September 19, 2014

Exhibit: Bringing Christ to the Highlands



Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) is excited to invite you to the public opening of its unique museum exhibit Bringing Christ to the Highlands: Painting a Portrait of Early Lutheran Mission Work in Papua New Guinea on Sunday, October 5. The CHI exhibit frames the work of Christ and the Gospel in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with a series of cultural paintings by missionary Robert Kroenke, along with an extensive number of artifacts, photographs and quotes from missionary personnel.

“This is a major exhibit chronicling the Lord’s redeeming work in a mission field that proved to be one of the most challenging and the most blessed by the Word of God.” said Dr. Daniel Harmelink, executive director of CHI. “The Papua New Guinea mission field received more LCMS personnel than any other. This is a great opportunity for us to rediscover the Word proclaimed and the Word received in faith by so many who lived without the Gospel for so long. It is CHI’s prayer that all who view the exhibit will enjoy a renewed appreciation for the rich history of eternal treasures of the Cross freely offered and freely taken hold of by the people of Papua New Guinea. This is an mission exhibit you will not want to miss.”

“This exhibit is special in that it brings together many objects that have never been seen by the general public—the paintings of Robert Kroenke, artifacts on loan from private collections and some objects in CHI’s extensive museum collection,” reported Rebecca Wells, museum registrar at CHI. “These objects and paintings are outstanding examples of life and culture in PNG as the missionaries first encountered it. However, this exhibit not only focuses on the people of PNG and the missionaries that served them, but ultimately on the love of Christ, who brought salvation to those who knew nothing of Him and His sacrifice for all.”

In partnership with CHI, the Papua New Guinea Mission Society will hold a special worship service in the chapel of Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, at 2:00 PM on October 5, before the exhibit at CHI opens to the public. The worship service will premiere a new work for brass choir by Dr. Martin Dicke. (The nephew of Willard and Elinor Burce, Dr. Dicke was born in PNG at the mission hospital and lived in PNG with his family until they returned to the States in 1974). The work is titled “Fanfare, Fugue and Chorale on CRUCIFER” (the tune used for the well-known hymn “Lift High the Cross”).

The museum exhibit will officially open to the public at 3:15 PM that afternoon and will be available for viewing until 5:30 PM.

For those outside the Saint Louis area, a large 44-page full-color exhibit catalog is available for $10.00 each. (Until October 31, a free copy of the catalog will be given to first-time members of CHI). The catalog features photographs of 36 of the Kroenke paintings, more than 50 artifacts and several memorable quotes by LCMS missionaries who served in Papua New Guinea.

After October 5 the CHI museum exhibit at 804 Seminary Place in Saint Louis, Missouri, will be open during regular weekday hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM–4:00 PM (excluding holidays). A suggested donation of $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for students and seniors is requested to help with costs related to the exhibit.

A reminder to those viewing Bringing Christ to the Highlands—the paintings show people in their native dress and some contain partial nudity.

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