Friday, December 08, 2006

Gottesdienst rooms for the Symposium

The annual feel-good-about-being-a-confessional-Lutheran fest is nearly upon us, id est, the Symposium on the Lutheran Confessions at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, from January 15-19. In case you haven't heard, the real excitement that happens there during the week is the annual Sabre of Boldness ceremony held right after the seminary's Thursday night banquet.

So please pay attention to this announcement, all you who so love that event (we've been getting over 200 packed into the room in recent years), all you who can't wait to see who will be the honored awardee, all you who get teary-eyed with excitement when we make known our Acadamy-Awards-like presentation. Yes, yoo-hoo, all you who like this so much: listen up:

This year (Hark!) the Gottesdienst Hotel has moved. We are at the Hilton, downtown. That's right at the Grand Wayne Center, where the banquet will be held. The price is the same as the Marriott would have been (a special rate of $89 per night), but for the best hotel in town. The Marriott is remodelling and could not accomodate us this year. OK, fine, so we got a better hotel!

And we need your patronage, because we need to secure a certain number of room-nights so that they'll let us have the ceremony room for our Sabre awarding. Sign up at the Hilton, folks. Call (260) 420-1100 and be sure to tell them you're with Gottesdienst.

While the Hilton is a few minutes farther from the seminary, the upside is that it's a splendid hotel for the same price and it's right at the place where the banquet will be on Thursday night. Cool, huh?

Join the Gottes-gang again for a great week of Symposia events and the great Sabre of Boldness Award.

Say, speaking of the Sabre Award, you may nominate anyone you like for that, even on this blog if you want. Give us the person's address, and the reason for nominating. It's an award which is given for steadfast intrepidity in the confession and defense of the Gospel and at the greatest personal risk. Know anyone who fits the bill? Let me know and we'll consider . . .


Lincoln - BoW said...

I'll start the blog nominations :

Kurt Marquart.
His selflessness, and confessional steadfastness at all levels of the synod, on every continent, in the face of oppostition - sometimes extreme oppostition - has been an inspiration to students, faculty, laity, congregations, synods, and beyond.

His symposium paper was often a gentle rebuke of excesses among the faculty of the seminary, delivered with such a gentle spirit that most atendees never knew what he was doing. They only knew that he was delivering an inspirational adddress. He spoke against communisim on college campuses in the 50's and 60's against liberalism on seminary campuses in the seventies, against feminism in the 80's and against evangelicalism in the nineties.

He was on a CTCR that never fully appreciated his theological insight and yet never stopped campaigning for the truth. He never seemed to care who he offended with the truth, and yet delivered it in such a way as to offend so very few.

During the "bad times" in the early nineties, he was the one people asked about, "Is he staying? Then we will too." During the current crisis, his was the opinion most sought after, "What should we do? Is it time to leave?" His staying to fight was, for many, the final word that our synod was not beyond hope, from a man whose uncompromising integrity, and confessional commitment were beyond question.

Second nomination : Kenneth Korby

If you want a man who lived up to the original ideals of the SoB award, you could hardly do better than Kenneth Korby. Back in the late 40's/early fifties, he would bring resolutions to pastor's conferences which encouraged the use of Private Absolution. This in a synod that, in its best congregations, only had monthly celebration of the sacrament.

He spoke the truth boldly, and with little regard for the consequences. Many pastors, after hearing him speak, realized that their entire ministry and understadning of the pastoral office had been a fraud. It was time to start over with scripture and the confessions, and rebuild their entire self. He was, like Lewis's Aslan, good, but definitely not safe.

He didn't care whom he offended, and he offended a lot of people. He didn't care what happened to himself, was almost removed from office, and yet never allowed the struggles he faced to diminish his voice. In the end, it would be God who diminished his voice, taking his power of speech for the last six years of his life. Yet, his voice rings clearly still, through the Concordia Catechetical Academy, through recordings traded among pastors who can not get enough of his dangerous and subversive, but wholly Christ-like theology.

And at the end of a distinguished career, he didn't retire and move to Aruba, or do the "honored lecture tour", he took not one but two inner-city congregations in succession, serving both faithfully with God's word, and so seemed, at the end of his life, more full of vigor than ever.

If ever there was a year when two men deserve to win the award, this is it.



David L Lichtenstein said...

I would like to nominate John Fenton. In the face of all adversity and personal suffering he choose to sacrifice all to speak the truth. I could go on, but I believe most know the story.

Frank said...

Father Eckardt,
I wish to nominate Paul T. McCain, General Editor, Edward A. Engelbrecht, Associate Editor, Gene Edward Veith, Jr., and Robert C. Baker who put together Concordia: A Readers Edition. I don't know if a group of individuals may be nominated but I believe these guys are worthy of the SoB award.
Frank Gillespie