to the good of all and not merely as a means to one’s own advancement,” before going on to explain:

“The Latin word vocare – to call – is at the root of our common word ‘vocation.’… A job is a vocation only if someone else calls you to do it and you do it for them rather than for yourself. And so our work can be a calling only if it is reimagined as a mission of service to something beyond merely our own interests.

To be a Christian in business, then, means much more than just being honest or not sleeping with your coworkers. It even means more than personal evangelism or holding a Bible study at the office. Rather, it means thinking out the implications of the gospel worldview and God’s purposes for your whole work life – and for the [area] under your influence.

So, if we are called to be like Christ (our upward call) and to impact the world around us just like He did (our outward call) – we need to reconsider the fact that our work is more than just a job; it is a vocation.  So where, or how, then are we called?

This brings me to this quote by Frederick Buechner: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

Because God has made us the way we are and is continually at work in our lives, we can recognize that our deep gladness – the things that truly give us our deepest joy and sense of fulfillment – are part of His work in us. This includes our sense of fulfillment at work – consider the examples of Eric Liddell, John Coltrane, as well as other members of our faith community.

Integrating our “deep gladness” with the “deep hungers” of the world around us, thus, is where God has called us to. So, where is the deep hunger of the world around you?

And yet, as always, there is good news: God’s call does not take you where His grace does not cover you. Our Isaiah passage is remarkable because of the juxtaposition it offers between the great power of God as Creator and Lord of the Universe, and with the amazing fact that all that power is bequeathed to us:

Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

How this comes together for me stems from God’s call on my life, which I received when I was 16. Since then, I have gone on a lifelong pursuit of that calling – to be an evangelist, to help Good News get told through the power of marketing and communications.

And, so, the challenge now before us is this: Where has God called us to today?

An exercise to help us figure that out was to use the following graph – where, on one side, we list down what we think is our deepest gladness, and, on the other side, we list down where we think God is at work in the hurts of the world around us. Then, we take a good look at where the two meet and see where God brings the two together.

Where God Has Called Me To

For a final thought, I leave this for consideration:

Think of that cliché that nobody ever gets to the end of their life and wishes they spent more time in the office. It makes good sense, of course, to a point. But here’s a more interesting perspective: At the end of your life, will you wish that you had plunged more of your time, passion, and skills into work environments and work products that helped people to give and receive more love?

Can you see a way to answer “yes” to this question from your current career trajectory?

My sermon slides are available here:

Book Of Service Orders Now Available & Lutheran Liturgy Explained (FREE Seminar)

For some years, a group under the leadership of Rev. Augustin has been reviewing the order of service and compiling worship resources for the Lutheran Church of Malaysia (“LCM”). With that, LCM is pleased to announced that the “Book of Service Orders” is now available, in English and Chinese. Pastors, pastoral workers, worship leaders and all members are to use the resources and options in this book for their worship.

With the publication of the Book of Service Orders, LCM is inviting all pastors and lay-leaders involved in worship to a FREE half-day seminar that introduces the basics of worship, explains the Lutheran order of service, and presents the manifold resources in the Book of Service Orders.

Lutheran liturgy explained…

  • Date: 13 May 2014 (Wesak Day)
  • Time: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm – including refreshment break
  • Venue: Luther Centre, 5th floor, lecture rooms
  • Facilitators:
    • English: Rev. Augustin Muthusami and Rev. Wolfgang Grieninger
    • Chinese: Rev. Tang Kam Poh
  • Parking at VSQ building just before Luther Centre. RM2 flat parking fee with stamp by LCM.
  • The seminar is free; LCM covers the costs for refreshments and material.

Please register yourself latest by 1 May so that we can prepare the required amount of material and refreshments.