Gustavus Association of Congregations Meets on Campus

Posted on April 7th, 2005 by

On Saturday, April 23, 2005, Gustavus Adolphus College will host its eighteenth annual Association of Congregations convention. This year’s title will be “Our Church in a Divisive Time” and will bring Pastors and delegates from 490 ELCA congregations to Gustavus primarily from the Midwest but also New York, California, and Florida.

The assembly’s keynote speaker, the Rev. Kelly Fryer of Luther Seminary, will speak on the topic of “Daring to Be the Church Again.” “The single most important factor associated with a change in average worship attendance is a clear sense of mission and purpose,” Fryer says “[Secondly] is a congregation’s willingness to welcome innovation and change.”

The Rev. Darrell Jodock, Bernhardson Distinguished Professor of Religion, will provide the opening homily. Annually, the convention also addresses administrative issues, most importantly, the election of members to the Gustavus Board of Trustees and the election of members to the Board of Directors for the association.

In addition to Fryer, presenters will include Gustavus faculty; Diane Brady, former director of the Volunteer Resource Center in Minneapolis; Elaine Brostrom, former director of public affairs at Gustavus; and the Rev. Jack Niemi, vice president for church relations.

Brady will focus on the concepts of volunteer management, a skill many church leaders will find useful. Brostrom will walk participants through a guided tour of the Granlund sculptures on campus. Niemi will explain the Three Crowns Ambassadors Project and explore the relationship between Gustavus and the church.

Faculty presenters will be:

  • Jim Gilbert, executive director of Linnaeus Arboretum, will speak on the biblical charge to care for the environment in addition to how one receives the revelation of God in Creation through the five senses.
  • Karen Larson, professor of anthropology and interdisciplinary studies, will present a lecture on post Sept. 11 confusion and an appropriate response to terrorism.
  • Mark Granquist, assistant professor of religion, will explore the dichotomy between religion and politics.
  • Steven Haggmark, assistant professor of religion, will concentrate on the Islamic faith in an effort to educate audience members on the faith, practices, and politics thereof.

For more information regarding the event, please contact Marilyn Beyer, administrative assistant at the office of church relations at 507/933-7001 or A website for the event can be found at


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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