We are so excited for the upcoming Life and Ministry Conference! It’s hard to believe that it is less than two weeks away (April 3-5th). Dave and I wanted to give you a quick update on a key change to the program.

As many of you know, our scheduled keynote speaker for the conference was Dr. Steven Paulson of Luther Seminary in St Paul, MN. Late last week Dr. Paulson called us with the unfortunate news that his wife was very ill, and that as a result he would not be able to join us in New York. He was very sad to have to miss the conference and wanted us to know how much he was looking forward to the gathering. Please remember Steven and his wife Crystal in your prayers over the next few weeks, and let’s hope for a quick recovery.

But there’s good news as well: Dr. Paulson graciously asked his friend and colleague, Dr. Mark Mattes, to fill in for him as keynote speaker, and Dr. Mattes agreed! He and Dr. Paulson have worked together on many projects over the years and could not be more “on the same page”. In fact, when we were initially brainstorming about the conference, we thought it would only be worth doing if we could get either Dr. Paulson or Dr. Mattes to speak! Seriously.

Dave and I see this as a major answer to prayer and hope you share our excitement. Here is some more info on our new speaker:

Mark Mattes chairs the Departments of Philosophy and Religion at Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa. Prior to this call, he served parishes in Gardner, Illinois and Antigo, Wisconsin. He has authored “The Role of Justification in Contemporary Theology”, co-authored “Imaging the Journey”, co-translated “Theology The Lutheran Way” by Oswald Bayer, and co-edited the collected papers of Gerhard Forde, “A More Radical Gospel” and “The Preached God”. In addition, he has published numerous essays and reviews for peer-reviewed journals.

All other details of the conference remain unchanged.

One more thing: If you haven’t registered yet, please do so asap! We need to know how much space we’ll need, how much food/coffee to order, etc. Even if you’re only planning on coming for a portion of the conference, please drop us a line. Details on how to register are still up on our delightfully lo-tech website, www.mockingbirdnyc.com.

See you there!