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THE PHILADELPHIA SEMINARY MAGAZINE 

Here Come the

Message from the president 

In her probing piece on the “Nones” and challenges facing today’s church, Professor Karyn Wiseman calls out the critical importance of adapting the seminary’s curriculum. Dr. Wiseman writes about “taking seriously the context of the world as it is and as it is becoming.” She notes that LTSP is striving to teach students about “new types of ministry and new kinds of communities of faith” and how to utilize social media and technology familiar to today’s audiences — “nones” and more traditional people of faith alike. She tells of training our students with a theological, historical, and biblical undergirding “that is relevant and in tune with today’s thinking and questioning.” I’m thinking that Henry Melchior Muhlenberg would be proud, as I am, to see how his “adaptive” legacy is being lived out at our seminary and by so many of today’s graduates.

Keeping context in our curriculum
AS you reAD THIS ISSue of PS I am sure you will find, as I did, the issue of “context” for ministry keeps coming up. Dr. Karl Krueger, LTSP’s Library Director, tells us how Lutheran Patriarch Henry Melchior Muhlenberg arrived from Germany to the colonial frontier in Pennsylvania without any primer or guide to tell him how to minister effectively in a land and context dramatically different from what he had known before. He had to adapt — and quickly. The challenge for our graduates today is not so very different from the entrepreneurial challenges Muhlenberg came to embrace. They are inheriting a context for ministry very different from the one they knew growing up. According to Pew research, 32 percent of young people under 30 are identifying themselves as “Nones,” not relating to any formal religious affiliation. The numbers of older persons identifying this way are increasing as well in recent years. How are our pastors to accomplish ministry in such a setting, called “post-Christian” by some? As Muhlenberg did, many of today’s pastors are deciding to adapt. In Dorchester, Massachusetts, recent graduate Tiffany Chaney describes taking ministry to the streets, engaging strangers she meets in questions that are relevant to their lives. She explained she has enjoyed lengthy conversations on the community’s park benches beyond the church’s walls. In Baltimore, Maryland, Pastor Mark Parker has instituted a variety of ministry approaches beyond church walls too, including visiting a neighborhood taproom Thursday nights to engage those he meets in whatever is on their minds. Alumna rozella White is newly engaged by the evangelical Lutheran Church in America to revive a Ministry with young Adults. White also acknowledges, as Muhlenberg did, that she has no “roadmap” for what she will strive to accomplish. She is determined to use social media and many other kinds of networks, such as campus ministry and military chaplaincies, to engage today’s young adults in conversations and mutual discovery. She praises our faculty for teaching about the importance of knowing the context in your midst before engaging a strategy for ministry.

PRESIDENT PHILIP D. KREY

EDITOR/DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

Merri L. Brown
WRITERS

John Kahler Mark A. Staples
PHOTOGRAPHY

PS MAGAZINE  SPRING 2013 FEATURES
Here Come the “Nones”......................................................................................5 Rozella White: Helping the Church Reconnect ........................7 Mark Parker: Reinventing Church ..........................................8 Tiffany Chaney: Getting to Know the “Nones” ......................11 Jon Pahl: MAPL at LTSP......................................................12 150 years and Counting....................................................................................14 The Last Word......................................................................Inside back cover

Merri L. Brown John Kahler Jim roese
DESIGN

Gene Gilroy
EDITORIAL BOARD

Merri L. Brown David D. Graon Donald G. Johnson Louise N. Johnson Philip D. Krey John V. Puotinen Quintin robertson J. Jayakiran Sebastian
CORRESPONDENCE

DEPARTMENTS
offerings ................................................................................................................2 Alumni News ......................................................................................................15 News and Notes ..................................................................................................16 Faculty/Staff Activities ..................................................................16 Passages/In Memoriam ................................................................18 Philanthropy........................................................................................................19 Around Admissions ..........................................................................................20

PS, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119 Telephone: 215.248.6311 or 1.800.286.4616 email: communications@Ltsp.edu Visit us online: Ltsp.edu
PS is a publication of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and is distributed without charge to alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the seminary.

© Copyright 2013 The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia Volume 95
Centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia seeks to educate and form public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world.

Expanded Story!
The New York Times is known for its motto “All the news that is fit to print, ” and in this era of change, PS is taking a different approach. In order to be good stewards of resources, both natural and financial, many of the articles in this issue have expanded and in-depth versions on the Web. Follow the article links to read the expanded versions online.

PAGE 5: Prof. Karyn Wiseman explores the phenomenon of “the religiously unaffiliated. ”

PAGE 15: Alumni News

INSIDE BACK COVER: The Last Word

OFFERINGS
Preaching With Power
The 31st annual Preaching with Power: A Forum on Black Preaching and Theology returned to Philadelphia on Sunday, March 10, 2013 to start a week of music, worship, preaching and learning with distinguished African American preachers, theologians, and musicians. Preaching with Power is a program of the 32 year old Urban Theological Institute (UTI) of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP).

LoCAL CHurCHeS IN THe PHILADeLPHIA CoMMuNITy host the evening worship services. The lecture and music celebration is held on the LTSP campus. each year the offering goes to The rev. Dr. Joseph Q. Jackson endowed Scholarship fund, which benefits uTI students. Sunday began Preaching with Power week with a Celebration of Music in the African American Church hosted by Janes Memorial united Methodist Church pastor the rev. Dr. Andrew foster, pastor. LTSP Associate Director of Music Ministries, Sheila Booker, assembled singers, choirs, musicians and dancers who enlivened the church with powerful music and celebration. Participants included the mass choir of Monumental Baptist Church, Vince Memorial Baptist Church chancel choir, Ms. Devonne Gardner, the Main Line Interdenominational Choir, Ms. Diane Dixon, Soaring eagles liturgical dancers, Sounds of Joy!, Ms. yvonne Lembo, Sound of 57th Street, and the acclaimed gospel choir of The African episcopal Church of St. Thomas. Bishop Peggy A. Johnson of the eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conferences of the united Methodist Church brought greetings from the host denomination. Preaching began Monday, March 11at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown with The Rev. Dr. Ralph D. West. Tuesday morning

saw a lecture by Dr. Yolanda Pierce, elmer G. Homrighausen Associate Professor of African American religion and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary, with Tuesday evening bringing an ecumenical service to reformation Lutheran Church with the tenth Bishop of the episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania The Rt. Rev. Nathan D. Baxter preaching. ecumenism continued in the Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel on Wednesday with The Rev. Dr. Alyn E. Waller, senior pastor of enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, Philadelphia, preaching. Bishop Martin Luther Johnson, jurisdictional Bishop for the first ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of New Jersey, Church of God in Christ, preached at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ Wednesday evening. The week of powerful preaching concluded on Thursday with recently appointed Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram, who leads the first episcopal District of the African Methodist episcopal Church, which covers the Bermuda, New Jersey, Delaware, New england, New york, Western New york and Philadelphia Conferences, preaching at Mt. Pisgah African Methodist episcopal Church. Donations to the J. Q. Jackson endowed Scholarship fund and orders for recordings of the week’s preaching can be made on the Preaching with Power website: Ltsp.edu/PWP13.

Opening the Sunday music worship with a combined choir including LTSP students and guest choir members.

Bishop Peggy Johnson joins in singing and ASL signing a hymn.

Sheila Booker leading a choir selection.

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LTSP’s New Curriculum
In order to serve the church in an ever-changing world, the faculty of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia has done considerable work to develop a new curriculum for first professional programs, which will be instituted with the fall semester of 2013.

THe CurrICuLuM CoNTeNT IS BASeD oN CArefuL reVIeW of the church’s context and requirements mandated by our accrediting bodies. The curriculum is closely connected to the seminary’s mission statement, “Centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia seeks to educate and form public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world.“ The rev. Dr. David Grafton, LTSP Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor, Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim relations, led the seminary’s re-accreditation efforts, and reflects on the new curriculum: “A model for theological education that has been the basis for training an educated clergy has been in place for quite a long time in North America. The concept of learning the ‘classics’ of seminary education ... before heading out into the reality of parish contexts has been a wonderful model that has served the church well. “unfortunately, that model is no longer sustainable for several reasons. My experience taught me that ‘book learning’ was critical. And yet … I could truly never learn enough to be a good pastor. It was clear I would need to be a life-long learner in the ministry. This is even truer today. “I was also fortunate enough to have the institutional support of the church to subsidize my education at every level. My synod provided grants … my congregation underwrote my Lutheran seminary education, and a Lutheran companion synod provided a stipend while I worked on my PhD overseas. Throughout this time, my wife worked to help support us and still we went into debt. As we know, seminary debt is an overwhelming challenge in the church today. “[I] was welcomed by a first-call congregation that was more than willing to provide a parsonage and health care for a young pastor, spouse, and babies on the way.

TWO LTSP FACULTY WERE AWARDED FACULTY CHAIRS during the 2012-13 academic year. A chairing is a special academic event which includes presentation of the chair and a lecture by the chaired professor. Dr. Jon Pahl was conferred the honor of the Peter Paul and elizabeth Hagan endowed Chair in the History of Christianity on November 27, 2012, and the rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian was conferred the H. George Anderson faculty Chair for Mission and Cultures on April 23, 2013.
Photos, videos and more are online at Ltsp.edu/Chairing.

