Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced

Started by D. Engebretson, January 15, 2020, 12:18:42 PM

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Mark Brown

I like the action/motion difference, and largely agree we have a lot of motion without any action.  And I too start snoozing at the mere mention of Blue Ribbon anything.  They are plans to keep the appearance of motion usually without any action.  Weekend at Bernies comes to mind.

If I was raising my magic wand my suggestion would be to make the district and synodical gatherings truly meaningful again.  The goal of most of them from my impression over 20 years is to look like you are doing something, while actually just running out the clock.  Anything that reeks of action is swallowed by floor committees and neutered, or tabled to back room deals of executive sessions of various bodies.  As pt. 8 has it, entrust the system you have to actually debate and move real action.  Let CV's and congregational pastors and presidents actually do the legislative work.  And if the occasional St. Nicholas goes after the occasional Arius, so be it.  I'd rather have that than the motion we currently have.

And the first thing I'd do in making them meaningful is dramatically limit the number of things on the agenda.  The only piece of real action that I can think about in the immediate past is getting rid of lay deacons (the recension of the Wichita recension of the Augsburg Confession).  And there has been real action on that.  Not everyone agreed prior, but it is being carried out.  There are some bigger questions about life together.  The big one is probably an official statement on the role of the liturgy.  Is the LCMS truly a body where the liturgy is adiaphora, which means all the freelancers can outsource Sunday morning to Nashville, or do we agree to use the same Synodically produced worship materials?  And as a follow on, if it is adiaphora, and large numbers of Synod congregations are doing so, should we not include it in seminary instruction such that we can stop distorting our entire pastoral formation process to create ways to sneak Southern Baptists onto the Clergy Roster to meet worship needs?  That seems like a full agenda for a three year cycle.


Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

When I was senior editor for professional and academic books, I saw and heard many proposals and suggestions for publishing. I would read and listen carefully, offer back suggestions, and remind folks, "I can't publish ideas, only manuscripts. Send me a manuscript." In my experience, real action is rare.
I serve as administrator for The Lutheran Study Bible group on Facebook.

Dave Benke

Quote from: Mark Brown on February 03, 2020, 02:49:24 PM
I like the action/motion difference, and largely agree we have a lot of motion without any action.  And I too start snoozing at the mere mention of Blue Ribbon anything.  They are plans to keep the appearance of motion usually without any action.  Weekend at Bernies comes to mind.

If I was raising my magic wand my suggestion would be to make the district and synodical gatherings truly meaningful again.  The goal of most of them from my impression over 20 years is to look like you are doing something, while actually just running out the clock.  Anything that reeks of action is swallowed by floor committees and neutered, or tabled to back room deals of executive sessions of various bodies.  As pt. 8 has it, entrust the system you have to actually debate and move real action.  Let CV's and congregational pastors and presidents actually do the legislative work.  And if the occasional St. Nicholas goes after the occasional Arius, so be it.  I'd rather have that than the motion we currently have.

And the first thing I'd do in making them meaningful is dramatically limit the number of things on the agenda.  The only piece of real action that I can think about in the immediate past is getting rid of lay deacons (the recension of the Wichita recension of the Augsburg Confession).  And there has been real action on that.  Not everyone agreed prior, but it is being carried out.  There are some bigger questions about life together.  The big one is probably an official statement on the role of the liturgy.  Is the LCMS truly a body where the liturgy is adiaphora, which means all the freelancers can outsource Sunday morning to Nashville, or do we agree to use the same Synodically produced worship materials?  And as a follow on, if it is adiaphora, and large numbers of Synod congregations are doing so, should we not include it in seminary instruction such that we can stop distorting our entire pastoral formation process to create ways to sneak Southern Baptists onto the Clergy Roster to meet worship needs?  That seems like a full agenda for a three year cycle.

Fair enough.  There could be bloodletting, but maybe not.  And it could be highly hostile, but maybe not.  There would remain a large tub of people, churches and workers in some version of the middle, who are convinced that not everything can or should be mandated Scripturally or Confessionally.  So that middle group, and I would place myself there, would be an important participant and arbiter. 

