VANCOUVER – Approximately 450 people attended the opening worship service of Lutheran Church–Canada’s national convention, held at Holy Rosary Cathedral. The event featured multi-language worship in Scripture, prayer, and song. The First Reading (Acts 1:12-26) was read in Mandarin, the Epistle (1 Peter 4:12-19; 5:6-11) was read in Korean, and the Gospel (John 17:1-11) was read in Spanish, with English translations printed in the bulletin. Later in the service, the prayers were read in these languages as well as several others, and congregants sang one hymn simultaneously in Chinese and English.
President Robert Bugbee was celebrant and preacher, with Rev. Mark Chiang serving as liturgist and Rev. Wayne Zhang as co-celebrant. President Bugbee’s sermon focused on the first reading, reminding congregants that the ascended Jesus is still working in His Church. And He doesn’t restrict Himself to grand miracles, either; He works through simple earthly things too—like the Apostles selecting a replacement for Judas, for example. Or a Canadian church body holding its national convention.
The service was gifted with a the musical gifts of a number of great singers and musicians. Three choirs in total participated in the event. The Convention Choir came from St. Paul’s Lutheran (Chilliwack, B.C.) and was directed by Christine Millar, the Oculus Choir was directed by Ben Ewert, and the Pastoral Choir was formed by the Vancouver, Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island Circuits. Rob Goddard served as trumpeter for the service and Michael Dirk served as organist.
Others taking part in the service included Rev. Sanghun Kim and Vicar Eduardo Rodriguez as lectors, Rev. Paul Roggow as Processional Marshal, and Ian Oliver as Crucifer. The Convention gives its thanks to the committee which organized the worship service: Rev. Dr. Ralph Mayan, Rev. Fred Rink, and Rev. Paul Roggow.
The opening worship service was recorded and will be made available online at a later date.