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PS Portions

Class Notes: April 2015

Transforming Congregations Through Spiritual Practice: Creating a Discipleship Community Gathering

Congregational leaders who envision their ministry to be “making disciples for the sake of the world” will want to attend the 2015 North American Association for the Catechumenate Annual Gathering in Baltimore to be held July 30-Aug. 1, 2015.  Popular authors and ELCA pastors Jessicah Duckworth and Paul Hoffman will speak on the theme “Transforming Congregations Through Spiritual Practice: Creating a Discipleship Community”.  This event is for pastors, seminarians, educators, musicians, and other parish leaders, and is sponsored by the North American Association for the Catechumenate, an ecumenical organization dedicated to providing faith formation resources for congregations of all denominations in the US and Canada.

Partial scholarships available for seminarians and first call pastors: contact Devra Betts, registrar, at no later than June 15. For more information about the gathering and/or to register online go to the NAAC website:

Silicon Soul coverThe Rev. Chris Halverson, MDiv 2001

Pastor at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, South Plainfield, NJ

Publication of Theological Science Fiction novel “Silicon Soul.” Amazon describes the book: “In a dystopian future an Omnipresent Ayn Rand A.I. clashes with Scripture Incarnate; they fight for the fate of America and the Soul of the Christian faith.” One Amazon online reviewer says, “This is a fascinating story with a completely unique plot and unexpected delights. The elements of faith and theology are fresh and surprising, which is surprising since I am pastor as well. I found this story compelling and very hard to put down! I strongly recommend it!”

The Rev. David G. Berg, MDiv 1970

Chaplain and CPE Supervisor, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Annapolis, MD and the University of MD Shore Regional Health System at Easton, MD

After 44 years, I retired from parish ministry, only to continue my specialized ministry as a Diplomate with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy. I serve at Anne Arundel Medical Center, Annapolis, Maryland’s third busiest medical system where, in addition to my chaplaincy, I serve on a variety of committees and supervise Clinical Pastoral Education. For the past six years, I have also served as CPE Supervisor in the University of MD Shore Regional Health System at Easton.

The Rev. Kurt LammiThe Rev. Kurt Lammi, MDiv 2008

Pastor at St Paul Lutheran Church, Dog Leg Road, Dayton OH

A paper that I wrote during my senior year at LTSP was published in the March 2015 issue of The Journal of Lutheran Ethics. The theme of the March issue is “The Dark Night of the Soul” and my paper is entitled “The Despair of the Called.” Go here for the issue (the link to my paper is halfway down the page). The summary for my paper says this: “When a layperson feels the absence of God in their life, they go to their pastor for guidance. However, what should a pastor do when they have the same experience? Lammi lifts up the examples of Mother Theresa, Martin Luther, and Augustine to demonstrate that this experience has happened to many faith leaders throughout history. Their experiences of living with and through doubt, as well as faith, provide a model for us all.”

The Nazi Spy Pastor book coverThe Rev. J. Francis Watson, PhD, MDiv 1988, STM 1989

Pastor at Christ Lutheran Church, Whiting, NJ

Pr. Watson a book published recently by Praeger Publishing on an aspect of American Lutheran history entitled The Nazi Spy Pastor: Carl Krepper and the War in America (Praeger, September 2014) The book was covered in an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer (November 30, 2014)  and in a radio interview on KYW News Radio (December 7, 2014), and I read a portion of the book on the radio on The Author’s Corner on Public Radio, on December 31, 2014.

Moose Flores in VirginiaMoose Flores, MDiv 2013


I am one quarter of the way through a road trip to see 48 states. Along the way I am catching up with friends across the country, and I’d love to crash on your couch. Follow along on Twitter: @OpenMoose and #USofMoose. The picture was taken in March, just west of Charlottesville, VA.



Dr. Conrad (Bill) WeiserThe Rev. Conrad W. Weiser, MDiv 1964

Pastor Conrad W. (Bill) Weiser died on Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

Following his ordination in 1964, Pastor Weiser served as the pastor of Peace, Reading until 1967. From 1967 to 1969 he was called to be campus pastor at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. From 1969 to 1972, Pastor Weiser was a curriculum developer, writer, and editor for the LCA’s Division for Parish Services. In 1972 he became the director of Center 1, a counseling and training center, serving there until 1976. In 1976, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod called Pastor Weiser to “tent-making ministry” which involved consulting with congregations, intervening in conflicts, working with candidacy committees and providing a range of counseling services. His work as consultant and counselor continued long after his retirement in 1994.

A celebration of his life was held Tuesday, April 7, at the Springtown Fire Company, Hellertown, PA.
Condolences may be sent to Pastor Weiser’s wife, Barbara Holmberg, at P.O. Box 367, Springtown PA 18081.

source: Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA. Read the Morning Call obituary here.

The Rev. Albert C. Martin, MDiv 1977

The Rev. Albert C. Martin, 65, of Harveys Lake, and formerly of Floral Park, New York, passed away on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at Little Flower Manor, Wilkes-Barre after a 9 year struggle with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

Following his ordination in 1977, Pastor Martin served as pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity in Hollis, NY until 1984. From 1984 until his retirement in 2009, he was the pastor of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Floral Park, New York.

A memorial service was held Saturday, April 11, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Wilkes-Barre PA 18701. A time for visitation will precede the worship service.

Condolences may be sent to Pastor Martin’s wife, Linda, at 21 Marina Drive, Harvey’s Lake PA 18618.

source: Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA and Linda Martin. Read the Times Leader obituary here.

The Rev. Dr. John T. Braughler, BD 1950

The Rev. John T. Braughler, age 93, of Friendship Village, PA, and formerly of Mt. Lebanon, died Friday, February 13, 2015. Loving husband of the late Dorothy J. Braughler; beloved father of Mark (Elisabeth), Damon (Deborah) Braughler and Rebecca (the late Ron) Block; proud grandfather of Jason (Jocelyn), Timothy (Brian), Amanda, Jeremy and Jesse; great-grandfather of Ariana and Colin; brother of Jane Baker and the late Louise Wise.

Dr. Braughler served his country in the Army Air Corps during WWII. He graduated from Thiel College in 1947 and became an ordained Lutheran minister in 1950. He received his honorary doctorate in 1968. He faithfully served as pastor to Emanuel Lutheran Church, Etna, (1950-1954), established and served as pastor to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Monroeville (1954-1965.) He also served as pastor to First Lutheran Church of Pittsburgh, Grant Street, (1966-1989.) From 1989-1996, he served numerous churches as interim pastor.

A memorial service will be planned at a later time. In lieu of flowers, family suggests contributions to

source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Rev. Dr. Harry G. Souders, BD 1968

The Rev. Dr. Harry G. Souders, 72, of McCandless Township, PA, and formerly of Leechburg, diedFebruary 24, 2015. Beloved husband of 50 years to Christie L. (Harman) Souders; also survived by his son, Justin P. (Elizabeth Hortie) Souders of Malden, MA; brother, Don M. (Nancy) Souders of Cuyahoga Falls, OH; and 5 year old twin grandsons, Andrew and Evan Souders.

Dr. Souders was a Lutheran pastor for 47 years. Memorial Service was held at Hope Lutheran Church, 8070 Rowan Road, Cranberry Township, PA 16066. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hope Lutheran Church.

source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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