In this episode, which kicks off our year of “Science in the Seminary,” Kristin Largen talks with Kristin Stuempfle about the importance of dialogue between science and religion. Kris uses the example of her father, Herman Stuempfle who was the President of Gettysburg Seminary from 1976 to 1989. In particular she references the hymn he wrote for her, “Go Forth in Search of Truth.”
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. Largen speaks with The Rev. Dr. Martin Zimmann, Pastor, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mechanicsburg, PA, about the importance of talking about issues of race and culture in the church. Pastor Zimmann offers some helpful strategies for beginning the conversation.
Shirley Armstrong, Psychological Counselor and Peer Education Advisor at Gettysburg College describes the goals of The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program is for congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, and other Lutheran organizations. RIC recognizes Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender believers. She discusses the need for churches to make a statement on the subject, but stresses that the main objective is to get people talking with each other, not simply taking votes.
Dr. Christianson speaks with Dr. Bradley Hoch, Pediatrician and author of The Lincoln Trail in Pennsylvania about President Lincoln’s religious evolution. Lincoln developed throughout his life, beginning as (what his neighbors called) an “infidel” and moving on to a doctrine of “necessity” before coming to terms with Providence. In 1862, probably because of the horrifying numbers of casualties and the death of his son Willie, the president began to affirm a personal deity. In the Second Inaugural he envisions a God who has purposes for humankind, although they may not be ours.
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.
Recorded before a live audience at St. James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg PA, Dr. Christianson disusses with Kristin Rice how her office is a ministry as well as an essential public service, balancing justice with a fair trial and compassion. Publically financed defenders were established as late as the 1963 when the Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment guarantees legal counsel to poor defendants in criminal cases. She believes that the next frontier in her field must be the improvement of mental health services, and she continues her opposition to the death penalty.
Dr. Largen spends this episode talking to The Rev. Dr. David Rhodes about the integral role creation plays in Lutheran Theology, and the resources available for individual Christians, public ministers and congregations who want to learn more about how to bring care for creation into their faith lives.