Mid-Winter Convocation

God's Mission and Worship

Jan. 29-31, 2014
Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.


Jay Beech, the Center for Worship & Music Studies

After more than 30 years of intermittent success and modest notoriety as a composer and church musician, Jay Beech has become a bureaucrat. He is now living in Minneapolis and working on behalf of The Center for Worship & Music Studies, a brand new venture formed through a partnership of ELCA synods.







Originally from São Paulo Brazil, Cláudio Carvalhaes is a former shoeshine boy and now a liturgist, theologian and artist. He received his Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York. He is currently the associate professor of worship and liturgy at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He has published several chapters and articles in English, Portuguese and Spanish. He published three books in Brazil. His first book published in English is “Eucharist and Globalization: Redrawing the Borders of Eucharistic Hospitality” (Wipf and Stock, Pickwick Publications, 2013). “What Worship has to do with it? Interpreting Life Liturgically” (Cascade Publications) is forthcoming in 2014. He led worship at the All African Council of Churches in Mozambique and the World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh in 2010. He is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a member of the Worship Team of CLAI-Latin American Council of Churches.


 Jessicah Krey Duckworth, Program Director, Religion Division, Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Jessicah Krey Duckworth taught courses at Luther Seminary in congregational and community care prior to joining Lilly Endowment. She is a graduate of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. She completed her Ph.D. in practical theology with an emphasis on Christian education at Princeton Theological Seminary.






Terri Elton has a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in Congregational Mission and Leadership from Luther Seminary. Her dissertation studied missional leadership within ELCA churches. Prior to her call to Luther Seminary, Elton served as associate to the bishop in the St. Paul Area Synod, working with congregations around leadership development, first call theological education and youth and family ministry. For 16 years, she served at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, Minn., in various roles within the children, youth and family ministries, as well as the director of Changing Church, an outreach ministry of Prince of Peace. While there, she authored the “To Know, To Live, To Grow”confirmation curriculum and co-authored “What Really Matters,” a book for congregational leaders. Elton’s scholarly interests lie in the areas of congregational leadership, leading in the midst of change, missional ecclesiology, theology of baptism and vocation and faith and mission practices for children, youth, young adults and their families. She is a member of the Academy of Religious Leadership, Association of Youth Ministry Educators, ELCA Youth Ministry Network, the American Society of Missiology and is on the board of Real Resources and Youth Specialties. Her writing includes several essays within the “Missional Church” series published by Eerdmans, articles in the Journal of Religious Leadership and curriculum for the ELCA Youth Ministry leadership initiative. 


For the past 20 years Mary has served as co-pastor, along with her husband, Dan Garnaas, at Grace University Lutheran Church. Grace is sits among the bustling University of Minnesota's medical center, labs, dorms and businesses. Before her time at Grace, Mary served as associate pastor at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Racine, Wis. She attended Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif., and completed her Master of Divinity at Luther Seminary. Before seminary Mary was Lutheran Campus Minister at the University of Minnesota-Morris for three years. Mary has led more than 50 retreats, written for the Clergy Journal, is the recipient of two worship renewal grants from the Institute for Christian Worship at Calvin College and the clergy renewal grant. She has planned and led worship for many synod and church-wide events. She chairs the Hawkinson Foundation for Peace and Justice and recently served for six years as a dean in her synod.  

Paul Hoffman,  Pastor, Phinney Ridge, Seattle, author, teacher

Paul Hoffman is an author and teacher, and has been an ELCA pastor for more than 30 years. He served congregations in Nebraska, Texas and Washington. For the past 17 years, along with the congregation of Phinney Ridge in Seattle, Paul has pioneered a faithful ministry of bringing adults to baptism and beyond. “Faith Forming Faith” and “Faith Shaping Ministry”(Cascade Books) detail this journey of congregational transformation. Paul’s work with us will offer a glimpse of the praxis of ministry through the lens of a congregation intentionally retooled to live more deeply into the baptismal covenant. With baptism at the center, the call to discipleship in Christ shapes the ministry of the Sunday assembly, the life of the parish and its outreach and each participant’s ministry in daily life. 

