By Rebekah Curtis
After seven years, the Rev. William Weedon is retiring as director of LCMS Worship and International Center (IC) chaplain. Weedon, installed in 2012, was the first to serve in the dual position, which was created under restructuring passed by the 2010 LCMS convention.
On Aug. 29, he was honored with a special chapel service and reception at the IC. In keeping with his widely known aversion to carbohydrates, the reception snacks consisted of bacon, eggs and a sheet cake with a black-and-orange “Warning: Biohazard” design engraved in the frosting.
During his IC tenure, Weedon oversaw the production of numerous resources for congregations and pastors, including Unwrapping the Gifts (a resource for worship planners), The Word in Song (hymn studies) and LetUsPray (a prayer resource for the Divine Service, developed for both the Three-Year and One-Year Lectionary). He also oversaw the publication of the Rev. Christopher Thoma’s updated Kids in the Divine Service for use with the Lutheran Service Book (LSB).
Weedon initiated the KFUO radio show “Thy Strong Word,” a Bible study which he hosted for nearly five years. In partnership with the radio program “Issues, Etc.,” Weedon also provided teaching on liturgy, marriage, baptism, death and dying, hymnody and the Daily Office.
Weedon spearheaded two LCMS Institutes on Liturgy, Preaching and Church Music. As IC chaplain, Weedon saw to the spiritual care of Synod employees. He was responsible for chapel services (including services at the neighboring Lutheran Church Extension Fund building), for which he also preached regularly. Weedon was instrumental in helping workers with the support and needs of the body, enlisting the Rev. Randy Asburry of Hope Lutheran Church, St. Louis, to teach financial stewardship with Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.
Additionally, Weedon administered an internal fund to assist Synod employees in financial crisis, applying Martin Luther’s idea of a Community Chest to the workplace. “The Community Chest is one that still astounds me,” Weedon said. “The employees have been so generous in giving, and seeing the tangible blessing to brothers and sisters in need has been an overwhelming joy.”
Weedon’s depth of teaching on worship and his perceptive cultivation of programs and initiatives reflect his proficiency in both worship and pastoral care. “Pastor Weedon brought a great deal of scholarly insight combined with long pastoral experience to LCMS Worship,” said the Rev. Robert Zagore, who directs the LCMS Office of National Mission (ONM). “As he’s led this ministry, we have rejoiced in his breadth of historical, theological and pastoral expertise.”
Commitment to prayer and God’s holy Word continue to be hallmarks of Weedon’s outlook. “My prayer for LCMS Worship and our Synod is that we might always and ever be a people of the Word, more deeply studying, attending to, preaching, believing and delighting to obey our God,” he said. “Faithfulness to this is simply the key to joy in the life of the church and of the Christian. ‘Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word!’”
Weedon intends to carry on with work similar to his service with LCMS Worship. On Reformation Day, he will launch a new podcast, “The Word That Endures Forever,” for Lutheran Public Radio (LPR), Collinsville, Ill. The author of two books for Concordia Publishing House, Weedon also plans to write for LPR. In addition, he will serve as assistant pastor and catechist at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hamel, Ill., the congregation where he served for 20 years prior to his Synod chaplaincy.
“If one has heard Pastor Weedon preach and teach, you’ve heard him address the ‘people loved by God,’ ” said St. Paul’s senior pastor, the Rev. Benjamin Ball, who also serves as LCMS sixth vice-president. “What a joy it will be to have him return to our pulpit to proclaim the love of God to the beloved saints of our congregation.”
Weedon will be installed at St. Paul on Sept. 29. The Rev. Todd Wilken, assistant pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Millstadt, Ill., will serve as preacher.
“The LCMS Worship department helps the Word of God to dwell in us richly, equips us for faithful meditation on the Word, and strengthens our proclamation of the Gospel,” said Cantor Phillip Magness, director of parish music at Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, Mo., and a music specialist for the LCMS Office of International Mission. Magness, who is assisting with chapel planning while the IC is between chaplains, added, “Chaplain Weedon did a very good job of nurturing our liturgical piety, and we want to keep it up!”
While a new chaplain and director is sought, the Worship department will continue contributing to Making Disciples for Life (MDFL), a Synod initiative to provide practical resources to congregations and church workers. Plans for MDFL include the offering of regional convocations that will address a variety of topics, including worship.
“Pastor Weedon’s great, Gospel-rich preaching has comforted and even thrilled our hearts. His deep knowledge of the Scriptures, the church and her worship have opened vistas unending for our edification and deep pleasure,” said LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison.
Zagore added, “Pastor Weedon’s enthusiasm for the saving, vivifying and healing power of the Gospel in the lives of God’s people was always on display. He has a caring pastoral heart, and he knows how to apply God’s Word to sinners, one on one and in worship.”
Rebekah Curtis (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a freelance writer in Southern Illinois.
Posted Sept. 27, 2019