Dr. Jon Pahl

The Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian

“In many ways, times have changed, but in most ways, things are still the same. We still need pastors and lay leaders who are thoroughly grounded in the scriptures and confessions, who are able to meet the challenges of ministry in today’s world with integrity. However, in many places, the national demographics, church culture, networks, and resources that I grew up with have changed and will continue to change. Things are changing so fast that it is impossible to train a student once for a lifetime of effective ministry. “LTSP serves the seminary’s mission of preparing public leaders for the mission of the church in the world… The seminary is committed to shaping Christian leaders who are able to articulate their faith within multiple publics... This new curriculum will build upon its past traditions of a confessionally Lutheran, inherently ecumenical seminary, with a high standard of academic rigor. The mantra of this new curriculum is: flexible, affordable, and relevant.”

The Rev. Dr. David Grafton Read more of his reflection at Ltsp.edu/NewCurriculum.

Expanded Story!

Full details of the new Master of Divinity (MDiv) and Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) can be found online at Ltsp.edu/NewCurriculum.
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OFFERINGS
The Shaeffer-Ashmead Chapel and William Allen Plaza

LTSP NAMED A TREE CAMPUS USA FOR THE FOURTH TIME LILLIAN J. SCOGGINS MUSIC ROOM
LILLIAN SCoGGINS SerVeD LTSP AND THe KrAuTH MeMorIAL LIBrAry (KML) for SeVerAL DeCADeS, retiring in the 1990s. She is fondly remembered by seminarians, faculty and library staff who worked with her and were helped by her. on April 26, 2012, LTSP and the library staff assembled in the lower level of the library to dedicate the Lillian J. Scoggins Music room, a space set aside for library guests to listen to music, view videos, or simply read a book. Lillian’s service at KML started when Dr. Luther reed directed the library, continued through the renovation in 1975 under the leadership of Dr. Helmut Lehmann, and into the long directorship of David Wartluft where she catalogued books in oCLC. The late Professor John reumann acknowledged Lillian in his last published work on Philippians. Lillian is also a noted soprano, and was featured in the audio release Philadelphia Seminary Choir: Highlights from 1955 to 1984, which commemorated the 30th anniversary of Dr. robert Bornemann’s direction of the LTSP choir. The next time you visit KML, be sure to spend some time in the Scoggins Music room, a living testimony to a wonderful saint who served KML for decades, who loves music and still sings in the choir at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Germantown.
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THe LuTHerAN THeoLoGICAL SeMINAry AT PHILADeLPHIA (LTSP) IS A Tree CAMPuS uSA for the fourth year in a row, the Arbor Day foundation announced in early March. Tree Campus uSA is a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Toyota helped launch the program and continues its generous financial support this year. LTSP achieved the title by meeting Read More! Tree Campus uSA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory Read more about the committee, a campus tree-care plan, Tree Campus USA program dedicated annual expenditures toward and LTSP’s award at trees, an Arbor Day observance and Ltsp.edu/TreeCampus. student service-learning projects. “Students are eager to volunteer in their communities and become better stewards of the environment,” said John rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day foundation. “Participating in Tree Campus uSA sets a fine example for other colleges and universities, while helping to create a healthier planet for all of us.” “Toyota is so proud to support a program that we believe has a tremendous impact on both reducing the environmental footprint of a college campus and inspiring college students to become the conservation leaders of the future,” said Patricia Salas Pineda, Group Vice President, National Philanthropy and the Toyota uSA foundation, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

What is a LUTHERAN FLASHMOB?
Ltsp.edu/FlashMob

Ltsp.edu

Here Come the “

N

Diverse leadership model

religiously independent

Perhaps … If We Create Something for Them to Come to
THE REV. DR. KARYN L. WISEMAN A feW MoNTHS AGo, I was taking a flight back from a conference in Texas. I settled into my seat, ready for a nice quiet ride home. I was excited that the seat next to me was empty, and was actually hoping no one would take it. Just before the flight attendant closed the doors, a young man boarded and headed back into the main cabin. I thought “Please, don’t be sitting here” for a moment, and then felt guilty as the guy took the empty seat. I said, “Hey,” and he responded, “Whew, just made it.” As the plane took off, I asked where he was from, and we talked for a few minutes about our home state — we were both from Texas. I didn’t further the conversation, and, when the announcement was made that electronics were allowed, I got my iPad out to watch a movie. About the same time I was reaching for my headphones to plug in and tune out, he asked what I did for a living. I often hesitate on this, replying simply that I’m a graduate school professor. of course, he was a graduate student and wanted to know what I taught. I replied I teach preachers how to preach and am a pastor myself. “Wow,” he said, “folks are still doing that? I thought with the church dying and all, people wouldn’t be going into that business anymore.” Wow! ouch! When Tim (not his real name) was a teenager, his grandmother started taking him to church with her every Sunday. She feared he was headed in the wrong direction in his life without God and the church. raised by parents who did not have a positive experience in the congregation they had attempted to attend, they had turned their backs on the church and did not raise their children in the church. Tim understood that faith and the church were important to his grandmother, so under duress he agreed to attend. He went to Sunday school, youth group, and sat through sermons he described as boring and not in any way related or relevant to him or his life experiences. He reminded me he only did it for his grandmother. He saw a worshipping community with no connection to the music, technology, media, or the life he was living in his Monday-Saturday existence. It was not “his thing,” he said.

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Much ink has been spilled ABOUT THE PHENOMENON OF “THE RELIGIOUSLY UNAFFILIATED.”
one of the phrases often associated with this group is the “Nones.” The title of the Pew forum on religion & Public Life october 2012 report tells the story. (“Nones” on the Rise: One-in-Five Adults Have No Religious Affiliation. See report at Ltsp.edu/PewNones) Looking more closely at the generational data, 32 percent of adults under the age of 30 fall within the category. In 1950, just a miniscule two percent of persons claimed no religious affiliation. This new reality must be addressed. The changing dynamics of this growing population will impact the future of the institutional church as much or more than it is already impacting its present. Naming this group “Nones” suggests that these persons have no faith or spirituality whatsoever. But my conversation with Tim — one of many I have had over the last few years — and a number of religion and spirituality studies show that “spiritual but not religious” is a real thing. Christian Piatt invites us to call them “religiously independent” rather than “the Nones.” No matter what we call them, they are indeed spiritual, connected to a larger purpose, a Spirit, a Divinity, or a Supreme Being of some kind. But the institutional church is not part of their lives. Some not of this generation see this as being incompatible, but those in this category do not. A summary of the Pew study shows, in a nutshell, that this group: • is comprised of atheists and agnostics, as well as those who ally with “nothing in particular” • includes many who identify as spiritual or religious in some way and pray every day • overwhelmingly says they are not looking to find an organized religion that would be right for them • is socially liberal, with three-quarters favoring same-sex marriage and legal abortion. offering opportunities for social advocacy, and being an open and affirming community, is something that those who are looking find important. Being the church means we should be open to conversation around these tough issues, and willing to actively be the church in the world in personal and powerful ways. This can potentially turn the tide for this group in some ways. The one place where many of these folks are not a part — the church — has to own up to this reality and find a way to be open to the impending crunch of questioning folks in the world. We, as the church, are called to minister in the context of the world as we find it, not as we wish it were. Ministering to this new reality has to happen. Some define today as a post-Christian era, where the time of intense Christian influence and assumptions of religious affiliation for the majority are gone. one of the emerging church writers holding this opinion, Dan Kimball, shares that, without understanding that Christians are virtually foreigners in this post-Christian world, the church is destined to be lost in the modern era. Diana Butler Bass, a highly respected author on the church today, states that the generative church, the church that takes seriously the changes in the culture and acts accordingly to engage these new generations and groups, has tremendous possibilities. Individually and in groups or congregations, Christian folks and “Nones” alike engage in deeply spiritual practices and have participated in profound social justice ministry. Sometimes, these are done by both groups without knowing they have deep roots in Christian history. Many who have grown uncomfortable with the institutional church still find themselves part of spiritual — faithful and principled — living. Those inside the church need to connect to the “Nones” and others outside the church. yet too many faith communities live within a religiously focused bubble and most people they know live within the same or similar bubbles. Inviting others into the “church bubble” is difficult. They know so few who are outside the bubble. The church must expand its bubble and church people have to expand theirs. The transformative act the church and Christian people need is to stop living inside a bubble altogether. Wouldn’t that be amazing? continues on page 9

