Class Notes – June 2016
LTSP Alumnae among LAMPa “Serve Speak Pray Award” Recipients
Advocates in Lutheran ministry in Pennsylvania, including two alumnae of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, were recipients of the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Ministry (LAMPa) “Serve Speak Pray Award,” presented at LAMPa’s Lutheran Day at the Capital in April. Nominated by their bishop, the LTSP alumnae awardees are the Rev. Tricia Neale and the Rev. Dr. Leah Schade.
The Rev. Patricia G. Neale (MDiv 2007) is Executive Director of Feast of Justice, based in northeast Philadelphia. The Rev. Claire S. Burkat, Bishop, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA, wrote about Pr. Neale’s nomination for the award: “Pastor Neale, through the blessing of the Holy Spirit and the thousands of people who have stepped up to support your dream of feeding, protecting and serving people living in and on the edge of poverty in Philadelphia, Feast of Justice and its many branches has truly born fruit that will abide for generations to come.
“Feast of Justice weekly provides a tremendous outpouring of resources, food and services … here are some of the many ways Feast of Justice is providing hope, healing and hospitality to those in great need:
The Hunger program is the major outreach service providing a community cupboard serving 250 families and distributing 8,000 pounds of food each week
Senior citizen boxes, nutrition education, Feast Day monthly luncheons, and a new offering Feast Night, a community meal served and prepared by many young people are all thriving ministries associated with Feast of Justice at St John’s Lutheran Church in Mayfair.
Reading Buddies is a summer enrichment program for elementary children needing extra help and educational improvement. Distribution of clothing, household goods, flu shots, counseling, community service and advocacy participation are some of the other ways Feast of Justice is serving God by loving and serving people.”
The Rev. Dr. Leah Schade (MDiv 2000, PhD 2014), recently appointed professor at Lexington Theological Seminary, was pastor at United in Christ Lutheran Church, West Milton, Pennsylvania. The Rev. Robert L. Driesen, Bishop, Upper Susquehanna Synod, ELCA, noted in his nomination letter: “Your deep commitment to advocating for those who do not have a voice, especially for the care of all of creation, is deserving of this special recognition.
“God’s call to all the baptized to seek justice and strive for peace is part of God’s saving work to restore and reconcile the world. As a church, we respond to God’s call to defend God’s creation in many ways, but advocacy is crucial to those efforts. May God continue to use you as one of God’s sacred instruments to fully appreciate and cherish the creation.
In the words of our church’s social statement, “Humans, in service to God, have special roles on behalf of the whole of creation. Made in the image of God, we are called to care for the earth as God cares for the earth.” (ELCA, “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice,” 1993).”
Jennifer Baker-Trinity (MAR 2004, STM 2008) | Director of St. Nicholas Choir at Beaver Lutheran Church, and Organist and Choir Director, Beaver Lutheran Church, Beaver Springs, PA
Jennifer Baker-Trinity was awarded the Emerging Leadership Award at the Institute of Liturgical Studies at Valparaiso University on April 6, 2016. The award recognizes young leaders who have made or are making significant contributions to the church in the areas of liturgy, congregational song, preaching, music, and/or writing for the whole church. The Institute explains the award has a twofold purpose:
Potential – Through this award, the Institute hopes to raise up and honor individuals early in their professional life with the hope of providing encouragement and support to them throughout their career.
Recognition – Through this award, the Institute acknowledges significant gifts already made by these individuals for the good of the whole church.
Designed for someone in the first 10-15 years of their professional career, the award is given annually at the Institute of Liturgical Studies Banquet. It is designed to celebrate gifts, sensibilities, and capabilities demonstrated through faithful leadership and outstanding contribution to the liturgical life of the church. A cash award of $500.00 to be used by the recipient for Continuing Education is part of the leadership award.
Her husband, the Rev. Nathan Baker-Trinity (MDiv 2004) is pastor at Beaver Lutheran Church. He noted in a Facebook post with the photo below, “With her is Pastor John Morris – for all you locals out there [Pr. Morris] was [the Rev.] Daniel Spigelmyer‘s (MDiv 2015) internship supervisor. Thanks, Daniel, for taking the photos.”
The Rev. Dr. Leah Schade (MDiv 2000, PhD 2014) | Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship, Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, Kentucky
The Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade was recently appointed as the Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky, and will begin her position on August 1, 2016.
