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Hymn Festivals

Celebrate the Lutheran musical heritage as we embark on a nationwide series of Hymn Festivals in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of seminaries. Join us in this momentous occasion where congregations from across the country come together to uplift their voices in harmony, echoing the timeless hymns that have been a cornerstone of Lutheran worship.

These Hymn Festivals transcend mere musical performances; they are gatherings that celebrate the enduring spirit of community and worship. As we mark the 50th anniversary of seminaries, let the power of music unite us in a shared journey of faith. Whether you are a seasoned Lutheran worshipper or new to the traditions, these festivals offer a unique opportunity to connect with the heart of Lutheran theology through the beauty of hymnody.

LSTC’s program for Homecoming 2024: The Seminex 50th Anniversary Celebration  features a Hymn Festival that will be held Wednesday April 17 at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest. This Chicago area congregation and its pastor, F. Dean Lueking, were among the leaders of the moderate movement in the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod during the tumultuous decade leading up to and following the birth of Christ Seminary–Seminex.

Worship is the center of the church’s life and has been central to the journey that Seminex represents. The church’s song in liturgy and hymnody is an especially vibrant element in that journey. In the face of profound disunity, God’s people proclaim and celebrate “one Lord, one faith, one birth, one holy name . . . , one holy food . . . , one hope” (“The Church’s One Foundation,” st. 2). Alongside the eucharist and daily prayer, the hymn festival became another distinctive extension of worship for Seminex, both in the St. Louis years and in subsequent years when the hymn festival “road show” engaged people across the country in the mission and spirit of Seminex.

Wednesday’s hymn festival at Grace echoes and extends this aspect of the Seminex journey. God’s promise all along the way—in word and sacrament, in ministry for the sake of the world, and in the “mystic sweet communion” of the body of Christ—will be the foundation of our song.

Leaders for the event include Robert Buckley Farlee and Martin Seltz, both retired from ministry at the Publishing House of the ELCA and Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis; Michael Costello, cantor, and the choir of Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest; Anne Krentz Organ, director of music ministries, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Park Ridge; and Daniel Schwandt, associate director of music, Trinity English Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne (and former cantor to the LSTC community).

Join us in this nationwide celebration, where hymns become a vessel for expressing devotion, gratitude, and reflection. As we lift our voices together, let the melodies of the past resonate with the promise of a harmonious future. Come, be a part of the Hymn Festivals that honor the legacy of seminaries and celebrate the enduring power of Lutheran hymns.

Hymn Festivals Schedule

April 17, 20247:30 p.m.Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest, IL
June 14, 2024Time TBDLutheran Church of the Atonement, St. Louis, MO
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