- Mr. Douglas Lindee said (June 27, 2012 2:52 PM)...
- I'll also very emphatically add, regarding Conference attendance, that not only were we pleased with attendance, but that, given the number of signers we are privileged to have, given their disparate locations, and given the location of the Conference itself (in an area we were relatively certain would draw few supporters, but hopefully more of those opposed to our mission and message), our expectations were, in fact, vastly exceeded. We planned and budgeted for almost half the attendance we actually received, and were not confident as we planned that we would receive even that. Our Conference attendence thus turned out to be a great blessing to us, and a strong affirmation of our purpose.
As for our attendees, I was more than gratified to learn that the nature of the issues we represent and the content of the presentations we offered were of sufficient weight to draw concerned Lutherans from all over the Midwest -- from Michigan to western Minnesota, to Iowa. It was quite a humbling experience to have been a part of it.
It is clear to us, especially from the discussion among attendees during the Open Forums at the Conference, as well as during informal discussion with individuals throughout the Conference, that the issues we presented are recognized as substantive matters, and are of great concern to many. Thus, we are already in the very preliminary stages of planning our next Conference. We have discussed holding the next one further west than WELS NWD. We have also tossed around topics and a date.
Do any of our readers have suggestions for location, date, and topics?
Mr. Douglas Lindee said (June 29, 2012 9:21 AM)...
- Dutch, Christian, Lee, Perry, Daniel -- Thank you all for your suggestions! And keep them coming everybody! ...Here are a couple more questions:
- How long would you be willing to spend at such a conference? One day is not enough -- we know that now. Is two days enough? Is four days too much? And when during the week? I'm thinking a Thursday-Saturday conference, followed by the full Divine Service at the host church the following Sunday morning. This would mean Wednesday and Sunday are travel days for most folks. Probably doable for students and maybe pastors, not so much for regular folks with only two or three weeks vacation a year. I am assuming that summertime (with kids and teachers out of school) is the best time of year. What do you think?
- Would our readers be offended if we declared the IL conference a "Free Conference" so that we could invite confessional Lutheran speakers outside ELS and WELS? This could be done if we kept a DS, joint prayer, etc., off the agenda (while offering Matins/Vespers/DS as off-agenda opportunities for those desiring to attend). I ask since there are some topics, like Vocation for example (which should definitely go on the list of topics), for which I personally know of no competent speakers in WELS, much less competent speakers willing to appear at a conference hosted by Intrepid Lutherans. Potential speakers from the ELS may be a different story, but if not, then we may feel compelled to look outside WELS and ELS. If we want the best speakers on the topics we choose, we may have to go outside WELS. What do you think?
- Finally, I might as well ask this, too. For a multi-day conference, what would be the maximum you would be willing to pay, per day, assuming we also provide light breakfast, lunch and dinner?
So the questions we would like our readers to consider and answer for us can be summarized as follows:
- Time of year
- Duration of the Conference
- Topics of Interest
- "Free Conference" so that non-WELS/ELS speakers (experts in a particular topic) can be invited?
Here are some responses we've had on these questions, so far:
- Christian Schulz said (June 27, 2012 3:52 PM)...
- Somewhere in Minnesota would be great, although that's just because I'm living there! But at the same time it would be nice to see if some MLC, Bethany, and Bethany seminary students could be recruited to come (that is, if the date were during the school year).
As far as topics go, I would really be interested in talking about justification thoroughly. Also, the Divine Service would be another great topic. Rev. Berg's presentation was outstanding. For next year, with Rev. Berg's presentation as the bread and butter from last year's conference, it would be great if it was more zoomed in on dealing with sectarian worship vs. the historic Lutheran Liturgy. Maybe expand upon the bound will and why sectarian worship undermines it as well as a treatise of Ap IV, 49. Oh! Maybe another topic could be on the Office of the holy Ministry? Those are just some very candid thoughts of mine...
Dutch Gray Stoeberl said (June 27, 2012 4:05 PM)...
- What do differently...well.., my better half's (attendee) suggestions were, a pre conference packet for attendees. That way they know or can equate themselves with terms, topics, & information not readily available or known to laity. Speakers, notes, not word for word reading, from packet or prepared speech. More time for discussion & communication, per topic. Date, if it's a priority to you, you'll make a point to attend, like everything else. Location, it was 2 hrs for us. We would have gone to MI (never been), MN or IA. It's that important to us. Things happen, but it's about importance & priority.
Daniel Baker said (June 28, 2012 10:06 PM)...
- ...I would like to see the next conference in a larger city. This will come off as biased, but to the best of my knowledge the greater Milwaukee area is (at least for now) considered the center of the WELS world; I think that it would make a more suitable meeting location, and perhaps facilitate a larger attendance. Alternatively, other centers of WELS life like Watertown and New Ulm would be amicable.
I would also like to echo Christian's thought when it comes to furthering the examination of the Divine Service that we began at this conference. Aside from Justification, the matter of worship has to be at the core of our message. To that end, it seems to me that there is no better way to emphasize the importance of the Chief Divine Service than to actually celebrate it. As awesome as it was to experience the Divine Offices for the first time in a corporate setting, they pale in comparison to the Communion Liturgy. Just my two cents though. You also might consider consulting a more competent musician. ;-)
Lee Liermann said (June 29, 2012 6:23 AM)...
- For the next conference I would like to hear an expanded discussion regarding Vocation.
Dear Readers, please let us know what you opinions are on these questions. We will use your answers as a basis for planning our next Conference.