New Director of Worship Ministries

Bishop Michael Pryse is pleased to announce that the officers of the Eastern Synod have appointed the Rev. Hilla Lahtinen (HBMus, MDiv) to serve as the Synod’s Director of Worship Ministries effective January 1, 2019. In this part-time position, Hilla will serve as a resource person and consultant to our congregations and Ministry Areas and serve as co-ordinator for synodically sponsored services of worship. She succeeds Debbie-Lou Ludoph who has served in this role, with great distinction, since 2008.

Pr. Hilla currently serves as co-pastor of Peace Lutheran in Pickering, ON with her husband, Pr. Ronnie Smith. They are the parents of two children. Before entering into parish ministry in the capacity of a pastor, Hilla served congregations of the ELCIC as well as the United Church of Canada as a music director, choral conductor, and leader of contemporary worship ensembles.
She is always seeking new and varied ways to deepen individual’s and communities’ relationship with God and our neighbours through worship and liturgy. While respecting and upholding traditional models of worship, Hilla is passionate about exploring alternative models of worship ministry that engage people of all ages in the act of worship. She is excited to embark on a journey as Director of Worship Ministries with the Eastern Synod and continue exploring what it means for us to be Christians in this particular time and place as we face a unique set of challenges, but also opportunities as people of God.

Bishop Pryse writes,”While I am incredibly grateful for the many contributions that Debbie-Lou Ludolph has made to the worship life and culture of our synod in this position, I am eager to experience the new perspectives and gifts that Pr. Lahtinen will bring to this work. She will be a wonderful addition to the Eastern Synod’s leadership team!”