When I came to NT-NL in 2010 as Lead Pastor at Trinity, Fort Worth I knew I had big shoes to fill. Trinity had a heritage of leadership in the synod, of pastors who were integral to the Lutheran witness in Tarrant County and part of synodical life. Of all of those one stood out as a national figure, the Rev. Dr. John Tietjen. John was president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis during the eventful days of the “Seminex” Crisis. When 90% of the students, 95% of the faculty, walked out of the seminary after Tietjen was fired by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod President the Rev. J.A.O. Preus. Tiejten was known as a fiery preacher, a passionate advocate for justice, and a firm believer in ecumenism and the academy.
When he retired from Trinity in 1999 an endowment was established to carry on his tradition. In my time at Trinity we welcomed a variety of speakers funded by that endowment including the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, the Rev. Dr. Eric Barretto, the Rev. Dr. Clint Schneckloth, and an exhibition of art by Dr. He Qi. In 2017 the team responsible for the program decided to have a reformation hymn sing led by Dr. Scott Hyslop. It was a wonderful afternoon of music. One of many reformation celebrations by NT-NL congregations. A reminder that we are called to be echoes of the freedom of the gospel that Luther and the initial reformers proclaimed. One of the great gifts of the Lutheran tradition is music. We sing our faith. Indeed. Let us continue that which has been begun in us.