Mission Festival & Convocation Program

Want to see what's happening this year at Lutheran Week 2018? Follow along, learn about the sessions, or read the reports in our Mission Festival & Convocation Program!

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All attendees to Lutheran Week 2018 will receive a printed program at the check-in table.

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2018 Theme

Every year, the North American Lutheran Church gathers for Lutheran Week! The week is more than a conference, more than a church festival and much more than a business meeting. The NALC Lutheran Week is all of that and more!

In 2018, the theme for Lutheran Week is “Holy Spirit: Calling, Gathering, Enlightening, Sanctifying.” These words are from Dr. Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. There, in explaining the third article of the Apostle’s Creed on the Holy Spirit, Luther states:

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise me up, and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true.

Lutherans are often accused of ignoring the person and work of the Holy Spirit, focusing more intently on Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior. In 2018, the Lutheran Week will give time and attention to the third person of the Holy Trinity, through this theme. In 2019, the focus of Lutheran Week will be the work of the Holy Spirit. This follows two years in which we have focused on the person and work of Jesus Christ (2016-2017) and two years to come with the focus on the person and work of God the Father (2020-2021). These themes help us to live out the third core value of the NALC, that we are “Traditionally Grounded.” We are grounded in Scripture, the creeds and confessions of the ancient and historic Christian Church—beginning with our belief in the one true God in three persons.

The Lutheran Week 2018 is built upon the Scriptural verse, Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”

Because the Holy Spirit “calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies” me and the whole Christian Church on earth, we are empowered and sent to go, make disciples, being witnesses to the crucified and risen Jesus Christ, “in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” Jesus commissions His disciples, sending them forth, but telling them to wait until they have been clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). It is the Holy Spirit who is poured out upon the disciples at Pentecost, giving them mouths to speak the Gospel to all nations and peoples. The 2018 Lutheran Week will again pray, “Come, Holy Spirit!” The NALC will gather to learn, share, pray, praise and prepare to be disciples and witnesses of Jesus Christ to the end of the earth!

The Lutheran Week theme guides the entire week of events, which includes various activities, beginning with a gathering of Young Theologians, the Ventures in Youth Ministry Symposium, the Women of the NALC Annual Gathering, and a Life-to-Life Discipleship Coaching opportunity. Primary events begin on Tuesday afternoon, August 14, with the annual Braaten-Benne Lectures in Theology, followed by the NALC Mission Festival and Convocation beginning at 1:30pm on Wednesday, August 15, and concluding on Friday, August 17.

Event Will Start In

Why Attend?

There's a number of reasons to attend Lutheran Week:

Get Inspired

Worship the Lord, celebrate the sacraments, and study the word with the Church across North America and take a moment to discern where God is leading you and your congregation!

Meet New Faces

We're a large and growing church, and there's plenty of people for you to get to know!

Fresh Insights

Learn practical methods of church ministry, including: technology & communications, ministry for seniors, youth & family ministry, and more!

Coaching Sessions

Discipleship is at the core of who we are. Learn about our Life-to-Life Discipleship Initiative and how you can be a catalyst for renewal in your congregation.

Prepare for the Future

Get a pulse on the vision of our Church and hear from Bishop John and our leadership about where we're headed.

Have a Voice

The North American Lutheran Church is congregationally focused, and Convocation is a prime opportunity to have a voice in the future of the Church.

Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center

15500 East 40th Ave. | Denver, Colorado

August 13-17, 2018

Meals Included

Don’t miss it

Event Schedule

The full schedule of events taking place during Lutheran Week

An annual gathering of congregational leaders interested in developing a sustainable ministry to young people. This year's keynote speaker is Thomas O'Neill, past president of Youth Encounter. Tom is well versed in the topic of ministry to children and youth and will be sharing his wisdom with us throughout Monday. Tuesday morning will be devoted to networking and the sharing of "Best Practices" on topics chosen by the participants. Breakout sessions will also be offered. We are excited to be building on what we began last year in Nashville.

