Honored Guests and Presenters at the NALC Mission Festival

The NALC Mission Festival will be the focus of the Convocation Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon in Denver. The Mission Festival is designed to inspire and serve as a resource to congregations.  Gathering under the theme “Holy Spirit: Calling, Gathering, Enlightening, Sanctifying,” a featured portion of the Mission Festival is the Panel Q & A with Table Talk.

Featured Presenters and Honored Guests Include:  


Bishop John Bradosky has over 30 years of pastoral experience with diverse experience in organization and administration. He has served in urban, suburban, and multicultural settings. Previously he has served as the NALC’s General Secretary, and senior pastor of Epiphany Lutheran Church in Dayton, Ohio. He has also served St. John Lutheran Church in Springfield, Ohio; Trinity Lutheran Church in Canton, Ohio; and Grace Lutheran Church in Huntington Beach, Calif. Bishop Bradosky is a graduate of Hamma School of Theology at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pa.



The Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba currently serves as Assistant to the Bishop for Mission for the North American Lutheran Church.  He is originally from Ethiopia and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and three children.  In addition to academic study and ordained ministry, Dr. Buba participates in multiple international ministries through speaking, leading revivals, leadership development conventions, and evangelical mission events.



Sherry Anne Weddell created the first charism discernment process, specifically designed for Catholics in 1993. In 1997, she co-founded the Catherine of Siena Institute, an affiliated international ministry of the Western Dominican Province, and currently serves as Executive Director. She has trained and helps lead an international team that has worked directly with over 130,000 lay, religious, and ordained Catholics in hundreds of parishes, in 150 archdioceses, on 5 continents.  Sherry’s recent publication of Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and in the World is now available and describes how the Holy Spirit is at work in all the baptized — calling and gifting us to “say yes” in ways that will be the longed-for answer to someone else’s prayers and fuel the mission of the whole Church.  When not hanging around airports, Sherry enjoys tending her high-altitude Tuscan garden in the Colorado Rockies. For more information, please visit: siena.org


Katherine Coolidge joined the Institute staff as the Called & Gifted Coordinator in 2014 after two decades of parish ministry as catechist, program coordinator, youth minister, director of evangelization, liturgist and pastoral associate. She is a recognized master catechist in two dioceses and possesses a Masters of Arts in Pastoral Studies from St. Joseph College of Maine. On her off time, she enjoys quilting, gardening and hanging out with her husband, Michael and cat, Lady, on her 2.5 acres of heaven in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Additional Q & A Panelists Include:

Pastor David Wendel graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication. He is a 1981 graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and served his internship at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Los Alamos, N.M. He served as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hobbs, N.M., before being called to Saint Luke’s in Colorado Springs in 1986. He earned a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from the Association of Chicago Theological Schools in 2001. In 30 years of parish ministry, Pastor Wendel gained valuable hands-on experience serving as pastor to two congregations that had suffered under unhealthy relationships, lack of vision and impaired mission and ministry.  He now works with many congregations in the NALC assisting with visioning, healing and renewal, especially focusing on pastor/parish relationships. He writes regularly for the NALC Newsletter, addressing these topics. Pastor Wendel and his wife, Susan Riches, have two adult children, two grandsons and two granddaughters.


Valerie Hobbs serves on the staff of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Damascus, Md. Her job responsibilities include the support and encouragement of lay leaders of Redeemer’s Bible Studies and Small Groups.  Her passion is to see God’s Word change lives as individuals learn to pray and to hear God speak through Scripture. She also works part time with Church Discipleship Ministries, a branch of The Navigators dedicated to helping church leadership live out their Disciple-making Mission.


Pastor Ray Scheck has served at Redeemer in Damascus, Maryland, since 1977.  The congregation has been blessed with increased membership and a congregational life that has been characterized by outreach and ministering to those experiencing hurts in life. Bible studies have been the cornerstone for the growth and expansion of ministries at Redeemer Lutheran Church, nurturing and spurring faith into action that loves and serves others. Teens and adults alike have taken to studying and applying the Word of God to their lives, with more than 20 different small groups and 25 Bible Studies onsite.  Redeemer Lutheran Church is committed to knowing Jesus and to making Jesus known.  To say that Pastor Ray is passionate about discipleship would be an understatement, as he continues to serve and come alongside many NALC pastors and congregations, giving freely of his time, gifts, and talents.  


For more information or to register today, please visit: 2018 Lutheran Week.

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