faithful and principled

Seeing a very different picture

Positive agent for change in the world
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Alumna Rozella H. White’s new passion: Helping the church reconnect with young adults
rozeLLA H. WHITe, A 2010 GrADuATe from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) with a Master of Arts in religion, is embarking on a pioneer venture as the evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (eLCA) Program Director for young Adult Ministry. White is a self-proclaimed “church nerd” and a third-generation Lutheran. In her new post, started March 11, she began working on brand new ways to lead the church in reconnecting to a young adult population “that often is not found in our churches. It is less about getting them into church than it is about connecting with them where they are. Many young adults are telling us they are not spiritual or believers in God. They are not so much against God and faith, but they are not connected. They are finding our churches irrelevant — not authentic.” White said she will need to discover “by what barometer” today’s young adults might begin to see the church as authentic again. “It is a risk for the eLCA and a risk for me personally,” she said. “It means finding another way to be the body of Christ, using networks that connect with young adults in nontraditional settings in order to develop new and authentic relationships.” The networks she will employ in her work include “people” networks like campus ministry programs, camps, military chaplaincies, and social networks such as facebook and Twitter. “We want to be a presence with this population, hear their life stories and concerns and be a presence with them. Accompanying people theologically is one of the gifts of the eLCA. It is who we are. All of us experience what it means to struggle and suffer. We want to uphold young adults for who they are, help them find meaning and connect with them. Most of them are not looking for answers. They value being heard. They care a great deal about justice and service to others. In terms of congregations, this will not mean throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It means reaching out to a population that does not agree with being part of a traditional church setting. It means we are thinking about the importance of the voices not now present in that church setting. We will work at being authentic without bearing the burden of conversion.” As a young woman in her early 30s, White has accomplished much. She graduated cum laude from Texas Southern university in 2007 with a degree in sociology, and graduated from LTSP with honors. While at LTSP she earned two awards — the Leroy Aden Scholarship in Pastoral Care and the Joseph Q. Jackson Award for Academic excellence. She became a Certified youth and family Minister in 2002 while part of Wartburg Seminary’s Center for youth Ministries, and in 2010 was certified as a Disaster Chaplain with the National Disasters Interfaith Network. White has worked as an independent contractor for the eLCA in areas of leadership training and support, strategic planning, and program development. from 2002 to 2007 she served as Ministry Coordinator for youth and family Ministry for the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the eLCA, creating a youth leadership development program for the synod and overseeing youth gatherings for as many as 450 young adults and youth. from 2010 to 2012 she was Minister for youth and families and young Adults at Lutheran Church of the redeemer in Atlanta, Georgia. “Life is about being so much more than oneself,” she explained. “It has to do with a way of being in the world. I began to feel comfortable with becoming a public theologian. It was a new way of being. At one time I felt I would need to be dragged kicking and screaming into seminary study, but when I was at LTSP I knew I was supposed to be there.” “I really enjoyed my experience at LTSP,” she said. “The professors, my peers, and the location of the school were all I needed. The seminary gave me the educational foundation to practice ministry in a rapidly changing landscape.”

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LTSP graduate Mark Parker is “reinventing Church” in Southeast Baltimore
PASTor MArK PArKer IS PLAyING A LeAD roLe in “reinventing” Breath of God (formerly St. Paul’s) Lutheran Church in the Highlandtown section of southeast Baltimore, Maryland, about two and a half miles from where he grew up in the city’s downtown. And to hear him talk about it, the 2007 LTSP graduate is having a blast. “I can’t be in my office,” he said. “I just have to be out and about in the neighborhood meeting people, building relationships. They see me now as more than a person wearing a collar. When I attend special events, meetings or festivals, it is easy to have a conversation.” And the conversation can lead in any number of directions. Thursday nights at 8 o’clock, Parker shows up at the Laughing Pint, a neighborhood pub, wearing his collar. “A bar is actually a great place to meet people, hang out and get into conversations, even Christian conversations. People in that climate will open up to you and ask you questions,” Parker said. He remembers an advanced class with Professor Timothy Wengert on relating the Confessions to “actions that benefit somebody else ... The newer people connecting with Breath of God Church usually don’t have a Lutheran background,” Parker said. “That is not why they are there in church. But my seminary study, connecting to my classmates, and doing field work and internship in West Philadelphia all taught me how to preach and teach, be authentic and deliver a radically different message about faith, the Bible, and the grace of God in a way they may never have heard it before.” How did Mark Parker “come home” to do neighborhood ministry in his hometown? St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was 110 years old when Parker arrived in 2009. The community of row homes located about 15 blocks from Baltimore’s downtown consists of 25 per cent Latino residents, 25 percent African Americans, 25 percent white, mostly elderly persons,

and 25 percent young professionals, far different from when the congregation was founded. The dwindling membership of 25 invited Parker to re-energize the mission to be relevant to the church’s neighbors. More than three years later, about 75 percent of the congregation reflects its diverse neighborhood, and is from a wide variety of churched and unchurched backgrounds. “original” parishioners, who frequently do not live in the immediate community, wholeheartedly endorse the new church direction. “I just started going out to meet people,” Parker recalled. “I met 15 to 20 people or so who became a core group agreeing to help Breath of God Church make a fresh start” under the new name. “The first month we joined Habitat for Humanity to help build a house in the neighborhood. each month after that I invited neighbors to be part of a service project in the community. We started a basketball program. We had special events on Halloween and for Thanksgiving.” Preserved were a weekly “Make Sandwiches for the Homeless” program, moved from noon to 5 o’clock pm so working people could take part, and a parish nurse health education and support program.

“When I was in seminary I took evening and Saturday classes so I would get to know seminarians from other traditions,” he recalled. “Those classmates of mine were so helpful in expanding my knowledge, and their assistance and knowledge helps me enormously in this ministry. I meet people from those backgrounds every day on the street.” Parker acknowledges the challenges facing the neighborhoods around the church, and “no shortage of ways you can get involved.” Poverty has taken a tighter grip on the community during the economic downturn. “We have a lot of men who are part of the construction trades in the community. Many families have been on the edge and lost a great deal. our neighborhoods are actually safer than the perception many people have of urban communities, but it can be hard to grow up here. We have some moms and dads involved in addictive behaviors. We have some criminal activity here, and about onehalf the boys are gang members by the time they reach the age of 18. It can be hard for young boys in the community to have a good role model.”

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once the national president of the Lutheran Student Movement, Parker said he was transformed by participating in a mentoring program for youth while a university of Maryland student. He has begun a similar program at Breath of God. Parker grew up with parents he is grateful for, attending Christ Lutheran Church not far from where he now serves. “My pastors encouraged me. So did Chaplain elizabeth Platz at the university of Maryland. I decided to attend LTSP because it was an urban seminary concerned about urban churches and ministry.” He warmly recalled theological conversations with classmates and faculty in the seminary’s refectory. “All of the time,” Parker said he engages folks referred to in a recent Pew research Study as “Nones.” “In our community, the 25 percent of residents who are young professionals have a higher percentage of ‘Nones’ than the national average,” he said. “My ministry is one of presence,” he said. “I want to be there. I want to have a relationship with all the folks around me. So I go out to meet and greet them. The people I meet in the park or in the pub may never decide to hang out in church. But I am there to open doors for them and invite them to ask questions. Some of them have been ‘burned’ by what they will call a judgmental church experience in their past lives. They ask questions about topics like abortion, gay and lesbian lifestyles, even clergy sexual abuse, as well as how faith can help them in their lives. “Later on when the idea of a wedding comes up, or they need a funeral for a family member,” Parker said, “my name will sometimes come to mind, and I can be there for them...” Parker and his wife, Christine, also an LTSP graduate, moved into a home close to the church a couple of years ago. They have a 2-year-old son, Luke. Christine is pastor of Lord of Life Lutheran Church in edgewood, a suburb north of Baltimore.

The church often expects a new response while continuing to do “things the way they have always been done.” We do what worked in the past and expect a new response. We continue to invite our members to bring new persons to church, yet they are often people who are within the same bubble as the members. When I started teaching at LTSP, I was one of a few faculty members well versed in the emerging trends in the church. That is no longer the case. our faculty has prepared a new curriculum, pedagogically designed to take fully into account what we believe the church “will be” in the future. All curriculum evaluation and revision conversations are aimed at making teaching and learning more relevant to the church of the present and the church that needs to be — in ministry to, and with, the new generations not growing up in the church, a church that is part of the world in relevant and important ways. A curriculum that takes this changing cultural and religious reality seriously means a curriculum contextually relevant and adaptive to multiple ministry situations, a new curriculum with an issue-based learning style. All current and future classes will be adapting to be in tune with this pedagogy. Students will be learning while analyzing and assessing situations happening both in the church and in the world. Meeting the needs of the growing “religiously independent” generations instead of simply maintaining the church as it is presently known is a priority. understanding that the church has a future in the midst of all of this change is important. We have to prepare pastors to minister to and with the church that is present today, but we also have to create a church for the future. Despite dire warnings about the death throes of the institutional church, there are signs of hope. In a recent uS Congregational Life Survey Project study, there were some significant signs of life in five areas of the church. First, the study found congregations are more active in mission and outreach outside their church walls. The church is moving out of a period, for many, of isolation and insular concern. Churches are working on justice ministries, feeding the hungry, engaging in community advocacy, and donating more than money to these types of ministry than in previous surveys. They are doing hands-on ministry, transforming the lives of those participating and those with whom they are doing ministry. This kind of outreach means the church is working in ways that reflect the call of the Gospel in powerfully compelling ways. young adults are increasingly calling for more active engagement in the world. A church that moves out of its comfort zone and beyond its walls to participate in ministry around the corner, and around the globe, is a church with potential to reach new generations. Second, congregations are filled with more and more educated members. Church-goers have higher academic achievement, and “[t]hese highly educated worshipers having high expectations about the content/style of worship, how decisions are made, and the efficiency of congregational ‘achievement,’” said researcher Cynthia Woolever. Active engagement with higher expectations, planning, and development beyond the pastor is a sign of shared leadership and collegial planning important for the future of the church. encouraging members and those in the community to share in making plans for worship, ministry, and engagement makes a church with potential to reach new generations. Third, churches are more likely to be engaged in the use of social media and technology. Many studies have found that churches are regularly utilizing social media, including email and websites, to keep up with members, share joys and concerns, and advertise upcoming events. Almost 70 percent of churches have websites where they post opportunities for service, podcasts of sermons, and calendars of upcoming events. Many more utilize email for similar activities.