The Rev. Tiffany Chaney (MDiv 2012) | Mission Developer, Gathered by Grace, Montgomery, Alabama
I began a new half-time call in January 2016 serving as Mission Developer, developing a new ministry, Gathered by Grace, in the greater Montgomery, Alabama, area. I also serve half-time as System Director of Business Development with Baptist Health in Montgomery.
Caroline Dunleavy (MAR 2014) | Episcopal Community Services, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I have been admitted to the Doctor of Theology (ThD) program at La Salle University. My degree concentration is Christian Spirituality. My research will focus on the use of stained glass windows in U.S. Reformed Churches in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, a further development of the line of inquiry I pursued for my MAR thesis at LTSP.
The Rev. Dr. Wylie Johnson (DMin 2010) | Senior Pastor, The Springfield Baptist Church, Springfield, Pennsylvania
I was honored with the 2015 Freedom Medal by the Delaware County Veteran’s Memorial Association. I’m in my 20th year at Springfield Baptist, and volunteer as a Law Enforcement Chaplain; as a leader on the county Suicide Prevention Task Force, and on the township opioid epidemic task force. Retired as a Chaplain (Colonel) from the US Army Chaplaincy in 2012. Married 43 years, 4 daughters, 4 grands.
The Rev. David Kistler (MDiv 1957) | Retired
Hello to Class of 1957. I’m already thinking about our 60th Anniversary of Ordination in 2017! I’ll be checking with the seminary on the 2017 reunion dates, and I’ll be in touch with you to develop plans. Dave Kistler, 45 Tower Dr., Topton, PA 19562 717-933-9902, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rev. Janet Gasbarro (MDiv 1998), Interim Pastor at Epiphany Lutheran Church, Pleasantville, New Jersey
Retired from AtlantiCare Hospice Chaplain position in June of 2013. Currently serving as Interim Pastor for Epiphany Lutheran Church in Pleasantville NJ (since Nov 2014).
The Rev. Walton R. Horn (Certificate 1966)
The Rev. Walton R. Horn is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination in 1966, an accomplishment for anyone in ministry, and more so since he is now 97. Profiled in a story by writer Carol Balinski in the Reading Eagle, the story tells of his feeling called to ordained ministry, but having trouble getting a loan because “he was too close to retirement age and would only be able to give 18 years of service.” He and his wife decided to sell their home in order to pay for his seminary education.
Since “retirement” in 1984, Pr. Horn has served as an interim, including the past 10 years as part time interim at St. Mark’s United Church of Christ, Reading, Pennsylvania. Pr. Horn’s son is also an LTSP alumnus – the Rev. Richard W. Horn earned a BD in 1964.
Read more in the Reading Eagle online (may be behind paywall).
The Rev. John Chalupa, BD 1942 (100 years old)
The Rev. John Chalupa died May 2, 2016, surrounded by family at his residence at Middlebrook Farms in Trumbull, Connecticut.
Pastor Chalupa was born August 24, 1915 in Lansford, Pennsylvania, and was a son of Saint John the Evangelist Lutheran Church, a Slovak-Zion Synod congregation in Lansford. He received a BA in 1939 from Muhlenberg College, and in 1942 graduated from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia with a Bachelor of Divinity. Ordained by the Slovak Zion Synod on June 7, 1942, he served as Interim Pastor at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church in Bronx, New York. In July 1947, he was called to the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity, in Bridgeport, Connecticut (now Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Trumbull, Connecticut), where he was installed on November 9, 1947. That same year, he married Doris Irene Mealy (who predeceased him) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and celebrated the birth of three children in the coming years: Barbara Ann, Susan Jane, and Doris Ethel.
Since his ordination, Pr. Chalupa served for 40 years in ministry. He served the Slovak Zion Synod as Synod Statistician, Synod Archivist, and Dean of the Eastern Conference, as well as a mentor, colleague, and wise elder to others in the Synod.
In May 2013, the Slovak Zion Synod recognized Pr. Chalupa on the occasion of his 70th Anniversary of Ordination. When asked how he survived 70 years of highs and lows of ministry, Pr. Chalupa cited his faith, and then noted: “I also smiled a lot.” Indeed, Pastor John Chalupa, best known for his inviting and welcoming personality, will be remembered for his faithful witness and the grace-filled joy he brought to all those who met him.
