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Switch to Forum Live View To WELS or not to WELS
3 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2011 - 10:11PM #1
Florita10
Posts: 7
Currently I belong to an LCMS church and I have decided after much prayer, pain, and procrastination, to change congregations. I wish to find a small to mid-size liturgical conservative Lutheran church.

There is a church in the city to our south that is LCMS and from the website it sounds as if it is the right size & liturgical, however, on the way I notice there is a small WELS congregation. Less than half the drive-time. I haven't visited the churches, yet. I'm still getting my nerves up.

My concern is, I am "unequally-yoked". My husband is a non-believer, does not and will not attend church with me.  I am seeking to join with our two youngest children (the oldest two are adults & off at college). Someone told me that WELS will not accept married women for membership without their husbands. I don't know if this is true. If it is, I'm not going to bother visiting.

Anyone know anything about this?  Thank you!
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3 years ago  ::  Sep 13, 2011 - 1:41PM #2
AFskypilot
Posts: 352

Sorry.  I am not WELS so am in no position to give you an answer.  However, you can contact the WELS directly with your question.  Go to


wels.org/

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3 years ago  ::  Sep 14, 2011 - 6:04PM #3
Florita10
Posts: 7

Thank you! I took your advice and contacted WELS through their website. They promptly replied and this is what the answer is:


I am not sure where your friend got her information. I was married to a non-Lutheran and I was a member of a WELS church. By the work of the Holy Spirit my husband did come to believe and was confirmed. Sometimes that doesn't happen, or at least not right away. But being married to a non-Lutheran is not a reason to keep a person from being a member at a WELS church.

Please visit the WELS church nearest you. Let the pastor know you are interested in membership. Many of our WELS churches require that you attend a Bible information class before you join--even if you are coming from another WELS church. So, don't let that seem like a barrier.


I guess I have no excuse to be chicken anymore and I'll go visit them this Sunday.


Too bad it is so hard to find a liturgical Missouri Synod church nowadays.

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3 years ago  ::  Sep 15, 2011 - 11:36PM #4
AFskypilot
Posts: 352

Do let us know how it goes.

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3 years ago  ::  Sep 16, 2011 - 9:14AM #5
WannabeTheo
Posts: 400

Sep 14, 2011 -- 6:04PM, Florita10 wrote:


Too bad it is so hard to find a liturgical Missouri Synod church nowadays.





That's interesting.  I thought there was a movement within the LCMS to turn away from generic American evangelicalism and return to Lutheran confessionalism.  Perhaps the liturgy isn't part of that reform.

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3 years ago  ::  Sep 16, 2011 - 1:44PM #6
AFskypilot
Posts: 352

Technically, the liturgy itself is adiophra according to the confessions, meaning it is neither commanded nor forbidden in the Bible.  However, the confessions do mandate weekly communion--something which few Missouri Synod churches are doing, though more and more are beginning too.  Even fewer WELS churches have weekly communion.

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3 years ago  ::  Sep 16, 2011 - 8:14PM #7
Florita10
Posts: 7

Weekly communion is on my wish list.


I will let you know how my visit turns out.

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3 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2011 - 3:31PM #8
teilhard
Posts: 52,197

Unfortunately, many Lutherans in North America are indeed becoming more and more shade-of-gray General Protestant in the Sunday Morning Worship Forms and Traditions ...


Given The Church History Ethos -- "Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi" -- that bodes ill for Lutheran Theology also ...

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3 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2011 - 11:20PM #9
Florita10
Posts: 7

I visited the WELS church, and it was okay.


I was formally (with a handshake) greeted by the pastor & 4 other members plus a few smiles and "good mornings." There were at least 2 other women with children and no husband in the pews, not counting the pastor's wife. Pastor is fairly young, and there were a lot of young families in the congregation. No one asked about my husband, however they seemed puzzled/surprised when I told them I was Missouri Synod.


They did not have communion this week. It is held the 2nd & 4th Sundays.


They use the Christian Worship hymnal, but did not follow that liturgy and instead used what was printed in the worship bulletin. Skipped Introit, Kyrie, the Creed, and all the sacramental-related elements. Sermon was good and solidly Lutheran. I was surprised they used a different lectionary, perhaps WELS has its own?


I think I will have to visit a few more churches before I decide.

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3 years ago  ::  Sep 19, 2011 - 11:10AM #10
AFskypilot
Posts: 352

Florida--I can sense disappointment in your posting. 


Christian Worship, I believe, is the WELS new hymnal.  It replaced the old Lutheran Hymnal WELS had shared with the LCMS for years.


I think WELS churches can use the three year lectionary, but they also have an alternative lectionary as well.  Sounds like the church you visited uses the alternative lectionary.


If I might suggest, don't exclude the ELCA in your visits.  Even though ELCA is considered heterodox by the LCMS I think you may be suprised at what you might find.  There are some ELCA churches that are actually quite conservative.  I think you might be able to find one that is very liturgical, has communion every Sunday, and whose preaching is solidly Lutheran.


And, don't worry, you won't get struck by lightening or have the roof collapse on you if you go to an ELCA church :).

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