Transfiguration Afterglow from the BJS Conference, by Pr. Rossow

I look forward to the day when we will have a few thousand in attendance at our annual rally but in the meantime, feet planted securely at the foot of the cross, I am relishing in the afterglow of a very quaint and personal retreat with 100 of my closest friends – the Brothers of John the Steadfast and the Sisters of Katie Luther who attended our second annual conference. “Afterglow” is an apt term since our divine service yesterday was a celebration of the Feast of the Transfiguration. Most of the one hundred had trekked back to their home parishes as of this morning although there were still a few stragglers who stuck around for worship here at Bethany, Naperville.

Gathering af most of the attendees of the Convention

Gathering af most of the attendees of the Convention

It was a small and quaint gathering but we do thank the Lord for 20% growth in registration over last year (82 vs. 100). With a full time staff person in place we look for further blessings of growth from the Lord but of course, will be satisfied with faithfulness over numbers.

Speaking of our new Associate Director, we thank Suzanne for her leadership this past weekend. She led a brain-storming session with the twenty or so ladies who were in attendance on projects and ideas for the new Sisters of Katie Luther society.

The speakers were great. Pastor Preus basically reviewed all of the current shortcomings of the LCMS and offered wisdom on how to address them. Pastor Wilken cautioned us about “LCMS Exceptionalism,” a disease that he proves has stricken our denomination. It is the false belief that if it is approved by the LCMS it must be good, which mindset of course, ignores the only basis for approval – Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. Mollie was not only the cutest speaker but she also received the loudest applause for her ninety minute review of the life a confessional writer in a secular world.

The worship was beautiful and edifying. We were wonderfully served by Bethany Cantor Phillip Magness and the musicians of the parish. We were also honored to have in attendance hymn-writer Stephen Starke and composer Stephen Johnson (from Liturgy Solutions).

The offering from Friday night Vespers will go to Issues, Etc. and the offering from Saturday’s Divine Service will go to a new BJS fund to help us raise money to send Associate Director Suzanne Zobel to Africa to begin work on setting up chapters of BJS and SKL across the ocean.

Thanks to the staff at Bethany Lutheran for all their help including the committee:  Principal Pam Mueller, Teachers Aimee Walsh and Erin Thompson and Program Administrator Donna Linnemeyer.

We hope to see you next year. Make plans to join us the second week in February. Let’s pray that if not next year, at least in the years soon to come we will outgrow Bethany, Naperville and find ourselves in the midst of thousands of confessional Lutheran laity and pastors, growing in our knowledge of the Lutheran Confessions, supporting new Lutheran media, promoting the traditional liturgy and learning our vocations.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Transfiguration Afterglow from the BJS Conference, by Pr. Rossow — 10 Comments

  1. What a great event! Thank you for all your hard work to put it together. So many insights from the speakers, so much refreshment from the worship services. It was a great privilege to be there and I look forward to future events. Blessings on all you do at Bethany and for BJS!


  2. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it! Right at the last moment while I was packing I had a…slight emergency to take care of (of the major household appliance variety). I spent the rest of the night trying to sort it out. I’m glad it was properly recorded for posterity, though! How was the Bull and Bear?

  3. That was a lot of fun.

    Pastor Wilken’s talk on LCMS exceptionalism certainly brought to mind the state of Israel before the deportation and at the time of the crucifixion. Not to mention Rome before it’s fall, etc. We aren’t born (or adopted in my case) to privilege.

  4. Our group had a great time again. We are already planning and inviting new folks to join us next year. Thanks for all your hard work. Bethany does a great job. Please don’t judge yourselves by numbers. The real challenge will be to top
    this year’s program/speakers next year. God’s blessings to all the bjs family,

  5. Transfiguration?-
    that was 4 Sundays ago, although it was the Sunday School lesson yesterday. Oh that’s right you are on that other lectionary.

    Good time, nice work Bethany people.


  6. I was told that the Transfiguration used to be on August 6. Can anyone explain when and why it was moved to the season of Epiphany, whether near the beginning or near the end.

  7. When will the info on the Sisters of Katy Luther be available? I would love to read an update of the “brainstorming” meeting. I have so many questions of what others do!

    Questions like, am I the only Lutheran lady, who still wears hats to Easter service, that sort of thing.

    Yes I do, I get them on Ebay UK, as proper British ladies, are still rather “proper” on Church holidays! ( I really still do, quite the trend setter, in whatever congregation I reside, what girl doesn’t remember that, from childhood?!)

    I am so looking forward, to the posts on the update of SKL.

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