The following members of the Luther Seminary faculty will present workshops. Complete bios are available by selecting their name.
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In addition to the faculty members a workshop will be presented by:
- Jay Beech, Musician, Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead, Minn.
So now we have to be INNOVATIVE too?
Jay Beech is one of the most highly regarded contemporary musicians in the Lutheran church. He has long been recognized for his creative blending of musical energy and theological substance, and his ability to lift up ancient traditions within a modern context. The gospel proclaimed through Word and Sacrament is a clear focus in Beech’s work and he is deeply committed to congregational song. Beech’s published works include hymns, liturgies, camp songs, musicals and anthems which are sung each week in congregations throughout the United States. He is also the owner of BaytoneMusic.com, an online company that provides downloadable music resources for worship. In addition, he serves part-time on the music staff at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead, Minn.
- Debbie Blue, Founding Pastor, House of Mercy, St. Paul, Minn.
Worship for People who Hate Worship
A graduate of Yale Divinity School, Debbie Blue is the author of “Sensual Orthodoxy” and “From Stone to Living Word.” She lives on a farm outside of the Twin Cities with her husband and two children.
- Suzanne Burke, Senior Editor, Augsburg Fortress
Come and Play: Godly Play as Worship
Suzanne Burke is a rostered pastor in the ELCA and an accredited Godly Play teacher. In her ministry at AF she guides the development of worship planning content for the Sundays and Seasons family of print and online resources, sacramental preparation and formation resources, and worship formation resources such as the new 5-session Worship Matters course. She worships at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis, where for the past five years she has used Godly Play to wonder with young children about Scripture’s sacred stories, model the biblical ethic of how the people of God are to live together and teach trust in a gracious God who is real and accessible in all the mystery of life. Suzanne is currently completing the requirements to be a Godly Play trainer at the invitation of the Godly Play Foundation.
- Mary Halvorson, Co-Pastor, Grace University Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
There is a Balm: The Congregation as a People and Place of Healing
Mary Halvorson is entering her 20th year as co-pastor, along with her husband, Dan Garnaas, at Grace University Lutheran Church. Mary also served as associate pastor at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Racine, Wis. She attended Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif., and completed her M.Div. at Luther Seminary. Before seminary Mary was the Lutheran campus minister at the University of Minnesota- Morris for three years. Mary has led more than 50 retreats, written for the Clergy Journal and a participated in the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research writing workshop. She is the recipient of two worship renewal grants from the Institute for Christian Worship at Calvin College and a clergy renewal grant. She has planned and led worship for many synod events. A trained musician and writer, she is also dean of Central Conference in the Minneapolis Area Synod.
- Mary Preus, Co-Founder, Bread for the Journey
Sing a New Song
Mary Preus has served as music director and song leader at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Minneapolis since 1991. She is also the worship and music coordinator for the ecumenical Community of St. Martin. Preus is co-founder and member of Bread for the Journey, where she co-leads the teaching and singing of songs of justice, community and faith from around the world. She is also the artistic director of Minnesota Community Sings, working to build the culture of community public singing in Minnesota.
- Russell Rathbun, Founding Pastor, House of Mercy, St. Paul, Minn.
Worship for People who Hate Worship
Russell Rathbun's latest book, "Midrash on the Juaunitos" was called "terrifying" by Publishers Weekly. He is also the curator of www.thehardestquestion.org, a lectionary-based preaching blog.
- Kara Root, Pastor, Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis
Sabbath-Keeping in Church
Kara Root has an M.Div. with a concentration in spirituality and spiritual direction from Fuller Seminary, and is a Minister of Word and Sacrament and Certified Educator in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She leads occasional Sabbath retreats and workshops, and has written for Sparkhouse re:form curriculum, Homily Service Journal, “Renew52,” Working Preacher and Patheos, and blogs about ministry and motherhood on her blog, In the Here and Now.
- Bradley Schmeling, Pastor, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul
Readings the Rite Way
Bradley Schmeling has served congregations in Ohio and Georgia. A graduate of Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, he did doctoral work in pastoral care and liturgical theology at Emory University in Atlanta.
- Tom Witt, Co-Founder, Bread for the Journey
Sing a New Song
Tom Witt is a Minneapolis-based keyboardist, worship leader, song leader and worship planner. Tom co-founded Bread for the Journey, an ensemble committed to encouraging congregational singing, sharing music with theological integrity and helping music ministers inspire the community's song and serve the community's prayer. Tom also is part of the Living Liturgy teaching team, which leads workshops around the country on deepening our understanding of Sunday worship.