I’m at Higher Things in Bloomington (actually Normal) IL right now, and let me tell you–I am thoroughly enjoying myself. I have three youth, and my wife accompanied me as a chaperone. So far, it has been superb. The theme is Coram Deo (Before God), and Rev. Bill Cwirla was our first Plenary speaker. Rev. Brent Kuhlman will be the next one. Both of these guys are excellent speakers.
As usual, the worship opportunities are edifying. We always use services right out of our hymnal. The kids get a good dose of the Daily Offices. Matins, Morning Prayer, Vespers, Evening Prayer, even Prayer at the Close of the Day (Compline) in the late evenings with the group if they so desire.
I did a sectional presentation called “Armed for Battle: Spiritual Nerfguns v. Spiritual Bazookas.” Basicaly I talk about the value of good hymnody in the context of spiritual warfare, and explain why weak hymns and Christian songs get us pastors down, and why we so love strong hymnody–these are also weapons that we give to the people in our churches to do battle with the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh. I see one of my duties as a pastor to be arming the people for battle. And if I am going to arm them for battle, I don’t want them to have spiritual nerf-guns, but spiritual bazookas.
A hymn that is a spiritual Bazooka is one that, in my opinion, is rich in doctrine. It is packed full of all the stuff that the devil does not want us to be singing about. Stuff like Sin, Grace, Jesus, the Sacraments, etc. Anyway, I thought it went well the first time. I look forward to delivering it again tomorrow.
Glad to be here. Looking forward to our time this evening. Some of us may go to an aquatic center. 🙂 🙂