Open Letter from Debbie Lou Ludolph

December 31, 2018

Dear Synod family,

Peace to you. I want to say thank you for the opportunity to serve in mission with others in the capacity as Worship Ministries’ Director for the past ten years. I am grateful for the worship questions and experiences that have emerged in this past decade which have led us toward faithful and reforming worship practice in our time and place.

I give thanks for Bishop Pryse and his guidance and trust along the way, encouraging me to live into my gifts. I give thanks for the seminary faculty and students, and the synodical team of deans, assistants, staff and ministry directors, with whom I have worked and collaborated during this time. I also want to express my deep thanks to Sara Faulhafer and Kathryn Smith who worked closely with me regarding resources to support congregational worship. I am grateful that over the ten years I was able to travel to every conference/area to offer workshops and learn about local worship practice.

As you know, most of my time in this position was devoted to worship at synod assemblies, which I coordinated with teams of people. From the beginning, Robb Wilson and I worked together. For Robb’s gift of imagination and commitment to the intentional shaping of liturgical space and prayerful attention to hospitality and the gospel message, I give thanks. For the planning teams, which included the leadership of Scott Knarr, Matthew Anderson, Kathryn Smith, Jennifer Hoover, Brad Moggach, Sara Faulhafer, Michael Mills, James Brown, Sherry Coman, Jonah Bruce, Cherub Philip, Steve Hoffard, and Jordan Smith, I give thanks. So many others have helped to shape our liturgies with the creation of prayers, dance, art, drama, music, preaching, presiding, and video material– it has truly been “the work of the people” and my joy to serve in this way!

Finally, I give thanks for the appointment of Rev. Hilla Lahtinen and offer my prayers and support as she steps into this position with the many gifts she brings. I will continue to serve the synod through work at Martin Luther University College, and this too I count as a privilege.

With gratitude to you and to God,

Debbie Lou Ludolph, Director of Worship Ministries,
Eastern Synod, ELCIC