2021 Good Shepherd Institute 

FORT WAYNE, IN, November 17, 2021—This year’s Good Shepherd Institute (GSI) featured engaging speakers, beautiful music, helpful resources, and wonderful opportunities for worship and fellowship.

The music and chapel events were skillfully executed and greatly appreciated, both by in-person and online audiences. The lovely services and presentations—including an Evening Prayer, Hymn Festival, Vespers, and Mid-morning Recital—were bolstered by the talents of the Seminary Kantorei and Seminary Schola Cantorum, along with the trumpet, trombone, flute, violin, and timpani. The Vespers and Organ Recital, highlighting the talents of Concordia University Chicago’s (CUC) Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus Steven F. Wente, featured a variety of superb and intricate pieces, from Praeludium in G Major by Nicolaus Bruhns to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonata in G Minor. For all of those who wish to enjoy them again or for the first time, all chapel services and musical events are available online at ctsfw.edu/DailyChapel or on our Facebook page, facebook.com/ctsfw (November 7–9, 2021 posts).

Professor of Exegetical Theology, Academic Dean, and Associate Editor of Concordia Theological Quarterly Dr. Charles A. Gieschen talked about “Hearing the Voice of the Good Shepherd over the Din of Many Clamoring Voices.” Our Good Shepherd, Jesus, has Himself stated that we, His sheep, hear and know His voice (John 10:3, 16, 27). Gieschen emphasized the necessity of careful and life-long hearing and reading of the Scriptures. This is especially important for all Christians as they contend with the clamoring voices vying for their attention and devotion in our current cultural context. 

Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions and Director of Vicarage and Internship Dr. Todd A. Peperkorn presented “Come, O Living Christ, Renew Us: Preaching and Pastoral Care Post-Pandemic.” The Church has survived and even thrived when living in a world of fear and heartache at every turn, delivering Christ’s gifts even when the delivery mechanism seems broken. He revealed that the best time for the renewal of Christ’s Church is always when we are forced outside of ourselves and into the lives of the ones who suffer.

Director of Sanctuary Music (Cornerstone Lutheran Church in Carmel, Indiana) and Director of the Center for Church Music (CUC), Dr. Barry L. Bobb, spoke of “Lessons Learned from Carl Schalk.” As a Lutheran composer, scholar, and friend of the GSI conference, Bobb had a number of resources to share with conference attendees, highlighting the work of Shalk in his featured presentation. Though Shalk died in January 2021, his musical contributions to the Church continue to be relevant and valuable. Schalk’s music remains accessible for many singers, and the Church can continue to learn from Schalk’s life and work. 

Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Mission, Dean of Spiritual Formation, Dean of the Chapel, and Co-Director of Good Shepherd Institute Dr. Paul J. Grime worked with Co-Director of Good Shepherd Institute Kantor Kevin J. Hildebrand to shed some light on the often intricate and challenging process of making church services happen in “Worship Planning: More Than Meets the Eye.” Noting that “there’s more to planning a service than just picking three hymns,” the leaders explored the rich treasures that our Lutheran tradition has handed down to us, revealing that there is so much more that can go into planning services that deliver God’s gifts to His people.

Kantor Kevin Hildebrand spoke of his gratitude for being able to uplift our brothers and sisters in attendance. “After an abbreviated conference last year, it was rewarding to have an event that was more typical, with many new and familiar faces. We are extremely thankful for all the attendees who came to be fed and nourished with the church’s worship and music and for all the musicians in the Schola Cantorum and Kantorei who helped lead the church’s song. We always hope and pray that people will leave being encouraged in their own vocations. The conference encourages all of us at the Seminary also. In fact, one of the best comments we heard was someone who remarked, ‘It was so nice to be around so many positive people.’” 

Kantor Matthew Machemer remarked on how wonderful it is to share the gifts of God and each other, together in unity and harmony, even in a world where these conditions can be lacking. “In the midst of so much that divides us in our world today, it was such a blessing to gather with other musicians and pastors and focus on the work of the Christ, our Good Shepherd, who unites us in Word and song.” 

Dr. Paul Grime noted how thankful he was that GSI proved to be a special and edifying experience. “At the conclusion of the conference, one of the attendees stated that he deeply appreciated the positive attitude of all those in attendance. He found it refreshing to be around other church musicians, pastors, and laity who were encouraging and hopeful. Given the stress that we have all been under the past several years, it was gratifying to be reminded not only that our conference topic was apropos to the times but even more so that our attendees contributed just as much to the conversation by their presence and engagement.”

The GSI leadership team and all of CTSFW want to thank everyone—especially our guests—who helped make the conference such a blessing for so many. All are welcome back any time and we look forward to seeing everyone at next year’s GSI!

Soli Deo Gloria###