28 May 2009


What an amazing and wonderful video! I'm ready to move to Tulsa. :)


Scott Larkins said...

Amazing! Thanks for the post Fr.Weedon. Gives me hope.

One a different note....


Matthias Flacius said...

What a great video! Now I know that I could move my family to Tulsa and find a faithful congregation and pastor.

William Weedon said...


Not you too!!! Let's see: today I ate

Breakfast: Sausage patty, scrambled egg, and cheese

Lunch: Caesar salad, stuffed mushrooms, two scallops, a skewer jumbo shrimp, helping of asparagus

Dinner: Slice of low-carb pizza and handful of nuts.

Also ate an apple for a snack and another handful of nuts.

I am eating PLENTY.

Scott Larkins said...

Bread? Beer Bread? I send you some if you like.

Scott Larkins said...

Evidently I can’t type this evening.


But still Fr. Will. Have a bit of bread.

Scott Larkins said...

Oh, and Fr. Mason.

Thank you!

Tim said...

That was an awesome video. Now I know where I want to go next time I visit Tulsa.

Anonymous said...

Another great thing about Pr. Beercraft. He writes absolutely beautiful sermons, and he doesn't even know it. If you haven't already, be sure to check out his blog where he occasionally posts them. You'll be glad you did.

Pr. Beecroft is one of two young lcms pastors I know who came to us from Dallas Theological Seminary. All I can say is: please send us some more, I'm beggin' ya!

Pr. Tom Fast

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...

Saw this on another blog...I only have one gripe...Divine Service Two? Ewww! :)

Everything else is spot-on awesome.

Elephantschild said...

Thank you. Great video! Love it. Will be sharing it with family and friends, some who need convincing...

(Oh, and by the way, Pr. Weedon - if you're working out alot, and it sounds like you are, then YOU *DO* NEED MORE GOOD CARBS than what it sounds like you're getting. But good stuff. Whole grains. Tomato, potato, fresh citrus, brown rices, good German rye bread. Not white stuff! I'm just sayin' :) )

Mason said...

Fr. Weedon,
Thanks for the link. Very kind.
The young man who produced this video is quite talented. We hope his work will help us draw others into the Eucharistic life at Grace. I also hope other congregations might use him to do similar work... no reason to keep our treasures hidden.

Pr. Fast,
You are too generous in your comments about my sermons. Anything decent has been stolen from others. And we do need to convert more DTS students! Converts make good Lutherans.

We use DS II for festival portions of the calendar (Christmas and Easter). We use DS I for penitential seasons (Advent and Lent). And we use DS III for Ordinary Time (Epiphany and Trinity). DS IV is used for mid-week festivals and DS V is not used. I readily admit that I have my favorite, but we try to employ the range of settings offered by LSB so that the people learn them and can pray them here or elsewhere. And, yes, we sing "This is the Feast" during the Great Fifty Days... :)

Paul McCain said...

Very well done! Congratulations Mason.

Liturgical and missional? Wow, what a concept!

Paul McCain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul McCain said...

Oh, one more thing....I love "This is the Feast" in DS II. The best setting of it, in my opinion.

Paul McCain said...

Great production values. Very well one. Nice lighting. Nice editing.

One suggestion:

The music sound track is too loud and overwhelms the speaking and interviews in places on the video. I would recommend bringing the music sound track down just a tad.

Mark said...

For all their talk about the diversity of the congregation, I couldn't help but notice that the only black person appearing in the video was Oprah and I don't think she's a member of Grace.

Mason said...

Thanks for the feedback. We just corrected the early service time and will look at dialing down the music.

It is interesting that Orthodoxy continues to grow statistically while remaining faithful to their confession. We should learn something. Unfortunately, I suspect the infatuation with CGM has blinded many.

Diversity is not merely racial. We are a diverse congregation in terms of age, background, etc. But we are not racially diverse, for all our talk.:) Now the most diverse Christian communion I have witnessed is Rome. In other words, the Mass is not the problem as far as diversity.

