How can Christian liturgical life shape the quality of moral
imagination necessary for the created world we now face?
Taking clues from Pope Francis's encyclical, On Care for Our
Common Home, I propose to explore connections between
root metaphors and images in Word, Sacrament and sung
prayer and key questions of human complicity and responsi-
bility. This leads to recasting Christian eschatological imag-
ination. How can our worship practices carry the seeds of
prophetic self-critique in our current social/cultural situation?
This plenary session will explore our narrative of origins and its
implications for our lives together as a community of faith and
for the vocation of the church. We were created in relationship
and for relationships. However, sin brings disruption and
estrangement from God and one another, hence God's mission
is to restore community. Through Word and sacraments God
creates and sustains a new community which becomes an in-
strument of God's mission to the world and an anticipatory sign
of God's sovereign rule.
The Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla serves as executive director of the
Global Mission program unit of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America (ELCA). Previously, he served the Division for Global Mission
in several positions from 1993 to 2003. Before being called to church-
wide service in the ELCA, he served as bishop of the ELCA's Caribbean
Synod from 1987-1993 and as a parish pastor in Puerto Rico following
his ordination in 1981. The Rev. Malpica Padilla holds a B.A. in philosophy
from the University of Puerto Rico (1977) and a master of divinity by
Newberry College in South Carolina in 1989. In 2013 the Synod Council
awarded him the title Bishop Emeritus of the ELCA Caribbean Synod.
Jesus came to bring abundant life, and worship can empower
us to share in his mission. Authentic worship in the 21st century
will inspire wonder at the beauty and diversity of God's creation;
raise awareness of the environmental crisis; challenge us to claim
our primary identity as children of God rather than consumers;
motivate us to embrace the simplicity of "enoughness," and move
us to action on behalf of our fragile planet.
Delores Dufner, OSB, is a writer of over 200 liturgical, scripturally
based hymn and song texts which are contracted or licensed by
34 publishers in the United States, Canada, Great Britian, Australia,
and China. She has received 53 commissions to write hymn texts
for special occasions or needs, and is the author of three hymn
collections: Sing a New Church (1994, Oregon Catholic Press), The
Glimmer of Glory in Song (2004, GIA Publications), and And Every
Breath, a Song (2011, GIA Publications).
In 2013 Sister Delores was named a Fellow of The Hymn Society in
the United States and Canada. In 2014 she received a Lifetime Achieve-
ment Award from NPM, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.
Sister Delores is a member of St. Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph,
Minnesota, and holds Master's Degrees in Liturgical Music and Liturgical
Studies. She served as Director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese
of St. Cloud for fifteen years and subsequently worked as a liturgical
music consultant for the Diocese of Ballart, Victoria in southeast Australia
for fifteen months. She is a member of ASCAP, and a member of and
occasional presenter at NPM, The Hymn Society in the United States and
Canada, and the Monastic Worship Forum.
This plenary pursues themes begun at last year's Institute by
Larry Rasmussen in "Sin, Song, and Sacrament in the Anthropocene"
and by Mary Louise Bringle in the new songs we fashion. It inquires
into the nature of the church's singing, its relation to the world, the
challenges we face, and the church musician's vocation in our time
Paul Westermeyer is Professor Emeritus of Church Music, Cantor, and
Director of the Master of Sacred Music at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.
Minnesota, with St. Olaf College. He did his doctoral study with Martin
Marty at the University of Chicago. His books include The Church
Musician, Te Deum, Let Justice Sing, and Church Musicians: Reflections
on Their Call, Craft, History, and Challenges. His wife Sally and he have
four children and ten grandchildren.