Keynote Speaker: Thomas O’Neill, Philanthropist at Second Harvest Heartland and Former Youth Encounter Presider
Keynote Presentation: Building Through Building, Building a ministry to young people through building service projects and building relationships.
Location: Steamboat Ballroom

Join women of the NALC gathered from across North America for a day of fellowship, Bible study, and business. Heartland Mission District dean, Rev. Pamela Thorson will be leading us in study of our theme verse, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." –Psalm 46:1. There will be time to engage and share ideas with women from other churches and Mission Districts. Our time together will also include: selection of the Mission Bank recipients for 2018-2019, selection of new members for the Women's Council, and approval of the WNALC budget. A visit from Bishop John Bradosky is also planned to share his wisdom with us. Join in this day-long annual gathering to be filled with strength and hope to bring back to your congregation and women's groups.

Keynote Speaker: Rev. Dr. Pamela Thorson, Dean of Heartland Mission District & Pastor of House of Prayer Lutheran Church
Keynote Presentation: God is Our Refuge and Strength (Psalm 46)
Location: Vail Ballroom

An annual gathering of congregational leaders interested in developing a sustainable ministry to young people. This year's keynote speaker is Thomas O'Neill, past president of Youth Encounter. Tom is well versed in the topic of ministry to children and youth and will be sharing his wisdom with us throughout Monday. Tuesday morning will be devoted to networking and the sharing of "Best Practices" on topics chosen by the participants. Breakout sessions will also be offered. We are excited to be building on what we began last year in Nashville.

Keynote Speaker: Thomas O’Neill, Philanthropist at Second Harvest Heartland and Former Youth Encounter Presider
Keynote Presentation: Building Through Building, Building a ministry to young people through building service projects and building relationships.
Location: Steamboat Ballroom

Learn more from the Life-to-Life Discipleship Team about the NALC’s commitment to discipleship and find ways to extend this work into your congregation.

The workshop will focus on the process that has gone into creating the image of a Discipleship Guide, the various methods being used to develop these guides and how congregations can engage in this ministry. We want this to be organic for each congregation, not programmatic. Yet, there is a broad range of methods and tools that we hope will make an impact in your congregational life!

Location: Vail Ballroom

The Braaten-Benne Lectures in Theology have been an integral part of Lutheran Week since 2009. The event originated as the Lutheran CORE Theological Conference, and came under additional sponsorship from the North American Lutheran Church in 2010. In 2015, it was renamed in honor of Carl E. Braaten and Robert Benne, prominent Lutheran theologians who organized and conducted the theological lectures for their first five years (2010-2014). The Lectures reflect a commitment on the part of the North American Lutheran Church, the organizers of Lutheran Week, and the series steering committee to the significance of theology for the future of North American Lutheranism. Each year the series brings together leading theologians, biblical scholars and ethicists from across confessional and ecumenical boundaries to address key issues of Christian faith and practice. While the papers are scholarly in nature, presenters are asked to keep the local Church in mind. Each paper is followed by a question and answer session, with audience members determining the course of the discussion. One of the highlights of the annual event is the roundtable panel session at the close of the lectures. This yearly event gathers an audience composed of laypersons, students, pastors, professional scholars, and denominational leaders.

Presentations:
Rev. Dr. Matthew Burdette – God is Free: Robert W. Jenson’s Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
Rev. Dr. Maurice Lee – Filioque Piety: The Holy Spirit in the Triune Life
Rev. Dr. Mark Mattes – The Holy Spirit in Martin Luther’s Catechisms
Rev. Dr. Orrey McFarland – "The Lord is the Spirit": The Person of the Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul
Rev. Dr. Kathryn Schifferdecker – Scripture’s Witness to the Holy Spirit
Location: Convention Center B/C