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HERE COME THE “NONES” Join the Discussion!
There’s more to this story on our website and we’d love to hear what you think. Go to Ltsp.edu/Nones to read the full text of Dr. Wiseman’s article and send us your comments either online in the comments section at the end of the story or email communications@Ltsp.edu. Head to our site at the following links to find out more about the people featured in this article. Ltsp.edu/RozellaWhite Ltsp.edu/MarkParker Ltsp.edu/TiffanyChaney

In addition, more than 30 percent of churches now use technology in worship to project images on screens or the walls of the sanctuary, including still and moving images, announcements, and/or sermon materials. “Newer media forms such as facebook, blogs, texting, and streaming media are still less prevalent, but are nevertheless beginning to transform the ways religious groups interact and enhance their sense of community.” This is constantly changing. young adults, the major force on facebook just a few years ago, are now more apt to be on Instagram or Pinterest. Keeping up with the media practices of your community is important. Technology is not the “if you build it they will come” answer to a changing culture, but it is very important to many of those in younger generations. Fourth, there is a shift in diversity, at least in the area of leadership. While women still make up 60 percent of membership of the institutional church, they were only 20 percent of pastoral leadership in 2000. Today, women make up almost 30 percent. Being more inclusive and diverse is not happening in every denomination or congregational cohort, but it is consistently increasing, making many in the church hopeful for the future. ever expanding diversity around race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation is also needed. A diverse leadership model exhibited by the church has potential to reach new generations. Lastly, worship in the US Congregational Life Survey was found to be more connective and to create opportunities for persons to feel a closer experience with and connections to God. Nine out of ten worshippers said the worship they experienced helped them in their daily lives. This kind of relevancy for worshippers is an important piece of data to celebrate. This is a significant increase from earlier studies. The rise in people seeing and feeling relevancy in worship is a powerful indicator for the future of the church. They are experiencing a connection to their lives through being part of worship. A church that seeks to be relevant and in union with its context is a church that has potential to reach new generations. Churches must put their own preferences aside for those of the community of which they are a part. Church folks typically do things that are comfortable to them and are normative to their expectations and preferences. Not all, but some, are seeking a place where their needs are, at the very least, taken into account. Churches which move outside of their comfort zones to offer worship, ministry, and educational options relevant to those they wish to reach get to know their context by walking the streets, meeting neighbors, visiting coffee shops, spending time reading to kids at the local schools, or holding community conversations, to name but a few. Spending time listening to others in the community is vital. Churches must also be courageous in creating new kinds of faith experiences — not for these persons, but with them, after conversations within their context. Pastors must lead their people into acts of change. These pastors and leaders must often take risks, perhaps even risking their jobs, to propel churches to engage the possibilities set before them. What most of our churches are doing today is not working. We have to own that fact and make a decision to either engage new opportunities or maintain the status quo, recognizing that the decision to stay the current course will impact the future in ways the church may not like. continues on page 12

Engage new opportunities

or maintain the status quo?
Signs of hope
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Tiffany Chaney: A Mission developer getting to know the “Nones” on the streets of Dorchester, MA
LTSP GrADuATe TIffANy CHANey, MDiv ’12, who served her fourth-year internship in lively and diverse Dorchester, Massachusetts, is a mission developer initiating a new ministry focus in the neighborhood of some 120,000 residents, Boston’s largest. She was ordained June 9, 2013 at the evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (eLCA) New england Synod Assembly and is now pastor at a mission “church” simply called “The Intersection” — a place where she hopes Dorchester’s African American, White, Hispanic, and Asian neighbors may come to feel comfortable, to connect, to talk about the lives they lead, and to exchange stories of faith. “The neighborhood is my parish,” Chaney said. “I spend a lot of time out in the community talking to people, hearing their stories.” The context of Dorchester reminds her of the “richly diverse” seminary community of students, staff and faculty, and of the seminary’s Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, community. Chaney, originally from Mobile, Alabama, visits coffee shops, restaurants, and stores, where she meets people “with a variety of faith stories, or those who say they have no faith at all. I’ve found the best way to understand the perspective of the ‘Nones’ is to talk to the Nones.” “I’ve found so far that people who say they do not have a faith fall into one of several categories,” Chaney said. “They used to go to church years ago but became disenchanted by what happened there. or, they do not see the church having an impact on their ‘real’ lives once Sunday worship is over, or, they have nothing against the church really, but they are busy with other activities with their children, their other interests and work. “I have found in the context where I serve pastoral skills are regularly used when engaging unchurched people,” Chaney said. “Communication skills are important as well as problem-solving skills. My training in family Systems Theory also helps. I’ve had conversations on park benches, done relationship counseling on the front steps of the church and prayed with people on street corners.” Before attending seminary, Chaney honed a broad base of educational and practical experience that helps her these days. She earned three degrees from the university of Alabama at Birmingham — a BS in finance, an MBA, and an MS in Health Administration. She worked as System Director of Business Development at Baptist Health in Montgomery, Alabama. A seminary class she found especially helpful in engaging the unchurched was a summer intensive session with the eLCA’s Directors of evangelical Mission from the denomination’s region 7. “odds are, the ‘Nones’ in the community we serve aren’t going to walk into the church building,” Chaney said. “If I am going to engage them, I have to be where they are in the community — talking and laughing, hanging out in the coffee shop, serving in the community, and caring about the things that matter to them. “I, along with the increasingly diverse faith community that is starting to form at The Intersection, have to first live the love of Christ out in the community,” Chaney explained, “if we are ever going to expect those who have stayed away from the church for one reason or another to come into the building to worship, learn, and grow in faith in Jesus Christ with us.” Chaney said The Intersection is birthed from a long, rich history of Lutheran ministry in the Dorchester community, where our Savior Lutheran Church was at the mission’s location, 500 Talbot Avenue, for 93 years. Additional outreach includes Saturday morning community prayer experiences where “we pray for people, homes and businesses in the community,” Chaney said. A faith Stories Bible Studies series is held Tuesday evenings.

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MAPL at LTSP: A Program for “the Nones?”
BY JON PAHL, PhD, DIRECTOR OF MA PROGRAMS, LTSP

Another truth about younger generations is that, when asked to state what turns them away from the church, they define the institutional church as hypocritical, judgmental, and anti-gay. We must deal with the negative impressions that the church has made on them. In a recent Barna Group study, researchers reported responses from 440 non-Christians and 305 active churchgoers based on surveys of a sample of 867 young people. They found: • The vast majority of non-Christians — 91% — said Christianity had an anti-gay image, followed by 87% who said it was judgmental, and 85% who said it was hypocritical. • Active churchgoers held such views by smaller percentages, but the faith still did not fare well: 80% agreed with the anti-gay label, 52% said Christianity is judgmental, and 47% declared it hypocritical. These views about the Christian church indicate we have a lot of work to do. These folks want to see a group of people who exhibit love and compassion. We want them to see a church community that is welcoming and inclusive, to experience a faith gathering that speaks the truth, loves others as Jesus taught, and works as positive agents of transformative change. We want them to create the church or faith community that helps them experience God with us. Clearly, large numbers of these folks are seeing a very different picture. So how do we counter these opinions? one way is to begin with a list of questions churches can ask of themselves: 1. If you were to look at the sermons of your church over a period of time, would you say they are more positive or negative in tone and content? If they are positive, how would you say sin and repentance are addressed so that you aren’t going to the extreme of ignoring them? 2. What is your congregation’s attitude toward those who hold beliefs on doctrinal issues different from yours? How do you talk about other denominations? 3. How is your church known in your community? How do you think people in your town describe your church and the people of your church? Do they even know you exist? What are you known for? Would your church be missed in your community if it went away? How would it be missed? 4. Are there any ways your church is involved in compassion and social justice projects, both locally and globally, demonstrating that the church is a positive agent for change in the world? If not, what can you do about it?

MuCH HAS BeeN MADe IN reCeNT NeWS rePorTS ABouT “ THe NoNeS,” or those who claim “no religious affiliation” in America. They are the fastest growing group of adults in the united States, now constituting one-fifth of the public according to the report “Nones on the rise,” The Pew forum on religion and Public Life (read the report at Ltsp.edu/PewNones). Surely, many pundits might think, this is reason for worry in seminaries — and this must be one of the reasons seminary enrollments across the u.S. are down. Not so fast! In fact, the research suggests that many of the “Nones” — who are drawn especially from youth and young adults — care deeply about moral issues, about social justice, about the environment, and about harmony between historic religious traditions. Almost none of the “Nones” are atheists. And, we’re willing to wager, a large number of the “Nones” might find a happy home in the LTSP MAPL program. MAPL (the tree acronym is intentional!), or Master of Arts in Public Leadership, is a three-year old program designed to prepare leaders for spiritually inspired social ventures. The program was designed in a conversation between social ministry leaders, religious professionals, and experts from Temple university’s fox School of Business and School of Social Work. For more information about the MAPL program, visit Ltsp.edu/MAPL.

