We were pleased to host the opening service of the International Lutheran Council in the seminary’s chapel on Sunday afternoon, 16 September. The ILC represents 34 confessional Lutheran church bodies worldwide. The presidents or bishops of these churches are meeting this week, 16-21 September, at Mt Carmel spiritual retreat centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario. It is the first time that the triennial conference has met in Canada.
At the opening service former LCC President Ralph Mayan conducted the liturgy. Rev. Mayan is interim Executive Secretary of the ILC. Rev. Robert Bugbee, current LCC President, was the preacher. The organist and choir of Resurrection Lutheran Church, the seminary’s first home, accompanied the service. Following the service, seminary President-Elect Dr Thomas Winger welcomed the guests and invited them to tour the building.
Later on Sunday, keynote speaker Dr Edward Kettner introduced the conference theme with an explanation of the nature of confessional subscription and its relationship to Holy Scripture. ILC leaders will also hear presentations on preaching to a 21st century society; same-sex issues in the church; the ordination of women; and the need of pastors for a Bible-infused life. Business items include considering adding new members to the ILC; dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church; an international conference for ILC-related seminaries; and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.