Return to Wittenberg is pleased to present our first-ever spring conference over Ascension weekend, 2023! Faith Lutheran Church in Oregon, WI will host our Ascension Day Service on Thursday, May 18, 2023. Then, on Saturday afternoon, we’ll have an intensive workshop focusing on the idea of the “Family Altar” and its connection to the Catechism and Classical Education. On Sunday, all will be invited to join together for regular worship and catechesis. There will even be optional content on Friday and Saturday morning for those who want to make it a full weekend! The content of this workshop is designed for families of all types, sizes (even singles!), and ages. R2W is pleased to announce that Dr. Arthur Eggert, author of The Lutheran Family Altar, will be a keynote presenter at the conference!


After attending this conference, you will . . .

  • Have a greater understanding of the vocational responsibilities inherent in the Fourth Commandment.
  • Learn how the Lutheran concept of the “Family Altar” is central to a holistic Christian life.
  • Recognize the Catechism as more than a tool for confirmation class–it is a blueprint of cosmic reality.
  • Identify the Christian life as a cycle of oratio, meditatio, tentatio with meaningful connection to catechesis and education.
  • Have a greater appreciation of the ways that classical education closely conforms with Christian reality.

Grow in Knowledge

The Christian family is a microcosm of God’s benevolent will for the order of the cosmos. All legitimate power in the Church and in the State is derived from God’s created order for humanity, which is contained in the fourth commandment and cosmically perfected in Christ and His Church. In short, the Family Altar is at the crossroads of reality, encompassing the spiritual and physical realms. The Family Altar is the way that Christians in their every-day lives sanctify themselves and their worlds with prayer (oratio) and the Word of God (meditatio) in the face of the struggles and discipline (tentatio) of their daily lives.

In addition to theoretical concepts, the workshop will provide practical examples and resources for the Family Altar. Practical tips will be offered for how to pray the Divine Office as a family and incorporating children into both corporate and private worship. There will also be information and resources available regarding classical education. Faith Lutheran Church, our host congregation, is hoping to start a classical Lutheran school in the Oregon, WI area, so this will be an opportunity for them to showcase what that looks like as well. Even for single people or those without children, the classical model provides a bedrock of western civilization that has implications beyond childhood and interconnections with the Christian life.

We hope you will attend this conference! Please note that although childcare will not be provided, children-oriented content will be provided commensurate with registrations.

Tentative Schedule

**Please Note: Thursday through Saturday morning are not formally part of the conference. They coincide with the special Divine Service R2W is hosting at Faith for Ascension Day. If you are traveling to Faith for both Ascension and the conference, you are welcome to join the conference organizers for the Divine Office and fellowship at the times listed, but no formal presentations are planned for Thursday or Friday.

**Thursday, May 18th
6:30pm: Ascension Divine Service
8pm: Meet-up at Headquarters Bar & Grill
Compline @ ??

**Friday, May 19th
10am: Lauds at Faith Oregon
10:30-12pm: Setup for the Conference
12pm: Lunch Break
1:30pm: The Office of Midday Prayer
2-4pm: Miscellaneous and/or Informal Discussion & Fellowship
4pm: Vespers at Faith Oregon
5pm: Dinner at The Ready Set
Compline @ ??

**Saturday, May 20th, Morning
10am: Lauds
10:30-11:30am: Introductory Discussion
11:30am-12pm Lunch Break

Saturday, May 20th, Main Conference
12pm-3pm: Welcome & Presentations*
3pm-4pm: Practical Activity: The Catechism as Mystagogy in the Home: The Divine Office
4pm: Vespers
5:30pm: Heavy Hors D'oeuvres at Redeemer Lutheran Church (1701 McKenna Blvd, Madison, WI, 53711)
7pm: Bethany Lutheran College Choir Concert at Redeemer Lutheran Church

DIY Compline @ ??

*Topics covered during presentations:
Classical Education, the Catechism, and the Making of a Christian (Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio)

Sunday, May 21st
8am: Matins
9am: Divine Service for Exaudi
10:15am: Lauds, Continental Breakfast, and Catechetical Presentation
Optional Fellowship Afterward, details TBD