In that charged atmosphere, one of the bright spots would in my opinion end up being the NALC; it would be because it has already become a real viable option.  Here are several stages:
a) St. Louis Seminary President.  That's a major part of this.  A good (i.e. evangelical catholic middle) choice means those who might want to boogie would probably end up wanting to stay.  An ideological edge choice is stage one in your scenario.
b) Convention resolutions and/or an actual conclave could take place - time to stay, time to leave, time to consider seriously.
c) My own perspective is that the whole thing is skewed toward smaller and more traditional (in your rendition of traditional, which is not a negative thing) congregations and workers (not that the workers are small, but their congregations are, by and large).  So that group would "win."
d) The mega, large and non-liturgical congregations would head on over to the NALC, along with a bunch of those in the middle, because those in the middle would be tired of waiting for the next shoe to drop, so the NALC would be given a big boost.  A secondary movement of middle congregations and pastors would most likely eventuate, from those who just want to do the work without worrying about the new bylaws on hymnody supervision and now-exclusively appropriate Apollonian worship beats, to say nothing of the mandatory female headgear.
e) The much smaller scale LCMS would be able to subsidize its churches with institutional/property dollars, because the "winner" takes those spoils in the boom-boom room changes.

What's not to like?  I think it might take two cycles, though, stem to stern.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Mark Brown

Quote from: Dave Benke on February 03, 2020, 06:30:27 PM
Quote from: Mark Brown on February 03, 2020, 02:49:24 PM
I like the action/motion difference, and largely agree we have a lot of motion without any action.  And I too start snoozing at the mere mention of Blue Ribbon anything.  They are plans to keep the appearance of motion usually without any action.  Weekend at Bernies comes to mind.

If I was raising my magic wand my suggestion would be to make the district and synodical gatherings truly meaningful again.  The goal of most of them from my impression over 20 years is to look like you are doing something, while actually just running out the clock.  Anything that reeks of action is swallowed by floor committees and neutered, or tabled to back room deals of executive sessions of various bodies.  As pt. 8 has it, entrust the system you have to actually debate and move real action.  Let CV's and congregational pastors and presidents actually do the legislative work.  And if the occasional St. Nicholas goes after the occasional Arius, so be it.  I'd rather have that than the motion we currently have.

And the first thing I'd do in making them meaningful is dramatically limit the number of things on the agenda.  The only piece of real action that I can think about in the immediate past is getting rid of lay deacons (the recension of the Wichita recension of the Augsburg Confession).  And there has been real action on that.  Not everyone agreed prior, but it is being carried out.  There are some bigger questions about life together.  The big one is probably an official statement on the role of the liturgy.  Is the LCMS truly a body where the liturgy is adiaphora, which means all the freelancers can outsource Sunday morning to Nashville, or do we agree to use the same Synodically produced worship materials?  And as a follow on, if it is adiaphora, and large numbers of Synod congregations are doing so, should we not include it in seminary instruction such that we can stop distorting our entire pastoral formation process to create ways to sneak Southern Baptists onto the Clergy Roster to meet worship needs?  That seems like a full agenda for a three year cycle.

Fair enough.  There could be bloodletting, but maybe not.  And it could be highly hostile, but maybe not.  There would remain a large tub of people, churches and workers in some version of the middle, who are convinced that not everything can or should be mandated Scripturally or Confessionally.  So that middle group, and I would place myself there, would be an important participant and arbiter. 

In that charged atmosphere, one of the bright spots would in my opinion end up being the NALC; it would be because it has already become a real viable option.  Here are several stages:
a) St. Louis Seminary President.  That's a major part of this.  A good (i.e. evangelical catholic middle) choice means those who might want to boogie would probably end up wanting to stay.  An ideological edge choice is stage one in your scenario.
b) Convention resolutions and/or an actual conclave could take place - time to stay, time to leave, time to consider seriously.
c) My own perspective is that the whole thing is skewed toward smaller and more traditional (in your rendition of traditional, which is not a negative thing) congregations and workers (not that the workers are small, but their congregations are, by and large).  So that group would "win."
d) The mega, large and non-liturgical congregations would head on over to the NALC, along with a bunch of those in the middle, because those in the middle would be tired of waiting for the next shoe to drop, so the NALC would be given a big boost.  A secondary movement of middle congregations and pastors would most likely eventuate, from those who just want to do the work without worrying about the new bylaws on hymnody supervision and now-exclusively appropriate Apollonian worship beats, to say nothing of the mandatory female headgear.
e) The much smaller scale LCMS would be able to subsidize its churches with institutional/property dollars, because the "winner" takes those spoils in the boom-boom room changes.

