471 pastors, students and guests attended the Ninth Annual Theological Symposium, “Expanding Homiletical Horizons – Reaching Out to the People,” held May 4-5, 1999 on the campus of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. It was the second in a two-symposium series emphasizing homiletics, building on last year’s theme, “Expanding Homiletical Horizons – Reaching Into the Text.”
Comments from those who attended the symposium indicate that it was helpful for them as they approach the task of preaching. One pastor commented that he found, “Hearing other ideas on what preaching is all about in relation to reaching people and getting some new ideas to tryout in my own ministry was most valuable.” Another pastor indicated that he, “appreciated the open sharing of ideas, listening to different approaches and views and then seeing how they can work within a Lutheran context.”
Five major presenters were featured at this year’s symposium. Dr. William Willimon, Dean of Chapel at Duke University, presented an address titled “Reaching Out through the Church’s Peculiar Speech.” Dr. Thomas Long, former Professor of Preaching and Worship at Princeton Theological Seminary and now head of Geneva Press spoke on the topic “Reaching Out through Language.” Dr. Richard Jensen from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago presented “Reaching Out through Story.”
Concordia Seminary faculty members were also featured. Dr. Dean Nadasdy delivered a presentation titled, “Reaching Out through the Arts.” Prof. David Schmitt presented “Reaching Out as a Lutheran,” and Dr. Glenn Nielsen introduced the symposium’s main topic and highlighted the main points to be considered during the symposium.
Many other professors and pastors offered small-group presentations on various theological topics. Each of the major off-campus presenters also led such a session. Topics in the small- group presentations included: “Preaching or Teaching? Yes! (Dr. Charles Arand, Concordia Seminary faculty), “Preaching in a Rural Setting” (Rev. Dale Kern, St. John Lutheran Church, Ridgeville Corners, Ohio), “Preaching in the Shadow of the City: Urban/Suburban Preaching” (Rev. Gerald Coleman, Crossview Lutheran Church, Edina, Minn.), “Preaching in the Heartland” (Rev. Ralph Blomenberg, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Seymour, Ind.), and “Preaching to Twenty-First Century Individualists” (Dr. David Smith, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Des Peres, Mo.).
Additional information may be obtained by contacting Prof. John Oberdeck, Office of Continuing Education, Concordia Seminary (314) 505-7105 or (firstname.lastname@example.org).