KITCHENER, Ontario – Approximately 335 people gathered October 13, 2017 at Historic St. Paul’s Lutheran Church for the opening worship service of Lutheran Church–Canada’s eleventh synodical convention in Kitchener, Ontario. Attendees of the divine service filled the pews and overflowed into the gymnasium of the church.
Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee, President of Lutheran Church–Canada, served as celebrant and preacher for the event. His sermon, which was entitled “Christ, First in Everything,” drew on Colossians 1:15-20.
Serving as co-celebrant and confessional pastor was Rev. Larry Gajdos, pastor of Historic St. Paul’s. LCC’s three Vice-Presidents Rev. Nolan Astley, Rev. Thomas Kruesel, and Rev. Rudy Pastucha served as additional liturgists, while Rev. Gerson Flor (Chaplain with the Canadian Armed Forces) and Rev. Peter Gatluak (Hamilton Missionary) served as additional lectors. Matthew Gajdos and Kyle Zehr of Historic St. Paul’s served as crucifer and banner bearer respectively.
Reflecting the worldwide mission of the Church, the first two Scripture readings were read in languages other than English. Rev. Flor read in French while Rev. Gatluak read in Nuer (English translations were provided). The congregation was also blessed with two pieces by an Urdu-language choir, directed by Rev. James Luke.
Their musical contribution was complemented by music sung by the Kitchener-Waterloo Choir, directed by Rev. Ron Mohr, as well as organ music by Paul Walrath. Additional music of note were two congregational hymns composed for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. “Though All Our Life is Like a Scroll,” written by Wilfred L. Karsten, was commissioned by The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and Concordia Publishing House to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, while “C’est plus qu’un bain pris dans une eau,” written by Yves Kéler, was the winning entry in a Reformation 500 French-language hymn contest organized by Lutheran Church–Canada.
Convention organizers wish to thank the members of Historic St. Paul’s for their hospitality in hosting the event and their assistance in organizing the worship service. Thanks are also due to the 2017 Synodical Worship Committee: Rev. Robert Bugbee, Rev. Ken Maher, Rev. Ron Mohr, Paul Walrath, Ian Adnams, and Rev. Larry Gajdos.