What's not to like?  I think it might take two cycles, though, stem to stern.

Dave Benke

Honestly, I think it would work the other way, even though the system is tipped in the small direction.  And I think Harrison not moving in that direction at all is the political tell.  His comment a cycle ago to our district gathering ("Nobody is coming to take away your praise band, although I will probably be worshipping with your 7:30 AM group with DS3") was interesting.  If you actually had the conversation through the formal means and didn't squelch it, my guess is that all the middle guys and a good number of the small guys would stop virtue signaling and be serious.  And when they did, especially when they have to consider explaining and engaging the laity, they would eventually decide that a generous big tent is better than a pure small one.  You can only convince so many people that DS3 fell from heaven as the only divinely authorized worship form.

And then, with it made clear that the LCMS is not going to declare the liturgy to be of the essence of the church, those who think that way would have a clear decision.  At the same time everyone else would now no longer be "freelancers", but full members again.  (And I say this as someone who can't understand at all the appeal of Nashville Worship.)  And we could stop distorting the entire system because we can't address the central issue.

There would be some angst until people realized "oh, this is serious" and until they get a good feel for the actual votes.  But I don't think the NALC would come into it really, unless there are congregations in the LCMS that would take the opportunity as a good one to jump toward women's ordination.  But I don't think there are that many of those.  WO really is the continental divide so to speak.

Dave Benke

Quote from: Mark Brown on February 04, 2020, 11:07:48 AM
Quote from: Dave Benke on February 03, 2020, 06:30:27 PM
Quote from: Mark Brown on February 03, 2020, 02:49:24 PM
I like the action/motion difference, and largely agree we have a lot of motion without any action.  And I too start snoozing at the mere mention of Blue Ribbon anything.  They are plans to keep the appearance of motion usually without any action.  Weekend at Bernies comes to mind.

If I was raising my magic wand my suggestion would be to make the district and synodical gatherings truly meaningful again.  The goal of most of them from my impression over 20 years is to look like you are doing something, while actually just running out the clock.  Anything that reeks of action is swallowed by floor committees and neutered, or tabled to back room deals of executive sessions of various bodies.  As pt. 8 has it, entrust the system you have to actually debate and move real action.  Let CV's and congregational pastors and presidents actually do the legislative work.  And if the occasional St. Nicholas goes after the occasional Arius, so be it.  I'd rather have that than the motion we currently have.

And the first thing I'd do in making them meaningful is dramatically limit the number of things on the agenda.  The only piece of real action that I can think about in the immediate past is getting rid of lay deacons (the recension of the Wichita recension of the Augsburg Confession).  And there has been real action on that.  Not everyone agreed prior, but it is being carried out.  There are some bigger questions about life together.  The big one is probably an official statement on the role of the liturgy.  Is the LCMS truly a body where the liturgy is adiaphora, which means all the freelancers can outsource Sunday morning to Nashville, or do we agree to use the same Synodically produced worship materials?  And as a follow on, if it is adiaphora, and large numbers of Synod congregations are doing so, should we not include it in seminary instruction such that we can stop distorting our entire pastoral formation process to create ways to sneak Southern Baptists onto the Clergy Roster to meet worship needs?  That seems like a full agenda for a three year cycle.

Fair enough.  There could be bloodletting, but maybe not.  And it could be highly hostile, but maybe not.  There would remain a large tub of people, churches and workers in some version of the middle, who are convinced that not everything can or should be mandated Scripturally or Confessionally.  So that middle group, and I would place myself there, would be an important participant and arbiter. 