David Lose,  Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching; Director, Center for Biblical Preaching, Luther Seminary

David Lose is the author ofMaking Sense of the Cross” (2011), Making Sense of the Christian Faith” (2010), Making Sense of Scripture” (2009) and Confessing Jesus Christ: Preaching in a Postmodern World” (2003). He speaks widely in the United States and abroad on preaching, Christian faith in a postmodern world and biblical interpretation. 




Blair Pogue, Rector, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, St. Paul

Blair Pogue has served as rector at St. Matthew’s since 2005. A recent graduate of Luther’s Doctor of Ministry program in Congregational Mission and Leadership, she previously served congregations in Virginia. 






Chris Scharen co-directs the Learning Pastoral Imagination Project. He previously taught at Yale University Divinity School in New Haven, Conn. Originally trained in theological ethics, ethnography and social theory, his work brings a lively Christian imagination to critical engagement with culture. His writings have appeared in The Cresset, Books & Culture, The Christian Century, Dialog, Generate and other publications. Most recently, he authored "Serving the Assembly's Worship: A Handbook for Assisting Ministers" (2013) and "Broken Hallelujahs: Why Pop Music Matters to those Seeking God" (Brazos, 2011). 


Emily Scott, Pastor, St. Lydia's Dinner Church, Brooklyn, New York

Emily Scott’s congregation, St. Lydia's, is a four-year-old church plant where worship takes place around a shared Eucharistic meal. Congregants come together to cook food and prepare the table, then break bread, eat dinner, sing and pray. Trained as a liturgist and musician at Yale Divinity School and the Institute of Sacred Music, Emily has focused her work on the intersection of liturgy and the arts. She served as director of worship at Riverside Church in New York City from 2007-2009, then as the director of family music ministries at First Presbyterian Church in New York City from 2009-2013. Emily collaborated with All Saints Company to found and coordinate Music That Makes Community, a network of clergy and musicians interested in composing and leading congregational music from the oral tradition and train church leaders to do the same. As part of her work, she oversaw the publication of “Music By Heart,” a hymnal of paperless music. She founded St. Lydia's in collaboration with colleague Rachel Pollak and congregants in 2009, and was ordained as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2012.


Edwin Searcy is the eldest son of a United Church of Canada minister. Ordained in 1980, he served pastoral charges in Minnedosa-Rapid City, Manitoba, as well as in Surrey and Richmond, British Columbia, before being called to University Hill Congregation in Vancouver in 1995. As a pastor, Searcy’s particular calling is to aid in the recovery of the distinctive features of Christian identity in the church. He notices that the mainline church regularly suffers from communal amnesia leading to anxiety and despair, draining energy and nerve. His passion is to assist in the cultivation of hospitable, courageous and compassionate congregations that are unashamed in their love of the gospel and of the God who, in Jesus, has called them into existence. He is a contributor to publications including Word & World, Journal for Preachers, The Christian Century, The Life with God Study Bible and The New Interpreter's Handbook of Preaching. Searcy is also the editor of “Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann.” 


Al Tizon received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in religious educational and church leadership studies from Vanguard University of Southern California in Costa Mesa, Calif. He earned his Ph.D. in missiology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif. He and his family engaged in community development work, ministry to street children and church leadership development among the poor in his native Philippines for almost 10 years as missionaries with Action International Ministries. An ordained minister of the Evangelical Covenant Church, Tizon served several churches in both the Philippines and the United States in various capacities, including lead pastor of Berkeley Covenant Church in Berkeley, Calif. He is the author of “Transformation after Lausanne: Radical Evangelical Mission in Global-Local Perspective” (Regnum 2008) and “Missional Preaching: Engage, Embrace, Transform” (Judson 2012). He is also the co-author of “Linking Arms, Linking Lives: How Urban-Suburban Partnerships Can Transform Communities” (Baker Books 2008). He is co-editor of “Honoring the Generations: Learning with Asian North American Congregations” (Judson 2012) and “Following Jesus: Journeys in Radical Discipleship” (Regnum 2013).