Update from Minnesota North Convention – Bad AV Day for Kieschnick and Harrison, by Pr. Rossow

April 28th, 2009 Post by

You have heard of bad hair days? Well,  Rev. Kieschnick and Rev. Matt Harrison had bad AV days but according to our source, they reacted quite differently.

Each man had trouble with the video presentations they had planned. In each case the video equipment malfunctioned. According to the pastor that we interviewed, President Kieschnick did not handle it well. He was quite perplexed and after a few minutes awkwardly went on with a stunted presentation. Harrison on the other hand, it was reported, had the same problems but responded without much hesitation and went on with a full presentation. This is from an eye-witness. Please let us know if you were there and saw the same thing or had a different impression.

In other news, the Blue Ribbon presentation was met with numerous questions that received less than comprehensive answers. The delegates filled out a survey on the proposals before the question and answer period but apparently were allowed to change their answers after the question and answer period. Hopefully the Task Force is listening to our concerns and is changing their presentation which so far has been highly scripted and controlled. We encourage readers to go the website put up by the “Interested Laymen” and view the Task Force’s presentation and take the very same survey that is being given to convention delegates. There are dozens of proposals so be patient. The survey takes at least 45 minutes.

It was also reported that Rev.  Don Fondow was re-elected District President.

If you are at the convention and have other comments please let us know by commenting below.


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  1. April 28th, 2009 at 23:08 | #1

    Speaking of PowerPoint type things, fellow listeners might be interested in Edward Tufte’s The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/books_pp

    This is a must read for anyone using PowerPoint or related software, both in the secular world and the church.

  2. Steve Bohler
    April 28th, 2009 at 23:38 | #2

    I am a pastoral delegate at the Minnesota North convention and I have to agree with your source that Dr. Kieschnick did not appear to handle the glitch that well. His words directed to the folks responsible for the technology seemed to be short and less than affable. His report, scheduled for Monday night, had problems and was being rescheduled for his Q & A time on Tuesday morning. When there were problems the second time, he said something to the effect of “kill it, kill it, kill it” and said he would move to the Q & A portion instead. However he did not take a single question; instead he spent the 30 minutes alloted to him asking and answering his own questions. The vice-president who was supposed to read the questions delegates had turned in never even got up to the stage or microphone.

    Rev. Harrison, on the other hand, laughed and told a couple of stories while he waited for the equipment to be fixed. And when it was not rectified, went on with his presentation. He said something to the effect of ” a church bureaucrat without his PowerPoint presentation is about as useless as he is with it”. When he finished his 45 minute presentation (a wonderful Gospel-motivated talk about the Church’s works of mercy, by the way; the first part on Monday was about the Church being a “mouth-house” in telling the Gospel and tomorrow’s presentation being about the Church’s need for courage in its work, I believe) Rev. Harrison said that he would have to do all his future presentations this way because he had said some things that he had never heard before without the PowerPoint stuff. Funny. Real. And a theologian. What a great combination!

  3. April 29th, 2009 at 00:53 | #3

    “Rev. Harrison said that he would have to do all his future presentations this way because he had said some things that he had never heard before without the PowerPoint stuff.”

    And therein lies one major problem with PP. It tends to be a crutch to unprepared speakers and restrictive to good speakers.

  4. Dennis Peskey
    April 29th, 2009 at 07:13 | #4

    “a church bureaucrat without his PowerPoint presentation is about as useless as he is with it” This reminded me of the Issues.Etc program where Pr. Wilken was commenting on praise bands and power point presentations as part of the worship service. His conclusion: If you can not worship without electricity, then it’s not worship. God’s word does not need electricity and/or computer aids to be effective. Perhaps we should all strive to return to the Lord in all that we do and say.

  5. A Walther deendant
    April 29th, 2009 at 12:34 | #5

    “If you can not worship without electricity, then it’s not worship.”

    Whoa. Lucky for my congregation, our pipe organ still has the original pump mechanism! ;-D

  6. Rev. Ryan Fehrmann
    April 29th, 2009 at 13:56 | #6

    Actually its not about the organ, its more a dig at not having a hymnal. If you have no projector how do you get the music to the people? If you have no set Liturgy how do you do the service without a projector? Sure you can lead a few songs the people are familiar with, but without words and music it is much more difficult, and since many assembly hall churches are enclosed without windows you might have to go outside.

    We had a lights out situation last year, lightning fried the transformer outside the church. What to do? Light the Candles, Open all the doors to let the light in (thankfully a sunny, seasonal morning), crack open the hymnals, and use the piano. We went forward like nothing was wrong. In fact I mentioned that we would be having church like it was about 100 years ago or so. It was quite nice. And we could have done it without open doors and a piano if needed. When the lights came on right before Holy Communion and I believe there was a collective sigh of disappointment.

    Oh and finally even better we could have done it without the hymnal, many of us know the service by heart.

  7. April 29th, 2009 at 16:17 | #7

    Ha…forget even the piano. At Easter, our congregation sang “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” in four part harmony a cappella. (Granted they had plenty of practice accompanied for the previous six verses.) ‘Tis a shame our organ is a toaster. Word of the day: CALCANT: n. a bellows-operator for a pipe organ; an off-duty acolyte.

  8. Rev. Ryan Fehrmann
    April 29th, 2009 at 17:07 | #8

    Scott thats cool, our organist will deliberately stop playing on various hymns for congregation acapella. The Liturgy is great – if forces you forward. The organist once missed a cue for the Hymn of Praise (Gloria in Exclesis) but the congregation belted it out anyway perfectly in unison, it brought tears to my eyes.

    These lights out memories are fun, anyone have more? How about our contemporary worship lurkers/contributors – what happened when the lights went out?

  9. April 29th, 2009 at 17:15 | #9

    Our organist frequently stops playing for one verse in more commonly-known hymns; it’s great hearing the congregation singing by itself! Other times he takes liberty and has the “organ” play one verse .. he does all kinds of variations on the theme while the congregation reads along.

  10. Kari
    May 1st, 2009 at 23:12 | #10

    I found it pretty amazing that Pres Kieschnick didn’t have time to answer more then the three questions he said are he’s most frequently asked about, but that I think are those the LCMS really has very little controversy in, when his presentation wasn’t able to be finished being shown. I would have thought that left more time for the question and answer period. But, no, just three questions. Women’s ordination, gay marriage,and the ELCA, I think, if I’m remembering right. He seemed pretty flustered, and Harrison seemed to not miss a beat, and had us take out our Bibles and he kept on speaking.

  11. Steve Bohler
    May 3rd, 2009 at 12:30 | #11

    Kari,

    Even more to the point: none of those questions were questions that came from delegates. Dr. Kieschnick asked, and then answered, them himself. That makes Q & A a lot easier! I know my confirmation students wish I would do the same with our tests and quizzes: let them make up the questions and then answer them. It’s pretty hard to fail that way.

    But you are right: Dr. Kieschncik surely seemed to get upset when things did not go as planned with the technology. Rev. Harrison, though, just kind of laughed and made light of it. And then went out and gave a bang-up presentation. I told our lay delegate that I was really impressed with him: a theologian, a scholar, a preacher of the Gospel, an organizer and administrator. And one who had fun! At one point he told a story that made himself laugh so hard that he doubled up and walked away from the microphone — he did not seem to take himself too seriously (unlike my impressions of Dr. Kieschnick) but wanted the focus to be on Christ and His love.

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