Indifference is not characteristic of the liturgy






October 13-15, 2019

The Twenty-fourth Annual Oktoberfest! and Gottesdienst Central will be hosting the Rev. Dr. James Bushur, who is the Carl and Erna Weinrich Associate Professor of New Testament and Early Church Studies. at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He specializes in Patristics and is a member of the North American Patristics Society.

His topic will be “The Sermon in the Early Church”

The event begins Sunday the 13th with Vespers at 5 p.m. at which the newly renovated chancel at St. Paul’s will be dedicated. Following the service is our annual bratwurst banquet. When everyone has had their fill of brats and beer, Dr. Bushur will give a synopsis of his Monday seminar. Following the banquet is the after-the-party party (the Gottesdienst party!), at Fr. Eckardt’s home.

On Monday, October 14th, the day begins with Mass at 9 a.m. Following Mass and a continental breakfast, Dr. Bushur will hold forth for the rest of the day, in two sessions running until about 2:45, followed by Vespers.

On Tuesday, October 15th, the conference will continue until noon, with Fr. Eckardt leading a continued focus on preaching, under the theme: “Preaching: the Voice of the Holy Spirit”

The Tuesday session will be shorter, framed by morning low Mass (spoken Divine Service) and Mid-day prayers.


$50 per person, $70 per couple, students $25 — includes Sunday banquet and Monday continental; no charge for children with parents. You may pay the registration fee when you arrive or follow this link to register online.

Recommended Lodging: AmericInn, 309-856-7200. Special rate $96 (mention Oktoberfest when you register, by October 1); also Aunt Daisy’s B & B, 309-853-3300; Motel 6, 309-853-8800; Super 8 (Galva), 309-932-2841; Best Western (Annawan), (309) 935-6565; Kewanee Motor Lodge, (309) 853-4000.

Saint Michael’s Conference

September 30, 2019

The 2019 St. Michael's Liturgical Conference will be, Deo volente, Monday, September 30, 2019.

To download the flyer for this year's conference, click here.

The Keynote Presenter for our 2019 conference will be Fr. Roy Axel Coats, Pastor of Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Baltimore, Maryland. His topic will be “Adiaphora and Modernity”. The question of adiaphora has troubled the Church throughout her history. Fr. Coats will focus on one place and time, Leipzig around 1700, and explore the debate regarding adiaphora between the orthodox Valentin Alberti, the pietist Philipp Spener, and the modernist Christian Thomasius. He will show how this debate has shaped the modern world and the Liturgy of the Church up to our present day.

We are also pleased to welcome as presenters:

Fr. Charles McClean, Pastor of Our Savior Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Baltimore, Maryland, who will present on the life and work of Friedrich Lochner;

The Reverend Dr. Frank Pies, Senior Pastor Emeritus of Our Savior Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Hartland, Michigan, who will present on the rite, rubrics and ceremony of Private Confession and Absolution;

The Reverend. Dr. Burnell Eckardt, Pastor of St. Paul Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Kewanee, Illinois, who will present on the implications of the Atonement on the Pastoral task.

Preaching at the Solemn Mass on the Commemoration of St. Jerome will be the Reverend Dr. David Petersen, Senior Pastor of Redeemer Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

All the presenters, the preacher, and Gottesdienst editors in attendance will participate in a Panel Discussion of the topics presented, and answer questions from the attendees.

An organ recital by Zion's Cantor, Miss Emily Solomon, will be featured in the afternoon.

New Hotel This Year! This year Zion is working with the Hampton Inn, Allen Park (I-94 & the Southfield Freeway) on conference hotel rooms. Zion has pre-booked a number of rooms. A discount is available to conference attendees, but you must book the room through the Zion Church Office.

To register and make your hotel reservation contact the Zion Church office: 313-894-7450.


Past events . . .

The Twenty-third Annual Oktoberfest! and Gottesdienst Central hosted the Rev. Dr. Thomas M. Winger, president of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (CLTS), St. Catharines, Ontario.

Dr. Winger is the author of dozens of articles, many published in Lutheran Theological Review. He is the (co)editor of three books and a contributor to The Lutheran Study Bible. He has written studies for the theological commissions of Lutheran Church–Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England (ELCE). He also served as a member of the liturgy committee of Lutheran Service Book.

His topic was

“Hints of the Liturgy in the Epistle to the Ephesians and Other New Testament Texts”

Follow the links below:

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4


The Twentieth Annual St. Michael Liturgical Conference

was held Monday, September 25, 2017 at Zion Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Detroit. Keynote Presentation – Wyoming District President John Hill: “Lessons from Luther’s Invocavit Sermons” – The Rev. John Hill examined Luther’s 1522 Invocavit Sermons as an example of churchmanship and pastoral care in Wittenberg’s early liturgical reforms. He included reflections from Luther’s Preface to the 1528 Visitation Articles as he speaks about the office of Bishop (or Visitor) in the church today. Q & A and Panel Discussion - Fr. Mark Braden, Pastor of Zion, examined the rite, rubrics and ceremony of Luther’s Latin and German Masses, and facilitated a Q & A period during which conference attendees interacted with President Hill regarding his presentation, followed by a Panel Discussion featuring the Conference Presenters joined by several editors of Gottesdienst. Dr. Daniel Reuning, Director of the Fort Wayne Bach Collegium in Fort Wayne, Indiana, revisited volume 53 of Luther’s Works, bringing to light Luther’s unique hymnodic contributions. Fr. Braden holds both the S.T.M. and M. Div. degrees from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, where he is an adjunct faculty member. He teaches regularly throughout South America. He is an International Fellow for the Luther Academy, and a departmental editor for Gottesdienst. Fr. Burnell Eckardt, Pastor of St. Paul Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Kewanee, Illinois, and editor of Gottesdienst, presented on the importance of rubrics. The Reverend Fr. David Petersen, Pastor of Redeemer Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Fort Wayne, Indiana, preached at the Mass.

Here are links to videos of these presentations.

"Lessons from Luther's Invocavit Sermons," Keynote Address by President John Hill

"Luther's Latin & German Masses," Rev. Mark Braden

"Volume 53 Revisited," Rev. Dr. Daniel Reuning

"The Importance of Rubrics: Gottesdienst Video," Rev. Dr. Burnell Eckardt

"Commemoration of St. Cleopas," Confessor Rev. David Petersen

Q & A and Panel Discussion with President Hill

The Twenty-second Annual Oktoberfest! and Gottesdienst Central

was held Sunday – Tuesday, October 8-10, 2017 at St. Paul’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Kewanee, Illinois, and observed the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The conference hosted Rev. William Weedon, LCMS Director of Worship, and Chaplain at the International Center in St. Louis. His topic was “Reformation and Liturgy: The Eruption of Evangelical Joy in the Heart of the Divine Service.”

Here are links to videos of this presentation.

Reformation and Liturgy: The Eruption of Evangelical Joy, opening remarks

Reformation and Liturgy: The Eruption of Evangelical Joy, part 1

Reformation and Liturgy: The Eruption of Evangelical Joy, part 2