In that charged atmosphere, one of the bright spots would in my opinion end up being the NALC; it would be because it has already become a real viable option.  Here are several stages:
a) St. Louis Seminary President.  That's a major part of this.  A good (i.e. evangelical catholic middle) choice means those who might want to boogie would probably end up wanting to stay.  An ideological edge choice is stage one in your scenario.
b) Convention resolutions and/or an actual conclave could take place - time to stay, time to leave, time to consider seriously.
c) My own perspective is that the whole thing is skewed toward smaller and more traditional (in your rendition of traditional, which is not a negative thing) congregations and workers (not that the workers are small, but their congregations are, by and large).  So that group would "win."
d) The mega, large and non-liturgical congregations would head on over to the NALC, along with a bunch of those in the middle, because those in the middle would be tired of waiting for the next shoe to drop, so the NALC would be given a big boost.  A secondary movement of middle congregations and pastors would most likely eventuate, from those who just want to do the work without worrying about the new bylaws on hymnody supervision and now-exclusively appropriate Apollonian worship beats, to say nothing of the mandatory female headgear.
e) The much smaller scale LCMS would be able to subsidize its churches with institutional/property dollars, because the "winner" takes those spoils in the boom-boom room changes.

What's not to like?  I think it might take two cycles, though, stem to stern.

Dave Benke

Honestly, I think it would work the other way, even though the system is tipped in the small direction.  And I think Harrison not moving in that direction at all is the political tell.  His comment a cycle ago to our district gathering ("Nobody is coming to take away your praise band, although I will probably be worshipping with your 7:30 AM group with DS3") was interesting.  If you actually had the conversation through the formal means and didn't squelch it, my guess is that all the middle guys and a good number of the small guys would stop virtue signaling and be serious.  And when they did, especially when they have to consider explaining and engaging the laity, they would eventually decide that a generous big tent is better than a pure small one.  You can only convince so many people that DS3 fell from heaven as the only divinely authorized worship form.

And then, with it made clear that the LCMS is not going to declare the liturgy to be of the essence of the church, those who think that way would have a clear decision.  At the same time everyone else would now no longer be "freelancers", but full members again.  (And I say this as someone who can't understand at all the appeal of Nashville Worship.)  And we could stop distorting the entire system because we can't address the central issue.

There would be some angst until people realized "oh, this is serious" and until they get a good feel for the actual votes.  But I don't think the NALC would come into it really, unless there are congregations in the LCMS that would take the opportunity as a good one to jump toward women's ordination.  But I don't think there are that many of those.  WO really is the continental divide so to speak.

That's an interesting comment from SP Harrison, and if on point is indeed a "tell."  As to the NALC, some of their folks are here.  Maybe there would be some openness to a non-women's ordination division of the NALC.  The real thing to be organized would be a "middle" Lutheran group.  I do believe, though, to the thread-point, that the choice for next St. Louis Seminary President is the biggest "tell" for future directions.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

John_Hannah

"("Nobody is coming to take away your praise band, although I will probably be worshipping with your 7:30 AM group with DS3")"

Unfortunately, the choice between "praise band" or "Divine Service 3" presents false alternatives. There are very many wholesome possibilities with variants available to Lutherans. For example, stop by your local Roman Catholic Mass any weekend and imagine a Lutheran version of that.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Dave Benke

Quote from: John_Hannah on February 04, 2020, 12:03:44 PM
"("Nobody is coming to take away your praise band, although I will probably be worshipping with your 7:30 AM group with DS3")"

Unfortunately, the choice between "praise band" or "Divine Service 3" presents false alternatives. There are very many wholesome possibilities with variants available to Lutherans. For example, stop by your local Roman Catholic Mass any weekend and imagine a Lutheran version of that.

Peace, JOHN

Or just go to one of many Atlantic District congregations in NYC!

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Mark Brown

Quote from: John_Hannah on February 04, 2020, 12:03:44 PM
"("Nobody is coming to take away your praise band, although I will probably be worshipping with your 7:30 AM group with DS3")"

Unfortunately, the choice between "praise band" or "Divine Service 3" presents false alternatives. There are very many wholesome possibilities with variants available to Lutherans. For example, stop by your local Roman Catholic Mass any weekend and imagine a Lutheran version of that.

Peace, JOHN

That would be quite depressing, at least in my area.  Imagine all the worst tropes of the Spirit of Vatican 2 combined with many of the worst elements of Praise Bands. Shivers.

