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PS Portions

PS Portions: April 2015

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President David LoseFrom 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.

Read this month’s message from President Lose


The Rev. Louise JohnsonLouise Johnson named 14th President of Wartburg Seminary

Congratulations to the Rev. Louise Johnson, Vice President of Mission Advancement at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), on her appointment by the Board of Directors of Wartburg Theological Seminary as Wartburg Seminary’s 14th president.

Pr. Johnson came to LTSP in 2004 in the role of Associate Director of Admissions, and Director of Admissions in 2006. AsVice President of Mission Advancement at LTSP, Pr.Johnson’s responsibilities include strategic planning, accreditation, and alumni relations.

Read more about Pr. Johnson and her contributions to LTSP


The Rev. Keith AndersonSocial 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.”

Read and watch the video of the convocation


Stephen Albion RepassA 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.

Read more about Stephen Albion Repass and watch Pr. Quiñones tell the story


Chaplain Barry BlackPreaching with Power 2015 – Recap

Chaplain Barry C. Black’s impactful sermon traces a journey from public housing to the U.S. Senate, and this bit of prose will not do justice to the soaring rhetoric and deep substance that the Chaplain 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.

Read about Chaplain Black’s sermon plus the rest of the week – and watch videos of all the sermons and the lecture


The Rev. Dr. David D. GraftonDealing 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.

Read this resource from the Rev. Dr. David D. Grafton


LTSP Academic ShieldMay 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.

Read more about the 151st Commencement


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In 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.This month’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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