A Funeral Service was held on May 6, 2016, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Trumbull, CT. donations may be made to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 406 White Plains Rd, Trumbull, CT 06611
The Rev. Robert Bush, BD 1968
The Rev. Robert W. Bush died on May 11, 2016, in North Carolina. During his ministry, he served in a number of synods, Northeastern Pennsylvania, where he served as pastor of Zion, Tamaqua from 1988–1991.
The Reverend Clarence D. “Hap” Reeser, BD 1953
The Reverend Clarence D. “Hap” Reeser, 93, formerly of Reading, died May 25, 2016 in The Lutheran Home at Topton. He was the widower of Mildred C. (Wolfe) Reeser, who died June 25, 2005.
Born in Reading, he was a son of the late Clarence D. and Hannah E. (Rohrbach) Reeser. Pr. Reeser was a United States Army veteran of World War II, captured in fighting in Normandy that followed the D-Day Invasion, and served as chaplain during his confinement at Stalag IV F Prisoner of War camp near Berlin. He was a 1950 BA graduate of Muhlenberg College and received a Bachelor of Divinity from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia Seminary in 1953. Pr. Reeser was called to Longswamp Lutheran Church in Mertztown, Pennsylvania from 1953-1954, then Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church in Reading from 1955-1960, and moved on to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Reinerton from 1960-1970. He was pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Reading from 1970 until his retirement on December 31, 1987. He was also a member of Reformation Lutheran Church-Reiffton.
Pr. Reeser is survived by two nephews. He was predeceased by his brother, Paul H. Reeser. Graveside services were held June 4, 2016, in Mohnsville Cemetery, Mohnton, PA. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Lutheran Home at Topton, 1 S. Home Ave. Topton, PA 19562, or Reformation Lutheran Church, 3670 Perkiomen Ave., Reading, PA 19606. Online condolences may be offered to Pastor Reeser’s nephews and foster daughter at LutzFuneralHome.com.
Information and photo courtesy Lutz Funeral Home.
The Rev. Richard C. Wolf, BD 1956
The Rev. Richard C. Wolf died on March 25, 2016.
Following his ordination by the Ministerium of Pennsylvania in May of 1956, Pastor Wolf was called to the congregation of St. Paul in Mertztown, Pennsylvania. He served there until 1961, when he moved to Delaware to serve St. Paul, Newark. In 1966, Pastor Wolf returned to Pennsylvania, being called to St. James, Coopersburg. From 1985 until his retirement in 1993, he served Friedens, Oley. Pastor Wolf after retirement was trained as an interim pastor and served several congregations in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod (NEPA), ELCA, and in Montana. He also served the larger church in a number of ways, including as a member of the board of Good Shepherd Home and as chair of the NEPA Vocations Committee.
A funeral service was held March 30 at Friedens Lutheran Church, Oley, PA. Condolences may be sent to Pastor Wolf’s wife, Kathryn, at 237 Fry Road, Fleetwood, PA 19522
Information courtesy Northeastern Pennsylvania synod, ELCA. View the obituary on the Legacy.com website.
The Rev. George David Hanssen, MDiv 1966
The Rev. George David Hanssen, Retired, died Friday, June 3, 2016, while in hospice care in Durham, North Carolina. He was 75. A memorial service will be held at a later date in New York.
Pastor Hanssen was born in White Plains, NY, and graduated from Upsala College, East Orange, and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. George was ordained on June 2, 1966 after accepting the call as pastor of Christ the King, Vestal, NY, where he remained their pastor for 20 years. George then accepted a churchwide call to serve as Evangelism Specialist for the Division for Congregational Ministries, serving the Synods of Region 7 through 1992.
Pr. Hanssen returned to parish ministry as pastor of St. Michael, Camillus, New York. He then transferred to the New Jersey Synod to serve as pastor of Advent, Wyckoff. He served at Advent until his retirement and relocation to North Carolina in April 2012.
He is survived by his wife Amanda, brother Edward and sister-in-law Bonnie, and children Julie, Joelle, Gary, Andrea and Zachary.
Information courtesy New Jersey Synod, ELCA. Read the obituary from Clements Funeral Service.