The Seminary Explores
Reconciling in Christ: A Personal Story

Reconciling in Christ: A Personal Story

June 17, 2019

Ron Couchman, a 52-year member of the Gettysburg College staff was the former Registrar and is currently working in Special Collections and College Archives, shares his personal story of coming out as a gay man with the help of therapy and his congregation, St. James, Gettysburg.

With the leadership of a task force of which he is a member and the support of the pastors, the congregation has adopted Reconciling in Christ which emphasizes welcome, equality, and justice. The task force holds a celebration of “Reconciling” each January. He recommends a helpful resource, “ReconcilingWorks,” as a way for congregations to build community beyond itself.

Words Matter

Words Matter

June 3, 2019

Carla Christopher returns to carry on our discussion about having difficult conversations. In this episode we explore the terminology surrounding gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.  Society often perceives these topics as very binary, you are male or female, you are attracted to men or to women.  The reality is much more complicated.  Carla skillfully guides us through the terminology and how it is used and misused.  She also explains personal pronouns and why he/she and his/hers are not the only options.

 

 

How a Small-Town Newspaper Can Survive and Serve

How a Small-Town Newspaper Can Survive and Serve

May 20, 2019

Alex Hayes, Managing Editor of the Gettysburg Times, shares his belief that for a local newspaper to survive it must be local.  Despite, and perhaps because of, the competition from on-line news, people still want to read about their neighbors, their town councils, their courts, and their sports events, even if one reads it as an e-edition.  Furthermore, the newspaper, whether the New York Times or the Gettysburg Times, offers a much higher degree of reliability than on-line news which is often driven by unverified opinion or worse—a development in American history that is a major departure from the past and often disturbing as well.

Restoring Health in the World, One Disease at a Time

Restoring Health in the World, One Disease at a Time

May 6, 2019

Kate Braband, Senior Associate Director of Program Development, Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia describes the success that the Carter Center, initiated thirty years ago by President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, has had in controlling guinea worm, one of the more painful and debilitating of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (WTD) in Central Africa. Not long ago, cases numbered in the thousands; today in the twenties. Guinea worm is controlled, not by vaccinations, but by changes in behavior, especially drinking filtered water. Education and supervision are largely in the hands of the locals. Other projects by the Carter Center derive from their mission of building hope, restoring health, and fighting for peace. To achieve these goals, the Center enlists national governments, the United Nations, and international corporations.

You Can’t Pray the Gay Away

You Can’t Pray the Gay Away

April 22, 2019

Guest host Carla Christopher spent time with Michael and Zach Zakar, authors of Pray the Gay Away, a book that chronicles their experience of coming out to their Christian Iranian mother and their own personal experiences during this process of self-discovery. They are advocates for LGBTQIA+ rights and offer support to youth who are coming out through their mobile app, My Twins Chat.

This deeply personal and at times humorous discussion will make you laugh and make you stop and think.

Fresh Ideas for a New Congress

Fresh Ideas for a New Congress

April 8, 2019

In this second interview, Leon Reed, former aide to Senator William Proxmire, suggests what we can expect from the new Congress in the next two years, although he admits that many of these ideas will not necessarily be approved by the Senate or signed by the president. In addition to continuing investigations into election interference, campaign reform, the tax bill, minimum wage, and “Obamacare,” he recommends two areas and two committees to watch. 1) In the Agriculture Committee, the pros and cons of tariffs.  2) In Homeland Security Committee, facts and figures about border security; the effect of global warming on the economy; and the disaster in Puerto Rico.

Listen to the first interview.

 

Gettysburg’s Underground Community Living Room

Gettysburg’s Underground Community Living Room

March 25, 2019

Waldo’s and Co. is a trade shop, coffee shop, event space, and nonprofit collective with artist studios. Or, as Katy Giebenhain calls it, “The Arts Parsonage of Gettysburg.” She joins Waldo’s co-founder and proprietor Chris Lauer for a conversation about collaboration, his own work, the importance of trying new equipment, and what makes Gettysburg special to this transplant who has seen many, many places. Seminarians who have not yet ventured to this underground haven on the square are in for a delight.

 

How to Ease Gridlock in Congress

How to Ease Gridlock in Congress

March 11, 2019

Mr. Reed, a former congressional aid to Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin, recommends the restoration of four procedures in the House of Representatives that were discarded under House Speakers Newt Gingrich and Dennis Hastert, beginning in 1994. 1) Restore power to committees and chairs rather than three or four majority leaders. 2) Introduce legislation by a regular process of information gathering and discussion rather than in secret.  3) Include minority participation in these proceedings. 4) Make a good-faith effort to get bi-partisan support.

The Housing Crisis in America

The Housing Crisis in America

February 25, 2019

Megan Shreve, CEO, South Central Community Action Programs, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania talks housing on this episode of the Seminary Explores. The “Wage Gap,” perhaps the most significant contribution to the housing crisis, occurs when a working family on minimum wage does not qualify for aid, but doesn’t have enough to cover the necessities of food, health, transportation, and child care. In addition, declining resources from state and federal governments are threatening even the most basic programs such as overnight shelters. SCAAP has created two innovative, and biblical, programs that involve community resources. “Support Circles” provide dinner and child care as well as action strategies to rise out of the gap. “Gleaning” allows families to harvest agricultural products that growers can’t market.

What is Systematic Theology?

What is Systematic Theology?

February 11, 2019

Dr. John Hoffmeyer a Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at United Lutheran Seminary defines and describes the history and the focus of systematic theology. He shares his formation in the field from his undergraduate years to his studies in Germany and his doctoral studies at Boston College. Those theologians who have influences his work include: James Cone and Robert Jenson, and Eberhard Jüngel. Future projects for Dr. Hoffmeyer includes work on the nature of theological education (examining theory and practice) and the doctrine of the Trinity.