Got into St. Louis last night. No longer on any board, but I stayed in the same hotel where all the officers and board members have been gathered yesterday and today, since they offer a special LCMS rate.
I have previously attended what was called the “President’s Strategy Summit” and there is a huge difference first of all in the atmoshpere. Lots of happy faces, enthused chatting, and laughter. I think President Harrison’s own congenial, upbeat attitude is spilling over to everyone.
Visiting with some participants I know at the breakfast buffet this morning, a few other significant differences stuck out for me. As part of the conference they are having liturgical devotional services, yesterday including Matins, Midday, and Vespers. In the past there was perhaps a brief prayer to open these events, and then we got down to “business”. But, I always thought of Berthold von Schenk’s penetrating statement about making every church meeting also a church-LY meeting, which to me seemed lacking previously.
Also, it is customary for the attendees to receive some kind of gift as a token of thanks for their service. I have several polo shirts and mugs with the LCMS logo. While I appreicate those, I think the gift given to each attendee this year speaks volumes: a copy of the new edition of Walther’s Law and Gospel. That right there probably sums up the transition in our Synod.