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Study Conference 2015

printable brochure schedule schedule poster


(lectures will be held at the Seminary)

5 - 7 May 2015

Tuesday 5 May 2015

9:00 a.m. Registration

10:00 a.m. Craig Van Gelder: Session 1

Challenges Historical Denominations and Their Congregations Are Facing Today in Canada

10:45 a.m. Coffee

11:00 a.m. Discussion

12:00 p.m. - Lunch on your own

1:30 p.m. Vern Ratzlaff: Lecture

Jesus and Empire: Persuasion or Domination

Embedded in the Jewish/ Christian scriptures are political and cultural perspectives that help interpret the biblical texts better for our time. One of these perspectives is that of “empire.” Our scriptures were written, edited and shaped by people living in/under the great empires of history: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome. Vocabulary that was blatantly political has become domesticated and lost the shock value that the early faith communities experienced.

About Vern: Vern has been director of Mennonite Central Committee (in Manitoba and Egypt) and a Mennonite pastor in Saskatchewan, presently in a small rural congregation east of Saskatoon.  Holding graduate degrees in theology and philosophy, he has taught at |Mennonite colleges and universities.  He is adjunct faculty at LTS, with special interest in the biblical dimensions of the exile and of  empire. 

2:30 p.m. Dedication of Rev. Dr. John Kleiner Jewish-Christian Relations Book Collection followed by coffee

3:15 p.m. Holden Evening Prayer

7:00 p.m. Coffee & a Keg with Wires & Wood (at LTS)

Wednesday, 6 May

9:15 a.m. Morning Prayer & Coffee

10:00 a.m. Panel Discussion with Dr. Cam Harder

Innovative Ministries: When the Rubber Hits the Road

A conversation among people engaged in "out-of-the-box" ministry in the Western Synods of the ELCIC. Sample question: "What are Canadians in your context looking for in a spiritual community?"

  1. Rev. Erik Bjorgan, Deo Lutheran Church Missional Network (Salmon Arm, BC)
  2. Holly Hirschfield, ministry with neighbourhood mums (Spruce Grove, AB)
  3. Rev. Fran Schmidt, Warman-Martensville-Osler Church Plant Project

About Cam: Dr. Harder served in ELCIC city and town/country parishes from 1981 to 1997 and as Professor of Theology at Lutheran Theological Seminary since 1997.  He has studied how ELCIC churches effectively engage their communities in both urban and rural settings, in Toronto and the four western synods.  His book "Discovering the Other: Asset-based tools for building community together" is a practical and theological exploration of useful tools for church-community engagement.  He is currently writing up a study of "out-of-the-box" ministries in our western synods.

12:00 p.m. Lunch on your own

2:00 p.m. Craig Van Gelder: Session 2

Considering How God's Spirit Might Be at Work in the Midst of the Disruption We Are Experiencing

2:45 p.m. Coffee

3:00 p.m. Discussion

3:30 p.m. Evening Prayer

6:00 p.m. Banquet (Farewell to President Kevin Ogilvie) at the Western Development Museum

Thursday, 7 May

9:00 a.m. Craig Van Gelder: Session 3

Thinking Biblically and Theologically about the Challenges We Face

9:45 a.m. Discussion

10:30 a.m. Coffee

11:00 a.m. Closing eucharist Rev. Dr. Kevin Ogilvie, Preaching; Rev. Dr. Jann Boyd, Presiding

12:30 p.m. Lunch on your own

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