One of the roles the LCA’s Commission on Worship fulfills is to work under the church’s College of Bishops to plan and coordinate the worship life of the triennial Convention of Synod. We do this with a pastoral heart.
We also do this with the following values underpinning our work:
• The business of convention is critical for the wellbeing of the church now and into the future.
• Convention business and especially the decisions that
are made by convention are entered into wrapped in God's word, as he meets us and serves us in word and meal.
• The people of God who take responsibility for the direction of the church need to do so as a praying people. Praying, singing, listening to God's word and participating in his meal of life are primary each day that synod meets. The day is begun, continued and ended in prayer.
• The bishops of the church are always pastors of the church. To see them operating in their calling each day in leading the divine service is a strong affirmation of this calling to them and to the delegates of convention that brings all of us back to the core of our church – God working in and through his people by his gospel.
Convention planning is a major item of business for all commission meetings for the three years leading up to convention. The biblical theme of convention is a joint project of the College of Bishops and the Commission on Worship. It comes from much dialogue in the first year of the three-year synodical term.
This year's logo, which incorporates the general theme faith. freedom. future, is inspired by the journey of the Israelites, as written in the book of Exodus. This biblical theme was borne out of the questions, ‘What is our future?’, ‘How can we make decisions about our church with confidence?’, and ‘How can we help our people find encouragement from Scripture as they participate in Convention, so that they can be people of hope, faith and love where they live?’
The journey of God's people in Exodus came to the surface as a journey worth reflecting on. Their journey through hard times in desert places, with no certain future except for the promise of God, sounded like what many delegates may resonate with as we journey through our rapidly-changing Australian and New Zealand societies in the 21st century.
The ideas on how we help people hear the Exodus themes of Scripture came from creative thinking about people. Thus the sense of going through the story in chronological order each day, the theme Bible text and supporting texts and psalms in worship, the Exodus texts embedded in the order of service each day, the textile art and furnishings in the worship space, and the graphic art of the synod logo all work together to help people journey through the word as they participate in Convention business and fellowship.
Commission members find it very fulfilling to work under the bishops of our church to pastorally care for our people through this planning and in the actual ‘doing’ of daily worship at Convention.
We pray that the 2018 Convention of Synod helps us walk together in God's Spirit and see his love coming to life in each other and our local communities, families and places of work.
Pastor Adrian Kitson is Chairperson of the LCA’s Commission on Worship.