2018 - Future and Hope
Shaping our expectations for our life, the church, and the world
The 10th Annual Corpus Christi Conference
Prague, Czech Republic
23-27 July 2018
Venue Address: Hotel Olšanka |
Main Speaker: Rev. Kurt Reinhardt (Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Gowanstown, Ontario)
Come and experience:
- Solid, biblical teaching by excellent international speakers
- Rich, liturgical, Christ-centred worship
- International fellowship with young adults
- The beautiful city of Prague with rich history and culture
Regular conference fee with hotel accommodation was € 149. This year as part of the 10-year anniversary celebration Corpus Christi has arranged a conference hotel in the heart of Prague. Have a question? Contact us at [email protected]
A Little Information About the Hotel:
- Linen, bedding, and towels are provided
- Rooms are secured, but there are also safes in the room if needed
- Breakfast is from 7:00 – 10:00
- The tram station nearest to the hotel is: “Olšanské Square,” and can be reached with the tram 5, 10, 11, 13, 15 or 16
- Paid parking spaces are available at the hotel. (car 300 czk/day, bus 700 czk/day)
- Check-in: Monday at noon next to the reception desk at Hotel Olšanka.
- Reception is open around the clock
- The currency in the Czech Republic is the Czech Koruna, not the Euro.
- If you would like to stay overnight either before the conference or after email [email protected], and include the keyword “Corpus Christi.” You may have to switch rooms on Monday and Friday.
- Prices for additional nights before or after the conference are as follows: Single room is 42 EUR/night. Double room is 46EUR/night. Family room is 2+1 beds 60 EUR/night and family room is 2+2 beds 77 EUR/night.
1. The Feast to Come (Rev. Jakob Appell)
What will the feast to come will be like? How does that feast come to us already now in the Lord’s Supper? How does the feast now give hope for the feast to come?
2. Ostrich in the Sand or a City on a Hill? (Rev. Esko Murto)
Western culture moves away from Christian belief and morals, even turning hostile towards the faith of their ancestors. How should Christians act in this new situation? Is there a way in which the Church could not only survive, but even flourish in the 21st century? This in-depth session will provide food for thought and an arena for discussion as we ponder on the choices individual Christians face in their everyday lifestyle as well as the challenges and opportunities whole congregations meet in their confession and worship. We will use suggestions made by Rod Dreher in his book “The Benedict Option” as a starting point for our own pondering.
3. The End of the World (Rev. Konstantin Subbotin)
In this in-depth session, we will will look at how eschatology (the doctrine of the end times) is understood in other Christian traditions and in Lutheranism and ponder upon the most popular eschatological ideas of postmodern society: reincarnation, annihilation and so on.
4. Session for Theologians - Eschatology in the Liturgy (Rev. Eirik-Kornelius Garnes-Lunde and Rev. Tapani Simojoki)
Both Christian theology and Christian life – ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ – are suspended between the past in God’s mighty works of salvation and in His promises for the future. To be a Christian is to live as a recipient of what God has done in Christ in anticipation of what God will do at the revelation of Christ when He returns in glory.These three realities – past, present, and future – meet specifically in the gathering of God’s people as the Church, “with angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven.” In the liturgy, we receive the benefits of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, meet Him as the ascended Lord, and have a foretaste of the kingdom to come. In these sessions, we will investigate the nature of Christian worship as the manifestation of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
1. How do you See your Earthly Future? (Mari Mattila)
Even though we share the Lutheran confession our everyday lives and also our values might differ a lot. An anonymous survey was conducted among the conference participants in order to shed light on some less discussed topics regarding e.g. being single, divorce and attitude towards money. This discussion group is not about right and wrong but about different perspectives and getting to know who we are and where we come from as a group of people.
2. Beginning and End of Life - Ethical Questions from Christian Doctors (Hanna Järveläinen)
Most Christians agree that this God-given life is holy and that ending the life of an unborn child (abortion) or of an adult (euthanasia) is a sin. Both practices are, however, more and more accepted in Western society. Why exactly do we believe and confess what we do and how do we give answers to those who think differently? At what point does life begin? Are children simply ‘optional’ in marriage and should we as Christians challenge ourselves to rethink the prevailing culture of contraception? How do the usual contraceptives work and what contraceptives may actually be abortive? Are all situations black and white, or is there a grey zone? What kinds of challenges do Christians in the medical field face with these fundamental questions? This Discussion Group is led by Hanna Järveläinen, a Christian doctor from Finland.
