2017 finds Lutherans giving thanks for their Reformation heritage. Our ALCM biennial conference, “Rise, Remember Well the Future,” July 10-13, will simultaneously celebrate the treasures of the last 500 years and look to the future and God’s covenant of faithfulness in all that is yet to be. Opening worship will be held at Saint Olaf College, site of the constituting ALCM convention in 1986. In plenaries led by Chad Fothergill, Daniel Schwandt, and Mary Louise Bringle, we will reflect on the changing role of the cantor—the leader of the church’s song—as we move confidently into a future blessed by our heritage and full of many changes in the church and its music.
A highlight of the conference will be a journey to Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, with its rich history of liturgical renewal and ecumenism. We will share Evening Prayer with the monks, mindful of reforms and hoped-for reconciliation among Lutherans and Roman Catholics since Vatican II. The conference, which will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a Midwest center of American Lutheranism, will also feature a hymn festival by David Cherwien and the National Lutheran Choir; a gala opening dinner and business meeting where we will give thanks for the first thirty years of ALCM; and closing worship at Central Lutheran Church.