`Lutherhostels` offer opportunities for learning, say participants

Bill and Diana Sornborger of Los Angeles are planning to attend their eighth or ninth “Lutherhostel” sponsored by the national Association of Lutheran Older Adults (ALOA), and they have no plans to make it their last.
They keep going, says Diana, “because the speakers are so great, and the music is so great, and the people there are so wonderful.”  Each time the couple attends ALOA’s annual Lutherhostel in Tucson, Ariz., they get together with old friends and meet new ones, she says.
For Bill, it’s “an opportunity to hear church leaders from around the country on specific subjects” and listen to presentations given by people of other cultures, such as Native Americans.  It’s “absolutely” a learning experience, he added, that “has applications when you get home.”
The couple, who say they’re not retired but “on a permanent sabbatical” because they’re doing things they enjoy, say ALOA Lutherhostels offer something for just about everybody.

ALOA is sponsoring two “Lutherhostels” next year:

  • Its 12th annual Arizona Lutherhostel is scheduled for March 13-17 at the Redemptorist Renewal Center (“Picture Rocks”) in Tucson, Ariz.  The event is designed to provide an opportunity for older adults to experience “intellectual, social, and spiritual growth in a relaxed setting,” according to an ALOA news release.

    Daily presentations and Bible studies will be given by Dr. Diane Jacobson, professor of Old Testament and associate dean at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.  Music and daily devotional services will be under the direction of Dr. Ralph Schultz, former choir director and president of Concordia College, Bronxville, N.Y.

    Other presentations will highlight “Life as a School Marm in the 1870s”; Southern Arizona history; African American stories of courage, heroism, and faith; and a demonstration of musical instruments from the time of Bach.  The conference also will include hikes, gourd decorating, and a tour of the Rodeo Museum.

    Registration, lodging, and meals for the Tucson Lutherhostel is $435 (two per room, singles add $35).  Commuters who do not require lodging may register for $275, which includes meals and all activities.

  • Its third annual Lutherhostel in conjunction with the Lutheran Summer Music (LSM) program at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., is planned for July 19-23.

    Lutherhostel participants will attend concerts performed by LSM students each evening.  Three presentations will be given by Dr. Paul Westermeyer, professor of church music at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, and daily devotions will be led by Rev. Dennis Ahl, who served parishes in Minnesota for 33 years before retiring in 2003.

    Other presenters include Dr. Winston Grundmeier, who will speak about the ethnicity of central Minnesota, and Dean Wahlund, who will relate the Swedish history of the college.  Activities include a campus walking tour highlighting the sculptures of Paul Granlund and a field trip to explore the German community of New Ulm, Minn.

    Registration, lodging, and meals for the St. Peter Lutherhostel is $445 (two per room, singles add $35).  Cost for commuters is $290.

For more information about either event or to register, contact Walt Schmidt at (623) 937-8835 or waltlois@att.net.

Posted Oct. 27, 2005

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