Paul McCain said...

Mason, yes, precisely. I won't rehearse my crass MacDonalds analogy here, but...needless to say, even secular companies know that you don't go changing your brand or formula and get away with it.

Anyone remember when they reformulated Coke?

If all the theological reasons are not persuasive, one would hope that even a modest appeal to common sense might work. But, I guess not.

Paul McCain said...

FYI...I've heard from a number of black, Latinos and other "persons of color" that in fact they find the historic liturgy, well done, to be a very attractive option, since the liturgy has its roots in Africa, Palestine, the Mideast, and southern Europe.

Red or yellow, black and white, the liturgy is precious in their site.


chaplain7904 said...

I don't like this video. I like the liturgy and what I saw of it, but the video is guilty of what it's fighting against. It's trying to attract people with all the warm fuzzies: people like us, we all grow together, nice spread of food, people our ages etc. And I think I saw a girl acolyte, a big no-no there. In addition, they play the sappy music in the background, that's always a sure sign someone's trying to sell you something, and the church isn't about sales. Over all, a bad idea in my opinion. Also, I went to their website to send them an email, there's no way to do it.

Paul McCain said...

You know, "chaplain" if you are going to criticize something like this, you might consider using your real name at least. Otherwise, it appears you are taking potshots without a desire to be held accountable or responsible for your remarks.

I'm disappointed in what you say. You are, in my opinion, putting just about the worst possible construction possible on Pr. Beecroft's video.

chaplain7904 said...

My sincere apologies, Brother Paul. Dean Kavouras here. I wasn't trying to hide or take pot shots, I just didn't like the video for the reasons stated. I think it's well-intentioned but mis-guided.

It seems to me that the Holy Spirit is leading people there through whatever wonderful, and to us, surprising, connections He's known for.

I could be wrong in my criticism, but that's what I think.

Phil said...

Pr. Kavouras,

Do you think it's possible to produce a video to encourage people to come to a church, or is that always a losing proposition?

On the other hand, I do sympathize with your skepticism. At some point (though I don't think Pr. Beecroft has gotten there) a church can try to adopt liturgy for the purpose of attracting members in a Church-Growth-type approach. I wonder how you would know when a church got to that point?

chaplain7904 said...

Phil asks: Do you think it's possible to produce a video to encourage people to come to a church, or is that always a losing proposition?

Answer: I don't know the answer to that question, Phil, it seems like a bad idea because it's a type of advertising and selling.

Phil writes: On the other hand, I do sympathize with your skepticism. At some point...a church can try to adopt liturgy for the purpose of attracting members in a Church-Growth-type approach. I wonder how you would know when a church got to that point?

Reply: I don't think that's why Pr. B does what he does, I think he does it because of his convictions as a classical Lutheran. But I think making a video about it is, as you say, an attempt to "attract members in a church growth type approach."

That's what I was thinking but couldn't exactly put into words. The 'sappy' music is always a dead give away. Again, I don't assign bad motives to the good pastor, but you've hit the nail ont he head. (And as an aside: I've got a serious problem with girl acolytes, if that was a girl, it was hard to tell in the video.)

chaplain7904 said...

One further thought, the making of such a video treats the the holy mass as if it's a product, the best product to be sure, but still a product, one of many. This troubles me.

Judith said...

I am wondering, if this church is so diverse, why it is that the only interviews which are shown are with families with a mother and father and children all present. Surely at this church there are single people of both genders young and old, even if not of other races (I find Paul McCain's excuse about kinds of diversity rather lame). I see older people at the gatherings and services shown in the video, but they have no part in the interviews.

I agree with Pr. Kavouras that it looks as though this church is trying to attract more "people like us" by only featuring "people like us." If I were a single person, I would have to conclude that this church is problably not too interested in attracting someone like myself.

chaplain7904 said...