The Braaten-Benne Lectures in Theology have been an integral part of Lutheran Week since 2009. The event originated as the Lutheran CORE Theological Conference, and came under additional sponsorship from the North American Lutheran Church in 2010. In 2015, it was renamed in honor of Carl E. Braaten and Robert Benne, prominent Lutheran theologians who organized and conducted the theological lectures for their first five years (2010-2014). The Lectures reflect a commitment on the part of the North American Lutheran Church, the organizers of Lutheran Week, and the series steering committee to the significance of theology for the future of North American Lutheranism. Each year the series brings together leading theologians, biblical scholars and ethicists from across confessional and ecumenical boundaries to address key issues of Christian faith and practice. While the papers are scholarly in nature, presenters are asked to keep the local Church in mind. Each paper is followed by a question and answer session, with audience members determining the course of the discussion. One of the highlights of the annual event is the roundtable panel session at the close of the lectures. This yearly event gathers an audience composed of laypersons, students, pastors, professional scholars, and denominational leaders.

Presentations:
Rev. Dr. Matthew Burdette – God is Free: Robert W. Jenson’s Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
Rev. Dr. Maurice Lee – Filioque Piety: The Holy Spirit in the Triune Life
Rev. Dr. Mark Mattes – The Holy Spirit in Martin Luther’s Catechisms
Rev. Dr. Orrey McFarland – "The Lord is the Spirit": The Person of the Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul
Rev. Dr. Kathryn Schifferdecker – Scripture’s Witness to the Holy Spirit
Location: Convention Center B/C

The NALC is committed to the renewal of all our congregations, working to develop and deliver resources that challenge and open the NALC to the work of the Holy Spirit in our ministry and mission. During Lutheran Week in Denver, the Mission Festival is designed to inspire and serve as a resource to congregations for mission and discipleship. Featured speakers for the Mission Festival and Convocation are Sherry Weddell, author of Forming Intentional Disciples and Katherine Coolidge of the Catherine of Siena Institute. Other key components include worship, Bible study, panel Q & A, Mission District mission meetings and breakout sessions focusing on specific areas of mission and discipleship relating to our theme.

Keynote Speakers: Sherry Anne Weddell, Co-Founder of Catherine of Siena Institute and Katherine Coolidge, Called & Gifted Coordinator of Catherine of Siena Institute
Keynote Presentation: The Holy Spirit: Calling, Gathering, Enlightening, Sanctifying
Location: Convention Center B/C

The NALC is committed to the renewal of all our congregations, working to develop and deliver resources that challenge and open the NALC to the work of the Holy Spirit in our ministry and mission. During Lutheran Week in Denver, the Mission Festival is designed to inspire and serve as a resource to congregations for mission and discipleship. Featured speakers for the Mission Festival and Convocation are Sherry Weddell, author of Forming Intentional Disciples and Katherine Coolidge of the Catherine of Siena Institute. Other key components include worship, Bible study, panel Q & A, Mission District mission meetings and breakout sessions focusing on specific areas of mission and discipleship relating to our theme.

Keynote Speakers: Sherry Anne Weddell, Co-Founder of Catherine of Siena Institute and Katherine Coolidge, Called & Gifted Coordinator of Catherine of Siena Institute
Keynote Presentation: The Holy Spirit: Calling, Gathering, Enlightening, Sanctifying
Location: Convention Center B/C

Under the NALC Constitution, the responsibilities of the annual Convocation shall include: election of the Bishop, the Executive Council and any other position requiring election; adoption of a budget for the subsequent calendar year; consideration of teaching statements; reception of reports; and other items of business as may be determined by the Executive Council or by the Convocation.

Location: Convention Center B/C

Under the NALC Constitution, the responsibilities of the annual Convocation shall include: election of the Bishop, the Executive Council and any other position requiring election; adoption of a budget for the subsequent calendar year; consideration of teaching statements; reception of reports; and other items of business as may be determined by the Executive Council or by the Convocation.

Location: Convention Center B/C

Who's Speaking?

