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  • April 24, 2009

    Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
    Annual Convocation

    Friends:

    On Wednesday I traveled north to Gettysburg for the 2nd day of their Annual Convocation.
    I met some alumni and friends–as well as administrators and faculty in the course of the day.

    I always enjoy praying together–and arrived in time for the Festival Service of Holy Communion.
    Paul Hoffman, who appeared later in the program, preached–about real life in his congregation in Seattle.

    Following prayer, Diana Butler Bass offered an interesting overview of the 50 vibrant congregations she had studied. These were communities of Practices [doing], Tradition [remembering] and Wisdom [knowing]. There is much food for thought here on how we share the Gospel message in the contemporary world.

    After the break for lunch, Bill Avery gave the Holman Lecture. He spoke about reading the Lutheran Confessions in an ecumenical partnership–key themes from the Augsburg Confession. Bill is moving toward official retirement this year–but with continuing connections with the Seminary. His talk was helpful–he sees thoughtful, creative and consultative pastors as necessary for congregational vitality for example.

    A panel of Paul, Diana and Bill answered questions for an hour from the assembled alumni and friends of the seminary. I found much of what they said confirming my own thinking–rooted-ness in tradition is important for renewal as is incorporating the gifts of our ecumenical conversations of the last several decades.

    Peace,
    John