News, columns and other noteworthy events taking place at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, the oldest Lutheran seminary in the Americas and one of eight of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Social media has forever changed the world and
how we do ministry. This was brought home to me this morning as I sit with my
coffee and bagel in the comfort of my neighborhood Panera. A message bubble
pops up from a member of my congregation in Afghanistan. "Hey Pastor! Keep
me and my buddies in your prayers today. We are about to go out on a
mission." Suddenly what can at times seem so far away was brought to my
table... the easy comfort of my space at the table suddenly feels different as
I prayed for that young man and father of two who along with his buddies drive
off base and into a world of purposeful violence. The world feels very small
and dangerous today.
Kevin, MDiv '82, is Co-pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Westminster, MD
Designed for today’s challenging ministry settings at Gettysburg Seminary
Ministry isn’t what it used to be. The 21st century church is not your
father’s (or mother’s) church, and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at
Gettysburg now offers a course of study for rostered leaders to meet the new
challenges of ministry. In a rapidly changing world, we need places to vision
and to be equipped for the challenges before the church. Gettysburg Seminary
created Advanced-Practice in Ministry certificate geared toward practicing
pastors and other rostered leaders ready to engage practical and theological
concerns on an advanced level in this new reality.
With intentional focus on real world challenges in current contexts for
ministry, participants will be able to focus critical and creative energies on
advancing their ministries. The Advanced-Practice program offers collaborative
work, exploration of new models for ministry, and leadership formation in a six
course intensive, residential learning schedule. Courses will be offered in
October and January, and participants may begin at any stage of the course
More information, applications and course descriptions are available at the
Seminary’s website www.LTSG.edu/advanced-practice
. You may also contact the Director of Lifelong Learning and Certificate
Programs Rev. Dr. Michelle Holley Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or leave a phone message
with Ms. Danielle Garber at 717.339.1322.
Four translated poems from SAID were included in the Spring 2013 issue of Seminary Ridge Review. The full 99 Psalms was just published in English by Paraclete Press. You’ll hear more about the book in the Spring 2014 issue. Here’s a taste of what’s to come. As part of a Paraclete Press blog tour this week, I would like to look at the text of the fifth poem in the book by SAID, the Iranian poet who makes his home in Germany, translated from the German by Mark Burrows. It appears on page 21. Poems in this collection have a relationship to the three Abrahamic religious traditions, yet are entirely their own.
lord let me be a water puddle that mirrors your heavens and murmurs your prayers so that the cicadas might understand me show yourself o lord even if you have no other choice than to come in the fierce coursing of blood and take in the refugees because every fleeing ends in your eye even if those who flee forget you in their time of need because only those who doubt in you seek you
The “psalms” we tend to repeat most often are chosen for comfort, but that’s not what a psalm is limited to. It can bring us closer to God and closer to seeing ourselves as people of God in the world. A psalm can wear spurs. This psalm, thanks to SAID and to the attentive translation of Mark Burrows does not make nice. It also does not criticize or posture. This psalm, like the others in the collection, feels genuine and it offers what I crave in poems and in sermons: straight talk.
I appreciate the cadence and brevity. I appreciate the tolerance of a complicated God. I appreciate the tolerance of complicated people. A puddle is not grandiose or beautiful. It’s just a puddle. Familiar and small-scale. I appreciate the reminder that I should seek to reflect God, even to be aware of the idea of that reflecting, rather than to stay in the scope of my routines and identity. The emphasis is on the seeking. I love the combination of unending reflecting, back and forth, and the presence of cicadas without mentioning their sound.
Other examples of straight talk: acknowledging that we forget God, in times of panic. We doubt. But we are supposed to doubt. We are thinking creatures! Faith, in its broadest sense is meant to be a living, developing faith. I am relieved when reading the last two lines “because only those who doubt in you / seek you.” What about the art of demanding without being bossy? How does SAID do that? How does Burrows keep this tone?
I could go on unpacking each line of the poem, especially for the indirect tangents it sets me off on, but I mostly react with gratitude. Herzlichen Dank. Unpunctuated, this self-contained poem leads seamlessly to the next one in the collection, and to each of its 98 lean siblings, related yet distinct in their straight-talking wisdom.
Seminary Transition from Field Hospital Observed by Founders Day with Luminaries
Luminaries, Dearest Home to Set the Tone
for Seminary Ridge Museum Observance 150 Years After Field Hospital Closed
a touch of Autumn in the air and the schools back in session, the Seminary Ridge
Museum commemorates the soldiers who were patients in the
Seminary hospital from July 1-Sept 16, 1863. The public joined Seminary Ridge Museum Founders at Day's End
this Saturday, Sept. 14 for a program on the East
porch of the museum featuring remarks by Dr. Carol Reardon.
performance by Dearest Home began at 7:30pm and the formal program followed at 8pm. Luminary candles linking one civil war soldier to one living
sponsor will be illuminated as darkness settles on the hallowed ground which 150
years ago was instantly and concurrently both a fierce battleground and a
sanctuary for healing.
Norma Schweitzer Wood Lecture at Gettysburg Seminary
Mark your calendars "Fracturing the
Iconic Feminine: Biblical Interpretation and Indian Feminisms" is title of
Melanchthon's public talk on November 20th.
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg is pleased to announce that The Rev.
Dr. Monica Melanchthon will deliver the Norma Wood Lecture on Wednesday,
November 20 at 2:15pm. Mark your calendars!
“Don’t miss this year’s Norma
Schweitzer Wood lecture, delivered by one of the most well-known international
Lutheran scholars in our 21st century global context" said the Rev. Dr. Kristin
Johnston Largen, faculty Theologian at Gettysburg Seminary.
Church worker, theological educator, and a student of the Bible, Dr. Monica
Jyotsna Melanchthon belongs to the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church, India. A
graduate of the United Theological College, Bangalore, and the Lutheran School
of Theology at Chicago (Ph.D.), she currently teaches Old Testament/Hebrew Bible
at the United Faculty of Theology, MCD University of Divinity,
Largen added, "Dr. Melanchthon is sure to enlighten, challenge
and inform our understanding of justice, particularly as it relates to women and
the Lutheran faith. She brings an incisive interpretation of the Hebrew
Scriptures, and a deep awareness of women’s oppression in her native India.
Come and hear how the Bible can speak to us today in ways both fresh and
The Norma Schweitzer Wood lecture is an occasional offering of
the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in honor of the Dean
Emerita exploring subject matter of social justice.