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PS Portions

Class Notes – July 2014

Pr. Khalfani Drummer with a studentThe Rev. Khalfani Drummer (MDiv 1998), Senior Pastor, Gethsemane Baptist Church of Washington, DC

The Lutheran Continued Influence on a Baptist Preacher

More than two decades ago, I enrolled at LTSP in UTI program. As a Baptist pastor, I then began my journey of seminary education at a Lutheran seminary that opened its doors to non traditional students. I was fortunate in that I had the flexibility to take classes with the traditional day students as well as the night and weekend classes with UTI students. Suffice it to say that studying at LTSP was a huge blessing in my life. And as I stated publicly when I preached during Preaching With Power in 2006, “As the Apostle Paul almost persuaded King Agrippa to become a Christian, Prof. Richard Stewart almost persuaded me to become a Lutheran”.

Over the last several years, I have made cultural enrichment trips to Ghana and South Africa. In 2012 and March of 2014, I have had the privilege of visiting the Christianenburg School in Durban, South Africa, and through a foundation, I have been able to assist bringing financial resources and school supplies to a Lutheran school that is doing great things for an underprivileged community. The Bettye Yates Foundation has built a playground, library, computer lab and a science building. As this was not a “mission trip,” I thank God that through His providence I am now connect globally with the Lutheran church.

(PS: after serving 10 years as Pastor in Philadelphia, I recently celebrated my 11th anniversary as Pastor of the Gethsemane Baptist Church of Washington, DC)

Photos from South Africa: Students in the Christianenburg School.

Students at the Christianenburg School  Students at the Christianenburg School

The Rev. Bill PetersonThe Rev. Bill Peterson (MDiv 2010), Rector, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Wolfeboro, NH (beginning call August 1, 2014)

The All Saints’ Episcopal Church Vestry, through Diocese of New Hampshire Bishop Hirschfeld, has issued a Call to the Reverend William (Bill) Petersen to be their next rector, and Rev. Petersen has accepted the Call. Bill was presented to the Vestry with the enthusiastic and unanimous support of the Search Committee. He brings to All Saints Wolfeboro a unique background and set of experiences. “Bill is a blessing who comes to us through an unanticipated pathway. He is a servant leader nurtured and ordained in the Lutheran tradition and currently serving a Lutheran parish in East Hartford, CT. The Spirit works in marvelous ways,” said Lee White, Senior Warden of All Saints.

All Saints WolfeboroBill and his wife Kay have deep roots in New Hampshire. The bulk of his professional career prior to entering the ministry was in New Hampshire, including five years as dean of the School of Hospitality at Southern New Hampshire University. Bill graduated from Philadelphia Seminary in 2010. He currently serves as pastor of an ethnically diverse congregation in East Hartford, Connecticut. Bill is also Dean of the Greater Hartford Conference of the New England Synod. He was elected to this position by his peers.

Bill will begin his tenure as rector of All Saints on August 1st, meeting the congregation during the summer. “The Vestry and Search Committee feel that All Saints is blessed to receive Bill Petersen as our next rector. We are excited about the future for All Saints, building on our strong tradition of faith and practice that has been established under the leadership of past rectors. We look forward to the bold and exciting new ways that All Saints will further the kingdom of God on earth through the leadership of Rev. Bill Petersen,” added White.

The Rev. Emily HartnerThe Rev. Emily Hartner (STM 2012), Pastor, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Charlotte NC

Visit the blog of St. Mark’s High School Mission Trip to see stories of their June 2014 trip to Philadelphia. You might recognize some familiar scenes the group visited as part of their trip. Here’s one of the stops in the trip:

St. Mark's Mission Trip visiting Philabundance

The Rev. Julie Recher (MDiv 2013)

Pr. Recher was called as Associate Pastor to Atonement Lutheran Church, Wyomissing, PA on June 22, 2014.

Her story was told by Josh Francis of the Reading Eagle – find it online here.

Photo by Lauren A. Little, from the Reading Eagle article:

The Rev. Julie Recher, from the Reading Eagle

The Rev. Becca Middeke-Conlin

The Rev. Becca Middeke-Conlin (MDiv 2009), Associate Pastor, The Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit, Emmaus, PA

On Sunday, April 6, the congregation of the Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit voted to call The Reverend Becca Middeke-Conlin to serve as Associate Pastor. Pr. Becca is a graduate the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire (mathematics) and of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and has been serving as the Pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Georgetown, CT for the past five years. Pastor Becca will be serving as a full- time pastor of the congregation with special responsibilities in Faith Formation for Youth and Young adults, Rejoicing Spirits, the Information Technology team, and our Ministry in Daily Life Mission Team. She will be installed August 10, at 7 pm.

Pastor Becca is married to Bob, her husband of eight years. Bob is a PhD candidate, currently studying at University of Paris – Diderot. Bob anticipates completing his dissertation in November and then will likely pursue post-doctoral opportunities for further study. Their plans eventually include Bob securing an academic opportunity within commuting distance of Emmaus.

Source: Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod (ELCA), Holy Spirit Emmaus; photo from Facebook

The Rev. Rick SummyThe Rev. Rick Summy (MDiv 1985), Senior Pastor, Atonement Lutheran Church, Wyomissing, PA

Haley Summy, daughter of Rick Summy and step-daughter of Christine Summy (MAR 2014), was married to Kyle Lease at Atonement Lutheran Church, Wyomissing, PA, on May 24, 2014. The Rev. Louise Johnson, vice president for mission advancement at the seminary, presided.


The Rev. Joe IrvinThe Rev. Joe Irvin (MDiv 1980), Senior Pastor, St. Peter Lutheran Church, Prairie du Chien, WI

I am beginning my 7th year at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Prairie du Chien, WI following 23 years, and two congregations served in the Grand Canyon Synod. I would love to hear from some of my seminary friends!


The Rev. John Deisinger (MDiv 1964), Part-time Intentional Interim Pastor, Friedens Lutheran Church, Friedensville, PA

My wife of 51 years, Joan, died January 2, 2014, after a 17-year struggle with cancer and autoimmune diseases.

The Rev. Al Martin (MDiv 1977)

For those of Al’s classmates who weren’t aware, Al was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2006. He is currently in a nursing home in Wilkes Barre, Pa., and is at end stage. He is under hospice care. Please keep him in your prayers. Thanks so much. Peace and blessings to you all.

– Linda Martin

The Rev. Gregory Peter Dzwonczyk (MDiv) has died

The Rev. Gregory DzwonczykThe Rev. Gregory Peter Dzwonczyk, 69, of Cape Coral passed away June 29, 2014 at Hope Hospice House. He was born in Newark, NJ in 1944 to Harry and Alberta Dzwonczyk. Gregory received his bachelors degree in Psychology from Kean University in E. Orange, NJ. He later earned his Master of Divinity from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.

Gregory served as Pastor at several churches including Bethel Lutheran Church in Trenton, NJ and King of Kings in Middletown, NJ. He retired to Florida in 2005.

Gregory was a member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Cape Coral. He will be remembered as an avid sports enthusiast who loved his family dearly.

Survivors include his wife Dolores Boyce, two sons Joseph and Matthew Dzwonczyk, four grandchildren and four great grand children. He was predeceased by son Richard “Ricky,” who died in 2013.

Read the full obituary here. Photo from Fuller Metz Cremation and Funeral Services.

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