Lost in the modern era Potential to reach new generations
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I would also ask: How do you define a family? Are you inclusive of persons of other sexualities and gender expressions? How do you treat visitors? What does your social media (website, facebook, Twitter, etc.) look like? Do you engage technology and social media in your worship and study? Does your music reflect the tunes heard in your community? Do you use art, drama, or other creative elements in your worship or study? These are important questions to ask if your church wants to be relevant in new ways. We are teaching our students to engage in new types of ministry, to create new kinds of communities of faith, and to utilize social media and technology in a variety of ministry venues. We are training our students with a theological, historical, and biblical undergirding that is relevant and in tune with today’s thinking and questioning. And we are training our students to be part of the public discourse about the church and culture. Being relevant means being part of the church of today, but it also means being aware of the needs of the future. Being relevant means attending to the faith needs of our communities of faith, all the while creating new possibilities for those who may want and need a whole new way of being a community of faith. Being relevant means listening to people like Tim, and being available to be part of his journey. That is what being relevant means — and that is what we are about at LTSP. The Rev. Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman is LTSP Associate Professor of Homiletics and Director of United Methodist Studies. Learn more about Dr. Wiseman at Ltsp.edu/KarynWiseman.
references for this article include: Pew forum on religion and Public Life, “Nones” on the Rise: One-in-Five Adults Have no Religious Affiliation, october 9, 2012, Ltsp.edu/Pew-Nones; Christian Piatt, “Don’t Call us ‘the Nones’: In Praise of religious Independence,” The Washington Post. february 25, 2013, Ltsp.edu/PlattWPost-Nones; Heidi Glenn, “Losing our religion: The Growth of The ‘Nones’”; NPr Morning edition, Ltsp.edu/NPr-Glenn-Nones; Dan Kimball, They Like Jesus But not the Church: Insights from Emerging Generations. (Grand rapids: zondervan, 2007); Diana Butler Bass, A People’s History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story. (New york: Harper Collins, 2009), Introduction; Association of religion Data Archives, US Congregational Life Survey Ltsp.edu/uSCLS-Nones; David Briggs, The Huffington Post, “five Hopeful Signs for uS Congregations” Ltsp.edu/Huffpost-Nones; Scott Thumma, “Virtually religious: Technology and Internet use in American Congregations,” Hartford Institute for religion research, Hartford Seminary, 2012 Ltsp.edu/Hartford-Virtual; richard Kentopp in “young People Seek Church relevance” by Joey Butler Ltsp.edu/uMC-youngPeople; David Kinnaman, UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity. (Ada, MI: Baker Books, 2012); Adelle M. Banks, “Study: youth see Christians as judgmental, anti-gay” in USA Today (usatoday30.usatoday.com/news /religion/2007-10-10-christiansyoung_N.htm - no longer online).

WHeN TIM AND I SPoKe oN THe PLANe rIDe, we exchanged email addresses. I recently sent him a message asking if I could share our conversation in this article. He approved, and asked if his story was indeed as common for his generation as he thought. I shared some of the data I have collected, and he told me one last nugget from this life. Last fall, Tim’s younger brother Jeremy (again, not his name) was diagnosed with cancer. The family has dealt with this kind of news before, but this time it hit particularly hard. Jeremy is a runner and extremely healthy — no one even suspected he was ill. unfortunately, the cancer was quite aggressive and the medical treatments even more aggressive. During treatments, Tim went with his brother and sat with him for hours as lifesaving, but terribly debilitating drugs were pumped into his body. Jeremy was strong, but began to really question issues of life and death. Tim and his brother spent many hours talking about life, faith, heaven, God, the Bible, human frailty, death, and other important topics. Neither one became part of a faith community, but Jeremy joined a cancer support group whose members shared their journeys together on a regular basis. Tim gained much from the lessons Jeremy brought back from these groups, but both, while deeply spiritual, struggle still with the “church issue.” They are praying for Jeremy and for others with cancer. They know communities of faith who are praying for Jeremy and are very supportive of those prayers of concern and care. Church is not something they feel they need to seek out right now, but prayer is sustaining them on this path of health and healing as Jeremy continues treatments. “Nones” are here, in our midst, in our communities, in our workplaces, in the culture around us, and potentially in our churches — if we create ways to engage their social justice desires and spiritual journeys. Maybe if we build it together, they may actually come.

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150 years and counting
WELCOME TO THE BEGINNING OF THE CELEBRATION OF 150 YEARS OF LTSP!
In 2013 we are “Living Out the Legacy of Our Dynamic Past,” followed in 2014 will the theme “Battlefield and the Renewal of the Church,” taking into account the seminary’s founding during the waning period of the Civil War. Featured in 2015 will be the theme “Public Witness in a Changing World” as we take note of those key figures, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who helped to shape how our Lutheran tradition continues to witness to the public square.

The stories of men and women are woven into the tapestry of our past, through to today and into our vision for the future. These stories will be told in a web-based history set to premiere later in 2013. The seminary’s faculty is known for producing statements on difficult issues for the wider church. one, authored before 1910 by Professor Charles Mann, dealt with “predestination,” a controversial issue early in the twentieth century, especially in the Midwest. other early topics explored divorce and remarriage issues, such as could a man marry his late wife’s sister? Another statement contemplated the use of individual communion cups vs. the common cup. Professor Charles Michael Jacobs penned a repudiation of the notion of Biblical inerrancy known as the “Baltimore Declaration,” presented in church wide assembly of the united Lutheran Church in America in 1938 and written just before his untimely death. faculty have also contributed to the wider church’s worship and liturgical resources, namely Professor Luther D. reed and Professor Gordon Lathrop, both of whom were giants in this regard. More recently, Mark Mummert, our former seminary musician, composed a setting for the current Evangelical Lutheran Worship. even before the Lutheran church ordained women, they were a part of the student body. of the many LTSP alumna who have entered ordained ministry, several have become bishops. The seminary has a long history of welcoming all Christians, especially reflected in the founding of the urban Theological
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Dr. Karl Krueger, Director of the Krauth Memorial Library and Professor, History of Christianity, displays Henry Melchior Muhlenberg's German-English Dictionary housed in the Krauth Memorial Library.

Institute (uTI), which remembers African American church leaders and LTSP graduate alumni Jeremiah A. Wright, Sr., and Joseph Q. Jackson with, respectively, an endowed chair and a scholarship fund for uTI students. To celebrate our history, we are placing a challenge before us — to raise $10 million in scholarships by the year 2015 in a campaign entitled “150 new students, 150 new scholarships, a celebration of 150 years.” LTSP has had a remarkable legacy of donors over the years, including the Women’s Auxiliary. Through historical

film, you will see these remarkable women, once 17,000 strong, who raised $200,000 to benefit LTSP during their tenure. We hope you will honor their legacy by joining in the $10 million anniversary campaign. By the way, the new web history will offer you the chance to plug in your personal memories and recollections of your participation in the life of the seminary and will continue to grow through the celebration. enjoy the celebration!

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ALUMNI NEWS
classNOTES
The Rev. Ellen Anderson, MDiv ’95 Called as pastor to The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Living Word in Roslyn (Abington) PA, beginning June 24, 2013. The Rev. Ruth Bullwinkle, MDiv ’10 Ordained January 20, 2013, called to St. John Lutheran Church, Davis, West Virginia. The Rev. M. Kathleen Read, MDiv ’11, accepted the call as of October 2012 as associate pastor of Emanuel Lutheran Church, Manchester, Connecticut. Read was ordained on August 11, 2012, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Chelmsford, Massachusetts. For the past few years, she has contributed to NES News, the weekly online newsletter of the New England Synod. She formerly served on the Synod Council. The Rev. Jeffrey Carstens, MDiv ’12 Ordained January 27, 2013 and serving St. John’s and St. Luke’s Lutheran Churches in Williams Township, Pennsylvania. The Rev. Brett Davis, MDiv ’12 Ordained October 12, 2012, called to Muhlenberg Lutheran Church, Harrisonburg, Virginia. Laura Gorton, MAR ’12 Director of Children and Youth Ministries at Christ the King Lutheran Church in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. The Rev. Jessica Hahn, MDiv ’12 Ordained March 23, 2013, Trinity Lutheran Church, Hillsdale, Michigan. The Rev. Timothy Johansen, MDiv ’12 Ordained September 1, 2012, called to Temple Lutheran Church, Havertown, Pennsylvania. The Rev. Casey Lieneman, MDiv ’12 Ordained August 26, 2012, called to Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pierce, Nebraska. The Rev. Alexandra Liepe, MDiv ’12 Ordained December 2, 2012, called to St. John Lutheran Church, Sayre, Pennsylvania. The Rev. Rachel Manke, MDiv ’12, has accepted the call to serve as pastor of First Lutheran Church, Malden, Massachusetts. Pr. Manke received her MDiv from LTSP in May 2012, where she was senior class president. She was ordained on August 11, 2012, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Chelmsford, Massachusetts. The Rev. Christopher McKinstry, MDiv ’12 Ordained June 10, 2012, called to Immanuel Lutheran Church, Meriden, Connecticut. The Rev. Jonathan Reccabarren, MDiv ’12 Ordained December 8, 2012, called to Fordham Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bronx, New York. The Rev. Tina Reyes, MDiv ’12 Ordained February 17, 2013, called to Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Sparta, New Jersey. The Rev. Leslie Scanlon, MDiv ’12 Ordained July 1, 2012, called to Lutheran Church of Framingham, Massachusetts. The Rev. Rodney Smith MDiv ’12 Ordained December 8, 2012, called to New Hope Lutheran Church, Jamaica, Queens, New York. The Rev. Christine Jane Stratton Valenti, MDiv ’12 Ordained July 1, 2012, called to Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead, Minnesota. Kristin Vought, MAPL ’12 Joined Lutheran World Relief, Baltimore, Maryland, October, 2012. Rachel Zimmermann, STM ’12 October 1, 2012, began work at LTSP as Assistant Coordinator of Student Assessment and Faculty Assistant. The Rev. Paul Adler, Certificate in Anglican Studies ’13 Ordained June 8, 2013, at Trinity Cathedral, The Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey. Tiffany Chaney, MDiv ’13 Ordained June 9, 2013, at the New England Synod Assembly, called as pastor/mission developer to “The Intersection, ” Dorcester, Massachusetts.

