Kayaking at BdeMakaSka - Photo courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

Festival Blog

2019 Festival of Homiletics - Minneapolis

"Preaching as Moral Imagination"


Liturgist Call Out!

We have some fantastic liturgists helping us plan our the worship services through out the week at the Festival of Homiletics! We hope you will help us welcome them...

Mark Sedio - Director of Music at Central Lutheran Church

Mark Sedio serves Cantor at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis. He is an active recitalist, clinician, conductor and composer, having presented hymn festivals and workshops throughout North America and Europe.   Over 125 of his compositions for organ, piano, choral and instrumental ensembles have been published.   A number of his hymn tunes, texts and harmonization appear in various denominational hymnals and supplements. In 2008, the faculty of Luther Seminary (St. Paul) granted him the title of Musician Emeritus for his service in various musical capacities from 1982 through 2008. He holds degrees from Augsburg and the University of Iowa. He has undertaken studies in the M.Div. program at Luther Seminary. He is an active member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, the American Guild of Organists and the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada.

Sara Renner - Director of Contemporary Worship at St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN

Throughout her 20-year professional music career, soul singer Sara Renner has shared her unique blend of Gospel & Jazz music with audiences in over 1000 venues in 30+ states and 10 countries.  Based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota this award-winning vocalist and songwriter has independently produced six CDs which sold exclusively at her live concerts and the internet, have sold over 35,000 copies in the United States and the world.  Also a seasoned worship leader, Sara Renner is currently the Director of Contemporary Worship at St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN.  Sara completes her diverse musical resume as lead singer for the always busy party & dance band “The Covers”, with whom she passionately interprets the songs of her musical heroes such as Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Stevie Wonder.

Sara is often accompanied by her band “The Elements”; an impressive group of musicians who support her original music with their talents. Whether accompanied by one or two musicians in an acoustic setting or her full 11-piece band, Sara’s powerful and crisp vocal delivery, the integrity of her message and her vulnerable and funny storytelling open up a rare window into the human soul.

Become a fan @ www.facebook.com/sararennerandtheelements or www.sararenner.com

John Bell - Liturgical Composer and Church Musician

John Bell was born in and resides in Scotland. He is a liturgical composer who writes cooperatively with colleagues in Glasgow. He has a deep interest in music from non-European cultures and a passion for song of the Assembly. Though his primary vocation is as a preacher and teacher, he spends over half his time working in the
areas of music and liturgy, both at conferences and in small parishes, and his work takes him frequently into Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. With his colleagues, he has produced more than 15 collections of songs and octavos and a wide range of liturgical materials, particularly for use by lay people. Additionally, he oversaw the production
of a substantial hymnal for the Church of Scotland which, in North America, goes by the title “Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise.” He has also authored a number of collections of sermons and meditation and is an occasional broadcaster on radio and television.

Scott Simmons - Mission Developer of Lydia's Place

  • A new ELCA ministry grounded in Word and Sacrament/a collaborative co-working space grounded in gift and community.
  • The church doesn't have a mission... God's mission has a church. And Lydia's Place is here to participate in the ongoing creative and redemptive work God is already doing in the West University Ave/280 Light Rail Corridor.
  • Amazing things are happening in West St. Paul. As the new Green Line Light Rail linking downtowns Minneapolis and St. Paul nears completion, a new neighborhood of hip, urban, creative people are moving into warehouses and buildings that once supported the rail yards to the north.
  • These new residents are joining an already established group of fine artists and creative professionals, as well as one largest and most diverse concentration of not-for-profit organizations in the Twin Cities.
    As this new neighborhood emerges, we ask the question: "What is God up to?"
  • Our answer: creating a new center for creativity, vitality and energy in the center of the entire Twin Cities. A community where a new faith community can emerge - one fed by the rich goodness of the surrounding art and music scene; one gathered around authentic relationships and shared experience, and one grounded in Word and Sacrament.
  • At the same time, God is opening doors for a new community center built around a collaborative co-working space free and open to all who seek nurturing community, authentic business and social relationships, and an openness to explore one's own gifts and talents and how they can be used not only to sustain one's on life, but also in service to our neighbor and those among us who are most dearly in need

Laura Thelander - Seminary Pastor, Luther Seminary

Pastors Teri Johnson and Sally Johnson, Hennepin United Methodist Church

Pastors Meghan Gage-Finn and Brennan Pearson, Westminster Presbyterian Church

Pastor Jim Somerville, First Baptist Church; Richmond, VA

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