Synod Chaplain Wears Several Hats

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The Rev. William Weedon leads a missionary sending service on March 11 at the LCMS International Center in St. Louis. (LCMS Communications/Erik M. Lunsford)

by Roger Drinnon

“Good morning, people loved by God” — those who work at the Synod’s International Center (IC) in St. Louis hear these comforting words over the intercom around 9:45 a.m. each weekday, just as they are reminded chapel service is about to start.

The voice behind those encouraging words is the Rev. William Weedon, director of LCMS Worship and IC chaplain. In addition to ensuring the roughly 300 people working in the IC have the privilege of daily worship and also pastoral care when needed, his myriad other duties extend well beyond the walls of the Synod’s headquarters.

Multitasking Worship, Chaplain Duties

In his chaplain role, Weedon works with the Synod president’s office in planning and supervising all chapel services at the IC and Lutheran Church Extension Fund, as well as rendering informal chaplaincy and counseling services to employees as requested. He also visits hospitalized IC employees.

Weedon said he currently is organizing and teaching the first unit of “Lutheran U,” an educational offering that seeks to inform Synod employees regarding the distinctions of Lutheran theology, the history of the LCMS and a Lutheran approach to various issues of the day.

In his director of Worship role, Weedon is responsible for proposing and creating programs that carry out the purposes and aims of the Synod in matters of worship.

He also oversees the IC’s Community Chest — a collection of donations from among Synod employees for helping out other Synod employees in times of crisis, including those working at deployed locations.

“We’ve helped people [in the IC] after the recent flooding, people with legal difficulties, people coping with catastrophic medical bills, and all kinds of situations like that,” Weedon said.

Although not an employee of the Synod’s radio station Worldwide KFUO, Weedon makes time to host the station’s program “Thy Strong Word,” which airs weekdays around 11 a.m. Central time. The program also is available via podcast at kfuo.org.

“It’s unusual for someone outside of KFUO to host a program like this, but it’s an example of the [LCMS] Office of National Mission’s commitment to providing biblical catechesis nationwide,” Weedon said.

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The Rev. William Weedon leads a missionary sending service on March 11, 2016, at the LCMS International Center in St. Louis. Weedon works with the Synod president’s office in planning and supervising all chapel services at the IC and Lutheran Church Extension Fund, as well as rendering informal chaplaincy and counseling services to employees as requested. He also visits hospitalized IC employees. (LCMS Communications/Frank Kohn)

Preaching, Speaking Across the Synod

In his role with LCMS Worship, he also has a full plate of preaching and speaking commitments at LCMS conferences across the nation. One conference Weedon is particularly involved with is LCMS Worship’s 2017 Institute on Liturgy, Preaching and Church Music, scheduled for July 24-28, 2017, at Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill.

Weedon said the theme of the conference — which will take place in the year of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation — is “The Just Live by Faith: Make This Plain,” based on Hab. 2:4.

Keynote sessions during the conference will focus on how to allow this core biblical theme, which is “so important and beloved in the Lutheran heritage, to bring its sparkling clarity and joy to sermon, service and song.”

Weedon also said the goal is to ensure that worship delivers the promises of God’s Word in every aspect of the service, as each element helps God’s people proclaim and take to heart the message of the Scriptures read on that particular day.

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The Rev. William Weedon hosts the program “Thy Strong Word” on Worldwide KFUO. (LCMS Communications / Erik M. Lunsford)

“The way the service is conducted, the way the readings are read, the way the music is played — all of this can be and should be animated with the deep joy of the Gospel, of the sinner’s free justification,” Weedon said. “That’s after all the very heart of the biblical revelation itself — God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself and not imputing to us our sins.”

He said the conference is “designed to be a blessing for pastors, musicians and any lay persons who care deeply about worship and serving up the Word of God richly and excellently in the assembly of saints, maximally using the vast resources of our Lutheran heritage and celebrating and exploring the new gifts that the Holy Spirit delights to pour out on the Church.

“We’re excited to hold the 2017 Worship Institute at [CUC,] River Forest this time,” Weedon said, “given that school’s significant contribution to music and worship in our church body for so many years.”

For more information about the conference, call 888-THE LCMS (843-5267) or email infocenter@lcms.org.

Learn more


Free Resources from LCMS Worship

LCMS Worship aims to nurture an understanding and love for the Lutheran heritage in Christian worship. Helpful resources available for free include:

  • Let Us Pray weekly prayers;
  • Lectionary summaries for Sunday readings;
  • Bible studies;
  • Children and youth resources;
  • Liturgy audio files;
  • Organ instructional videos;
  • Radio interviews on worship topics, including a series on the historic liturgy and numerous hymn studies; and
  • Unwrapping the Gifts, an electronic publication devoted to topics of worship.

Roger Drinnon is director of Editorial Services and Media Relations for LCMS Communications.

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Lutherans Engage the World — Engaging the Church in the work of witness and mercy
across the globe in our life together. Content is prepared by LCMS Communications.

2 Responses to Synod Chaplain Wears Several Hats

  1. Andy Toopes May 21, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

    How sad that our Synod can’t afford to support missionaries but we can afford a chaplain in a building full of clergy. Does the chaplain have to beg churches for his salary? I feel that this salary could be used to help fund at least one missionary.

    • LCMS Church Information Center June 2, 2016 at 9:49 am #

      Thank you for your comment. Historically the LCMS International Center (IC) has been blessed with several chaplains who helped plan and supervise all daily chapel services, while also providing pastoral care for more than 450 LCMS employees working at the IC and some other locations.

      As the article states, Pastor Weedon has expanded this to include “organizing and teaching the first unit of ‘Lutheran U,’ an educational offering that seeks to inform Synod employees regarding the distinctions of Lutheran theology, the history of the LCMS and a Lutheran approach to various issues of the day…He also oversees the IC’s Community Chest — a collection of donations from among Synod employees for helping out other Synod employees in times of crisis.”

      The “Network Supported Model” (NSM) model our missionaries use has proven incredibly successful over the years by having missionaries funded by multiple sources so they are not subject to budgetary fluctuations which could adversely affect their service in the mission field. In the end, we have missionaries who are funded in a very fiscally responsible manner, and congregations who are well informed of our missionary efforts throughout the world.

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