THE REV. LOUISE N. JOHNSON, VICE PRESIDENT FOR MISSION ADVANCEMENT, LTSP

How are you living out the legacy?
SPrING CoNVoCATIoN feATureD THe THeMe, “LIVING ouT THe LeGACy of our DyNAMIC PAST.” on Tuesday, April 30, Dr. James echols and Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes offered presentations on the theme, inspiring us to think about who are we called to be as a church, how will we embody the faith and courage of our ancestors, and how we will serve a new and changing world, longing for hope. on Wednesday, May 1, the rev. Mark Parker, Ms. yvonne Jones Lembo, and the rev. Julie DeWerth, three ministers, offered perspectives from their own contexts and engaged us in thinking about how history sets the stage for every ministry. As LTSP celebrates 150 years of training church leaders, we want to reflect on what God is continuing to do. We want to hear from you! Send us a story about how history (your own, that of the ministry you serve, and/or your training at LTSP) has shaped the ministry you are called to serve. To send your story, email ljohnson@Ltsp.edu or communications@Ltsp.edu.
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Please send your updates to communications@Ltsp.edu so we are current with all your news!

Online Extra!
Photos, recordings and reports from Spring Convocation and Commencement online at Ltsp.edu/SpringConvo2013 and Ltsp.edu/commencement2013.

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NEWSNOTES
FACULTY/STAFF ACTIVITIES
DR. CLÁUDIO CARVALHAES
Associate Professor of Worship and Liturgy

New chair of Globalization Committee; participated in two academic meetings: American Academy of religion in Chicago, November 2012, and the North American Academy of Liturgy in New Mexico, January 2013. PuBLICATIoNS “A Pregação na Liturgia da Igreja, na Liturgia do Mundo e na Liturgia do Próximo,” in TeAr, Liturgia em revista, Centro de recursos Litúrgicos (CrL) e Grupo de Pesquisa Culto Cristão na América Latina, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Teologia da escola Superior de Teologia, São Leopoldo, rS, 2012, and “fronteiras, Globalização, eucaristia e Hospitalidade,” in Entre o Altar e o Mundo: Aportes Multidisciplinares da Liturgia. Cláudio Carvalhaes, editor. fonte editorial, São Paulo, Brazil, August 2012. edited Teologia do Culto: Entre o Altar e o Mundo: Aportes Multidisciplinares da Liturgia (Theology of Worship: Between the Altar and the World — InterDisciplinary Approaches to Liturgy); launched website: claudiocarvalhaes.com. eNGAGeMeNTS September 2012 speaker and worship leader, “faith and Politics in the Public Square,” Third Institute for faith and Public Life, Princeton Theological Seminary; October 2012 speaker, “faith, race, and Politics,” The Tipple-Vosburgh Lecture Series, Drew Theological Seminary; November 2012 preacher, “fire, Ashes and Spirit,” preacher at union Theological Seminary, NyC; January 2013 response to “A Sacramentality of Absence? on regina Schwartz’s Sacramental Poetics and the Hyphenated Sacramentality of Postcolonialism,” North American Academy of Liturgy, Albuquerque, NM; CLAI — Latin American Council of Churches Assembly, Cuba; March 2013 Faculty Development in the

Midst of Institutional and Vocational Change for Racial/Ethnic Faculty and the larger Consultation for Faculty Development, prayer leader, The Association for Theological Schools, Pittsburgh, PA.
DR. WIL GAFNEY
Associate Professor of Biblical Hebrew and Jewish and Christian Scripture

PreSeNTATIoNS March 5-6, 2013 The Todd Lectures in Hebrew Bible at Memphis Theological Seminary. Lecture topics: “The Darkly radiant Image of God: Black and female,” “A Legion of Preaching Women: Women Prophets in Israel,” and “Bathsheba’s Legacy: royal Women of Israel and Judah.”

Graduate School Deans and Program Directors, Indianapolis; October 2012 attended the eLCAGMu annual gathering of International Student Coordinators, Chicago; began serving as North American regional Section editor for the Brill Series Christian-Muslim Relations 1900 Project (go to Ltsp.edu/Grafton-CMR1000); PreSeNTATIoNS January 2013 “Talking Along the road: reflections of eLCA Ministry Among Muslims in the Middle east” at Atonement Lutheran Church, Wyomissing, PA;. Public Lecture “Ishmael, the founder of their nation…: The politics of pre-Islamic Arab Christianity in Contemporary Scholarship” at The Near east School of Theology, Beirut, Lebanon; February/March 2013 Lenten Series “An eastern reading of the Gospel of Luke: the Arabic Commentary by the Syrian Mazhar Mallouhi” at upper Dublin Lutheran Church, Ambler, PA.
DR. ERIK HEEN
John H.P . Reumann Chair in Biblical Studies

DR. MICHAEL KRENTZ
Instructor; Director of Music Ministries/Seminary Cantor; Director of the Theological Education for Emerging Ministries program

October 2012 Played an organ recital at Peace Tohicken Lutheran Church, Perkasie, PA; Served as consultant to Trinity Lutheran Church, reading, PA, in its project to purchase a new pipe organ. The new organ, built by Patrick J. Murphy and Associates, was installed beginning on January 7, 2013, and will be dedicated later this year.
DR. KARL KRUEGER
Director of the Krauth Memorial Library; Professor, History of Christianity

Celebrant during the Jarena Lee Preaching Academy, which met at Lancaster Seminary 5-12 August 2012 (learn more Ltsp.edu/LeeAcademy)

DR. DAVID GRAFTON
Director of Graduate Studies; Associate Professor, Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations

September 2012 attended the ATS Conference on Christian Hospitality and Pastoral Practices in a Multifaith Society, Pittsburgh, PA, and co-authored the report “engaging Public Theology in a Multi-faith Context: Building on Theological education that forms and Shapes faithful and Sensitive Leaders for a Public Church” with Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian; September 30-October 2012 attended the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and religion Conference for

PreSeNTATIoNS September 2012 Presenter of five sessions on “The eLCA and the ‘Theological Interpretation of Scripture’: Past, Present, and future” for upstate New york Synod Ministerium 2012 Annual retreat, Canandaigua, Ny; November 2012 “Scriptural resources for the Work of the Justice for Women Task force” at eLCA Headquarters, Chicago; January 2013 “The New Testament Theology of Diaconia,” Diaconal Ministry formation event at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg; March 2013 Theologian in residence, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Phoenixville, PA, Presented “The Apostle Paul: The Man and the Message” and “The eLCA’s 4-fold Approach to Scripture,” and preached two services, “Come, you without money, buy and eat”; “Heroes and Heroines of the faith: Hebrews 11,” A Bible Study for region 7 (eLCA) Consultation at LTSP.

PreSeNTATIoNS Henry Melchior Muhlenberg at the Lutheran Historical Conference, Kountze Memorial Lutheran in omaha, Nebraska; St. Luke Lutheran in ferndale, PA; and at the parish anniversary celebrations of Immanuel Lutheran Somerton, PA, and St. Peter’s Lutheran, Chester Springs, PA. Conducted three seminars on Muhlenberg for the Adult Sunday School Class at Trinity Lutheran Church, Lansdale, PA. Taught course on early church history for SePA Diakonia at St. Luke Devon, PA, and a four-week class on the early editions of the printed Bible at upper Dublin Lutheran Church, Ambler, PA.
DR. J. PAUL RAJASHEKAR
Luther D. Reed Professor Systematic Theology

edited and compiled (with edmond yee) Abundant Harvest, Stories of Asian Lutherans (Minneapolis; Lutheran university Press, 2012); August 2012 served as consultant to the foundation for Theological education in Atlanta, GA, on mentoring minority doctoral students; October 2012 served on eLCA Panel for Christian-Muslim relations in Chicago; November 2012 chaired meeting of the Association of Asian North
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DR. J. JAYAKIRAN SEBASTIAN
Dean and H. George Anderson Chair of Mission and Cultures; Director, Multicultural Mission Resource Center

American Theological educators at the AAr/SBL meetings in Chicago; January 2013 attended Seventh Asian Lutheran International Conference at Chiang Mei, Thailand; March 2013 “Interreligious Dialogue, Would Martin Luther engage in Interreligious Dialogue Today?” in The Lutheran; led four-part series on “Is Hell real?” at upper Dublin Lutheran Church, Ambler, PA.
DR. NELSON RIVERA
Associate Professor, Systematic Theology and Hispanic Ministry; Director, Latino Concentration; Seminary Chaplain

Ministries; Keynote Speaker for Lower Susquehanna Synod.
DR. KARYN WISEMAN
Associate Professor of Homiletics; Director of United Methodist Studies

PuBLICATIoNS “evolution” article for The Lutheran, April 2013, and joint article with Gilson Waldkönig of Gettysburg Seminary on “faith and Science” in The Lutheran, February 2013. Three theological essays for Feasting on the Gospels commentary series (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2013). Appointed member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for religion and Science at Chestnut Hill College. Serving as seminary chaplain since fall semester of 2012.
DR. TIMOTHY J. WENGERT
Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor, Reformation History

