Worship institute online registration opens

Online registration is open for LCMS Worship’s 2017 Institute on Liturgy, Preaching and Church Music. The registration deadline is July 10.

The institute is set for July 25-28 at Concordia University Chicago (CUC) in River Forest, Ill. Commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation this year, the event focuses on the central act of worship: God’s justification of sinners through the blood of His Son. Its theme is “The Just Live by Faith: Make This Plain in Sermon, Service, Song.”

“Worship is the very heart and center of the Church’s mission as she calls people from idolatry — trying to squeeze life out of the stuff of this world — into her life of living from the gifts of the true God,” said the Rev. William Weedon, director of LCMS Worship. “John 4:23 reveals the Father’s mission: ‘For the Father is seeking such people to worship him.’ The highest worship is receiving what He gives us in Words, at the font and at the table.”

CUC President Rev. Dr. Daniel Gard will lead the institute’s Bible study of Habakkuk, the Old Testament book from which the institute theme is drawn and from which Reformation insight dawned for Martin Luther.

“Have you ever read Habakkuk?” Weedon asked. “This ‘minor prophet’ continues to have a major impact on the Church.”

Weedon said that two new musical settings of the great Lutheran chorales that form Divine Service, Setting Five, in Lutheran Service Book also will form the institute’s opening and closing worship services. The first setting — by Jacob Weber — “is ideal for congregations with limited musical resources,” he said. The second setting — by Jonathan Kohrs — “is written for congregations with maximal musical resources.” Concordia Publishing House plans to have both settings available for purchase.

LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison will preach at the opening Divine Service, and Gard will preach for the closing service.

Besides the Divine Services, there will be daily prayer offices and an opportunity for Confession and Absolution. Also planned are a concert by the National Lutheran Choir displaying the musical heritage of the Reformation and two organ recitals.

In addition, the institute will feature over 100 different workshops covering a variety of topics related to worship.

One regular feature of the triennial institutes is a hymn festival. For this Reformation-anniversary year, that event will feature the hymnody of Martin Luther. His “Dear Christians, One and All Rejoice!” will provide the framework, with various selections from Luther’s writings read between the hymns.

When asked “Who should attend this institute?” Weedon answered, “Anyone who loves and enjoys worship; that is, feasting on the Lord’s good gifts to His children!”

Fees, registration

Conference registration fees are $300 for early-bird registration by June 15 and $350 between June 16 and July 10, $150 for full-time students and one-day registration, and $250 for two-day registration.

Those who register after July 10 may do so for $400 as “walk-ins” at the conference site, from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on July 25.

Thanks to “Issues, Etc.” and an anonymous donor, a limited number of scholarships are available for this year’s institute. The $150 scholarships will cover half the cost of the institute’s registration, and are available to church workers or musicians serving LCMS parishes of 300 or fewer members. They will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

To apply for a scholarship, email Sandy Bowers at sandy.bowers@lcms.org. The body of the email must include your name, address, phone number and the name and location of the LCMS congregation you serve. Once approved, Bowers will email you the steps necessary to register at the discounted rate.

The registration fee for exhibitors is $150 ($400 if also attending conference sessions).

Participants also may purchase breakfast, lunch and dinner during the institute — with those options listed on the registration form.

Limited on-campus residence-hall accommodations are available for $40 and $60. Contact Pete Becker at pete.becker@cuchicago.edu for more information.

Register for worship institute

Posted March 31, 2017 / Updated April 19 and April 27, 2017 (Information on scholarships for registration has been added.)

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