Actually, I'm only taking a small carryon and a briefcase, due to airline restrictions, but I'm off to a doubleheader this week. First, it's off to the St. Michael Conference, moved this year for the first time from Detroit to Fort Wayne (Redeemer), to do a workshop on the rubrics for the celebrant at mass; and then the next day I wing through Chicago to a second itinerary to Denver, to attend the second annual Augustana Ministerium conference, where I must present a paper/discussion topic on the Historic Liturgy.
Both of these will be opportunities to plug our new St. Paul's Liturgical Institute. We're finally planning to do some hands-on teaching to make up for what has long been a serious deficiency at the Lutheran seminaries. Sorry to make this claim, but it's true. For too long, the bulk of training in how to do the ceremonies has been relegated to 'field work' parishes in the seminary neighborhoods. So neighboring pastors show the students how to do it. How did they learn? In field work, in their seminary days, by neighboring pastors. It gets pretty close to the blind leading the blind, when the seminary doesn't take the lead in these things.
It's been awhile since I've been there, so undoubtedly things have changed a bit, but not nearly enough, from what I hear out of recent graduates. Much more work is needed. Till then, the St. Paul's Liturgical Institute hopes to fill in the blanks.
First seminar, by the way, is in Kewanee, Illinois, from October 20 till November 3. To learn more, log on at www.stpaulskewanee.org (I sure hope the website is running ok; there are bugs in it still), or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.