Wrap-Up from Ft. Wayne: Conversation with Cwirla, Faculty Member to Post on BJS, by Pr. Rossow

I am back in Naperville now, teaching confirmation, preparing Sunday Bible class and catching up on a few administrative tasks. Before leaving Ft. Wayne yesterday I had a nice conversation with Rev. Bill Cwirla and also had a faculty member take me up on the offer to post on the website.

If you read yesterday’s posts you know that I was disappointed that it was hard to get a seminary faculty member to write for us. I am glad to report that is now  old news. I was chatting at our booth with our “Steadfast Lutherans from the Past” columnist, Rev. Walt Otten, when up came Dr. Daniel Gard, the Dean of the Military Chaplaincy program. I asked him if he would write for BJS and he agreed on the spot. I mentioned how interesting that was based on the fact that I had just posted a story on how the faculty members were hesitant to write for us. He responded by saying “Yes, I know, I just read it this morning.” (It’s good to hear that seminary professors are reading the BJS website.) We talked about what he might write. We left that up in the air for now. He may write a column on steadfast LCMS chaplains, on goings-on at the seminary, or some other topic. We will be discussing that over the course of the next few days. It is truly a great honor for the Brothers of John the Steadfast to have a seminary professor writing for us. Stay tuned for more.

The Higher Things booth was just a little ways down from us and so I got a chance to chat with the president of the group Rev. Bill Cwirla. I told him that we missed reading his “Underground Blog.” He is busy now posting on the Higher Things site, continues his work with the “God Whisperers” and also posts as one of the “liturgical gangstas” on an interesting site called “Internet Monk.” (Do a search on the site for “Cwirla” and you will find his posts.) When I asked if he would write for us here on the BJS site he quickly replied in the affirmative. Since he is so busy, we agreed that it would have to be on a guest basis – so look forward to future posts from one of the most interesting and intelligent Lutherans around.

Another treat in Ft. Wayne was getting to spend some time with Marlin Zobel, a steadfast Lutheran from way back. He was manning the booth for The Lutheran Heritage Foundation. I have known Marlin for nearly 15 years but did not realize that he was a development guy at Seward when I was doing my undergraduate studies there. We got to reminisce and also talk about the important work that LHF does. We encourage you to check them out and support them. A couple of other booths near us included the Gottesdienst folks and the Russia Project. The Gottesdienst booth had some great books for sale. You may want to check them out online at Redeemer Press and the Russia project has been a favorite of ours here at Bethany – Naperville. Two years ago we gave $15,000 to the project which was enough for them to buy a condo and refurbish into a church. We encourage you and your congregation to support the Fort Wayne Seminary’s wonderful work in this area.

It was very rewarding to spend time meeting the Brothers and others in Ft. Wayne. When I got home there was a handful of new registrations for our National Conferencenext month here in Naperville. There is still plenty of time to sign up. We hope you will come and join us and have some of the same camaraderie that I enjoyed with the Brothers and others in Ft. Wayne.

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