Pastor’s Post

This section of the website will be used for the pastors to share big-picture information and ideas with the congregation.

September 15

I’m starting a new series of Pastor Posts today called “I’ve Been Wondering…”

Over the last few months, I’ve had people ask about some of the subtle and not so subtle changes that have happened since I started. The conversation often starts out something like this, “I’ve been wondering…” I’ve appreciated people’s curiosity and willingness to ask questions. My suspicion is that if one person is asking, others are wondering about it too. So, this will give us all an opportunity to learn together. “I’ve Been Wondering…” will also cover other topics about faith and how the church works. If you have an “I’ve been wondering…” question, send me an email at and I’ll do my best to address your question in an upcoming Pastor Post.

This week’s “I’ve Been Wondering…” is about worship.

“I’ve been wondering… why are we using the ‘contemporary’ version of the Lord’s Prayer in worship?”

The Lord’s Prayer is special to many people because it is one of those prayers that is written on our hearts. We can pray it and not have to think about it. Many of us were taught from an early age the “traditional” version that starts, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” I’ll admit that version still roles off my tongue quicker than the “contemporary” version. So why adopt the more modern version?

There are two reasons, and a caveat, I think praying the contemporary version matters.

  1. Theology matters. When we pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” in the traditional version, the prayer seems to presume that God may be the kind of God who would lead us into temptation if we did not pray this prayer. In the Bible, it is only God’s adversary (Satan, or the devil) who is portrayed as the tempter. So to pray, “Save us from the time of trial,” aligns with the kind of activity God is known for. God is a saving God. God is one who walks with us through times of trial or temptation. Praying this reminds us that God stands with us and not against us when we are facing challenging times.
  2. Language matters. It has been several hundred years since “thee, thine, and Thou” have been in the common language of everyday people. The traditional English version of the Lord’s Prayer was first published in 1662. For our children and young people learning the faith, using familiar language removes potential barriers for them to connect to the God who loves them and wants them to know the God we meet in Jesus Christ. And for what it’s worth, the contemporary version of the Lord’s Prayer was first published 35 years ago, in 1988. So, it’s definitely updated, but may not be as new as it might seem.
  3. The caveat: Variation is acceptable within a Christian community. Prayer is a deeply personal expression of our faith. Within a Christian community, it’s reasonable for there to be many different expressions of prayer. If praying the contemporary version feels so foreign to you that it prevents you from feeling like you are struggling to remain in an attitude of prayer, you are free to pray the traditional version. As much as theology matters and language matters, they do not save us – it’s God’s work through the death and resurrection of Christ that does the saving.

One last thing, thank you to everyone who made Welcome Week a huge success! Thanks to the dedication of staff and all the volunteers for helping lots of people feel they are “Right Where They Belong” here at Augustana. If you missed last week, it’s not too late! There are great things happening every Sunday this fall. Invite a friend and…see you in worship!

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Building Information

8:00 am – 4:30 pm

8:00 – noon

The main building entrance is located on the east side of the church and is open on Sundays and during the week. For security purposes, the north entrance is only open on Sundays and for special events.