By Caitlin Magness
LCMS School Ministry has released this year’s “Chapel Talks for Lutheran Schools,” an annual resource provided for Lutheran schools to use as an outline for weekly school chapel.
Under the theme “Sent to Serve,” the 2020–21 “Chapel Talks” contains 43 devotions — one for each week of the school year — plus services for the beginning and ending of the school year and for Christmas.
Each week’s devotion uses a Scripture reading corresponding to the three-year lectionary to explore the theme of service — both Christ’s service to the world and Christians’ service to others.
“Lutheran schools serve because Jesus served,” writes the Rev. Bob Riggert, author of the resource, in his introduction. A former Lutheran teacher, principal and parish pastor, Riggert was also executive assistant for Education, Youth and Stewardship for the LCMS Iowa District West. He has written “Chapel Talks” for six consecutive years.
“Celebrating the Savior who was ‘Sent to Serve,’ Lutheran school ministry offers these chapel talks to Lutheran schools and other worshiping assemblies where children gather in the name of Jesus,” Riggert writes.
Each devotion has three parts, presented as a “menu” of appetizer, main course and dessert.
- The “appetizer” presents an illustration or object lesson to introduce the week’s devotion.
- The “main course” explores the Scripture reading of the week, with an emphasis on Law and Gospel.
- After the “main course” comes a prayer and a “dessert” consisting of additional resources such as catechism readings or school activities.
Lutheran school workers are encouraged to provide “side dishes” to go along with the devotions. The devotions may also be adapted for different age groups and local contexts. Hymn selections from both Lutheran Service Book and All God’s People Sing are provided for each week.
“I use ‘Chapel Talks’ every year,” says the Rev. Jonathan Buescher, sole pastor at Zion Lutheran Church and School in Mount Pulaski, Ill. “I am excited about the theme of service for next school year! I find the resource really helpful to cover different ideas and teachings. It’s hard to be creative every week for chapel, so I like it a lot!”
Sherri Jesgarz, a teacher at Trinity Lutheran School in Stewardson, Ill., finds the talks useful when someone has to step in and lead chapel on a short notice.
“That did happen a time or two! [The talks] were good to have when someone had to step in last minute because the information was all laid out,” she says.
The Rev. Michael Mohr, pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Vandalia, Ill., has also made use of the resource.
“[The talks] helped coordinate the weekly themes,” he says. “I really appreciated when the lectionary was tied in. We weren’t bound to the text of the talks, but they served as a good starting point for planning and writing.”Download ‘Chapel Talks’
Caitlin Magness is a writer and editor living in High Ridge, Mo.
Posted June 22, 2020