We have a number of amazing plenary speakers this year:

Sherry Weddell

Mission Festival

Katherine Coolidge

Mission Festival

Gemechis Buba

Mission Festival

John Bradosky

Mission Festival

David Wendel

Mission Festival

Valerie Hobbs

Mission Festival

Charlie Masters

Convocation

Thomas O'Neill

Ventures in Youth Ministry Symposium

Pamela Thorson

Women of the NALC Annual Gathering

Matthew Burdette

Braaten-Benne Lectures in Theology

Maurice Lee

Braaten-Benne Lectures in Theology

Mark Mattes

Braaten-Benne Lectures in Theology

Orrey McFarland

Braaten-Benne Lectures in Theology

Kathryn Schifferdecker

Braaten-Benne Lectures in Theology

Mission Festival Breakout Sessions

There are a number of Breakout Sessions during this year's Mission Festival:

Not all people are called to be leaders; some are called to be managers. Management is the art of achieving desired results through people. What would it look like to help equip others and deploy the gifts that God has given them, putting together the puzzle pieces in this mosaic that God has designed? God has gifted the Body of Christ with unique gifts. Regardless of our vocation, what would intentionally living into the purpose based in Luke 2:52 of “growing physically, growing spiritually, earning the respect of others, and pleasing God” look like? Our personal mission is "to equip God's people with the necessary faith skills to live out their personal calling in life." Join us for this hands-on breakout to focus on how you can help equip others and allow them to use their gifts for the sake of the Gospel!
Gary and Laurie Pecuch originated a congregational youth and family consultation ministry named faithwebbing.com at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Grove City, Ohio. In 2016, the NALC entered into an agreement with faithwebbing.com to provide youth and family ministry consultation for NALC congregations. Gary and Laurie created faithwebbing.com because of the requests they received asking for advice on youth ministry. Their vision is to wrap our children and youth in a web of faith so loving and so caring that they will know Jesus and always want to a part of a local congregation.
It's not about the size, but the relationships. And the small, rural Church is truly vital today because of these relationships. Come and experience how these congregations can grow and witness even more by deepening their relationships with Jesus, one another and the community.
Rev. Brad Hales is the Director of Domestic Mission for the North American Lutheran Church and the Senior Pastor of Reformation Lutheran Church in Culpeper, VA. Previously, Pastor Hales served as the chair of the Renewal Team, New Starts Team, and Dean of the Virginia Mission District of the North American Lutheran Church. Through the power of Jesus, Pastor Hales has helped to renew several older congregations in discipleship, outreach and mission. In 2009, his present congregation was given the “Best Practices Award in Senior Adult Ministry” by the National Council on Aging. Pastor Hales has also authored multiple Bible studies and resources, including, “A Covenant of Aging,” published by Sola Publishing.
Nehemiah, chapter one, tells the story of a visionary. Nehemiah had been living in exile all his life and had never known anything but captivity. He began to hear that the Jews were starting to return to the Promised Land, but the news coming back was not good. Nehemiah wanted so much to be a part of the restoration of Israel. Nehemiah got to work — for if he ever had a chance to return to Israel, he would be prepared. Sharpening your vision and defining your mission requires strategic planning and preparation. This is not just a breakout time for pastors; it is for all people as we learn to develop “go” thinking.
Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba currently serves as Assistant to the Bishop for Missions for the North American Lutheran Church. He is originally from Ethiopia and now lives in Atlanta, GA, with his wife and three children. In addition to academic study and ordained ministry, Rev. Buba participates in multiple international ministries through speaking, leading revivals, leadership development conventions, and evangelical mission events.
When we take a good look at the world today, we groan! So does the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:22-26). What would the Lord have us do about the global millions, even billions, who are hurting and lost? Sending and supporting overseas workers and going on short-term service trips are great ways to be engaged in the Lord's mission, but there's something even better. Before Jesus said "go" (Matthew 28:19), he said "pray" (Matthew 9:37-38). Prayer is the first and most essential work of mission! You and the members of your congregation may or may not travel to some faraway place where people have yet to hear the Gospel, but the Holy Spirit can help you "go there in prayer." We'd like to show you some exciting and creative ways he does that, and help you extend your outreach to the "uttermost parts of the earth."
