Class Notes – Summer 2017
The Rev. Cheryl Hoffman (MDiv 1999) | Pastor, Lutheran Church of St. Mark, Glastonbury, Connecticut
The Rev. Cheryl Hoffman began new call at Lutheran Church of St. Mark, Glastonbury, CT on Monday, July 31. Installation will be Sunday, September 10, 2017.
The Rev. Dr. H. Paul Santmire (STM 1960) | Retired
My last book, Behold the Lilies: Jesus and the Contemplation of Nature (Wipf & Stock, 2017), is in many ways my most personal statement of my longstanding – since Brother Earth: Nature, God, and Ecology in a Time of Crisis (Thomas Nelson, 1970) – preoccupation with ecological theology. I argue that Jesus commands us to contemplate nature, as well as to love and teach our human neighbors. This is a thin (!) book of self-standing reflections, which can be read in any order and is intended for two audiences, church members and others who are interested both in loving nature and in working to save this, our common home.
The Rev. Phil Shuart (MDiv 1991) | Pastor, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Las Vegas, Nevada
The Rev. Phil Shuart is starting his 17th year at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Las Vegas. Very grateful.
The Rev. Marsha Anderson (MDiv 2008) | Associate Pastor, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Raleigh, North Carolina
We give thanks for the birth of our second child, Caroline Kate Ballantine, on February , 20172. I began a new call as Associate Pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Raleigh, NC on August 7.
The Rev. Justin Lingenfelter (MDiv 2017) | Pastor, United in Christ Lutheran Church, West Milton, Pennsylvania
The Rev. Justin Lingenfelter (MDiv 2017) moved from seminary to his first call with not much more than a stop to be awarded his MDiv at the final commencement of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in May. With his first call, to United in Christ Lutheran Church in West Milton, Pennsylvania, soon came a profile in the hometown newspaper, the Standard Journal of Milton, with the appropriate title “Straight outta seminary.” Read the article on the Standard Journal website.
The Rev. Dr. Arvids Ziedonis, Jr. (BD 1958)
The Rev. Dr. Arvids Ziedonis, Jr., 86, formerly of Bethlehem, Fountain Hill, of Paradise Township, died Monday, June 26, 2017 at St. Clares Hospital, Dover, New Jersey. He was the husband of the late Zigrida M. (Vurlicer) Ziedonis, who died in 2013. Born in Daugavpils, Latvia on March 8, 1931, Dr. Arvids was a 1955 graduate from Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania and 1958 Ordained from the Philadelphia Theological Seminary. His first call was at Holy Trinity Church, Steelton in 1958 and received a call to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Fountain Hill in 1962, where he also became a professor at Muhlenberg College and created the Russian Studies department and taught language, literature, and religion. He received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. He continued both in ministry and teaching for over for an additional 40 years. Nine books and journals were a huge part of his life and legacy of inspiration and love and he will be remembered by so many for his vision in life and positive outlook.
Dr. Ziedonis was a faithful member of Latvian Lutheran Church of Quakertown/Lancaster, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Applebachsville, and Morgenland Lutheran Church, Orefield. He is survived by his children, Dr. Douglas M. Ziedonis and his wife Patrice of San Diego, California and their children Michelle & Mason; the Rev. Dr. Ruth S. Ziedonis, and Eric A. Ziedonis, all of Cresco; and sister Ilga Ziedonis-Johnson of Baltimore, Maryland.
A celebration of life was held Thursday, June 29, 2017, at the Egner Memorial Chapel at Muhlenberg College, followed by interment at the Morgenland Church Cemetery Association, 3120 Weidasville Rd, Lowhill Township, Orefield, Pennsylvania. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Living Nature Tree Memorial to be placed at Muhlenberg College. Please make checks payable to Muhlenberg College, care of Heintzelman Funeral Home, 326 Main Street, Hellertown, PA 18055.
Online expressions of sympathy can be recorded at: www.heintzelmancares.com. Arrangements by Heintzelman Funeral Home, Inc., Hellertown.
Cynthia Gillis (MDiv, Class of 2018)
It is with sadness that we learned of the death of Cynthia Gillis on July 22. Cynthia has been a student in the Urban Theological Institute (UTI) on the Philadelphia campus since 2012. She was entering her final year of studies with plans to graduate in the spring. Your prayers are asked for her family, friends and her home congregation, Hickman Temple AME Church, Philadelphia.
The Service of Triumph was held at St. John AME Church on Friday, July 28. The Rev. Donald Burems, a UTI alumnus, led the service. The eulogist was Rev. Ronald Green, Pastor at Hickman Temple.
UTI Director the Rev. Dr. Quintin Robertson noted, “Our hearts are heavy as we remember her presence on campus. Cynthia was with us during Preaching with Power this year giving God praise. May the God of comfort strengthen her family, friends, congregation and her seminary family.”
God of grace and mercy, we thank you for the gift of our sister Cynthia and we commend her to your loving care. Comfort those who grieve, especially her family and friends. Help them as they bear the pain of her death and may they not lose heart, for we know that nothing can separate us from your abiding love. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
The Rev. Dr. E. Werner Weinreich (BD 1959, DMin 1992)
The Rev. Dr. E. Werner Weinreich (BD 1959, DMin 1992) of North Tonawanda, New York, died at his home Sunday, July 2, 2017. He was 82.
Born in Brooklyn, he attended Brooklyn Technical High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Muhlenberg College and a a BD from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) in 1959.
He was ordained by the New York and New England Synod of the United Lutheran Church of America in May 1959. Following his ordination he received a Master of Arts degree in Religion from Wagner College and, in 1992, a DMin from LTSP
Rev. Weinreich served as the assistant pastor at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Buffalo for four years. He spent five years as the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Manorton and St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Churchtown before returning to Western New York in 1967 to became the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in North Tonawanda, all in Upstate New York. He served there for 30 years.
In addition to church duties Rev. Weinreich served as Dean of the Niagara Frontier District and as a theological consultant to the Bishop of the Upper New York Synod, ELCA, taught religious studies at Niagara University, University at Buffalo and Christ the King Seminary.
Following retirement, he was a dedicated member of Trinity Lutheran Church, a past member of Buffalo Lutheran Chorale, leader of exegetical study group for Western New York Synod, historian and necrologist for Upper New York Synod of the Lutheran Church and a leader of Deacon training for Western New York Synod.
Mr. Weinreich is predeceased by his wife the former Vicki M. Zollner, and survived by sons Peter and John. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center or Lutheran Charities are requested.