What is Ask the Pastor?
Ask the Pastor is a page where you can email the Pastor of Blessed Savior and ask him theological questions about our one and only Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Pastor will read the email and respond to you and include some of the questions and their answers below.
NOTE: Questions that are included on this page will remain anonymous.
How To Email Him?
Click the link HERE to send an email to Pastor Roeglin
(Or navigate to your email account and send an email to email@example.com)
Type Ask The Pastor in the Subject line
Then type your question (in the body of the email, not the subject line) and hit Send
Ask The Pastor Questions:
Q: I see on your website that your church is part of the LCMS. I grew up in a Lutheran Church. I haven’t been attending recently as I have moved. I believe it is part of the ELCA. Is there a difference? What do those letters stand for? -H.F.
A: Dear H.F.,
Thank you for your question and for trying to figure out this rather confusing way things are among Lutherans in the U.S. today. There are really three large groups of Lutherans in America today and then a lot of little groups. The largest group is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). It formed in the 1980's when three smaller groups of Lutherans merged. The second largest is the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). This is the group that Blessed Savior is part of (the word Synod means “walking together). The third group is the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). As I mentioned earlier, there are more groups, but those are the three biggest.
As for the differences between the LCMS and the ELCA, let me first say that I will be comparing what these two church bodies teach, not what an individual person in these churches believes. I am not trying to judge anyone, just point out the differences. The differences between these two bodies stem from one main confession concerning God's Word. The LCMS teaches and confesses that the Holy Bible is the inspired, inerrant (no errors), Word of God from cover to cover. The ELCA teaches and confesses that the Bible contains the Word of God, but that it also contains human error and opinion in various places. This has led to differences in practices and beliefs between the Synods. For example, the LCMS has only male Pastors, the ELCA has Pastors of both genders.
Because of this big difference in how we view the Bible and how that effects our practices and beliefs, the LCMS (and therefore Blessed Savior) is not on fellowship with the ELCA. This means that we don’t commune at each other’s altars, and our Pastors don’t preach in each other’s pulpits. This is not to say that we at Blessed Savior think that members of an ELCA church are not Christians. It is just to acknowledge that we disagree on some important things and that until we have better agreement with one another on these things we are not in fellowship with one another.
We would love to have you visit our church. Feel free to ask more questions about what we believe either in person or here in this Ask the Pastor.
Here is a link to our communion statement for further information:
Q: Hello Pastor,
May I ask what the Lutheran Church teaches about the nature of the consecrated bread and wine when Holy Communion is concluded? Do they remain the Body and Blood of Christ? Do they revert back to simple bread and wine? Or is there something in between?
Thank you for your time. May God be with you. -T.K.
A: Dear T.K.,
Lutherans believe that the Body and Blood of Jesus is received "in,with, and under" the bread and wine in Holy Communion. So we believe that all four elements (bread, wine, body, and blood) are present in the consecration, distribution, reception, and consumption in Holy Communion. We hear Jesus' words saying, "Take, eat," and "Drink of it, all of you" and realize that it was given to be consumed, so we don't worship the host, we consume it. That being said, there is often leftover host and wine and we don't treat it like ordinary bread and wine because it has been set aside for a Holy purpose. So any remaining wine in the chalice is either consumed (by the Pastor or someone else) or poured out on the ground or poured into a special sink called a piscina which drains not into the sewer system but into the ground. At the church I serve, remaining consecrated wine in the individual cups and remaining consecrated host that hasn't touched human lips is put in a separate containers marked "consecrated" and I use those elements when I visit shutins.