Pastor Fritz Foltz

Pastor Foltz is Pastor Emeritus of Saint James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, PA and author of the the Frontline Study content.

Lesson 3: New Models

Lesson 3: New Models

A change seems to have taken place in the relationship between church and society. Although it was long coming, most of us did not pay much attention until the recent presidential campaign. It was taken for granted that church and society had a congenial working relationship. Many even spoke of the church as the cutting edge […]

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Lesson 2: Church Community in History

Lesson 2: Church Community in History

Let’s take a quick look at various kinds of Christian community that have been practiced in our history. Most forms that served well in one period no longer worked in later ones, at least not in their original shapes. Even though I am only capable of offering a rough account, I hope to supply some […]

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Lesson 1: The First Christian Community

Lesson 1: The First Christian Community

A number of my friends are raising questions about Christian community. They are finding our present forms fail to enrich, nourish, or inspire their lives. Many are frustrated after having tried one congregation after another. Our conversations have convinced me that they are not antichurch. They are genuinely seeking to live with integrity in a […]

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Half Truth: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Half Truth: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

“God helps those who help themselves.” That’s today’s half-truth. The problem of a half-truth, of course is that it is not the whole truth. It is only part of the story. At first a half-truth sounds like something we believe but once we give it some thought, we are not quite sure what we are […]

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Lesson 9: Eucharist as Ritual

Lesson 9: Eucharist as Ritual

The most important challenge for a Eucharist liturgy is to express a community meal rather than an institutional ritual. The Church has not always done a very good job with this one. Too often, the service is regarded as fulfilling requirements that enforce the authority of the institution. Only those commissioned by the authorities are […]

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Lesson 8: Eucharist as Thanksgiving

Lesson 8: Eucharist as Thanksgiving

The official title of the communion meal is the Eucharist, a Greek word meaning thanksgiving. By examining how this title applies we can learn a lot about the sacrament. First, thanksgiving is given a prominent place in the official account of the last supper in I Corinthians 11. That account is the basis of the […]

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Lesson 7: Eucharist as Remembering

Lesson 7: Eucharist as Remembering

In our technological society, we forget how important remembering the past is for keeping our balance in life. Faith, hope, and love have always been used to summarize how Christians make decisions. Faith primarily is trust in the story that begins far back in history. Hope is the promise God makes in that story. Together, […]

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Lesson 6: Eucharist as Eating Together

Lesson 6: Eucharist as Eating Together

The sacraments taken together express the fullness of the Christian life. Baptism welcomes us into the community that shares meals with each other and God. Although this might appear to be nothing extraordinary to an outside observer, the Church proclaims it the primary means by which her resurrected Lord is present among them. Just as […]

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Lesson 5: Baptism as Ritual

Lesson 5: Baptism as Ritual

Back in seminary, quite some time ago, I read an account of an early baptism. My recollection is that it might have been the earliest detailed rite that has come down to us. The candidates had been extensively prepared. Although they could participate in the early part of the worship service, they had been dismissed […]

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Lesson 4: Baptism as Community

Lesson 4: Baptism as Community

Baptism marks the entrance into a new community that follows Jesus. One of its primary features is welcoming believers to the Lord’s table. The modern church makes a huge mistake when it fails to make this the boundary for who participates in its meal. As soon as you deny baptized people from other church bodies […]

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