John_Hannah

Quote from: Dave Benke on February 04, 2020, 12:50:28 PM
Quote from: John_Hannah on February 04, 2020, 12:03:44 PM
"("Nobody is coming to take away your praise band, although I will probably be worshipping with your 7:30 AM group with DS3")"

Unfortunately, the choice between "praise band" or "Divine Service 3" presents false alternatives. There are very many wholesome possibilities with variants available to Lutherans. For example, stop by your local Roman Catholic Mass any weekend and imagine a Lutheran version of that.

Peace, JOHN

Or just go to one of many Atlantic District congregations in NYC!

Dave Benke

That's better, of course. Distance may preclude it for most.

Mark is right in that we of Missouri tend to give very little thought to worship. So when people think they are bored with Divine Service 3, we start looking around for band members.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

John_Hannah

Quote from: Mark Brown on February 04, 2020, 12:56:07 PM
Quote from: John_Hannah on February 04, 2020, 12:03:44 PM
"("Nobody is coming to take away your praise band, although I will probably be worshipping with your 7:30 AM group with DS3")"

Unfortunately, the choice between "praise band" or "Divine Service 3" presents false alternatives. There are very many wholesome possibilities with variants available to Lutherans. For example, stop by your local Roman Catholic Mass any weekend and imagine a Lutheran version of that.

Peace, JOHN

That would be quite depressing, at least in my area.  Imagine all the worst tropes of the Spirit of Vatican 2 combined with many of the worst elements of Praise Bands. Shivers.

"Imagine all the worst tropes of the Spirit of Vatican 2"  Could you describe this more fully?

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Steven W Bohler

I'm pretty tired of the "DS3 fell from heaven" accusations towards those who prefer traditional liturgy.  Every LCMS church in this circuit, I believe, uses one of the liturgies from the hymnals (TLH, LW, or LSB) each Sunday.  But none -- NONE -- think that such is the only acceptable form of worship.  It is what they have used for years, even generations, and they appreciate the beauties and patterns found therein.  But "fell from heaven"?  No way.  Caricatures like that are less than helpful.  Especially if one wants to at least pretend to have a fair discussion.

Mark Brown

Quote from: John_Hannah on February 04, 2020, 01:02:14 PM
Quote from: Mark Brown on February 04, 2020, 12:56:07 PM
Quote from: John_Hannah on February 04, 2020, 12:03:44 PM
"("Nobody is coming to take away your praise band, although I will probably be worshipping with your 7:30 AM group with DS3")"

Unfortunately, the choice between "praise band" or "Divine Service 3" presents false alternatives. There are very many wholesome possibilities with variants available to Lutherans. For example, stop by your local Roman Catholic Mass any weekend and imagine a Lutheran version of that.

Peace, JOHN

That would be quite depressing, at least in my area.  Imagine all the worst tropes of the Spirit of Vatican 2 combined with many of the worst elements of Praise Bands. Shivers.

"Imagine all the worst tropes of the Spirit of Vatican 2"  Could you describe this more fully?

Peace, JOHN

C'mon, you know.
- Marty Haugen
- Liturgical dance
- Guitars, just because guitars
- One female cantor who manages to out sing the entire congregation
- Ugly vestments and paraments
- Terrible architecture that manages to be both ugly and hard to use (my local Roman Catholic Parish was a three point one.  One worshipped in gym leaving a solid and stately stand alone New England style sanctuary to just sit.  One worshipped in a cinder block barn because they never finished the sanctuary.  And One has a gorgeous place.  They recently sold the gym one to the school district.  And the gorgeous one has been put on notice.  They will consolidate to the cinder block barn.) 
- Priests who can't stick to the rubrics, ad-libbing all over inevitably heretically, or at least distractingly
- Look at me gimmicks

There was at least a time that you could trust homosexual bishops to have good aesthetic taste, now it is all camp all the time.
 

Mark Brown

Quote from: Steven W Bohler on February 04, 2020, 01:12:14 PM
I'm pretty tired of the "DS3 fell from heaven" accusations towards those who prefer traditional liturgy.  Every LCMS church in this circuit, I believe, uses one of the liturgies from the hymnals (TLH, LW, or LSB) each Sunday.  But none -- NONE -- think that such is the only acceptable form of worship.  It is what they have used for years, even generations, and they appreciate the beauties and patterns found therein.  But "fell from heaven"?  No way.  Caricatures like that are less than helpful.  Especially if one wants to at least pretend to have a fair discussion.

