On May 7, 2015, the Concordia University Choirs of Concordia University, Portland, Oregon, under the direction of Prof. Kurt Berentsen, performed a concert in Lukaskirche as their final concert on their 2015 East Central European Choir Tour. Upon touring through Austria, Poland, and the Czech Republic, the Choirs entered eastern Germany on the tail-end of their Tour in the cities of Dresden, Ruhla, and Leipzig, performing a repertoire of many works of contrastive character, ranging anywhere in origin from seventeenth-century Italy to nineteenth-century Germany to late-twentieth-century Norway, and even into the twenty-first-century United States, with reputable composers such as Alessandro Scarlatti, Josef Rheinberger, Maurice Duruflé, and Egil Hovland. An appreciative crowd of members and visitors welcomed them warmly.
The concert served as part of the 2015 Musical Outreach Initiative hosted by St. Trinitatisgemeinde in Leipzig, Germany, a congregation of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany (SELK), which has recently begun its full congregational life in Lukaskirche as part of a broader mission effort both to the immediate-surrounding community of Volkmarsdorf and to greater Leipzig.
“We were pleased to host the Concordia University Choirs as part of their 2015 East Central European Tour,” says Rev. Dr. Christopher S. Ahlman, Strategic Mission Developer for LCMS Eurasia, who facilitates the Lukaskirche Musical Outreach Initiative. “Their substantive program no doubt contributed much to their choral reputation throughout eastern and central Europe, and assisted in supporting our newly-established Musical Outreach Initiative here in Leipzig in a positive way. As an LCMS-supported endeavor, we strive to feature our LCMS-affiliated groups in our activities, especially in mutually-beneficial ways, all for the sake of the furtherance of the Gospel. We pray God’s continued blessings upon the continuing students of Concordia University Choirs, as well as for soon-to-be alumni embarking on their new careers.”
The Musical Outreach Initiative of Lukaskirche was begun in 2015 by Dr. Ahlman, as part of his overall work in the Eurasia region of connecting people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through musical activities, such as concerts, masterclasses, devotional activities, and research endeavors. While the Initiative has begun with concert activity, other forms of musical outreach of a more concentrated educational and cultural nature are being entertained and planned. It is the hope that as much of greater Leipzig as possible will benefit from this Initiative, in the context of a faithful proclamation of Jesus Christ and a faithful confession of his name.