Just a quick shout out to all our friends in Michigan - and to all who have friends in Michigan - to get the word out: Matt Harrison will be speaking in Traverse City next week: May 6 & May 7. All are invited! Click here to find out all the details. Please feel free to add your own link to CFLM to help us get the word out. Share the joy!
Actually, today is St. Mark's Day, and I just enjoyed Matins here in St. Malo, Colorado, where I am playing for a Doxology retreat. It was a beautiful service held in the "Church on a Rock" here near Estes Park, a beautiful little RC sanctuary which was made even more beautiful by the sound of 26 Lutheran pastors singing the Lord's song this morning. I must add that it was a special blessing to hear the preaching of Rev. Hal Senkbeil this morning and to pray the liturgy under the leadership of Rev. Shawn Kumm, who chants beautifully.
So what's this about Walter, then? His commemoration was YESTERDAY. But, having been in flight to Colorado, I missed Lutheran Kantor's excellent post on the topic. I tried to comment over there, but for some reason his site is not accepting comments. You can read his Walter Day post here, which includes an inspiring poem by Walter himself.
For your listening enjoyment, you might want to listen to this motet on "Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Thy Word" by Walter, as sung by the small choir assembled for the last BJS National Conference this February.
OK - I was never a great blogger - but in the beginning Fine Tuning did offer about a post a week, sometimes more. And Liturgy Solutions was posting lots of new content regularly. I think it is fair for all of you to know the answer to "Phillip, what are you doin'?" (insert Chicago accent into the question)
For the past few months, I have been spending much of my free time working with a great group of friends over at Cross-Focused Leadership for Missouri. We are promoting a return to the churchly style of leadership that characterized the LCMS during her great days of unity and growth. In a nutshell, this means leading the church as a spiritual family, not a business. We believe that it is time for us to come together around Scripture and the Confessions, putting them first over policies and programs. Accordingly, we are supporting Rev. Matthew Harrison for synodical president, and rejoice that he received over 1300 nominations from LCMS congregations to serve in this capacity (almost 600 more than the incumbent, Rev. Gerald Kieschnick, received).
This Saturday, those of you in the New England and New York areas have an excellent opportunity to meet Rev. Harrison. He will be teaching and preaching at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Norwalk, CT. The Saturday AM session will be on his latest work: "A Little Book on Joy: Living the Good News Life in a Bad News World". After lunch, he will talk about genuine and exciting opportunities for mission that the Lord has set before us. Plenty of time is provided also for Q&A afterward. Stephen and I strongly encourage everyone in the to come out and be encouraged in the Gospel. You can get all the details here.
I guess it makes sense that musicians like me and Stephen would be excited about Harrison. After all, a return to theologically-based leadership would mean that our synod would once again uphold Lutheran liturgical piety and practice as the model for our parishes. And, for those of us who love singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Canticles), that would be a good thing.
I will certainly be continuign my commentary here, but for those who want to digest a little more in the meantime, I am happy to report that you may now proceed ad fontes. I hope all of our readers and their congregations are having a joyful Eastertide.