The annual pastors’ institute of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary has been held in various locations throughout the country in order to make it possible for more of our pastors to attend. This year the institute took place at Grace in Vero Beach, Florida, on March 2.
The first portion of the institute was a presentation entitled “The Divine Liturgy and Its Use.” This presentation included a summary of the development of the liturgy throughout history, with special emphasis on the divine service in the Lutheran Church. The divine service is first and foremost God’s service to us. Here God serves us with Word and Sacrament, and secondarily, we serve Him with praise and thanksgiving. There was a discussion of present-day worship forms. A beneficial guideline in considering worship forms is that we follow the historic outline of the divine service because it has served and continues to serve as the preeminent means to present properly the Word and Sacrament.
The other segment of the institute was an assessment of the liturgical movement, proper Lutheran art and architecture, and an explanation of the various parts of the divine service. These presentations were delivered by Prof. Gaylin Schmeling.