LCMS Pastor Apologizes for Praying at Newtown

From the Bad Church PR department: A Connecticut pastor who took part in the recent interfaith prayer vigil after the Newtown shootings was asked to apologize by the President of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. In a letter to the denomination sent earlier this month, Pastor Matthew Harrison said:

I asked Pastor Morris to apologize for taking part in this service. I did this for several reasons:

  1. I believe his participation violated the limits set by Scripture regarding joint worship, particularly with those who reject Jesus (Romans 16:17), and was thus a violation of Article VI of the LCMS Constitution.
  2. Pastor Morris’s participation gave offense in the Synod, something we are to avoid, even if we are doing something we believe might be appropriate (1 Corinthians 8).
  3. I most sincerely desire to avoid deep and public contention in the Synod. Our mission is too vital, our fellowship too fragile for a drawn out controversy.

In this Ministry Briefing conversation, we discuss the way this went down, how it became public, and how churches can learn from this event going forward.

Click the link below, check out our take, and let us know what you think:



Interested in more stories like this? Ministry Briefing: Month in Review is now available. Each month, Todd and I sort through current events, trends, studies, and news stories and put together an easy to read summary of all the news church leaders need to be aware of. Check it out by visiting ministrybriefing.tv


About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through MinistryBriefing.com and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.