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PS Portions: May 2015

It’s been a busy month at LTSP – Spring Convocation, Commencement, and stories of ministry are all part of the May issue of PS Portions. Watch, read, and view stories, photo collections and more…

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From the President – Sending out leaders

Under the sunny skies of a beautiful, warm (but not too warm!) May day, and in the beautiful sanctuary of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, the staff, faculty, and Board of Trustees of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia were pleased to send fifty-two leaders into lives of service and ministry.

As we were lining up and getting ready to process, I thought about the number of lives these fifty-two graduates would touch over the course of their careers through their leadership in congregations, social ministry agencies, Synod staffs, seminaries, advocacy groups, and more. We’re talking, quite literally, about hundreds of thousands of people who will be touched by the Gospel through the words and deeds of these leaders.

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Fifty two graduates receive degrees and certificates at the 151st commencement of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

Fifty-two seminarians were awarded degrees and certificates during the 151st commencement exercises May 19, 2015 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.
In addition to the awarding of degrees and certificates, highlights included memorable remarks from Palestinian Lutheran Pastor Dr. Mitri Raheb, a presidential welcome from the Rev. Dr. David J. Lose, an address by Senior Class President Mark David Johnson, and a welcome to the graduates by Alumni Association President the Rev. Annemarie Hartner Cook. The seminary choir offered two selections under the direction of Dr. Michael Krentz and Sheila D. Booker.

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Lutheran Pastor and Palestinian Mitri Raheb describes ministry of hope in an occupied land

Before presenting the address at the 151st Commencement of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, commencement speaker the Rev. Dr.  Mitri Raheb took some from his schedule to talk about his ministry and life: Palestine, the land where the Bible seeds were planted, has always been an occupied land since 722 B.C., explained the Rev. […]

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The Class of 2015

(Click any image to go to the photo gallery and purchase copies – proceeds benefit the Leadership Fund) Certificates and Degrees were awarded to the following individuals at the 151st Commencement of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia on Tuesday, May 19, 2015:   UTI Certificate of Church Leadership Viola Clark Ramona l. Holcombe Chevelle […]

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Reflections on ministry in a city gripped by the explosive pain of racial injustice

In the aftermath of the tragic death of Freddy Gray while in police custody in April, four seminary alumni commented on the challenges to their respective ministries in the painful days and weeks that have followed.
“The Freddy Gray case is not the first of its kind in Maryland,” said the Rev. Wolfgang Herz-Lane, bishop of the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the ELCA. “Did you know that in the past three years in Maryland 109 prisoners have died while in police custody, most of them African American males?”

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Being a “Church-for-Others”

In the aftermath of the tragic death of Freddy Gray while in police custody in April, four seminary alumni commented on the challenges to their respective ministries in the painful days and weeks that have followed.
“The Freddy Gray case is not the first of its kind in Maryland,” said the Rev. Wolfgang Herz-Lane, bishop of the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the ELCA. “Did you know that in the past three years in Maryland 109 prisoners have died while in police custody, most of them African American males?”

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Co-op Program enjoys strong first year, anticipates expanding

The idea of the program is that Co-op students can immediately apply their classroom learning to a congregational setting simultaneously. The initiative makes sense financially too: we can give seminarians more financial support through remuneration where they serve and complete their seminary training in three years rather than four. We’re finding that to be a really positive development, and so are the students.

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Living on the edges theme, alumni awards, and harpsichord dedication mark Spring Convocation

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia’s (LTSP) Spring Convocation 2015 featured numerous highlights including three presentations about “Living (and worshiping) on the Edge as a Church,” awards honoring three distinguished LTSP alumni, and the heartwarming dedication during Easter Vespers of the refurbished harpsichord originally built in the early 1970s by the late Dr. Robert Bornemann, Anna Burkhalter Professor of Old Testament and originator of the seminary choir.

