By Caitlin Magness
LCMS School Ministry has released the 2019–20 “Chapel Talks,” an annual worship resource for Lutheran schools. The theme of this year’s edition, “Joy:fully Lutheran,” will also serve as the theme of the upcoming Synod convention and National Lutheran Schools Week.
The “Chapel Talks” resource contains 44 worship outlines, along with opening and closing services, to be used for chapel with elementary school students. The services also may be adapted for younger or older students.
Each talk includes a Scripture reading taken from the Three-Year Lectionary, Series C (or Series A after the end of the 2019–20 Church Year) and the following worship and study aids:
- “Tools to Joy,” an object lesson or visual;
- “Joy Together,” introductory thoughts on the theme of the week;
- “Joy in the Word,” a look at the week’s text through a Law-and-Gospel lens;
- “Joy in Prayer,” a prayer based on the week’s theme; and
- “Fully Lutheran,” a suggested reading from Luther’s Small Catechism or one of Luther’s hymns.
The themes of the services align with the Church Year, with special services for holidays and feast days.
In line with the theme of “Joy:fully Lutheran,” the resource places a particular emphasis on 1 Thess. 5:16–18: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
The Rev. Bob Riggert, author of “Chapel Talks,” writes in the introduction, “Lutheran schools are full of joys: the first day of school; the individual gifts and personalities at every grade level; the servant hearts of staff; the commitment of congregations and communities; the involvement of parents; the excitement of a team victory or a school performance; ministry milestones and anniversaries; graduations; and many more.
“The fullness of joy lies in the Gospel-centered confession and proclamation of the Lutheran school. … While Lutheran school students experience joy in many different contexts, the most JOY-FULL time and place is in worship together.”
This is not Riggert’s first “Chapel Talks.” A former Lutheran school teacher, principal and parish pastor, as well as a former executive assistant for Education, Youth and Stewardship for the LCMS Iowa District West, Riggert has written the last five editions of the resource for LCMS School Ministry.
Caitlin Magness is a writer and editor living in High Ridge, Mo.
Posted June 11, 2019