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2011-12 Wittenberg Series Continues With Annual Festival Choral Eucharist For Reformation

October 25, 2011  
 Filed in Community, Events

Springfield, Ohio — The 2011-12 Wittenberg Series continues at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, in historic Weaver Chapel as Wittenberg University welcomes William Gafkjen, bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), for the annual Festival Choral Eucharist for Reformation Service.

The Festival Choral Eucharist for Reformation uses a model of the German mass that was adapted by Martin Luther in 1526. Instead of simply having a choral structure, the service involves both choral and preaching components. Luther’s goal was to highlight preaching, as well as the sacrament. The service uses various hymns, some of which were written by Luther.

The service begins at 7:30 p.m., with pre-service music at 7 p.m. Special music for the service will be provided by the Wittenberg Choir, led by Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music Adam Con, and the Wittenberg Handbell Choir, directed by Professor Emerita of Music Trudy Faber. The hymns and service music will be accompanied on the organ by Faber. Pre-service music will be performed by the Wittenberg Handbell Choir, and will include an organ piece performed by Faber.

A native of Minnesota, Bishop Gafkjen earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga.

Following his ordination in 1985, Rev. Gafkjen served as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Mora, Minn.; Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Niles, Mich.; Lutheran Campus Ministry at Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa.; Evangelical Lutheran Church, Duncanville, Pa.; and Christ the King Lutheran Church, South Bend, Ind. From 2002 until his election and call as bishop in 2010, Pastor Gafkjen served as the Indiana-Kentucky Synod’s Assistant to the Bishop for Candidacy, Global Mission, Campus Ministry and Synod Assembly Planning.

Bishop Gafkjen and his wife Janet are the parents of two children, Nathan and Kira. They reside in Fishers, Ind.

The Wittenberg Series annually brings distinguished lecturers and performing artists of national and international prominence to the Wittenberg campus and Springfield community. All facilities are accessible without climbing stairs. Audio-description services and interpreters for the visually- or hearing-impaired will be provided with 72-hour notice prior to each event. To reserve a Wittenberg Series poster, or to become a friend of the Wittenberg Series, contact Jeannine Fox at 937-327-7465 or via e-mail at


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