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Agnes Bornemann’s birthday gift, her late husband’s harpsichord, restored for chapel use

God initially blessed the dedication of the late Professor Robert Bornemann’s  restored harpsichord (built in 1970) by sending snow to postpone the originally scheduled ceremony. The new date set for the dedication, April 28, 2015, was also the birthday of his beloved widow, Agnes Bornemann, now a resident of Vermont. She was able to be […]

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Distinguished Alumni Awards and President’s “State of the Seminary” report mark Spring Convocation banquet

Gratitude for service extended to the Rev. Louise Johnson and the Rev. Kathleen Ash-Flashner During The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia’s (LTSP) Spring Convocation 2015’s annual banquet, the seminary presented Alumni Awards for Distinguished Service to the Rev. Marie Jerge, ’78, the Rev. Rick Summy, ’85, and the Rev. Roger Zepernick, ’68. Those in attendance […]

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Elizabeth Brunton first staff recipient of Class of 2015 Award of Appreciation

Elizabeth Brunton, a recent MDiv graduate of the seminary who serves as the school’s Director of Financial Aid, was chosen as the first recipient of the Class of 2015 class gift. The modest grant was presented during an April chapel worship.
“In academic institutions, a significant number of people work behind the scenes. Unfortunately, sometimes their work goes unrecognized – even though they often have a very formative impact on the students. The LTSP Class of 2015 wishes to give back to the supportive staff of the seminary. In place of a traditional gift, this year’s senior class would like to announce the Class of 2015 Award!”

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Class Notes: May 2015

The Rev. Keith Anderson, (STM 2002), Author; Pastor at Upper Dublin Lutheran Church, Ambler, PA Pastor Anderson’s new book, The Digital Cathedral: Networked Ministry in a Wireless World (May 2015, Morehouse Publishing), was released earlier this month. An excerpt from the book, “Canterbury Cathedral c. 1167,” was published on the Day 1 website. Pr. Anderson’s […]

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LTSP Notes: May 2015

LTSP part of “Art Gallery along Germantown Avenue” The corner of Gowen and Germantown Avenues is the northern edge of the LTSP campus along the avenue, marked by one of the signs identifying LTSP and The Brossman Center. The sign recently was joined by a part of the Inside Out Exhibit assembled by the Philadelphia […]

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Congratulations to the Graduates!

Congratulations to the 52 certificate and degree recipients at LTSP’s 151st Commencement on Tuesday, May 19. Full stories, videos and photos coming in May’s PS Portions – sign up to receive Portions on the PS Portions page. Check out the photo gallery on Facebook! Lots more photos to come in Portions! Read the story from […]

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Wartburg Theological Seminary announces appointment of new president

DUBUQUE, IA – April 22, 2015 – In its spring board meeting, the Wartburg Theological Seminary Board of Directors elected its fourteenth president, Rev. Louise N. Johnson. She was joyfully welcomed at a seminary community gathering following chapel today. Rev. Johnson is a graduate of Wartburg Theological Seminary and has served at The Lutheran Theological […]

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Louise Johnson embraces historic leadership role

This story was first published in PS Portions in February 2014. Pr. Johnson was named the 14th President of Wartburg Theological Seminary in April 2015. Two decades ago, the Rev. Louise N. Johnson could not have imagined herself serving LTSP as Vice President for Mission Advancement, using her writing and analytical skills in a post created […]

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PS Portions: April 2015

In April’s PS Portions: From the President — “We’re Listening”; Louise Johnson named 14th President of Wartburg Seminary; Social media has inspired an expansive notion of ‘sacred space’; A Confederate soldier’s LTSP journey brought to light by a more recent graduate; Preaching with Power 2015 — Recap (including videos and photos from the events); Dealing with Assumptions about Muslims; May 19 commencement will feature remarks by Middle East peace advocate Dr. Mitri Raheb; Class and LTSP Notes; and more…

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From the President – “We’re Listening”

This past winter, we hosted 18 structured conversations connected to our Strategic Planning that involved approximately 250 people. Each meeting began with a brief overview of my own sense of the changes in our culture that have created both opportunities and challenges for the Church and, by extension, the Church’s seminaries.

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Louise Johnson named 14th President of Wartburg Seminary

The Board of Directors of Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, elected the Rev. Louise N. Johnson, Vice President of Mission Advancement at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), as Wartburg Seminary’s 14th president during their spring 2015 meeting. Johnson was publicly introduced to the Wartburg community following Eucharist in the chapel on Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

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Social media has inspired an expansive notion of ‘sacred space’

Today’s social media — Facebook, Tweets and other forms — are filled with information about how all kinds of everyday people are finding God and living out their vocations in daily life. In a recent LTSP convocation, the Rev. Keith Anderson called upon his audience of faculty, students, and staff to take a fresh look at what constitutes the idea of “sacred spaces” in modern life. “Churches need to think of sacred space in a far more expansive way.”

