The theme for this year’s Concordia Catechetical Symposium, also known as “Benderfest,” is “Catechesis and Lutheran Schooling in a Hostile Culture.” It will be held June 19-21. You can find more information here. Although I won’t be able to make it this year, I have enjoyed attending this conference in the past. I have found it to be a great place not merely for pastors and some interested laymen, but especially for Lutheran families interested in teaching their children at home. It is a great place for Confessional Lutheran families to meet. In fact, I’d like to share a story about how this is true.
Back in 2014, just before I was about to get ordained, I attended Benderfest for the first time. My dad was presenting that year on the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer. What amazed me was how many families with small children there were at this conference. And one family especially caught my attention. It was this large family with a bunch of pretty girls. Now, at this time I still had a couple of brothers who were not married. So when I saw these Lutheran girls I thought, “I should let my brothers know.” That’s right. I have zero qualms about admitting that. Well, it turns out that my wife, Leah, got to talking to one of these girls. Her name was Rachel. Leah was so impressed with Rachel that she did something bold. She emailed my brother Samuel and told him that he should add Rachel to Facebook and chat with her. Now, I’m not going to say that it was all because of Leah’s bold advice. But it does demonstrate that family connections are certainly made at Benderfest. Samuel and Rachel quickly fell in love and were married the following summer. God just blessed them with their third child.
So do you want to meet other confessional Lutheran families? I’m not promising that you will marry one of your daughters off to a strapping young Lutheran man. But Benderfest is a great time to hear papers and meet other Lutheran families.