by Katie Schuermann
ST. LOUIS (July 23, 2013) — Lutherans sure can sing!
Delegate voices joined together in joyful song this morning during Matins, both in praise to the Triune God and in proclamation of the Word to each other.
“Baptized into Christ Jesus’ death,” the assembly boldly sang the official hymn of the convention at the service’s closing. “One with Him on that cursed tree; just as He rose, so also those Baptized into His victory!”
The Rev. William C. Weedon, director of worship for the Synod and chaplain of the LCMS International Center, explained that choosing the convention hymn writer for this year was easy.
“Once the [convention] theme was decided,” Weedon said, “we turned to probably the most famous hymn writer in the Synod, Stephen Starke. We shared with him the Scriptures that we used in the services, and he very skillfully wove all of them together into one hymn that lifted up the idea that Baptism means everything for our life at this moment.”
“Way too many people put Baptism as a thing of the past,” Weedon said. “Pastor Starke wrote this hymn to teach us catechetically and to celebrate with us that Baptism is a gift where God keeps on giving to us, right now.”
All who are baptized can join in singing the final chorus of Starke’s hymn with the convention assembly, “Praise God! We are one in Christ and baptized for this moment!”
The Rev. Stephen P. Starke is pastor of St. John Lutheran Church-Amelith in Bay City, Mich.
The Rev. Bernhard Seter, chair for the LCMS Board for International Mission, preached a Matins sermon on Acts 6:1-7. Christ is “the feast, and in the water and in the Word, in the bread and wine, He serves us so that we can serve others.”
“That’s what we’ve been baptized for,” Seter said.
The Rev. Benjamin Ball of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hamel, Ill., was liturgist, and Cantor Phillip Magness of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Broken Arrow, Okla., served as organist/pianist. Magness was joined by Matthew Janssen on flugelhorn and trumpet.
Our Convention Hymn, “Baptized into Christ Jesus’ Death,” is now available from Concordia Publishing House as a free PDF download for both accompaniment and reproducible congregational pages for congregational use through December 31, 2013. Go to cph.org/ConventionHymn to download.
The 65th Regular Convention of the LCMS is meeting July 20-25 at the America’s Center Convention Complex under the theme “Baptized for This Moment.” Among convention participants are some 1,200 clergy and lay voting delegates.