Friday, August 1, 2014

Where were you?

It was an embarrassment of riches.  I am humbled by the many gifts and blessings to our Church and the number assembled to teach, guide, inspire, and edify those who attended the 2014 Synod Gathering at Seward, Nebraska.  Under the theme of Comfort, Comfort Ye My People the once every three years Institute on Liturgy, Preaching, and Church Music gathered for a remarkably mild and beautiful week at a campus that is one of Synod's hidden treasures.  Kudos to Chaplain Will Weedon and his cohorts for putting together such a wonderful group of presenters.  Kudos to Concordia University-Nebraska for hosting so well this group and to St. John Lutheran Church for their warm hospitality.  Kudos to all those who led the plenary sessions, seminars, and workshops.  Kudos to the musicians whose skill and wise leadership blessed the rich ministry of God's Word and Table in worship.  Kudos to Sandy Bowers who literally carried the weight of all the details on her shoulders. 

We began with Divine Service Three that was straight up but as rich as it could be in presenting us with the gifts of God for His baptized people.  Then the first of the twin pillars (accents) that bordered the plenary sessions -- none other than Dr. John Kleinig from Australia.  His is one of the most thoughtful, scholarly, and yet pastoral voices in Lutheranism today.  Then Paul Soulek and Betsy Werner and a parish musician perspective.  Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller piggy backed on what Dr. Kleinig began with the idea of a good conscience.  Then another mountain top with Dr. Robin Leaver whose knowledge of Luther and music, Lutheran hymnody, and J. S. Bach rivals anyone in the world.   Wow!

The numbers of Seminar and Workshop choices boggled the mind and tested the ability of an individual to pick just one seminar and five workshops for the week.  Honestly, I do not know how Chaplain Weedon got all of these superstars in their fields to be here.  We had pastors, parish musicians, teachers, students, and laity together where they should be -- around the Lord and His gifts where we meet each Sunday.  In addition, I saw old friends, deepened many acquaintances, made many new friends, and met quite a few readers of this blog!  It was like a family reunion.

My point is this -- if you were NOT there, you missed something.  Something great.  Something wise.  Something inspiring.  Something unique (well, at least only triennial).  If you were there, you know exactly what I am talking about.  If you were not, then considered yourself chastised for being absent and encouraged to make sure you do not miss the next one.

Yes, it is not cheap but what of value is cheap these days.  It is a bargain.  Between all the costs for food, housing, and registration -- plus transportation -- you can save up for the next one by giving one large McDonald's coffee each day or 2-3 Starbucks a week.  Yes.  Start now.  Put away what you might have spent on that soda, coffee, or candy bar and stick it in your 2017 Institute coin jar.  If you are faithful, you will have enough so that you are not sitting at home reading about what you good be remembering with thanksgiving to the Lord! 

1 comment:

Janis Williams said...

So thankful for Issues, Etc. for bringing us crumbs from under the table, so to speak. Love hearing from pastors and preenters who get to be there when others of us didn't save our Starbucks money!