Presenters

James K.A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin University, where he holds the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. Trained as a philosopher with a focus on contemporary French thought, Smith has expanded on that scholarly platform to become an engaged public intellectual and cultural critic. An award-winning author and a widely traveled speaker, he has emerged as a thought leader with a unique gift of translation, building bridges between the academy, society, and the church.

Plenary • “How to Inhabit Time: Understanding The Past, Facing The Future, Living Faithfully Now”

Workshop • Post-Plenary Conversation

Rev. Robert Buckley Farlee has served Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis, since 1981 as cantor, associate pastor, choir director, organist, and resident composer and visual artist. For several years, he also served as Senior Worship Editor at Augsburg Fortress Publishers, the publishing house of the ELCA. He holds Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology degrees from Christ Seminary–Seminex. He is a former president of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians and a composer with hundreds of published works. In 2018, he received the Christus Rex Award from the Institute of Liturgical Studies.

Composer • 2022 Hymn Commission

WorkshopHymn Collaboration: “Love Leads Us through the Wind and Waves”

WorkshopThe Hymns of Susan Palo Cherwien: A Tapestry of Poetry, Theology, and Music within a Lutheran Context

Bishop Felix J. Malpica is bishop of the La Crosse Area Synod of the ELCA where he leads 74 congregations in western and central Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Luther College and Luther Seminary, and worked for several summers at Sugar Creek Bible Camp as counselor and Day Camp leader. He also served as a director of youth ministries prior to and during seminary. His previous call was at Faith Lutheran Church in Janesville, WI, where he served from 2017–21. In addition to being their pastor, he oversaw the daycare center, a senior housing unit, and their endowment foundation. He has a strong history in global music and as a worship and music leader.

Worship Leader • Sending Eucharist

Deacon David Rojas Martínez joined the staff of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, in May 2020. David received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Valparaiso University and is a consecrated deacon of the Lutheran Diaconal Association. As a candidate for the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the ELCA, he is completing all synodical requirements through Luther Seminary. Originally from Cuernavaca, the Twin Cities of Minnesota is where David feels most at home in the United States. He has a mom, two older brothers, three older sisters, four nieces, and eight nephews who live between Mexico City, Mexico, and Indiana. At the closing banquet of the 2022 Institute, David will be introduced as the 2022–23 Brugh Emerging Leader.

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Sally Messner is Director of Worship and Music at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Livonia, MI, where she plans and leads congregational singing with organ, piano, voice, and a variety of other instruments. She is founding musical director of the Elm Ensemble, a liturgical project bringing together professional and amateur musicians with great sacred music to help keep the church in dialogue with diverse voices from Christian history. She earned a Bachelor of Music from Valparaiso University and a Master of Sacred Music from Luther Seminary. Sally has a passion for helping people connect their whole selves to their voice so they can maintain vocal health and engage in lifelong singing.

Worship Leader • Institute Director of Music

Rev. Dr. Frederick Niedner is Senior Research Professor in Theology at Valparaiso University. He writes for numerous publications that support the ministry of preaching and teaches biblical studies in a variety of adult education venues and contexts.

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Worship Leader • Sending Eucharist

Omaldo Perez is Cantor at Zoar Lutheran Church in Perrysburg, OH, where he supports and contributes to the musical and liturgical life of the congregation. As a church musician, his interests range from early baroque practices to improvisation to musical diversity in today’s church. He has helped lead music for synod gatherings and has been a guest musician for ELCA events. In addition, he has contributed to Sundays and Seasons, publications of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM), and serves in advisory roles for both the Institute of Liturgical Studies and ALCM.

Worship Leader • Sending Eucharist

Rev. Dr. Travis Scholl is Chief Mission Officer at Lutheran Senior Services in St. Louis, MO. Previously, he served Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, as managing editor of theological publications, where he continues as a guest instructor in practical theology. He holds a PhD in English and creative writing from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and is a graduate of Yale Divinity School and Valparaiso University. The author of Walking the Labyrinth (2014), his most recent essays and poems have appeared in Essay Daily, After the Art, Fourth Genre, and Saint Katherine Review.

Worship Leader • Tuesday Midday Prayer

Deaconess Rhoda Schuler is professor emerita at Concordia University, St. Paul, has served for 14 years as pro bono liturgist at her St. Paul congregation, and is currently a member of the Institute of Liturgical Studies advisory council. Convinced that people are profoundly shaped by worship and ritual, she is engaged in research on adult faith formation and the catechumenate. Since her love for liturgy blossomed and grew as a student at Valparaiso University, she is honored to serve as worship leader at this year’s Institute.

Worship Leader • Tuesday Morning Prayer