Monday, August 1, 2011

A Buried Treasure on the Nebraska Prairie

I am in awe of our Synodical history – not about the boats from Germany – but rather the way ordinary people doing ordinary things turn out to be giants in our midst.  I cannot even imagine being in elementary school with a teacher like Carlos Messerli or Paul Bouman or Carl Schalk!  I listened to one describe how they dealt with a choir director and organist who seemed thoroughly ordinary but turned out to be Jan Bender!  Amazing!  Can you imagine being in the presence of greatness and not even knowing it?  Or to quote a quiet hero from the past (and one of my own personal favorites) only to look up and see the daughter of Walter Buszin sitting right in front of me!

St. John and Concordia-Seward are to be commended for bringing together a stellar group of people to present on a variety of topics related to worship and music for the triennial Worship and Music Conference (formerly sponsored by the Commission on Worship).  Somewhere just below 400 Pastors, parish musicians, and lay folk from Manitoba to Texas, California to New York, gathered July 27-29.  I was privileged to lead a couple of different sessions, to work with Seward's very fine Music Department Chair, Joe Herl, and to sit in the seats while others presented.  I was very much impressed with the caliber of folk, with the serious intention of those who plan and lead worship and the church's song, and with the facilities at Seward.

If you missed it, you really did miss something grand.  If you missed it, you should pay attention to what is to come in a couple of years as (I hope and pray) this wonderful conference begins its next chapter...


Anonymous said...

The real burial on the Nebraska
prairie will be the University of
Nebraska football team as they begin
play in the Big Ten Conference this
fall....and they face some real
competition on the gridiron.

Their new rival will be the Iowa
Hawkeyes who will enjoy the burial
rites in the last game of the season.

Terry Maher said...

God bless me sideways, as an alumnus twice over of the University of Iowa (MA and PhD) and a former professor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a resident of Nebraska since 1983, that will be a tough one!

And if finding a football comment wasn't a surprise, finding among the luminaries mentioned someone with whom I did some work many years ago who gave me a copy of Lutheran Book of Worship, which though helpful for those purposes, made me think if this is all the Lutherans have for liturgy I might as well go back to Rome and stick it out with the novus ordo, and put off any personal interest in Lutheranism for years.

Not sure how I will handle the coming season though. Maybe root for Iowa on my Past Elder Facebook and root for Nebraska on my personal one. Or maybe retreat to what I grew up with in Minnesota, where college football was a Saturday appetizer for the real deal on Sunday with the pros, and on the occasional games with the Huskers could care less that the Gophers would usually get their butts kicked but thought it amusing that all these people in red showed up since apparently they didn't have a damn thing else in Nebraska.

Anonymous said...


As an Iowa Alumnus with a PhD you
will know in your heart that Iowa
is your choice against Nebraska.

I am a native Iowan by birth and
an Iowa Hawkeye by the Grace of God.
Forrest Evashaski, Haydon Fry, and
Kirk Ferentz are the three coaches
who have brought Iowa to the promised

Terry Maher said...

Well hell, I was born in Chicago, grew up in Minnesota, been all over hell, went to graduate school at Iowa, then got a professorship which was originally what brought me to Nebraska where I have been since 1983. I don't even know in my heart what to call my hometown on Facebook for Judas Microblogging Priests' sake. Besides, once you go Runza, there ain't no going back.

As a Hawkeye, I was more for wrestling and basketball than football anyway. Dan Gable, Lute Olsen. And everybody knows that pure sport, the mind of God at sport, is baseball anyway.

So maybe, as they say nearby, it ain't no thing.

Terry Maher said...

PS -- and despite my occasional jousts with redsoxfan, I am a member of Red Sox Nation Living in the Diaspora. Wanna see a sport controversy writ large -- shoulda seen Boston the year that three major religious observances happened on the same day: Passover, Good Friday, and Red Sox season opening day. A Nightmare!!

Anonymous said...

Attention Terry Maher

You probably already knew that
Lute Olsen was confirmed as a Lutheran in the 8th grade in a
parish in Minnesota. He now
belongs to a Lutheran parish in
Tucson, Arizona. Lute had
class and dignity as a coach
and a man.

Pastor Peters said...

Momma, don't let your kids grow up to be Hawkeyes!

A guy in our church wore his Ohio State polo and I told him that this would probably be the last Sunday he could wear it without hanging his head since the Big Red is set to dominate there too!!