3. What Really Helps, Christian Hope or Mental Health - or is it a Combination? (speaker will remain anonymous until conference)
A psychologist with special expertise in supporting victims of human trafficking, refugees, and victims of sexual violence will lead this discussion group. Sometimes we are tempted to see psychology and Christian faith as opposing one another. But do they in the end? We will discuss their relationship and practical possibilities in supporting people and restoring hope.
4. Handling Money as a Christian (Christoph Schmidt-Dahl)
When asked about hopes for the future, most people would certainly reply something related to their income. In this group, we want to discuss how God wants us to handle our money. Using biblical input and everyone’s experience and opinions, we’ll try to answer the question what money is good for and what not. What distinguishes us as Christians when it comes to finances? If you’re interested, feel free to join the discussion!
5. Our Future Shaping our Present (Michael Wenz)
How does what we expect for our eternal future shape our life right here, right now? We will use texts from the Bible and the church fathers as conversation starters and discuss this question thinking about us as Christians and about the world at large. Other questions to be discussed are, Do we have immortality already now? Are our souls going to heaven or will our flesh be resurrected? What if Jesus returns soon? Are we awaiting the renewal of paradise or a whole new creation?
6. Life, Time Management, and Entertainment Online (Tsuua Kekale)
How should we as Christians regard different dimensions of the all-the-more-online-based world? How do we spend our time online? How to think about ethics online? What good possibilities does the internet offer? Anyone can bring questions to be discussed. What questions relating to the internet and our lives as children of God would you like to discuss?
7. Death will be the day of birth if your life was on the lap of the church (Rev. Romans Kurpnieks)
We will discuss the following passage from Saint Augustine “Christ’s martyrs feared neither death nor pain. He triumphed in them who lived in them; and they, who lived not for themselves but for Him, found in death itself the way to life.” We will put the main focus on death not as end but as beginning for new and eternal life in our Lord Jesus Christ. Besides that let us discover what the Lutheran Church teaches us about the end of this earthly life? How present day Christians should react to active and passive euthanasia? And what does the Church says about suicide? Death is the beginning
8. Why can’t everyone just share the same table? (Rev. Dr. Samuli Siikavirta)
At Corpus Christi, we don’t practise ‘open communion’. That means only Christians who share the Lutheran Confession in faith and practice are invited to receive the Lord’s Supper. Many Lutheran churches have the same practice, whilst others allow everybody to commune. Why do these differences exist and what is the point of practising ‘closed communion’? The discussion will be led by Chairman of the organisation. Welcome to talk about this important topic!
How to get there
From the airport take bus 119 to Wild Skarka, then transfer to the tram line 26 and get off at Olšanské Square. The hotel is directly in front of the tram station.
From the bus and train station take the tram 2, 5, 9, or 26 to Olšanské Square. Walking from the main train or bus station takes about 20 minutes.
Meet the Speaker (Read Rev. Kurt Reinhardt’s full testimony here)
I was born born 48 years ago in Ottawa, Canada’s capital. I was baptized in the Lutheran Church a month after my birth, and was raised in her confession, being
confirmed in it at the age of 14. I left home to go to University and returned to Ottawa after my wife and I graduated from University to look for work. From early childhood I had repeated thoughts about going to seminary to study to be a pastor. With a return to Church life in my home congregation these thoughts were revived, and I was finally convicted one day that there was no other direction for my life.
I applied and was accepted to Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario. At the seminary my mind and heart were more fully opened up to the truth of the Gospel and all that it meant for me. Here I also came to appreciate the sacramental life of the Church as the high point of God’s gracious working out of salvation in my life. After four years of study and preparation I received my first call to an old country church in rural Ontario – Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church at Kurtzville. Although I grew up in the city, I have truly enjoyed country life. My wife and I now have 4 children (2 boys and 2 girls) ranging in age from 19 to 9. We tend a large garden behind the parsonage and keep laying hens in the garage beside the house. I have also started an apiary with beehives in the back corner of the Church cemetery. I have learned how to milk a cow (although we don’t have one of our own - yet!), run a chainsaw and split wood.
In March 2017 I suffered a sudden and near fatal stroke that left me with complete left side paralysis. The physical challenges, however, compared little to the challenges of the mind, which occurred when later, in early summer, I was suddenly overcome by a form of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that often follows severe stroke. God in His mercy through the prayers of His people has restored my body and mind while working great wonders in my soul through this time of loving Fatherly discipline.
More on the Plenary Sessions
What’s the difference between “I hope?” and “I hope.”
Who alone can turn “I hope?” into “I hope.”
How does my past give me hope of a future?
How does hope of a future give me hope in the present?
How does God use the trials of life to build up genuine hope in me?
Why should all the trouble in the world cause me to get my hopes up?