In this episode, a theologian, Dr. Largen, and a historian, Rev. Dr. Maria Erling, talk about the construction of Lutheran identity, and how it relates both to theological doctrines and also social, historical context. The issue of slavery is discussed as one example of such identity construction.
The Rev. Dr. Mark Oldenburg shares with Dr. Largen two “horror stories” involving 4th of July Sunday morning worship services as a way to talk more constructively about how to balance “secular religion” and Sunday worship services. The goal is to both recognize and celebrate the things that matter in our daily lives—like our country, but also honor and worship God as the absolute center of our life. Public ministers, you don’t want to miss this one!
Dr. Christianson speaks with the Rev. Glenn Ludwig, Vice President of Seminary Advancement, Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary, and author, In it for the Long Haul: Building Effective Long-term Pastorates (Alban Institute, 2011) about long term pastorates. Rev. Ludwig observes that we have changed our minds about long-term pastorates. Where once three years was thought to be a good average, we now think that one doesn’t really develop a foundation until the seventh or eighth years. He describes five pillars for building a healthy congregation and a long-term pastorate, including how to create a climate of trust.
Dr. Strobert explores the nature of “friendship” in contemporary society with Pastor Fritz Foltz. Pastor Foltz discussed the changing nature of friendship from the biblical texts to the Church Fathers to the present technology of Facebook. He also shared his introduction to “professional” friendship roles in the professional sports and gambling industries.
Pastor Brown discussed her week as Minister-in-Residence at Gettysburg Seminary with Dr. Strobert. She describes her conversations with students, preaching and presiding in chapel as well as attending and lecturing in seminary classes. Pastor Brown also discussed her context of parish ministry at Advent Lutheran Church in New York City. It has an immigrant population in addition to being in a gentrified neighborhood. Although a small congregation, the church is involved in broad social outreach in the community.
Dr. William O. Avery, Arthur O. Larson Professor Emeritus of Stewardship and Parish Ministry, Gettysburg Seminary speaks about the dramatic difference in the world of young people today, driven especially by technology, drives the question: how should the church respond? Dr. Avery suggests some interesting ideas that might help meet the needs of Millennials who are looking for dialogue, new kinds of spirituality, and above all meaning.
The Poetry + Theology editor for Seminary Ridge Review speaks with internationally-exhibited fiber artist Laurie Wohl. Wohl’s traveling exhibit “Birds of Longing: Exile and Memory” came to Gettysburg Seminary in the fall of 2014. The 14-piece show integrates excerpts from Muslim, Jewish and Christian texts from the Convivencia and from contemporary Middle Eastern poets. Alluding to the oldest traditions of narrative textiles, the pieces in the exhibit include original iconography and mixed media as well as an audio soundscape.
Dr. Christianson talks with the Dr. Mark Vitalis Hoffman, Professor Of Biblical Studies at Gettysburg Seminary about Christmas and where it all began.