ULS President’s Newsletter | Summer Term 2018-19
Volume I, Issue 1
Dear ULS Community,
I hope you have had an eventful, yet restful and refreshing break, as we have moved from spring to the summer months. Dorothy and I stepped into the welcoming arms of our new colleagues at United Lutheran Seminary on June 1, 2018, and we have settled into wonderful housing accommodations in Gettysburg and Philadelphia. We want to thank all who have helped make the transition from the desert of Tucson, Arizona, to the beautiful greenery of Pennsylvania a very pleasant experience.
During the first three weeks of June, I met with several faculty and staff members as well as members of the ULS Board of Trustees, students and alumni. Everyone has been especially welcoming and helpful as Dorothy and I have learned more about the storied and significant history of ULS as an arm of the ELCA, significantly positioned to serve God in an ever-changing church and world.
July 1, 2018, marks the one-year anniversary of ULS, but the foundation for this new and exemplary seminary of distinction was laid in 1826, thus we must not forget that the legacy of the United Lutheran Seminary is more than 180 years old. May our Lord Jesus Christ bless us as we build upon this God-given legacy, and as we continue to grow in Christ and in our mission of educating pastors and church leaders of the future.
The spring and summer terms have been especially busy and just as challenging at ULS, but much has been accomplished. I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Bishop James S. Dunlop for his work as acting president and for his considerable assistance as I assumed the position of interim president of the seminary. During April, May and June, Bishop Dunlop kept the ULS community abreast of the special transitional activities of the seminary leadership, and the necessary work of the board of trustees, as the ULS community addressed a series of difficult challenges.
The board of trustees wrote a mission statement that will help guide us into the future in service to our Lord Jesus Christ. It is more than instructive and of special significance to restate the recently approved ULS Mission Statement as we continue working on the vision and values statements, as well as creating a strategic plan designed to guide us through the next several years.
In service to our Lord Jesus Christ, the ULS Mission Statement reads as follows:
Unifying, Learning, Serving: United Lutheran Seminary is a welcoming and diverse learning community equipping people to proclaim the living Gospel for a changing church and world.
With the blessing of Christ,
Presidential Update and Additional Significant Events
- $30 million received as a bequest from a donor, which will support scholarships for seminarians starting in 2019.
- Considerable progress has been made in the creation of a Faculty Permanency Covenant.
- I, along with those members gathered at the 100th Anniversary of the Association of Theological Schools, signed an “Open Letter on Separation of Families at the Border”, calling for the United States to immediately stop separating immigrant families who are detained at the U.S. border with Mexico. “[Pharaoh’s daughter] saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him.” Exodus 2:5.
- I have been spending alternate weeks on the Gettysburg and Philadelphia campuses, a practice I will continue throughout the year.
- I also plan to host Coffee and Conversation information sessions on the respective campuses at least once a month.
- A retirement reception for Bishop Clare Burkat will be held on the Philadelphia campus at 11 am July 7, 2018.
- The Diversity Task Force continues to work towards reinstating ULS’s RIC status with ReconcilingWorks. The Task Force looks forward to working with the entire ULS community in the fall to create final language for this important document.
- This newsletter, “From My Desk to Yours,” will be produced, time permitting, on a weekly basis.
“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” 2 Corinthians 5:17