The St. Chrysostom Lutheran Preachers' Retreat 2013
Rev. Donavon Riley, Pastor of Saint John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Webster, MN, was the featured presenter at the 2013 St. John Chrysostom Lutheran Preacher's Retreat in Lumsden Saskatchewan June 10th to 12th. Rev. Ted Giese, Associate Pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Regina was at the retreat with about thirty pastors from across Lutheran Church Canada. Pastors came from Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia representing all three districts of Lutheran Church Canada.
Rev. Riley focused his presentations on preaching justification. Particularly considering Article IV of the Augsburg Confession (1530) written by Philip Melanchthon:
Article IV: Of Justification.
“Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ's sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Romans 3 and 4.” BOC AC
What is The St. John Chrysostom Lutheran Preachers' Retreat?
The St. Chrysostom Lutheran Preachers' Retreat exists as a resource to the ministerium of Lutheran Church-Canada. Because preaching is one of the chief acts of the pastoral office, Pastor Michael Keith initiated this retreat back in 2006. The retreat itself is open only to members of the ministerium of Lutheran Church-Canada, or church bodies with whom we are in fellowship (e.g. the LCMS). However if you are interested, all are welcome to make use of the resources found on the retreat’s website.
At the retreat pastors join together in a time of prayer, study, and fellowship with a focus on the practical applications of preaching for the purpose of becoming better enabled to serve their congregations and so hold forth the Law and Gospel as "workmen approved...rightly dividing the Word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
An ever enjoyable part of the retreat is the time spent together in worship, multiple services are kept each day and the pastors have the opportunity to sing together. During the opening communion service the pastors sung the hymn “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” LSB 621. It starts out with about half of the pastors singing, while the other half are receiving Holy Communion (you can hear the dismissal in the background), by the end the pastors are all singing together.