Judith, that's another problem which I couldn't put into words as eloquently as you did. And that's the problem with "selling," even though I don't think Pastor B. had any bad intentions. It's all too perfect. What about the strung out crack whore, or alcholic soccer mom who's intoxicated by 9:30 every morning?

Phil said...

Pr. Kavouras,

There are a series of videos on YouTube which detail the most recent, rare celebration of the Sarum Rite (Use of Salisbury) Mass by Roman Catholic clerics. There is no obvious attempt at any kind of promotion or sales in that series of videos; in fact, I think it's probably geared mostly towards people [like me] interested in liturgical arcana.

There have been plenty of videotaped liturgies by Roman Catholics (think EWTN) as well as Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, and Lutherans. Do you think the act of videorecording a liturgy is in itself wrong, or are you more opposed to the cinematography framing the liturgy in this video? (Again, I don't really have a problem with it, although I don't think "This is the Feast" has any business being part of the Mass.)

(Hope you enjoy the book. It's the only source where I've found extended translated quotations from Bp. Theodor Kliefoth.)

chaplain7904 said...

Phil, I don't think the purpose of this video was to inform the curious about what real Lutherans do, I would have little objection to that. Though I might have some reservations even there. The mass being what it is, the intimate union of Christ with His bride, video recordings of it might be akin to recording what takes place on the marriage bed.

I think the purpose of this video is to sell. That's how it strikes me anyway, and such a thought is odious. Yet God regularly uses even our errors for His purpose.

I speak here as chief of sinners, because I've had and carried out some pretty hair-brained schemes in 31 years of ministry. But I'm glad to have discovered that neither God, nor the church catholic need my clever ideas.

I have a lot of sins to atone for, so to speak. And so I hope to spend the rest of my days conducting Mass, preaching, teaching, baptizing, visiting the sick etc. in the most non-ostentatious way possible.

masonbeecroft said...

Dean & Judith,
Thanks for your concerns.

The primary purpose for the video was to give the people of the parish a way to let their friends and family know what Grace is about. We have witnessed remarkable growth from non-Lutherans, even non-Christians over the past several years and spend much of our time in catechesis and mystagogy. The Mass is a different world for Protestants, but we try to remain as faithful as possible. The parish is by no means perfect and my pastoral practice is the same. If the video reeks of "sales" and is "unseemly" to you, then fine. We put it out there and I am a big boy... and we try to keep our crack whores and alcoholic soccer moms in the basement.

Phil said...

Pr. Kavouras,

If nothing else, Pr. Beecroft's video has encouraged this Lutheran that there are other churches which retain the old reverent ceremonies and the true doctrine.

I hope to come up to Cleveland again and visit sometime.


chaplain7904 said...

Dear Brother Mason, anyone who can say "I'm a big boy" is all right in my book. That little phrase covers a lot of ground, and says a lot about a man who does his best, takes responsibility for his own actions, and will always re-examine himself.

I learned that exact line from an old Jewish coin dealer. Whenever I asked him questions that I either should have known the answer to, or could have discovered on my own, he'd always say: you're a big boy Dean.

O that that line would become the theme of all men in this whimpering, simpering, self-pitying age.

You got a good sense of humor there, too, boychik -- "We keep our crack whores...in the basement."

Paul McCain said...

The primary purpose for the video was to give the people of the parish a way to let their friends and family know what Grace is about.
Wow, imagine that. Sounds pretty unfaithful to me. Next thing you know Pr. Beecroft is going to crank up the praise band and start shaving his head to attract people, while hoisting the Nazi flag and stoning unwed mothers there.

WM Cwirla said...

Having served as a vicar in Tulsa 20 years ago, it is wonderful to see such great things going on at Grace. It's a lovely sanctuary, and it is being put to very good use, as evidenced by the video.

Timothy said...

Fantastic! Showed it to my sons who are students at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, as an explanation for my own liturgical development. They said "awesome!" in 'student-speak.' And I say awesome, too. Thanks for making the video, but above all, thanks for doing what you do. Now, let's do some synodical realignment. ;)