Rev. Paul and Pris Gossman have long understood themselves to be called to mission. After Paul’s graduation from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, they served as missionaries in the tribal highlands of the Philippines, training leaders and planting churches. Along with their daughter Sarah, they later served with WMPL in Peru, doing similar work among the poor in the city of Chiclayo. Since their return to the U.S. in 2000, the Gossmans have served in bilingual and multiethnic parish and parachurch ministries in Illinois, Washington and Oregon. Paul also holds a Ph.D. in intercultural studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He headed that department at Trinity Lutheran College from 2005-2008 and has been an independent instructor and consultant in a wide variety of countries and settings, currently serving as Director of World Mission Prayer League.
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’ ... So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:14-15,17). That’s how the old sinner in us dies. God kills the old you each day with kindness. The God of grace keeps showering you with promises and gifts until finally the old you just plain die of it. It happens as the Spirit working through the Word enables you to say, “I don’t have to impress God anymore or prove that I can take care of myself. I can count on God to keep the word. I repent-you are the Lord. Do what you think is best.” Join Dr. Nestingen as he focuses on what the Word of God tells us about the theme – “The Holy Spirit: Calling, Gathering, Enlightening, Sanctifying.”
Rev. Dr. Jim Nestingen was first affiliated with Luther Seminary as an instructor from 1976-78. After serving two years as assistant to the pastor of St. Ansgar Lutheran Church in Toronto, Canada, he returned to Luther Seminary in 1980 as assistant professor of church history. He was named professor of church history in 1992 and professor emeritus of church history in 2006. A graduate of Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, in 1967, Nestingen earned his master of divinity from Luther Seminary in 1971 and a master of theology in 1978. He received his doctorate in theology from St. Michael's College, University of Toronto, in 1984. Following his ordination in 1971, he served as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Coquille, OR, for three years before becoming curriculum editor at Augsburg Publishing House from 1974-76. Nestingen has written and spoken prolifically on Luther's catechisms and confessional Lutheran theology. In March 2001, he was one of the featured speakers at The Book of Concord Lectures held at Luther Seminary, which celebrated the latest translation of The Book of Concord and discussed its relevance for the 21st Century. Nestingen's books include: Martin Luther: His Life and His Teachings (2004, 1982); Manger in the Mountains (2000); The Faith We Hold (1983); Roots of Our Faith (1978); and Free to Be (with Gerhard Forde, 1975).
The NALC is committed to the renewal of all our congregations, working to develop and deliver resources that challenge and open the NALC to the work of the Holy Spirit in our ministry and mission. Why undertake this topic? There are so many leaders that discuss their struggles sharing: “People just don’t come to church anymore, and I don’t know what to do.” We hear that Sunday mornings are no longer a “sacred” time, as so many sports teams or music competitions schedule mandatory practice time for students on Sunday mornings. We also hear leaders ask: “How do I get people to show up or to think that faith is important?” "Your mission, should you choose/decide to accept it...” You have chosen to accept the Great Commission. Now, you need to know how to fulfill it. Do you have a clear vision? Do you know where you’re going? Do you have a mission? Do you know how to get there? Sharpening your vision and defining your mission require strategic planning and preparation. Your plan may be good, but God’s plan is better. A God plan is a “now” plan that requires “now” faith! Need help finding your way? Looking for hands-on tools to help prepare your team? If you are ready to embark on a fabulous adventure in trusting him, this is the place for you!
Rev. Trina M. Petersen is founding pastor of A New Thing Christian Church, Lithonia, GA, a ministry entrusted to her by God, focused on the deliverance, healing and wholeness of his people. Pastor Trina was baptized as an infant, confirmed as a teenager and served as an adult in the Lutheran Church prior to becoming an ordained pastor in the NALC. Most recently, she published two books, Irresistible and The Adventures of Clayoton (a children’s book) and became a certified coach of the John Maxwell Team. Being Kingdom minded, Pastor Petersen serves in the position of pastor, operates with an apostolic anointing, and speaks in a prophetic voice as she helps the people of God heal from their pasts, live in the now, and walk in the power and authority given to them by God!
