by The Rev. Rich Heinz
It doesn’t get better than this! Harry Potter fans abound, reading and discussing their new tome. Youth (and adult leaders) continue to learn tons each day. And teens are singing liturgy and Lutheran hymns on buses because they think it is fun!
Daily Matins continues to be our starting point. I can’t go on enough about the amazing worship that the Lord gives here! We are truly invigorated by Christ’s Word, and the musical responses to that Gift are of the highest caliber –and youth recognize that!
Great hymns and straightforward liturgy are sung here. And you find people walking down halls humming the Magnificat, singing “Oh Love, How Deep,” and discussing the sermons they have heard!
Today I was introduced to the attendees in the announcements that preceded the plenary catechesis. I spoke a little about myHT and encouraged use of the site, input for desired topics, and an invitation to authors.
I also was one of the staff on hand for the HT Retreats, Lock-Ins and Internet breakaway. There again, our intentions for the coming year, and an invitation to add your talent to myHT were given.
I want to interject an omission from Day One. As late as it was, I forgot to write about Pastor Todd Wilken on Tuesday. Pastor Wilken is the host of KFUO Radio’s Issues, Etc. Check out this cool Lutheran talk radio, which can be downloaded and listened to at http://kfuoam.org/ie_main.htm . Issues, Etc. regularly provides quality discussion about faith and life. And Pastor Wilken has done the same for us.
A United States map has appeared near the registration desk, with the invitation to use a sharpie marker to pinpoint your hometown. Dots appear all over the nation – as well as post-it notes declaring the presence of groups from Canada, Germany, Sweden, and Australia!
This evening, about a thousand people in red T-shirts emblazoned with Christ crucified descended upon the minor league baseball park of the Saint Paul Saints. Dinner was served, and we watched a movie on the scoreboard’s screen as God decided to cool us off in the rain.
The rain stopped, however, and we enjoyed a leisurely paced game, getting more time to visit with new and old friends.
Vespers was prayed this afternoon, with Pastor Scott Stiegemeyer from Concordia Theological Seminary preaching. He gave us our quote of the day: “Sin is like manure on a baloney sandwich: it doesn’t matter if you just got a little bit on a tiny corner!” (Don't worry, after this graphic Law, the Gospel abounded!)
Tonight, after the ball game was over and the park was closing, Evening Prayer was sung. There was simple beauty, with a flute to accompany our united voice, along with a soloist for a few items. Pastor Borghardt preached yet another great homily.
At the last “Amen,” we departed in peace, filing to our buses to head back to the dorms. Tonight seems to be a little more quiet, as people are simply drained from multiple late nights (mornings?)
I am absolutely thrilled to be returning to my wife and son tomorrow night! And at the same time, it will be sad knowing that I won’t see many of these friends for a year, from the crazy Bethel, DuQuoin, IL guys with their innocent antics, to our great Internet Services staff, to everyone who loved my “Vader was framed” T -shirt, to the countless volunteers that have invested thousands of “man hours” to make this conference the success that it is!
Rev. Rich Heinz is Senior Pastor of St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church & School in Lanesville, IN. He is the editor of myHT, and a first time participant and breakout speaker for a Higher Things conference.
Created: July 28th, 2007