On Sept. 15, a service of installation for Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) officers and board members was held in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (CSL). The service, which followed the Order of Vespers, included a choir and instrumentalists composed of area musicians, with Kantor Matthew Gerhardt of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres, Mo., serving as organist. The service also featured:
- The Rev. Dr. R. Lee Hagan, president of the LCMS Missouri District, as preacher and officiant;
- The Rev. Sean Daenzer, director of LCMS Worship and LCMS International Center chaplain, as liturgist; and
- The Rev. Dr. Thomas Egger, CSL president, and the Rev. Dr. Scott Murray, LCMS third vice-president, as lectors.
In his sermon on Luke 19:12–28, the Parable of the Ten Minas, Hagan asked, “What are we to do with this parable? How are we to understand Jesus’ point?”
The key, Hagan said, is remembering that the parable “is not about us … not about boards and commissions, presidents and vice-presidents” but “about the King and His Kingdom … about Jesus and what He has already done.” Hagan called to mind the real estate adage, “Location, location, location,” noting the importance of location in Jesus’ life and work:
“[The parable] is about the cross outside the city gates where the one who was called King of the Jews dies for the nation. … It’s about a kingdom that comes to us still, hidden under the simple forms of water, bread and wine by which we receive forgiveness, life and salvation through the means of grace. It’s about … the font and rail where, through Word and Sacrament, the Kingdom of God comes even without our prayer. …
“The King is coming. He is surely coming soon … and this assurance … changes everything. … Whatever your position, whatever responsibilities have been given to you, Jesus is King, and He reigns over an eternal kingdom. … So engage in the business that the King has given to you, because He is coming back.”
Installed during the service was Harrison, who was re-elected to a fifth term as Synod president during the 2023 convention in Milwaukee. Also installed were First Vice-President Rev. Peter Lange; Synod Secretary Rev. Dr. John W. Sias; the five regional vice-presidents; and newly elected or re-elected members of the Synod’s Board of Directors (BOD), Board for National Mission (BNM), Board for International Mission (BIM) and Commission on Theology and Church Relations. Members of the boards for the Concordia University System, the two LCMS seminaries, the Commission on Doctrinal Review, the LCMS Foundation, Concordia Plans, Lutheran Church Extension Fund, Concordia Publishing House and Concordia Historical Institute were also installed.
The evening’s offering benefited the LCMS Global Seminary Initiative, which enables the LCMS to respond to requests for graduate theological education from Lutheran church bodies around the world.
The installation service was followed by a reception in Koburg Hall.
View a livestream of the installation service (scroll down to select the recording you want to view).
See the next issue of Reporter for updates on the first meetings of the new triennium for the LCMS Council of Presidents, BOD, BNM and BIM.
Posted Sept. 21, 2023