From President Phil Krey - January 2014

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Stories of Perseverance

President Krey

Dear Seminary Friends:

The stories in this edition of PS Portions are about perseverance in doing good, rooted in a deep faith and trust in God.

A sermon by Pr. John Hoffmeyer noted that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in the habit of preaching on “love of enemy” at least once a year. An article by Pr. Robert B. Robinson describes how for 16 years he has coordinated a student-led trip to rebuild houses and buildings often destroyed by storms among the Gullahs in South Carolina.

In a different vein, Pr. Katie Day’s article observing the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty observes that the nation did not persevere in its commitment to the welfare of the poor in this country. As she points out, we chose war, and diverted resources from the War on Poverty, and then we blamed its insufficiencies on personal and moral failures — thus blaming the victims for a national lack of will and perseverance when the costs for effective outcomes were going to be high.

In the face of fierce opposition to his policy of non-violence, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King persevered. I know there were many times when, as a school, we thought that we did not have the resources to sustain the Johns Island trip for which Pr. Robinson advocated fiercely. I want to thank Pr. Robinson for that perseverance as, after 16 years, it is hard to count how many lives have been helped by these work trips, and how many students became pubic leaders, as Pr. Robinson insisted these trips be student-led.

How many careful sermons interpreting texts and distinguishing law and gospel have been preached in our chapels over the 150 years of LTSP? I thank Pr. Hoffmeyer for zeroing in on a key message of the pericope assigned for the day and a message for our time.

As I write this, we are mourning the January 16 death of Dr. Robert Blanck, Esq., our long-serving trustee, Foundation Board chair, and seminary attorney who persevered in serving LTSP for almost 50 years. You can read more about Dr. Blanck, and arrangements for the funeral on Friday, January 24, here. Dr. Blanck lived out his baptismal vocation by leading publicly as a layperson, often protecting courageous young faculty who were prophetic in their teaching or commending them for even being at LTSP for that matter. He has been liberal in doing good as a result of a deeply seated faith. Knowing that he is justified by his faith in Jesus Christ he has served. Having persevered to the end, Dr. Blanck is now in the gracious hands of our God, who persevered in loving us through the sacrifice of his dear Son, Jesus Christ. God loves Dr. Blanck — and  us — still.

Philip D.W. Krey

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