The printing press was on the leading edge and frontier of technology, revolutionizing communication and paving the way to put the Word of God in the hands of people. Today, we are on the edge of a digital reformation. In the USA, the average person spends over 50% of their digital time on their smartphone. In Africa, there are more phones than toothbrushes. Take advantage of the fact that your phone has more power and technology available than the first few Apollo space shuttles! David Hahn will share how technology can be an amazing tool for both mission and discipleship, and make the mission easier for you as a leader!
David Hahn is a fifth-generation Nebraskan, graduate and continuing participating member of the MIT Sloan School, licensed to practice law in the State of Nebraska, the Eighth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court, and a life-long Lutheran. Hahn was a trendsetter among legal professionals, using computer technology to generate "virtual" communication tactics years before the Internet was generally recognized as a communication tool. While now splitting his time between New York and his home state of Nebraska, Hahn’s interest in computer technology led him into more direct work in emerging technologies. Hahn's companies have been involved in broadcasting, e-commerce, core code development, mobile publishing, and more. But when asked what is the driving force behind his passion for his work and his family—Ruth Davidson Hahn, his three children, and grandchildren— he will not skip a beat in sharing that the Good News of Jesus Christ is what drives it all. Hahn finds deep satisfaction in the vocation that God has gifted him, finding ways and new technologies to help share the Gospel. But he will be the first to tell you: the means and methods might grow and change, but the message stays the same.
Culture is the result of language, values, shared experiences and meaning, and bonds of identity. Learning to bridge cultural divides is an important aspect of disciple making. Shared positive experiences through purposeful “play” help to bridge language gaps and create liminal spaces for new discoveries. This is a "hands-on" breakout: theory and practice used overseas to teach biblical values.
Jeff and Mim Nellermoe serve with China Service Ventures’ “Bo Ai” summer youth camps in Henan, China, where they work primarily to mentor CSV’s Chinese leaders and equip them for lives of service. Pastor Jeff is a called NALC pastor. Jeff graduated with a bachelor of arts, summa cum laude, from Texas Lutheran College (Seguin, TX), and a master of divinity, with honors, from Luther Seminary (St. Paul, MN). He completed his doctorate in integrated marketing communication at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City). His recreational pursuits include motorcycles, horses, skiing, archery, golf, and biking. Aside from sports, he loves to play guitar and sing, watch movies, and read good fiction novels. Mim graduated with a bachelor of arts, summa cum laude, from Texas Lutheran College, and a master of arts in education from Augustana Lutheran College (Sioux Falls, SD). Most recently she coached and taught at Another Way School in Park City, UT. Mim loves all sports and animals. She grew up in Salt Lake City.
American culture is characterized by the word “busy.” There is never enough time, burnout seems inevitable and the challenge of developing deep relationships is real. To what good things do we say “no” so we can say “yes” to better things? This is a key element in life-to-life discipleship. The real question is: “What are you going to do about it?” Jesus faced this challenge in even greater ways than we do. Relationships are key not just to ministry, but in life. This breakout session will not just have presentation time, but also provide discussion and practical resources.
Gwynne Gonnerman delights in time spent with the precious people in her life. Gwynne became an advocate for herself and others and seeks safe, affirming community to release “ex”periences of abandonment and “re”lease a new life of abandon. She is honored to partner with others to share Jesus’ love, hope, and encouragement to needy children, women, families and communities through her job as the executive director of an international non-profit that operates in India, as well as a national presenter on a variety of topics, including grandparenting as a means of discipleship.
In a day and age where it’s difficult to get people involved because of our busy schedules and theirs, we want to help people connect to use their God-given talents and gifts. It’s not just about another thing on the “to-do” list, but inviting people into the mission field. We have good news! There are tools that make it a lot easier! Yes, it is easier to just do it yourself sometimes, but we are not called to be the lonely voice in the desert crying for help. We are called into the Body of Christ. This breakout could also be entitled “The Digital World – Part 2.” How do I create a PowerPoint? Do I need a license for that? Other random tools in a digital world that can be helpful for everyday life will be discussed/presented.
