While in Kenya last month, I had the privilege of presenting a one-day workshop on Hymnody and Liturgy at Uhuru Highway Cathedral in Nairobi along with Kantor Richard Resch.
Kantor Resch organized his teaching around our Lutheran Identity. What does it mean to be a Lutheran? The answer to this question was divided into three parts. To be Lutheran means to be Confessional, Sacramental, and Liturgical. From there, he spent the day teaching what each of those three categories held. At various points, I would take over and teach a portion of the liturgy or a hymn as it connected to the discussion. At the end of the day, we prayed Vespers together, using the lovely Kenyan setting as it will be in Ibada Takatifu.
One workshop participant wrote a summary of the day for us. Here is an excerpt from what she wrote:
To my astonishment, I noted that as Lutherans most of our congregations are Pentecostal in their worship, meaning that we are busy borrowing from the Pentecostal churches and not from our own sister Liturgical churches if we must. We have neglected our Lutheran worship books and we are busy copying the Pentecostals, something which is very sad and misleading. We think that we are doing something for God when it is actually Him doing all for us.
Hence as a participant I am so happy that the church is committed in coming up with her own Hymnal so that we can keep our identity. Am also requesting that the Pastors be challenged to make sure that the congregations are worshiping as Lutherans and not Pentecostals. They must be there to advise and lead the services accordingly.