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Fall Sabbatical Week To Emphasize Lutheran Identity in a Post-Denominational America

“Being Lutheran in a Post-Denominational America: A Confessional Proposal” is the title for the Fall Sabbatical Week to be held Oct. 18-22, 1999 on the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis campus.

“In the new millennium, cultural and ecumenical forces threaten to marginalize the confessional witness of Lutheranism,” commented Dr. Charles Arand, chairman of the Seminary’s department of systematic theology, and one of the Sabbatical Week presenters. “Many, unsure about their Wittenberg roots, are moving toward Constantinople and Rome, or Geneva and Pasadena. American individualism has joined with post-modernism to produce a post-denominational environment in which it is no longer important to identify with a denomination. Personal confessions of faith have taken priority over public confessions of faith. Sabbatical Week will help us answer the questions, ‘What does it mean to be Lutheran?’ and ‘How do we raise a Lutheran voice?'”

The three featured presenters at the Sabbatical Week all come from the Seminary’s department of systematic theology. Dr. John F. Johnson, President of Concordia Seminary, will discuss the challenges within The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod that threaten to undermine its confessional witness within Christianity. Dr. Charles Arand will examine the ecclesiological implications of being a confessional church. Dr. Joel Okamoto will consider the confessional task facing Lutheranism today in the light of the post-liberal thought of the Yale School.

Sabbatical Weeks are designed to allow pastors and others the opportunity to spend time in study, reflection and discussion on the Seminary campus. Participants also are encouraged to worship with the Seminary community in daily chapel services and to devote significant time to prayer and personal devotional reading. Past participants have commented on the benefit they received from taking time away from their normal routines to be enriched through the Sabbatical Week experience.

Tuition for the week is $100. On-campus meal and lodging packages are available. Congregations are encouraged to consider the gift of a Sabbatical Week to their pastor.

Additional information and registration materials can be obtained by contacting the Office of Continuing Education, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Avenue, St. Louis, Mo. 63105; (314) 505-7105; oberdeckj@csl.edu.