Rev. Tony Ede graduated from Waldorf College, where he earned an associate of arts in electronic communications and a bachelor of arts in multimedia communications. Graduating from Luther Seminary in 2006, Tony worked as a graduate teaching assistant in the homiletics department, helping to teach classes on using media and technology in worship and preaching. Pastor Ede has served at Bethany Lutheran Churches in the Danish Village of Kimballton, IA; as the teaching pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Webster City, IA; and currently serves as the senior pastor at First Evangelical Lutheran in Manchester, IA. As part of his commitment to lifelong learning, Tony earned an MBA in 2017 from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, IA, with a concentration in organizational development. Following a long family tradition, Tony is a nationally certified firefighter and EMT and has used these skills to serve in the community, as well as in disaster response statewide. Tony was married to LeAnn at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Hampton, IA, on August 17th, 2002. They have three sons that keep them busy: Carver, Liam and Burke.
Pastors and lay leaders who experience disasters in their communities are also community members and leaders with deeply caring hearts. They are stuck in the quagmire of lost homes (sometimes their own), significantly damaged worship centers, parishioners whose homes are beyond repair, jobs and livelihoods that are lost because many businesses are destroyed, and massive financial stress for the entire community. To say that pastors spend months feeling significantly overwhelmed is likely an understatement. But there are other disasters pastors struggle to resolve: death of a spouse or family member, chemical dependency, moral failure, personal financial stress, personal or family illness, diminishing volunteers in their congregation(s), divorce, and chronic illness of a family member, to name a few. In these kinds of disasters, pastors experience spiritual, mental, physical and social exhaustion. They feel lost, inadequate, and even hopeless. A crisis of faith may even ensue. There is no purple heart for burnout. Join Pastor Jim as he provides a safe place to discuss tools that can be of assistance to followers of Jesus.
Rev. Jim Palan is enjoying his retirement by continuing to care for his family, as well as planting a church in Alabama. Having served as a parish pastor, assistant to the bishop, and in a variety of other capacities, Pastor Jim is passionate about the Gospel in the context of relationships. Originally graduating with a degree in electrical engineering, Pastor Jim then received his master of divinity from Luther Theological Seminary and continued his education at North Dakota State, earning an advanced degree in marriage and family therapy. In his “retirement,” Pastor Jim is also choosing to focus his time, energy and gifts on working to prevent burnout amongst leadership in the church.
"By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples."(John 15:8) How does God's grace change our individual lives, families, neighborhoods, parish communities, and cities? In Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and the World, Sherry Weddell and Katherine Coolidge will focus on how the Holy Spirit is at work in all the baptized—calling and gifting us to "say yes" in ways that will be the longed-for answer to someone else's prayers and fuel the mission of the whole Church. God has chosen to be present in this world through the faith and obedience of missionary disciples who witness to Jesus Christ and bear abundant fruit.
Sherry Anne Weddell created the first charism discernment process specifically designed for Catholics in 1993. In 1997, she co-founded the Catherine of Siena Institute, an affiliated international ministry of the Western Dominican Province, and currently serves as executive director. She has trained and helps lead an international team that has worked directly with over 130,000 lay, religious, and ordained Catholics in hundreds of parishes, in 150 archdioceses, on five continents. Sherry’s recent publication, Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and in the World, is now available and describes how the Holy Spirit is at work in all the baptized — calling and gifting us to “say yes” in ways that will be the longed-for answer to someone else’s prayers and fuel the mission of the whole Church. When not hanging around airports, Sherry enjoys tending her high-altitude Tuscan garden in the Colorado Rockies. For more information, please visit: siena.org.

