March 9, 2020
Dr. Darlis Swan, the Ecumenical Representative of the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), details the ecumenical movement in the United States. She defined “ecumenical” and went on to share her interest in ecumenism from her seminary studies to her work in the Office of Ecumenical Affairs of the ELCA. She also discussed:
- The transition from the ecumenical movement from the U.S. to the global context.
- Suggested readings on the ecumenical movement
- The involvement of congregational members in ecumenical work
- Ecumenical relationships of the ELCA
January 27, 2020
Chaplain Palmer and Chaplain Meeker liken the role of Army chaplains to parish pastors insofar as they are responsible for Word and Sacrament but emphasize the role of “incarnational ministry” in their total involvement in the life of the soldier. Special challenges are the visits to families when a son or daughter is killed, and in recent years the need to address post-traumatic stress. For all this, chaplains must undergo a rigorous course of study in addition to basic training. Both Chaplains Meeker and Palmer encourage seminarians and others to consider a career in ministry to the military.
• Chaplain Glenn Palmer, Chief, Training Development Division, US Army Chaplain Center and School, Ft. Jackson SC
• Chaplain Karen Meeker, Chief, Recruiting Division, Office of Chief of Chaplains, Pentagon, Washington DC
January 13, 2020
Pastor Andrew Geib, Associate Pastor, St. James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, identified nine top stories in religion for the year 2019: ELCA Church Sanctuary issue, United Methodist possible split, Women in the Church, Collapse of Christianity, the burning of Notre Dame in Paris, and more. While the stories were mostly grim, he ends with word of hope for listeners.
November 4, 2019
Dr. Christian B. Keller, Professor of History and General Dwight D. Eisenhower Chair of National Security, Department of National Security and Strategy, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA, and author of The Great Partnership: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and the Fate of the Confederacy, argues that the Christian connection between Lee and Jackson was a significant glue that bonded the two generals’ friendship, and this in turn supported their strong professional relationship. Although one was Episcopal and the other a Presbyterian, they were both firm believers in Divine Providence, and as evangelical providentialists, were not that different from many Americans of that era.
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.
April 23, 2018
United Lutheran Seminary Master of Divinity student Michael McMullen shares his ministry of providing liturgical robes to pastors, choirs and other organizations in need through the non-profit organization Robe Gifting International. Based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Robe Gifting International collects, refurbishes and distributes used liturgical robes around the globe to those in need at no cost.
November 6, 2017
Phil Roth talks about his experience as a volunteer in the PAX program sponsored by the Mennonite Church as his alternative service for the military in the mid-1950s. He described the history of the program as well as the challenges for him and his fellow workers.
December 5, 2016
Johnstown, Pennsylvania based artist Sally Stewart talks about her sculpture created in response to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center “Out of the Depths I Cry Unto Thee, O Lord.” The wood and mixed-media piece was on display at a special September 14, 2016 Eucharist service honoring first responders during the attacks. Stewart is a longtime friend of Gettysburg Seminary who has had a solo exhibit here through the Fine Arts Council and work featured on the Fall 2012 cover of Seminary Ridge Review.
November 7, 2016
Father Recla, then a pastor in New York, took on the role of chaplain in one of the morgues where remains were sent during recovery operations after 9/11, often accompanying body bags to their final destination--sometimes with police or fire escorts. Little was said during these sad journeys, but Recla sensed there was both laughing and crying in the silence.