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2002 Convention > News > Opening Service Report

Delegates Hear Bold Challenge

Words of a hymn describing an energetic proclamation of the Gospel rang out from 410 lay people and pastors packed into Historic St. Paul's church for the opening service of the sixth convention of Lutheran Church–Canada. A striking convention banner of bright reds, blues, and yellows followed the LCC processional cross down the aisle at the opening and close of the service. Its bold colours reflected the convention theme: "With great boldness: that all may know His Name."

Pastor Dennis Putzman, First Vice-president of Synod, served as preacher. In answer to his question - "What is boldness?" - he reminded the congregation that boldness in proclaiming Jesus must not depend on circumstances but, rather, must rest on God's unchanging Word. "Who among us can deny that we live in a world of 'smorgasbord religion'?" he asked. Rev. Putzman's challenge was to recognize that the gospel is for everyone and that the mission field is here, among friends and neighbours. "God has brought to us those for whom Christ has died" he reminded.

Bright red paraments adorned the sanctuary, a reminder of the Holy Spirit - the Source of boldness for witnessing. Rev. Putzman closed the sermon with this prayer: "May God grant that as we gather together with great boldness, we may proclaim the Lord with great boldness and may go forth from this place to consider the threats of the devil, the world, and our own sinful selves as nothing compared to the enabling power of the Holy Spirit that God has lavished on His servants to speak His Word with great boldness so that all may know His Name".

Other clergy participating in the service included Rev. Allan Scharlach, pastor of Historic St. Paul's, and District Presidents Rev. Donald Schiemann (ABC), Rev. Thomas Prachar (Central), and Rev. Alan Maleske (East). Bold, stirring music was provided by trumpeter Peter Hafeman, recorder-player Simon Jeynes, and organist Dr. Waldemar Scholtes. All are members of local LCC congregations.

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