Katherine Coolidge joined the Catherine of Siena Institute staff as the Called & Gifted Coordinator in 2014 after two decades of parish ministry as catechist, program coordinator, youth minister, director of evangelization, liturgist and pastoral associate. She is a recognized master catechist in two dioceses and possesses a masters of arts in pastoral studies from St. Joseph College of Maine. In her off time, she enjoys quilting, gardening and hanging out with her husband, Michael, and cat, Lady, on her 2.5 acres of heaven in Colorado Springs, CO.

Convocation Archives

Check out Convocation archives from past years:

Frequently Asked Questions

Who attends Lutheran Week?
Lutheran Week is a conference gathering for the whole North American Lutheran Church. It is a conference for everyone: lay and ordained, young and old, leaders and seekers. Those new to or exploring the Lutheran tradition are especially welcome, and we often have visitors in attendance from other church denominations and traditions.
Yes! There is a lot happening during Lutheran Week, so registration for each event is done separately. The Mission Festival and Convocation form the core of activity during Lutheran Week, with other events and gatherings available also.
We will provide a packet with constitutional information, nominee biographies, financial reports, staff updates, and more.
All presentations and worship gatherings will be recorded and made available following the event.
What hotels are nearby?
The Crowne Plaza Denver Airport room block has now sold out. However, there are overflow room blocks at the Courtyard Denver Airport at Gateway Park (Group Code: NALNALA - King bedroom, or NALNALB - Double Queen bedroom; or call 303-375-1105) and at the Residence Inn Denver Airport (Room block is available until July 30 or until sold out). Both hotels provide free shuttle service to/from the airport and between hotels.
Online registration with a credit card is preferred. If you must pay by check, please send your payment with this paper registration form.
For any changes to existing registrations or cancellations, please call 651-633-6004 or email nalc.mnoffice@thenalc.org.
Yes! NALC seminarians should not register online. Instead, call 651-633-6004 to complete your registration.

Ministry Expo

Each year, many parachurch ministries, seminaries, publishers and mission ogranizations attend Lutheran Week to provide a wealth of resources and partnership opportunities for our churches and leaders. Here is a short list of just some of our partners in attendance this year.

Convocation Business

Among the items of business before the Convocation are elections to positions on the Executive Council, Court of Adjudication, and North American Lutheran Seminary (NALS) Board of Regents.

What is Convocation?

Under the NALC Constitution, the responsibilities of the annual Convocation shall include: election of the Bishop, the Executive Council and any other position requiring election; adoption of a budget for the subsequent calendar year; consideration of teaching statements; reception of reports; and other items of business as may be determined by the Executive Council or by the Convocation.

More About Convocation

Elections

Under the NALC Constitution, congregations and individuals are empowered to submit names of potential candidates for all positions to be elected at Convocation to the 2018 Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will announce the opening date for submission of candidates in February 2018 and will announce the slate of nominees in May 2018.

Elections will be held for the following open positions: for two members to the Executive Council (1 clergy and 1 lay, each for a four-year term); two members to the Court of Adjudication (clergy or lay, each for a four-year term); and three members to the North American Lutheran Seminary (NALS) Board of Regents (clergy or lay, each for a six-year term). In addition, delegates to the Convocation will be asked to confirm elections of two persons (one clergy, one lay) to the Canada Section Board for four-year terms.

Current Nominees' Biographical Information

Registration

MISSION FESTIVAL AND CONVOCATION

$200

WEDNESDAY DINNER; THURSDAY AND FRIDAY LUNCH INCLUDED

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VENTURES IN YOUTH MINISTRY SYMPOSIUM

$90

MONDAY LUNCH INCLUDED

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LIFE-TO-LIFE DISCIPLESHIP COACHING

$0

FREE REGISTRATION

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WOMEN OF THE NALC ANNUAL GATHERING

$80

TUESDAY LUNCH INCLUDED

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BRAATEN-BENNE LECTURES IN THEOLOGY

$125

WEDNESDAY LUNCH INCLUDED

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