December 2012 Philip Melanchthon: Theologian in Classroom, Confession, and Controversy (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & ruprecht, 2012), a new book co-authored with Nicole Kuropka, Irene Dingel and robert Kolb. February 2013 preached at Delaware Maryland Synod gatherings of rostered leaders. April 2013 Attended Lutheran/roman Catholic Dialogue in Washington, DC; Led workshop at office of the Bishop at the New Jersey Synod Conference on Congregational
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WrITINGS I Refuse to Preach a Boring Sermon: Engaging 21st Century Listeners, upcoming from Pilgrim Press, September 2013; contributor, Working Preacher Gospel Commentaries for April 14, 21, 28 and May 5, workingpreacher.org; “Moving the furniture for Holy Week and easter: Space and Holy Days” in L Magazine: empowering eLCA Leaders for Vital Ministry (replacing Clergy Journal and Lutheran Partners), March/April 2012 issue; review of Sharon L. Spencer and Sandra A. Vavra’a The Perfect Norm: How to Teach Differentially, Assess Effectively, and Manage a Classroom Ethically in Ways that are “Brain Friendly” and Culturally Responsive, Teaching Theology and religion, upcoming; contributor for Westminster — John Knox Lectionary Commentary Series, Feasting on the Gospels (upcoming Homiletical essays on Mark 14:1-2; 10-11; Mark 14:3-9; and Mark 14:12-16); contributor to odyssey Network’s ON Scripture, “Not Another Bread Passage … PLeASe!” August 2012, available on Huffington Post and odyssey Networks. WorKSHoPS April 2013 North Central ohio uMC/uCC Creative Worship and Preaching for the 21st Century, Toledo, ohio; November 2012 Southeastern PA Cluster Preaching Advent Workshop; March 2013 Synodical Internship Training on Technology and the Church, Lancaster, PA; Synodical Internship Training on Preaching for Special Services, Newtown, PA.

PuBLICATIoNS “Pierced by the curved end of a rainbow: Decolonizing the Body of the Martyr,” in David Joy and Joseph f. Duggan, eds, Decolonizing the Body of Christ: Theology and Theory after Empire? (New york: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012); “Should the Pedal Point Always Bring Dissonance Back into Harmony? Interrogating missio Dei from an Asian American Perspective,” in eleazar S. fernandez, ed., New Overtures: Asian American Theology in the 21st Century: Essays in Honor of Fumitaka Matsuoka (upland, CA: Sopher Press, 2012); “evoking the Bible at a funeral in an Indian-Christian Community,” in Asian Journal of Theology, Vol. 26. No. 1 (April 2012); and “fragmented Selves, fragments of the New Story: Panikkar and Dalit Christology,” in Exchange: Journal of Missiological and Ecumenical Research, Vol. 41 (2012). Articles include “Archives at the united Theological College, Bangalore”; “Chakkarai, Vengal”; “Chandran, Joshua russel”; “Contextual Theology (South Asia)”; “Devanandan, Paul David”; “Larsen, L. P.”; “Nirmal, Arvind P.”; “Sacraments”; “Samartha, Stanley J.”; “united Theological College, (Bangalore”) in The Oxford Encyclopaedia of South Asian Christianity, Vol. I A-K and Vol. II L-z (New Delhi: oxford university Press, 2012). eNGAGeMeNTS September 2012 Participant and Panelist, Summary Conference on “Christian Hospitality and Pastoral Practices in a Multifaith Society” project, The Association of Theological Schools; Participant, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and religion, Conference for Graduate School Program Directors and Deans, Indianapolis; October 2012 Participant and Panelist, Symposium on Spiritual Progress Honoring the Centenary of the Birth of Sir John Templeton, Benjamin franklin Hall, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA; responded to the book Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age by robert N. Bellah (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard university Press, 2011).

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NEWSNOTES
PASSAGES
The Rev. Dr. Arnold F. Keller, Jr., pastor emeritus of the Lutheran Church of the reformation in Washington, DC and a leader of many initiatives for justice in the nation’s capitol during a long career as a pastor, died february 16, 2013. He was 88. Pastor Keller served reformation Church for a total of 33 years during two separate calls. first called as the congregation’s assistant pastor after his ordination in 1947, he became reformation’s associate pastor in 1950. In 1953 he began a 14-year pastorate at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Allentown, PA, and returned to Washington as reformation’s senior pastor in 1967, serving in that capacity until retiring in 1993. reformation was the headquarters for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during its historic 1968 march on Washington, and in 1987 became an early “reconciling in Christ” congregation within the then Lutheran Church in America. After retiring from reformation, Keller served as executive Director for the Greater Washington, DC Council of Churches, stepping down in April 1997. enthusiastic about education for pastors and others, he supervised four seminary student interns during his career. He held many leadership posts including chairing the Maryland Synod’s Division for Mission and the Board of Trustees of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg; was as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia; chaired the inter-Lutheran Commission for Mission and Ministry for the Metro DC Synod, and represented the Maryland Synod at a Washington, DC inter-faith Conference. for an expanded story, please go to Ltsp.edu/ArnoldKeller.

IN MEMORIAM
The Urban Theological Institute (UTI) of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) and the LTSP community mourns the passing of the Rev. Anthony P . Booker. Pr. Booker was a 2003 graduate of LTSP , pastor of Disney African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, and the husband of Sheila D. Booker. Sheila Booker is Associate Director of Music Ministries at LTSP as well as an accomplished soloist and music director of both the Philadelphia Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Olney. She has contributed to UTI and many seminary musical events including the annual Preaching with Power Black Sacred Music Concert. Pastor Arvid Anderson died October 29, 2012. He graduated from Augustana Seminary in 1949, and was a teaching fellow in Greek while earning an STM from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He was ordained in 1950 and called as pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Waterford, Michigan. He then joined the staff of the Board of Parish Education of the Lutheran Church in America, a predecessor body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). In 1977 , he was called to serve as pastor at Salem Lutheran Church, in Ironwood, Michigan. Called to the Division for Parish Services of the ELCA, he then became director the Department for Research. He authored The Inescapable Presence, Reflections on the Book of Psalms as a Guide for Our Faith Journey. Following retirement, he and second wife Nancy served as chaplains at the Mary J. Drexel Home. He is survived by his wife, three children including LTSP alumna the Rev. Ellen Anderson who served as LTSP’s Director of Alumni Relations from 2004 to 2012, and six grandchildren. The Rev. Leah Cook McDowell, an LTSP MDiv graduate from the class of 2003, died after a long illness. Pr. Leah was ordained in her home synod, Southeastern Minnesota (ELCA), on November 16, 2003, and was called to Zion Lutheran Church, Philadelphia. In 2008, she was called back to Minnesota as pastor of St. Paul’s UCC/ELCA Church in Lewiston, Minnesota.

We have learned of the following passing of alumni:
The Rev. Malcolm W. Albright, BD ’45 The Rev. Melinda S. Bjorkman, MDiv ’01 The Rev. Stanley E. DeCamp, BD ’68 The Rev. George C. Derner, BD ’56 The Rev. Dr. Carl F. W. Ficken, Jr., BD ’60 The Rev. Russell C. Gromest, BD ’66 The Rev. Richard G. Hoffert, BD ’46 Mr. Ernest H. J. Hoh, Jr., BD ’52 The Rev. Gerald E. Miller, BD ’55 The Rev. Randall F. Peters, Jr., BD ’61 Mr. John F. Robson, BD ’56 The Rev. Ursula S. Scheike, MDiv ’93 Mr. Michael D. Simpson, MAR ’12 The Rev. Elizabeth R. Waid, MDiv ’73 Jan. 18, 2013 May 31, 2012 Jan. 9, 2013 Dec. 2, 2012 Jan. 8, 2013 Nov. 1, 2012 July 19, 2012 Mar. 8, 2013 Dec. 5, 2012 June 8, 2012 Mar. 17, 2013 Jan. 8, 2013 Aug. 19, 2012 Dec. 10, 2012

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PHILANTHROPY
True Love in Action
Oseola McCarty

This spring, the Office for Philanthropy hosted an LTSP ThankYou-Thon. Students, faculty, and staff gathered each evening to call people who had shared a gift with the seminary this year and personally say “Thank You. ” It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved — both callers and donors. One faculty member noted, “It’s especially appropriate that we’re doing this just prior to Holy Week. ” THe LoVe of GoD IS SHoWN THrouGH GoD’S ACTIoN ToWArD uS — giving us the precious gift of Jesus Christ. The love of Jesus is shown through his action on our behalf — dying and rising again, forgiving our sins. Here at LTSP, we experience the love of God in Christ through the action of our community of supporters who have joined us in mission with their prayers and gifts. each prayer and gift — no matter the size — is an expression of true love in action. one inspirational model of true love in action is oseola McCarty, a washer woman from Mississippi who in 1995, at 87 years old, gave a gift of $150,000 from her lifetime savings to create a scholarship fund for students with financial need at her local university. Her extraordinary gift and simple life of faith, diligence, and thrift captured national attention and garnered her numerous awards including an honorary doctorate from Harvard university and the Presidential Citizens’ Medal. for 78 years, oseola faithfully washed and ironed laundry, earning just a few dollars per load. “… We worked all the time. We were never without work. There was plenty work to do.” Along with learning the value of hard work, oseola learned the value of saving money. “I’d put the money away and save it. When I got enough, I went to first Mississippi Bank and put it in … a savings account …They told me … ‘If you don’t take it out, it will grow.’” When her mother died in 1964 and her aunt died in 1967, oseola added the small sums of money they left her into her growing savings account. As her assets grew, so did oseola’s vision to help others. “I decided I had too much money, more than I’d ever use. And I didn’t have no sisters, brothers, children — nobody. All my family was dead. So, in the place of giving it to my relatives, I thought I’d divide it out so that all of them could get some of it — relatives and them what wasn’t relatives — everyone … .” oseola expressed to her bank officers her desire to leave the largest share of her estate to establish a scholarship fund for African American students with financial need at the university of Southern Mississippi (uSM): I opened up the scholarship … [and] I decided on USM. Long years ago, nobody didn’t go to that school but whites. And now colored go there just like the whites. And I thought it would be a good thing to put it out there … since this was my hometown university ... oseola’s legacy gift of $150,000 was the largest gift from an African American in uSM’s history. Since her death in September 1999 at 91-years old, oseola’s wisdom lives on in her book Simple Wisdom for Rich Living. Her generosity lives on in the oseola McCarty endowed Scholarship fund at the university of Southern Mississippi. And her example of true love in action lives on in the hearts and lives of people around the world.
references to this story include: Ltsp.edu/osceolaMcCarty, Ltsp.edu/osceolaMcCarty-youTube, Ltsp.edu/AmazonSimpleWisdom, Ltsp.edu/uSM-McCartyScholarship.

