Registration is now open for the 2014 Institute on Liturgy, Preaching and Church Music, to be held July 28-31 at Concordia University, Nebraska in Seward, Neb. The conference is presented by LCMS Worship, a ministry of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
The theme of the conference is “Comfort, Comfort Ye My People: Praying, Preaching and Singing the Comfort of Christ to the Troubled Conscience and the Broken Heart.” That theme was inspired by the Advent hymn “Comfort, Comfort Ye My People” (Lutheran Service Book 347) and Martin Luther’s insight: “Everything, therefore, in the Christian church is ordered toward this goal: we shall daily receive in the church nothing but the forgiveness of sin through the Word and signs, to comfort and encourage our consciences as long as we live here” (Large Catechism II 55).
“This insight was at the heart of how the Reformation sought to reform the church in her worship, her preaching, her whole life,” said the Rev. William Weedon, LCMS International Center chaplain and director of Worship.
“Can you imagine how wonderfully renewed our Synod would be if in every place we worked with all the gifts God has given to bring the comfort of Christ’s forgiveness to bear on the terrified conscience and His healing to the broken heart?” he continued.
The worship institute is designed for pastors, musicians and laity who are passionate about music. The conference also includes tracks specifically designed for composers and hymnwriters.
In all, nearly 60 speakers will present on a variety of topics during the plenary sessions, seminars and workshops.
The four plenary sessions will include:
- “Liturgy and Conscience: Our Earthly Reception of Heavenly Gifts” with Dr. John W. Kleinig, professor emeritus at the Australian Lutheran College;
- “Drawing Lines? Choosing Sides? Speaking the Truth in Love?” with Paul Soulek and Betsy Werner of St. John Lutheran Church and School, Seward, Neb.;
- “Preaching in the Conscience” with the Rev. Bryan Wolfmueller, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora, Colo.; and
- “‘After the Gospel the Whole Congregation Sings’: Reformation Church Music” with Dr. Robin A. Leaver, professor emeritus of sacred music at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, N.J.
In addition, LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison will preach during the opening Divine Service and will be available for questions during one of the workshop sessions.
The worship institute also will include worship services, organ recitals and a hymn festival at St. John Lutheran Church, Seward.
“The people of God, gathered around His Word, receiving His gifts, proclaiming His praises together. It’s a little taste of heaven right here on earth!” Weedon said.
To register and for more information about the 2014 worship institute, click here.
Updated March 17, 2014