For Lutherans, the date of October 31 calls to mind Luther’s posting of his Ninety-Five Theses, the event that sparked the Reformation. Next year, that date will furnish an especially strong reminder because 2017 will mark the five-hundredth anniversary of that significant event. CLC President Michael Eichstadt and Moderator Paul Nolting anticipated this approaching anniversary with this year’s convention theme, “In the Footsteps of the Reformers.” This theme resonated throughout the Thirty-second Convention of the Church of the Lutheran Confession, held June 23-26, 2016, on the beautiful campus of Immanuel Lutheran College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
In his convention address, President Eichstadt spoke of the “countless billions of people who over the course of history have left their footsteps on the earth, making paths in every imaginable direction,” and asked, “Which will we follow? Where are we heading?” We want to follow in the steps of Martin Luther because he followed the Word of the Lord Jesus.
Convention Chaplain David Reim carried out the theme in his opening devotions for the sessions. He spoke of individuals whose names may be unfamiliar to us but who played important parts in the Reformation. Their lives of faith are footsteps for us to follow.
The two convention essays showed that to walk in the reformers’ footsteps is to proclaim the message of salvation by grace alone and through faith alone (Teacher David Bernthal), and to base our faith on Scripture alone (Pastor David Pfeiffer).
At the convention communion service, Pastor Wayne Eichstadt, in his sermon on Psalm 119:105, urged the congregation to “Go Forward with Joy in Your Step!”
On the last day of the convention there was a Memorial Service remembering servants of the Word called home during the past two years: Pastors Arvid Gullerud, Keith Olmanson, and Scott Schiermeister; Professors John Lau and James Gullerud; CLC Board of Missions member Don Ohlmann; and pastors’ spouses Martha Gullerud and Olaila Schulz. Pastor John Klatt spoke on Romans 5:1-2, under the theme, “Standing in Grace.”