Announcing our Sixty-seventh Session

April 13-15 , 2015
Plenary Speakers: Mary Louise Bringle, Larry Rasmussen & Benjamin Stewart

Sing A New Song: The Cosmos in Praise and Lament  (2015)

Bearing God's Creative and Redeeming Word to all the World: Vocation and Worship (2016)

This two-year Institute series will take us face to face with our quickly changing life: its cultures, physical environments, and, finally, the entire cosmos.  We will look at the difficult reality of living in a world whose fragility is becoming increasingly clear.  How can our worship take into account the knowledge that our own lives contribute to the overuse of the earth's resources?  How can we best live our lives in an age where our very future is threatened at every turn?  It is not an option for Christians to ignore any aspect of creation.  Luther wrote, "God exists in every little seed, whole and entire, and yet also in all and above all and outside all created things.  Christ is present in all creatures, and I might find him in stone, in fire, in water, or even in a rope, for he certainly is there."  Unaware of the environmental challenges we face today, Luther nevertheless reminds us that every piece of creation is indeed our ultimate concern and is bound together with us in God.

In 2015 we will approach our relationship to the cosmos as both an occasion for both praise and lament.  We will hear from composers, ethicists, theologians and musicians about the care needed for our worship choices.  In worship we will sing new songs alongside our treasured songs, and hear them speak together.  Seeking wise choices for our personal and corporate life, we will challenge the ways we steward the gifts of creation.

In 2016 the Institute will continue this theme as it takes root in our own lives.  How do we shape our vocations and lives of service in response to the world around us?  Our speakers will unpack the implications for our lives.  In worship we will use global sources to connect our lives to those around us.  We will consider what justice looks like, what a global economy does to our lives, and how those realities shape the way we worship.  Worship will lead us to connect our vocation to the world around us.

In a cosmos that generously provides sustenance and yet is not limitless in its resources, the 2015 and 2016 Institutes will hold these realities in a creative tension.  Our liturgies will offer eucharistic and other prayer offices that lead us to reflect on God's creation and our place in it.  Through plenary talks, seminars, and workshops, we hope to engage in important questions about praise, prayer, and lament in our own time.

We invite you to join us for these days of worship, conversation, engagement, and renewal.


April 4-6, 2016   Bearing God's Creative Word to All the World: Vocation and Worship
    Sister Delores Dufner, Rafael Malpica-Padilla, Donald Saliers, and Paul Westermeyer, Plenary Presenters

April 24-26, 2017 - Liturgy Serving the Life of the Church: How Worship Re-forms Us
                                             (500th Year of the Reformation)
Father John Baldovin, Timo-Matti Haapianen, and Timothy Wengert, Plenary Presenters