Pastor Fritz Foltz

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

At the Mount of the Beatitudes

At the Mount of the Beatitudes

I preached this sermon last January during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with people from Good Shepherd Lutheran in Gaithersburg, Maryland. We were on the spot at the the Sea of Galilee where many believe Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount. We had just been to Caesurea Philippi where Peter confessed Jesus to […]

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Lesson 11: Creed

Lesson 11: Creed

We often forget creeds are ways to read the Bible. When the early Church disagreed on which parts were important and how to handle contradictions, one thing they did was to develop creeds. We sometimes see creeds as dividing people by laying rigid lines between who belongs and who doesn’t. Surely, they were used that […]

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Lesson 10: Bible

Lesson 10: Bible

Last week, I suggested the church of the future might well be a community of friends who gather face-to-face to share a lifestyle that suits following Jesus in our time. Every indication points to these groups engaging in more Bible study. However, I think the emphasis will be on honest sharing rather than dogmatic teaching. […]

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Lesson 9: Community

Lesson 9: Community

When I ask people why they come to church, the answer I almost always receive is “community.” If I continue with, “What about right doctrine?” I usually get laughter. That does not mean that people do not appreciate good theology; just that their highest priority is to be around people who practice the Christian life […]

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Lesson 8: Music

Lesson 8: Music

One of the big topics in church circles is whether we should use “contemporary” music and liturgies. My ministry was pretty old-fashioned in that area. However, my sons-in-law have both “contemporary” and traditional services, so I have had over a decade of observing both from the audience. That experience convinces me that we shall see […]

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Lesson 7: Church-State Relations

Lesson 7: Church-State Relations

Last week I suggested that, in a hundred years, pastors would not be regarded as agents of the state when officiating at weddings. I imagine the relationship between Church and State will be changed in many other ways by then as well. The Church probably will follow the lead of corporations that feel no need […]

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Lesson 6: Women

Lesson 6: Women

Hardly a day goes by that I do not hear someone on a news program comment, “I grew up in the Church. The Church is very important to me, but…” It very obvious that the speaker no longer worships, yet misses something she associates with that life. The “but” indicates one of the reasons she […]

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Lesson 5: Staff II

Lesson 5: Staff II

Let’s look further at the two creative congregations’ staff lists (Trinity, Mount Joy and Good Shepherd, Gaithersburg) for clues about the future church. The first thing you notice is their length. Even though they are large churches, they have more than the usual number of paid pastors and lay ministers. This reflects a trend toward […]

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Lesson 4: Staff 1

Lesson 4: Staff 1

I consider my two son-in-laws’ congregations to be cutting edge. A number of their practices indicate where the Church is going. Even a quick look at their staff lists gives you some clues. (Good Shepherd,Gaithersburg,MD. and Trinity, Mount Joy, PA ) The first thing you notice is their lengths. Many are paid part time clerical […]

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Lesson 3: Youth Groups

Lesson 3: Youth Groups

If recent refusals of denominations to finance their seminaries are self- defeating, the tendency of many to neglect youth work is just as silly. It is certainly a factor in the lack of young people at our worship services. I have some idea what is going on as my wife and I have hosted high […]

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