Seminars are limited to 25 registrants each and are scheduled concurrently on Monday, April 4, 2016 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. 

Participants are encouraged to be prepared to perform or show their work if invited by the leaders to do so, each according to the focus of the class. Participants may receive instruction in the topics listed; for those who already have training in the area, the class can also serve as a model for how to teach the topic.  Participation in Seminars requires an additional fee of $65 with full registration or $75 if not attending the Institute.

 The 2016 Seminars include the following:

Preaching God's "Yes" in a Culture of "No"

Preaching participates in God's creative and redeeming word for all creation.  The liturgies in which it occurs echo this.  And yet such affirmation is also judgement, naming what contradicts, delays, or undermines this healing word.  We will explore challenges to creatively speaking God's "Yes" within the noise of the world's "No."  How do we think theologically, rhetorically, and liturgically in light of this challenge?  Participants will have opportunity to apply questions to their own settings.

Wesley Avram

Wes Avram is the Senior Pastor of Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the Director of the Pinnacle Theological Center.  Wes has served as the Senior Pastor of the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, in Pennsylvania, and the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmette, Illinois.  He's held academic positions as the Clement-Muehl Assistant Professor of Communication at Yale Divinity School and in Yale's Institute for Sacred Music, and as College Chaplain and Lecturer in Rhetoric and Religion at Bates College.  He holds an MDiv from Princeton Seminary and a PhD in Rhetorical Studies from Northwestern.  Wes is the author Where the Light Shines Through: Discerning God in Everyday Life (Brazos, 2005) and (ed.) Anxious About Empire: Theological Reflections on the New Global Realities (Brazos, 2004).  He is married with two sons, one of whom is a sophmore at Valparaiso University. 


Enlivening The Worship Space

How can worship spaces mark time and include the earth?  Can we work toward sustainability in seasonal decor?  How do we shape and prepare spaces for praise, prayer and lament?  Two practitioners who have worked as a lay/clergy team explore these practical questions.  Participants will be asked to submit images of their context in advance to share with the group.

D. Foy Christopherson

D. Foy Christopherson's training in worship and the arts, theology and theatre, music and design, brings clarity and insight to understanding how worship spaces serve.  He has served the church as a parish pastor, workshop and conference leader, congregational consultant, and former director of the ELCA's art and design studio, Augsburg Fortress Ecclesiastical Arts.  Christopherson is the author of A Place of Encounter in Augsburg Fortress' Worship Matters series exploring the principles behind the Renewing Worship Project.  He has also been a contributing writer for a dozen volumes of Sundays and Seasons.  He was a member of the initial launch group of the Renewing Worship project and a reviewer of Principles for Worship Space.  Pastor Christopherson is currently serving as pastor for worship and the arts, hospitality and pastoral care with Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis.


Kristine Stedje

Kristine Stedje was born and raised near Kalispell, Montana.  She attended Lutheran Bible Institute, Seattle, Washington and Bethel College, Arden Hills, Minnesota, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in Organizational Studies.  Kristine worked in the field of Human Resources for twenty plus years as a generalist as well as in Training and Development of managers. 

Kristine joined Central Lutheran Church in 1988.  During her time at Central she served as youth leader, council member, Stephen Minister, choir member and chair of the Worship Planning team.  Her love of music, liturgy and her passion for equipping disciples of all ages to know and love God led her to answer a call to ordained ministry.  She attended Luther Seminary, interned in St. John Lutheran Church in Arthur, North Dakota and graduated from Luther in December 2013.  Ordained at Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, on September 13, 2014, Kristine serves at Peace Lutheran Church, Menomonie, Wisconsin.


Liturgy and Life: Making the Connections

While wildfires raged in and around our community this summer, the weekly Eucharist liturgy leaped out with vitality, as if waiting for just such a moment in time.  As clearly as the liturgy speaks in times like these, it speaks just as clearly and profoundly in the mundane times of our lives.  The difference is that in times of crisis, we are paying attention.  A team from Lake Chelan Lutheran Church will present an approach to the liturgy that has been encouraging its  membership to pay attention, in season and out, to the richness and relevance of the liturgy.

Paul Palumbo and Lake Chelan Lutheran Church

Paul Palumbo is an ELCA pastor and has been preaching for twenty years in North Carolina and Washington State.  He received his Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina.  He is a spiritual director and teaches the art of spiritual direction.  He and his wife, Virginia, have been married for 28 years and have four children.  Currently, he is pastor at Lake Chelan Lutheran Church in Chelan, Washington.


Taking Off the Gloves: Cantor and Pastor in Ministry Together

This seminar will explore a wide range of aspects related to the collaborative ministry of cantor and pastor.  The underpinnings of theology and prayer will inform a conversation about vocation, position descriptions, self-knowledge and working style.  Relational intentionality between the two leaders and between leaders and parish members will be discussed with an emphasis on collaboration as a parish model.  Furthermore, time will be spent on articulating and celebrating the Gospel focus held by the team even whle varied approaches, emphases and gifts are brought to the ministry by each individual.  Lastly, practical details will be examined so that even the mundane side of the shared ministry can serve a positive partnership.  Time will be provided to address specific concerns within the group.


John Weit

John Weit serves as cantor to Trinity Lutheran Church in Worcester, Massachusetts where he facilitates the worship and music life of this urban congregation, serves as organist, and conducts various choirs and ensembles.  Having previously served congregations in Philadelphia, Lititz and Reading Pennsylvania, John relocated to New England from after earning a Master of Arts in Religion degree with concentration in Liturgy and Music from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.  At the seminary he also served as interim seminary musician for the 2008-09 academic year, coordinating music for daily chapel liturgies and conducting the seminary choir.  John is an associate in ministry in the ELCA, serves as president of Region 1 of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, as treasurer of the Leadership Program for Musicians, and on the New England Synod worship team.


Susan Nachtigal

Susan Nachtigal was born and raised in Brookings, South Dakota.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology from Valparaiso University and served as a parish deaconess at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Paradise Valley, Arizona.  Since earning a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California she has served the following: St. John's Lutheran Church in Sacramento, California (pastor); Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary California (core faculty and dean of the Chapel of the Cross); Trinity Lutheran Church in Worcester, Massachusetts (lead pastor/current).  Susan has served on synod and national worship committees, led worship and spirituality retreats, written for preaching journals and is currently a member of the Institute of Liturgical Studies Advisory Council.