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Concordia Seminary Will Host German Days at the Sem

The Concordia Seminary Institute on Lay Vocation in St. Louis will host a unique event called “German Days at the Sem” on Oct. 12-13, on the Seminary campus. The two-day event marks the first of a series of 10 significant gatherings of its type, which will be held every fall leading up to the 500-year anniversary of the Reformation on Oct. 31, 2017.

The theme of this year’s “German Days” is “Germany—Post-Christian, Still Christian or Pre-Christian?” and will feature presenters from both sides of the Atlantic. They will explore the state of faith and Lutheranism in the homeland of the Reformation and examine developments such as the swift rise in the number of Germans joining or returning to the church and the growth of Islam throughout Western Europe.

The event will also include a variety of other events, such as a Winzerfest (wine festival), organized in cooperation with the town of Hermann, Mo., the heart of Missouri wine country; exhibitions and presentations of the Concordia Historical Institute, the German American Heritage Society and Concordia Publishing House; and a Bach at the Sem performance in the Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus.

Speakers and participants include the Honorable Wolfgang Drautz, Germany’s consul-general in Chicago. He is the senior representative of the German government in 13 Midwestern states, including Missouri, and will be the first ranking German diplomat to visit Concordia Seminary. He will be accompanied by Lansing Hecker, honorary consul of Germany in St. Louis.

Keynote speakers will be Rev. Dr. Hans Christian Knuth and Rev. Dr. Jobst Schöne. Knuth is the Lutheran (state-related) bishop of Schleswig and presiding bishop of the North Elbe region of Germany. Until 2005, he was the presiding bishop the 11-million member United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Germany (VELKD). Schöne, of Berlin, is bishop emeritus of the Independent Lutheran Church in Germany (SELK).

Rev. Kirchenrat (Canon) Albrecht Hauser, a former missionary and currently vice president of the Bonn-based Islam Institute, will discuss issues related to the presence of millions of Muslims in Germany. Rev. Dr. Michael Stollwerk, former Lutheran dean of Wetzlar Cathedral, will present on the corporate world as a new mission field. Rev. Powell Woods, LCMS pastor and former executive vice president of the Nestlé Corporation, will serve as respondent. Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto, director of the Institute on Lay Vocation, will examine the virtual collapse of Christianity in eastern Germany, the cradle of the Reformation. Prof. Michael Rutz, editor-in-chief of Rheinischer Merkur, a national Christian weekly, will analyze the state of faith in his nation from a journalist’s perspective. Several Concordia Seminary faculty and staff members also will participate.

“German Days at the Sem” will begin with an opening service at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, in the Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. Events will conclude on Saturday with a reception in Wartburg Dining Hall beginning at 4:30 p.m.

For more information, call (314) 505-7009, e-mail or, or visit the Seminary’s Web site at