BY YVONNE JONES LEMBO, Philanthropic Advisor, Office for Philanthropy and LTSP MDiv graduate.

My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.
I JOHN 3:18 (GNT)

To learn more about giving opportunities to Philadelphia Seminary or to contact a philanthropic advisor please go to Ltsp.edu/give or call 215.248.6316.

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ADMISSIONS
Project Sponsor Initiative Launched
ProJeCT SPoNSor, a new initiative of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), is aimed at minimizing two of the most significant obstacles facing those considering a seminary education. one is the issue of student debt; the other is helping students sustain the confidence that their efforts to prepare for public ministry will truly lead to their helping church members grow in faith. The years of seminary and candidacy are an exhilarating time of great learning and of growing in kindness, compassion, and caring skills that the church needs in its leaders. At the same time, this is a period of hard work and personal sacrifice for students and their families. The cost of tuition, combined with the cost of even the most austere living arrangements, can be daunting, to say the least. During these years, seminarians need — more than perhaps at any other time in their lives — the support, encouragement, and love of those for whom the vitality of the church and its leaders is so important. “LTSP is committed to collaborating with every one of its students to minimize the amount of student debt incurred, and to support each student in every way,” according to Don Johnson, Vice President for Student Development. “Now, LTSP is offering all of us the opportunity to serve God and strengthen God’s church by being part of the solution to these major commitments.” Project Sponsor is designed to facilitate opportunities to build a personal relationship with a particular seminary student while providing the opportunity for financial sponsorship. Here’s how it will work. The cost of three academic years of seminary can be summarized as follows: • one year tuition ($16,000) + one year living expenses ($14,000) = $30,000 • Two years tuition ($32,000) + two years living expenses ($28,000) = $60,000 • Three years tuition ($48,000) + three years living expenses ($42,000) = $90,000 We are inviting individuals to consider sponsoring a student by making a donation to LTSP equal to one, two, or three years of a student’s tuition and/or living expenses. In this way, the generosity of sponsors will have a positive impact on the church and the world unlike any other. you can inspire a lifetime of generosity for the student who is sponsored, and indeed for the whole church. Shortly after the Project Sponsor donation has been received, LTSP staff and faculty members will share with the sponsor the name of the student who has been chosen for sponsorship, and introduce them to each other by providing mutual contact information (address, email, phone numbers). An introductory conference phone call (Skype, if possible) will provide an additional opportunity to get acquainted. early in the fall semester, we will invite DON JOHNSON, the sponsors to come to the VICE PRESIDENT FOR seminary campus for a brief STUDENT DEVELOPMENT orientation and in-person relationship building with the student they are sponsoring. If it is inconvenient for sponsors to travel to LTSP, we will make every effort for the student to visit sponsors where they live. We are confident that the sponsor/student relationships will grow and flourish. Indeed, sponsors may very well find that their mentorship will result in a lifetime of friendship and mutual support. Sponsors may request that their gift remain anonymous, or that their gift not involve the pursuit of a mentoring relationship with a particular student, and we will by all means accommodate such requests. If you would like more information on this important way of participating in the mission of LTSP, which is to educate and form public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world, please contact Don Johnson, djohnson@Ltsp.edu; call 603.848.9904; or visit Ltsp.edu/ProjectSponsor.

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THE LAST WORD

I Ain’t Got None
BY TIMOTHY J. WENGERT, MINISTERIUM OF PENNSYLVANIA PROFESSOR

GroWING uP IN THe
HoMe of A ProfeSSor of PoLITICAL SCIeNCe,

I would often wander into his study and look at his many books. one title particularly caught my eye: How to Lie with Statistics. As I went on to first get a degree in sociology, and then in history, I would sometimes wonder whether the conclusions in much of my required reading didn’t involve the very prevarication hinted at in that book. So now a Pew forum on religion & Public Life study (Ltsp.edu/Pew-Nones) tells us about the growth of the “Nones.” What’s a good pastor or professor to do? Well, to begin with, the problem is not so much lying with statistics as it is that our responses may play fast and loose with good theology and history. This is not a new problem. The notion of belonging to a church has had a rather rocky history in this country. At the time of the American revolution, the percentage of people who were actual members of Christian assemblies was rather low, although the number of folk attending church was higher. The fact is that, throughout much of the next century, the rules for membership were much higher than they are today. In any case, it was only in the twentieth century that churches welcomed more members and, as a result, the percentage of Christians actually grew. We cannot see into people’s hearts — even if Mr. Pew thinks he can. faith, almost more than anything else (even what goes on in our bedrooms), is a matter hidden from view. And that means that we cannot know for sure why folks say they have no religious affiliation. After all, if in 1950 (the year I came into the world and only five years after

the end of World War II) there were plenty of people in the pews of our churches (and there were!), we still cannot determine what was in their hearts. That is, if all these people were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “I thank you God that I am not like…,” then all that may be happening with the growth of “Nones” is that more people are tired of being hypocritical. Some people know how to smell a rat. The category, “none,” may mean that some people, especially younger folks, are tired of Christianity — especially given the way Christianity is depicted in our world. If the standards for the Christian message are Joel osteen and rick Warren — to say nothing of a host of more reactionary folk — then perhaps the “Nones” are more Christian (at least to the extent that they know what Christianity isn’t) than those who proudly proclaim their religious allegiance. Indeed, other polls, both inside and outside of the church, indicate that most people associate the Christian message with morality, good works, and even earning their way into God’s good graces. This means that any grace-centered message (for example, that we are right before God by grace through faith on account of Christ alone) will be drowned out by the cacophony of purveyors of a religion dependent upon us. Maybe we best become nones. Solutions that proclaim “church growth” may actually result in “church shrink.” Despite the loud claims of the 1980s and beyond, the church is not like Walmart. Sharing the good news that, in the words of J.B. Phillips, we live on a visited planet, is done one baptism, one person, one sip of wine and piece of bread at a time.

The face-to-face nature of the Christian message, directly related to the Incarnation, defies attempts to turn it into a product. The “Nones,” we are told, are looking for genuineness, and Christian faith does this one sinner/saint at a time. Moreover, given that many of these growth-centered alternatives have traded the Christian birthright of good news for a mess of legalistic pottage, it is again small wonder that, as a the result of such methods, “Nones” are growing and church is shrinking. “A sower went out to sow.” In the face of such trying times, the parables of Jesus in Mark 4 may actually provide some greatly needed comfort for pastors, rostered leaders, and concerned Christians. The first parable of Mark 4 should be called “The Parable of the foolish farmer,” because what Jesus describes is, in firstcentury and twenty-first-century terms, foolish. Who throws seed on the path or among the brambles or on stony ground? If the sowers are foolish, we dare not forget that the seed is good. This Word of God, as the explanation would have it, does not fail. So, the parable does two things: it enjoins us to be foolish, even profligate, with the Word; and it leaves the increase in God’s hands, not ours. Indeed, just in case we miss the point, Jesus tells another story about the seed growing secretly or, as I prefer to call it, “The Parable of the Sleepy farmer.” or, as Luther paraphrases it when it looks like the reformation is going off the rails: “And while I slept, or drank beer with my friends Philip [Melanchthon] and [Nicholas von] Amsdorf, the Word did it all.” That Word of grace is all we have — for all the “Nones” in the world — which (truth be told) includes everyone!

Tuesday, OCTOBER 14, 2014

n o i t a m r ... bionufo e h t t a50th celebra.tion 1 oming soon! c tay tuned S

MUCH HAS CHANGED.
LTSP has evolved from a seminary of Lutheran men who learned in German to one of the most diverse, ecumenical student bodies of women and men in theological education.

MUCH HAS STAYED THE SAME.
LTSP continues to educate and form leaders for the mission of the gospel in the world. As LTSP celebrates 150 years, we are so thankful for your support. Without you, congregations, agencies, and ministries would be without gifted leaders. Without you, countless women and men would not have the opportunity to respond to God’s call. Your support makes the difference. Join us as we celebrate 150 years and embark on the new future to which God is calling us.

Give now online to support the 150th Anniversary Initiative for Endowed Scholarships online:

Ltsp.edu/150scholarships or call 215.248.6316

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