The Institute of Lutheran Theology’s (ILT) team of Tim and Dale Swenson and Eric Swensson attended the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) Convocation in Nashville, TN last week, August 7-11. Housed in the Sheraton Music City hotel, the event proved as warm as its venue. Dozens of vendors and exhibitors were given place in the midst of the Convocation’s fellowship time and space. Since those gathered for the event exceeded expectations by over one hundred, many curious people wandered from display to display asking questions and gathering information.
ILT’s display enjoyed numerous people stopping by who had never heard of it before. They took delight in learning of it and its mission. Many gathered information not only for themselves but also to take to others back home. ILT’s course delivery system—real-time video conferencing—resonated with those with a call to ministry but without the means to uproot their families, leave jobs, and leave congregations. Theological education and pastoral formation delivered right to their homes sounded quite attractive.
As ILT looks at its tenth year of operation, it experiences greater and greater numbers of students, graduates, faculty, and supporters attending events like the NALC Convocation. Nearly two dozen of them gathered on Thursday evening for dinner and several hours of fellowship.
ILT's team members enjoyed seeing the usual folks at the Convocation, regulars who attend the annual meetings of both the NALC and Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC). The great people from Lutheran CORE, World Mission Prayer League (WMPL), International Partners, Lutheran Church South Sudan (LCSS), and all of ILT's other friends visited together, sharing the joys and concerns of their ministry efforts.