Senior citizens take over CLU for Senior Fest

The Senior Fest that CLU hosts isn’t an event for our seniors on campus, but for seniors from the local community. This event allows Lutheran adults to enhance their spiritual and social lives.  In its fourth year, the event had its biggest turn out, with 130 seniors attending on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

The focus of the event was completely on the Lutheran religion. This included workshops that took place during the event.
Past workshops have been focused around aging and exercise.

The workshops for this year included the William Rolland Art Gallery tour, legacy planning in today’s economy, Holmes CLU estate and gift planning and “Luther 101: what does it mean to be a Lutheran university?”

Tours of the campus were available to the seniors between workshops.

Senior Fest began at Concordia University in Irvine and expanded to CLU four years ago.

“It is a cooperative effort event with Concordia University,” said Rev. Arne Bergland, director of church relations on campus.
Between the two universities, they decide on who will be the keynote speaker. The marketing department for the event sent out information to local churches, from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita. Although the event is geared toward Lutherans, it is also open to people of other denominations who want to come.

“This is an opportunity to reach the church community that we both serve,” said Bergland.

The church on campus is in the ELCA synod, which stands for Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Paul L. Maier, this year’s keynote speaker, is part of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. This event brings the two perspectives of the Lutheran Church to attendees, which doesn’t often happen.

This year’s event began with introductions from Bergland. Opening worship featured Kyle Johnson, university organist, with the audience singing different hymns.

Each year the event features a different keynote speaker. This year’s speaker was Maier, the Russell H. Seibert professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University. Maier is also the author of numerous books. Over five million of his books are currently in print, as well as over 250 scholarly articles and reviews in professional journals.

Maier’s discussion was broken into two main key points. The first focused on how we got the Bible. The second focused on St. Paul and the spread of Christianity.

“The Bible is not a book, it’s a library,” said Maier.

His discussion was based on the idea that scripture is historically reliable by looking back at geography, archeology and history. The reliability is determined by investigating outside evidence that supports the interior material of scripture.

“I have a lot of fun speaking at events,” said Maier.

Rev. Howie Wennes ended the event with a closing devotion.

Linda LeBlanc, assistant director of church relations, put together this year’s event. Her job is to minister to the community outside of CLU by doing youth and senior events, like Senior Fest.

“If students wanted to come, they are welcome to come in and attend,” said LeBlanc.

 

Lindsey Walton
Staff Writer
Published March 6, 2013