News & Events at Concordia

Institute on Liturgy, Preaching and Church Music hosted at Concordia and St. John

Monday, Jul. 14, 2014

Concordia Nebraska and St. John Lutheran Church in Seward co-hosted the Institute on Liturgy, Preaching and Church Music July 28–31. This national worship conference for pastors, musicians and laity of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod brought to Seward the president of the LCMS, Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, as one of its presenters. 

The year’s conference theme is “Comfort, Comfort, Ye My People.” The conference included worship, workshops, seminars and keynote addresses along with a hymn festival, ice cream social, Taste of Nebraska Picnic and conversations with President Harrison.

“It gives the attendees opportunities to learn from our colleagues and take ideas home to our own parishes, which will further aid us in faithfully proclaiming the Gospel,” said Concordia Nebraska Professor of Music Jeffrey Blersch. “I really enjoy the opportunity to interact with my colleagues and former students. It’s a great reminder that we’re all in this together.”

Several Concordia music professors led workshops throughout the event. Andrew Schultz led a workshop on the music software program Finale, Elizabeth Grimpo provided expertise on chorale accompaniment and piano readings, Joseph Herl instructed on harmonization in hymn settings, Jessica Kite provided insights on handbell conducting and Jeffrey Blersch presented on organ in worship and contributed to a joint workshop on pastor and musician collaboration with Pastor Andrew Kennell.

Concordia alumni Paul Soulek and Betsy Werner, staff members at St. John Lutheran Church and School in Seward, presented a keynote address titled “Drawing Lines? Choosing Sides? Speaking the Truth in Love?” focused on how relationships, education and sound theology are essential elements of life together as the Body of Christ.

Other workshops led by Concordia alumni and staff included a workshop on liturgical guitar by Concordia alumnus Pastor Andrew Ratcliffe of St. John Lutheran Church in Seward and a workshop on percussion in worship by Concordia Nebraska Library Director Philip Hendrickson.

The conference is held once every three years and began in 2002. For more information about the worship institute, visit