Hey, I called the other group equally "Nashville Worship" which is approaching the same level of hyperbole. 

But caricatures are helpful.  They should help each side to see the directional reduction to absurdity.  And that reduction is exactly why I'm pretty sure that if it was brought to a vote, even someone as loving of the liturgy as I am, would side with the Nashville crew.  Simply because the specter of their reduction is much less stress inducing.  Nobody in that camp is going to be on inquisition over having hands in the orans position for prayers or using the wrong incense, even if they might have trouble discerning exactly what this great boyfriend Jesus did that was so great to sing about.

John_Hannah

Quote from: Mark Brown on February 04, 2020, 01:53:34 PM
Quote from: John_Hannah on February 04, 2020, 01:02:14 PM
Quote from: Mark Brown on February 04, 2020, 12:56:07 PM
Quote from: John_Hannah on February 04, 2020, 12:03:44 PM
"("Nobody is coming to take away your praise band, although I will probably be worshipping with your 7:30 AM group with DS3")"

Unfortunately, the choice between "praise band" or "Divine Service 3" presents false alternatives. There are very many wholesome possibilities with variants available to Lutherans. For example, stop by your local Roman Catholic Mass any weekend and imagine a Lutheran version of that.

Peace, JOHN

That would be quite depressing, at least in my area.  Imagine all the worst tropes of the Spirit of Vatican 2 combined with many of the worst elements of Praise Bands. Shivers.

"Imagine all the worst tropes of the Spirit of Vatican 2"  Could you describe this more fully?

Peace, JOHN

C'mon, you know.
- Marty Haugen
- Liturgical dance
- Guitars, just because guitars
- One female cantor who manages to out sing the entire congregation
- Ugly vestments and paraments
- Terrible architecture that manages to be both ugly and hard to use (my local Roman Catholic Parish was a three point one.  One worshipped in gym leaving a solid and stately stand alone New England style sanctuary to just sit.  One worshipped in a cinder block barn because they never finished the sanctuary.  And One has a gorgeous place.  They recently sold the gym one to the school district.  And the gorgeous one has been put on notice.  They will consolidate to the cinder block barn.) 
- Priests who can't stick to the rubrics, ad-libbing all over inevitably heretically, or at least distractingly
- Look at me gimmicks

There was at least a time that you could trust homosexual bishops to have good aesthetic taste, now it is all camp all the time.


Yours is much different than my experience. I've been to Masses at many places. My wife was Roman Catholic and I went to church with her when traveling around the nation. Other than usual "leader of song" I never found what you describe. ("Praise Band" vs. Divine Service 3 is still a false alternative; there are plenty of Lutheran [and Roman Catholic] examples of reverent and vibrant practices of liturgy which are neither.)

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Dave Benke

Quote from: Mark Brown on February 04, 2020, 02:09:34 PM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on February 04, 2020, 01:12:14 PM
I'm pretty tired of the "DS3 fell from heaven" accusations towards those who prefer traditional liturgy.  Every LCMS church in this circuit, I believe, uses one of the liturgies from the hymnals (TLH, LW, or LSB) each Sunday.  But none -- NONE -- think that such is the only acceptable form of worship.  It is what they have used for years, even generations, and they appreciate the beauties and patterns found therein.  But "fell from heaven"?  No way.  Caricatures like that are less than helpful.  Especially if one wants to at least pretend to have a fair discussion.

Hey, I called the other group equally "Nashville Worship" which is approaching the same level of hyperbole. 

But caricatures are helpful.  They should help each side to see the directional reduction to absurdity.  And that reduction is exactly why I'm pretty sure that if it was brought to a vote, even someone as loving of the liturgy as I am, would side with the Nashville crew.  Simply because the specter of their reduction is much less stress inducing.  Nobody in that camp is going to be on inquisition over having hands in the orans position for prayers or using the wrong incense, even if they might have trouble discerning exactly what this great boyfriend Jesus did that was so great to sing about.

Orans position - I like that recollection from Liturgy 102 at St. Louis.  Right thumb over left, hands not parting the waters or diving into the pool.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

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