Organizing Principles for LCMS with newly installed President Harrison

President Matthew Harrison offered to his staff, boards, and commissions a way to understand how our ministries are organized.

Witness, mercy, and life together.

From ABC3s of Miscellany:

Since the end of the Synod Convention in July 2010, President Harrison and his team have been working hard on how to categorize the work of the Synod — Congregations, Districts, and International Center — in light of the restructuring. Today, at the LCMS Board and Commission Orientation, “Witness, Mercy, and Life Together” was presented as a way to describe the work of the Synod using Biblical categories and themes. Witness, Mercy, and Life Together is the English phrase chosen for the Greek words Martyría, Diakonía, and Koinōnía. These activities describe the work of the church and are centered on the cross of Jesus. Martyría describes the witness, proclamation work (missions) of the church. Diakonía describes the church’s work as a servant of mercy to those in need (human care). Koinōnía describes the church’s life together with all its accompanying activities such as worship, schools, seminaries, church relations, et al. There are over 200 passages in the New Testament that use these words to describe the church’s work, not including synonyms and other words within the same semantic domain. Just as a start you might want to look up 1 John 5:7 – 8 (Witness), Mark 10:45 (Mercy), and 1 Corinthians 1:9 (Life Together). This post isn’t the best venue to go into all the details, but I wanted to provide a brief glimpse into orientation theme. In the coming weeks and months, you will hear more about Witness, Mercy, Life Together from President Harrison, his staff, and others in various publications and forums.


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