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PS Portions

From the President – July 2014

Then, Now, and Moving Forward in Faith

Dear Friends in Christ:

President Philip KreyWe pray you are finding time for solace and rest this summer vacation season.

This issue of PS Portions features two intriguing articles.

History of any institution is often easily forgotten. Our 150th anniversary timeline web history affords a comprehensive view of our history. And many segments will be added to its 14 “chapters” in the weeks ahead. (Timeline available here: Retired US Navy Chaplain Steven Jensen ’73 offers a remarkable glimpse into the “then” that comprises the early 1970s life on the campus, ranging from memories (and pranks) from the Old Dorm to a perspective on the Vietnam era’s impact on the campus. He mentions with deep gratitude the profound influence of Professors Robert Bornemann, Dean William Lazareth, Harold Albert, and Ted Tappert in preparing Jensen to manage the challenges of life as a Supervising Chaplain on ships like the USS Missouri, the World War II surrender ship that served in the Persian Gulf prior to Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s. That vessel is now berthed in Pearl Harbor, near Jensen’s Kailua, Oahu, home and served as a backdrop for part of the video interview. Don’t miss the anecdote about late Prof. Jack White’s chance encounter with Steve aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger in San Diego. Jensen lived out his passion to serve as a chaplain, a high ranking Navy Commander when he retired, to our troops around the globe.

Prison ministry is not a new kind of initiative across the church. In decades past, Lutheran Pastor John Parkinson served impressively in this area of ministry. Today, Ed Neiderheiser is a Lutheran Chaplain serving at Graterford. A profile on Linda Manson, a current LTSP student, explores her “now” contemporary approach as a mission developer/redeveloper for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in establishing Living Gospel Ministries, an outreach to furnish vital resources and encouragement to everyone connected with the criminal justice system. Her vision is for a ministry of worship and accompaniment. Linda has been a volunteer or professional in the prison ministry field for 30 years. Her discussion of her discernment path and Christian faith will inspire you as she recalls the influence of LTSP alumnus Pastor P. Richard Grove, who preached to her “a sermon like no other” one Sunday in the 1970s.

You can also read in this issue of Portions about our new web site design. We are still working through its launch. But it is an exciting “new look.”

Now it is also time to remind you that if you act by August 31 to reserve your place at the table for our October 16, 150th Anniversary Gala Banquet you can receive your tickets at a discount. Please join us! Go here or call 215.248.6324 for information and to purchase tickets.

Moving forward in faith, if you can manage a gift to support student scholarships by donating to the 150th Anniversary Endowed Scholarship Fund as a way of helping us celebrate this milestone, please do so using the online form on the 150th Gala page. Steve Jensen’s recollections of his financial struggles to pay his educational bills give insight to the sacrifices our students have made for many, many decades to prepare themselves to serve our God and all of God’s people. Asked why he has given to the seminary, Steve said simply: “Because no one did it for me. I don’t want others to have to struggle the way I did…”

These are only two stories of many we could tell in the 150th year. I want to say thank you to all alumni who have prepared for their ministry at this wonderful school. You have honored us by being here and by serving the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Philip D.W. Krey

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"Centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia seeks to educate and form public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world."