The Joseph Sittler Archives — The Expanding Scope of Grace
The Joseph Sittler Archives — The Expanding Scope of Grace
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The Role of the Ordained

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What is the nature of the role of the clergy? Sittler spoke often at conferences and workshops, often with groups of clergy by themselves. So he occasionally touched on the role of the clergy, particularly in the context of his commitment to the idea that all the baptized, not just the "ordained ones," are called into ministry. He was clearly concerned to counter any impression that being ordained implied for the individual an "elevated" ministry. So, he stressed that the clergy have a quite specialized role, neither higher nor lower than the laity; and that is "to tell the story." His theme was that if telling the story is merely everyone's responsibility in general, it is then no one's special responsibility. To insure that the story is always told, generation after generation, the church has wisely designated some of its community members — the ordained — to bear that special responsibility.

A sample of materials on the Role of the Ordained available from the Archives

  • Keynote Speech for the Conference on the Pastoral Office (Southwest Wisconsin District, ALC), Audiotape (10/82)

  • Sermon at the installation of the Reverend Hofer at Augustana Lutheran Church, Chicago, Audiotape (10/19/75)

  • The View From Mt. Nebo (Third in the “Message to Our Malaise” series at Princeton Theological Seminary, Audiotape (7/19/61) available online




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The Anguish of Preaching by Joseph Sittler

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