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A Confederate soldier’s LTSP journey brought to light by a more recent graduate

Thanks to the painstaking research of a 2001 graduate of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), the remarkable story of one of LTSP’s earliest students, the Rev. Stephen Albion Repass, has come to light anew. The more recent graduate, the Rev. Nelson Quiñones, now pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, Lehigh County, began to learn the story of Repass while serving as assistant pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Allentown, Quiñones’s first call.

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Preaching with Power 2015

Pastor Barry C. Black’s impactful sermon traces a journey from public housing to the U.S. Senate
This bit of prose will not do justice to the soaring rhetoric and deep substance that the Rev. Dr. Barry C. Black presented as a Preaching with Power gift to inspired sermonic listeners March 17 at Grace Baptist Church in Philadelphia’s Germantown section. Black, the 62nd Chaplain to serve the U.S. Senate and a Seventh Day Adventist pastor, chose “Preaching Under Observation” for his sermon topic, clearly offered with seminarians in the audience in mind.

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Dealing with Assumptions about Muslims

Ever since 1979, the Middle East has intruded into American homes on a seemingly nightly basis. In his final days hosting CBS Evening News, steadfast anchorman Walter Cronkite chronicled the 444 days in which 52 Americans were held hostage in Tehran, Iran, and shocked the country as never before. Since the Iranian Revolution, the Middle East has been ubiquitous in news. Every president since Jimmy Carter has tried — and failed — to broker a peace deal between Israel and Palestine. Every Congress since 1979 has voted to send block aid to Israel and a similar amount in kind to Egypt. Having been a student of this region my whole adult life, and having served in the Middle East with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I am struck by at least three different assumptions that I frequently experience from the good folk in the pews.

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May 19 commencement will feature remarks by Middle East peace advocate Dr. Mitri Raheb

The keynote speaker for this year’s commencement exercises in the seminary’s 151st year will be the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, a powerful advocate for peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The commencement is set for 3:00 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1000 West Main Street in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Fifty-three seminarians are scheduled to receive either degrees or certificates at the exercises. Senior Class President Mark David Johnson will offer remarks on behalf of his classmates.

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LTSP Notes: April 2015

In April’s LTSP Notes, LTSP’s Chief of Safety and Security Vincent Ferguson presented appointments on two members of the Safety and Security staff, Michael Reed and Michael Fabian, and recent activities of the Rev. Dr. Karyn Wiseman.

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Class Notes: April 2015

In April’s Class Notes, North American Association for the Catechumenate’s summer gathering features alumna the Rev. Dr. Jessicah Duckworth; updates from the Rev. Chris Halverson, the Rev. David G. Berg, the Rev. Kurt Lammi, the Rev. J. Francis Watson and Moose Flores; and the passing of the Rev. Conrad W. (Bill) Weiser, the Rev. Albert C. Martin, the Rev. Dr. John T. Braughler, and the Rev. Dr. Harry G. Souders.

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PS Portions – March 2015

From the President – Metanoia Metanoia. It is one of the key terms of Lent. We often translate it as repentance, changing one’s behavior in response to spiritual conversion. But it might also be translated as a turning around, a significant change in one’s attitude and perspective that leads to a different way of doing […]

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From the President – Metanoia

Metanoia. It is one of the key terms of Lent. We often translate it as repentance, changing one’s behavior in response to spiritual conversion. But it might also be translated as a turning around, a significant change in one’s attitude and perspective that leads to a different way of doing things.

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The challenges of restoring Peter Muhlenberg’s 240-year old robe

Once she restored the Masonic apron belonging to George Washington and the Masonic sash owned by Benjamin Franklin. Textile conservator Nancy Love also recently fashioned an African American History Museum exhibit featuring about 40 costumes worn by the 1950s and 1960s rock singing sensations the Supremes.
For the past two years, she has been thinking about and working on the restoration of an estimated 240-year-old preaching robe worn by Peter Muhlenberg, the son of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, often referred to as the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in North America.

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