BEING PLACED ON THE LIST (OR REMOVED FROM THE LIST) IS AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE DIRECTORY PUBLISHER.
Criteria for a congregation to be listed:
- The congregation must be committed to the exclusive use of the Historic Liturgy of the Church, not an order of service that is unique to a congregation or that changes from Sunday to Sunday (a “disposable liturgy”). The order of service must have catholic flavor; that is, the congregation celebrates the Mass in accordance with Article 24 of the Augsburg Confession. This criterion is intended to exclude congregations which use what is commonly called a “contemporary service.” This directory is not intended to provide service times of “traditional” worship for congregations which use a variety of liturgies. If your congregation prints out the entire order of service from your synod’s official hymnal each week, this does not qualify as a disposable order of service. In my opinion, it may be a waste of time and paper, but it does not disqualify your congregation from being listed. A disposable order of service would be a special order of service provided by the synod or agency of the synod or one written by the pastor (or church musician). Also, “Creative Worship” would be a disposable order of service.
- The congregation must practice Closed Communion. As to whether the proper term is “closed” or “close,” refer to Rev. Dr. Francis Pieper. In his Christliche Dogmatik (St. Louis: Concordia, 1920), Dr. Pieper writes: “Auch die apostolische Kirche praktizierte nicht ‘open,’ sondern ‘closed’ Communion.” [The English words appeared in the midst of the German text.] In the English translation Christian Dogmatics (St. Louis: Concordia, 1953), this sentence is rendered “Neither did the Apostolic Church practice ‘open’ communion (vol. 3, p. 381)”. The words “sondern ‘closed’” were left untranslated.
- The congregation must pass the “fussy-family test.” I want to be assured that, if my family attended any service at your congregation, at least the liturgy would be Lutheran so my family won’t give me grief for taking them there. This means real liturgy, Lutheran hymns, no “praise choruses,” no “song leaders,” and no women lectors or communion assistants.
- And of course, the congregation must maintain faithfulness to Scripture and subscribe to the Lutheran Confessions