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December 31, 2006 Guest - The Rev. Dr. Herbert Brokering
Program:  An Imperishable Inheritance

Rev. Dr. Herbert Brokering has been called the “Leonardo DaVinci of the Prairies.” Gifted with extraordinary creativity, the Lutheran pastor, author, lyricist, hymn writer and peace activist has spent his life finding new ways to minister to the holistic health of all God’s people. In recognition of this work, Concordia University in Austin, Texas, Trinity Seminary in Columbus, Ohio and Wartburg College, in Waverly, Iowa have awarded Rev. Brokering Honorary Doctorates. He is the father of four adult children with his late, beloved wife Lois. In their 54 years together Herb and Lois created many joint educational writings, projects and songs.

The author of over 30 devotional books, thousands of lyrics and poems, and collaborations with over 50 composers, Rev. Brokering wrote a jazz cantata, Beloved Son, with Dave Brubeck based on flowing water, linked to the life of Jesus. This work was recorded at Abbey Road studios last year with the London Symphony orchestra and the Brubeck quartet. His hymns “Earth and All Stars” and “Thine the Amen” are familiar to all Lutherans. His latest book, To Henry with Love, will be released in March 2005. In this volume Dr. Brokering is speaking with his grandson, Henry, who was stillborn. Imagining the child’s experience in heaven, Rev. Brokering brings comfort and hope to those who grieve and inspires them to reflect on their spiritual connection to the child. In the book Hello Night! Healing Thoughts for Sleepless Nights he shares stories of how he learned to live with wakefulness, soothing and inspiring his readers. His abundant openness gives his audience the sense they are praying with a close friend. It is as though Rev. Brokering crosses through the page, and he and his reader become “two gathered in His name.”

In a reflection of his favorite biblical image, “In him all things hold together,” Dr. Brokering has devoted his life to strengthening connections between people and God, and between God’s people, person to person and country to country. After ten years as a pastor, he was called to national office of the American Lutheran Church as Director of Confirmation, and designed and directed the writing of curriculum and training programs for confirmands, catechists and families. The author of countless Lenten, Christmas and biblical radio programs for the ALC and Wheat Ridge Ministries, he also taught at Luther Seminary in St. Paul for 23 years. As an ecumenical bridge builder, he collaborated with photographer Catholic Sister Noemi on nine books and has worked on Jewish-Christian relations. He was on faculty at Holden Village, and was called by the U.S. Navy and Air Force to work extensively with their chaplains over many years. He also designed and led over 40 Renaissance-Reformation festivals worldwide. Since 1996 Brokering has served as a writer, consultant and workshop presenter at Wheat Ridge Ministries, where he helps seed new ministries of health and hope throughout the world.

Dr. Brokering has also devoted much creative energy toward bringing nations together while serving Christ’s people. His international ministry began with Lutheran World Federation in 1948, where he served 30 refugee camps and directed student work projects hauling rubble and building roads. As of today he has led over 100 pilgrimage-partner projects to Europe, the Middle East, China and India, promoting themes of healing, justice and peace. He arranged for recital tours for East German church concert organists in the USA and Canada during the Iron Curtain, and when that curtain first began to lift, he led five bus groups of LCMS youth through it in 1990. For this important work he has been honored with an award for peacemaking by the East German Ministry of Culture. He has been recognized with Distinguished Alumnus awards by Wartburg College and Trinity Seminary. He also received an award from Wheat Ridge Ministries which acknowledged his role as the "Poet Laureate of the Lutheran Church."

 

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