What a great conference! I'll write several posts over the comings days so that you may catch up on the proceedings - and so that those who attended might share their comments as well.
For now, let me apologize for not being able to "live blog" as intended. Between service interreptions, an incredibly busy schedule, and sharing one lap top with my family, I just didn't have the opportunity to post. Lesson learned: if Fine Tuning is to successfully live-blog a future conference we'll need to: a - make sure we have a good internet setup in place, and b - have someone ready to journal the conference who isn't busy presenting, performing, rehearsing, and giving a plenary address!
For now, let me just do two short things. FIRST, thank you, David Johnson, for speaking to the assembly on Wednesday about the need to be quiet before services so as to respect their fellow worshipppes and also to respect the musicians who had prepared preservice music. Everyone was fine before the first service, but the chatter before the other services on Tuesday and before matins Wednesday AM was so loud, I was going to post about that. I was truly shocked that so many MUSICIANS would act that way - especially since I hear musicians complaining all the time about how congregations don't listen to their preservice music! I guess the best construction I can put on it is that everyone was just really enjoying seeing old friends and making new ones that we just got carried away. So, thank you, David, for gently reminding everyone of good churchly behavior - and for keeping me from writing a snarky little post! ;)
And, second, speaking of seeing old friends and making new ones, I really enjoyed the fellowship at the conference - in both meanings of the word. The fellowship we shared in worship was stellar, and a real blessing to those of us who lead worship each week, as it gave US a chance to "just go to church." But we were also blessed in the colloquial way - what Americans call 'fellowship' and what our confessions call the 'mutual conversation and consolation of the brethern.' It was great seeing old friends and making new ones. The Church is truly built up in this way through these conferences.
Hopefully, we will all be seeing each other again in three years. There were some inklings that future conferences will emphasize 'diversity' and embrace other 'styles' of worship. For many that I talked to at this conference, that would definitely not be something that would bring us together again in three years. We'll have to see the details on what all this means - and perhaps my fears are unfounded. But I do hope that the excelleng quality of these conferences will continue, and that I won't be missing all my friends three years from now.
In the meantime, thank you, Jon Vieker and David Johnson for putting on such a great conference. Thank you, Rachel Asburry, for all your hard work and for your faithful service. And thank you, Commission on Worship, for keeping this conference and its worship as a model for our congregations. May these conferences remain "The LCMS at its best!"
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