Monday, February 02, 2009

LTSP Alumnus named ELCA Executive for Worship and Liturgical Resources

LTSP alumnus The Rev. Robert G. Schaefer, '84, will become executive for worship and liturgical resources of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) effective March 1. LTSP alumna The Rev. Jennifer Ollikainen, '02, STM '06, is also a member of the staff of Worship and Liturgical Resources as Associate for Worship Resources.

Here's the release from the ELCA's news service:

Robert Schaefer Named ELCA Executive for Worship and Liturgical Resources


February 2, 2009

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. Robert G. Schaefer will become executive for worship and liturgical resources of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) effective March 1.

Since 2004 Schaefer has been assistant to the bishop of the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod, based in Tampa, Fla. He succeeds the Rev. Michael L. Burk, who was elected in 2008 to serve as bishop of the ELCA Southeastern Iowa Synod, based in Iowa City.

"I am passionate about how the church's worship is connected to God's mission in the world. Our Christian identity, given in Baptism, is shaped and formed by the liturgy," said Schaefer.

"I hope to encourage a conversation that fosters the close connection between the centrality of the local assembly's weekly gathering around Word and Sacrament and its evangelical mission and compassionate service in its community," said Schaefer. "It will be exciting to be given the opportunity to be part of building on and continuing to interpret the remarkable family of worship resources that Evangelical Lutheran Worship has introduced to this church."

Born in 1957 in Bronxville, N.Y., Schaefer graduated from Iona College, New Rochelle, N.Y., in 1979, and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) in 1984. LTSP is one of eight ELCA seminaries.

From 1987 to 2004 Schaefer served as pastor of ELCA congregations in Tampa, Rockville Centre, N.Y., and Liberty, N.Y. He led a variety of church and synod worship committees from 1990 to 2006.

"I am delighted to welcome the Rev. Robert Schaefer to the position of executive for worship and liturgical resources. Drawing upon his diverse and rich experiences as a parish pastor and synod staff member, Pastor Schaefer will provide important leadership as we continue to center our life together in worship on the means of grace," said the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop.

Schaefer "brings a deep commitment to the centrality of Word and Sacrament to our Lutheran identity and understands that our growing as an evangelical church in mission is inseparable from what occurs in worship. I look forward to his leadership in the growing conversations about preaching in this church," Hanson said.

In a letter to members of the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod, the Rev. Edward R. Benoway, bishop of the synod, said Schaefer "will be missed."

"Pastor Schaefer worked with leadership development throughout the synod, including representing me at most candidacy committee meetings and seminary review panels," said Benoway. "He was very instrumental in implementing a comprehensive diakonia program in our synod and helped to further the synodical deacon program."

Schaefer is married to the Rev. Jennifer E.S. Schaefer. They have three daughters.

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Information about ELCA Worship and Liturgical resources is at on the ELCA Web site.

For information contact:

John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or
ELCA News Blog:

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