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.
Pope Frances has called a special meeting in Rome for February 2019 to address the scandal in the Roman Catholic Church concerning the abuse of boys by priests, but will it be enough?
Dr. Christopher Bellitto, Professor of History , Kean University, and author of “Renewing Christianity.”, explores the history and future of this ongoing crisis. How it has been handled and ignored in the past and what is being done about it now. He believes that–despite the bishops’ historic reservations toward “secular” interference—the first call when abuse is suspected must be to the police.
Rev. Dr. Mark Oldenburg, Professor of the Art of Worship, Dean of the Chapel, United Lutheran Seminary (Gettysburg), and hymn writer refutes the notion that good hymns aren’t written anymore and cites numerous resources online and in print. Recent hymnody has been enriched by music from the southern U.S. and by “world music” (especially Africa). He plays and discusses two examples of his own hymns, the first of which was declared the best new hymn of 1988.
Richard Michael, Interim Pastor Big Spring United Lutheran Church, discussed his recent travel to the Holy Land. Having led several groups over the years, he described the sites the group visited, the orientation to the trip for participants and the benefit of the trip for participants. For him and individuals in the group, the arrival to the Holy Land was “coming home” since the sites (cities and roads) are familiar to Christians through their reading of scriptures. In addition, Michael discussed the political realities which exist. Such a trip helps pastors to preach and teach more effectively and assists participants to reflect more critically when reading scripture and listening to sermons.
Pastor Yehiel Curry of Shekinah Chapel describes his own path to ordained ministry, and his work with the Lutheran Church in developing a relevant, exciting ministry, geared toward Black men and their families in Chicago. He is dynamic, passionate and wise, and you will love his story!
After almost 500 years since the Reformation, Donald McCoid, Bishop Emeritus, Southwest Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA, and staff member on the “Declaration” Commission discusses, Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry, Eucharist offers an unprecedented series of 32 “statements of agreement” between Roman Catholics and Lutherans. The culmination of 50 years of dialogues, they signal that Catholics and Lutherans are “on the way” to full, visible unity. Approved 931-9 by the ELCA Church-wide Assembly, the full document is available free on-line. A study guide for congregations will soon be released.
Dr. Donnella, Chaplain of the College at Gettysburg College, shared his thoughts on Black Lives Matter, Immigration, Inter-religious dialogue, and Pope Francis. While he expressed his hopes in light of these topics, he also was saddened by the lack of religious and civil tolerance during the recent political issues in the United States.
Dr. Christopher M. Bellitto, Professor of History at Kean University and author of Ageless Wisdom: Lifetime Lessons from the Bible asks what lessons we can learn about wisdom and growing older from the Bible. He draws lessons from famous, and not so famous, Biblical stories to learn how we can gather wisdom and appreciate its gifts: blessings and burdens, patience and laughter, and reaping and sowing.
Award-winning, classically-trained sculptor Sarah Hempel Irani opens her studio for a conversation with Katy Giebenhain from Seminary Ridge Review. She specializes in sacred art and portraiture and works in clay, plaster, bronze, and marble. She has stood at the chalk “x” marking the spot where Michelangelo stood when selecting Carrara marble. Hempel Irani works from live models with oil-based clay and armatures. She studied Fine Art and Classical Studies at Hillsdale College with sculptor Anthony Frudakis and was apprenticed to Jay Hall Carpenter, former Artist-in-Residence at the Washington National Cathedral. Her M.A. in Humanities is from Hood College Graduate School, with a concentration in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.