ULS President’s Newsletter | Fall Term 2018-19
Volume I, Issue 12
For more than a week (and possibly longer), I have been reflecting on the meaning and importance of stewardship to United Lutheran Seminary. Especially as it is embraced by the ULS community of faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, and supporters.
As I searched for relevant Scripture and text for this week’s Presidential Newsletter, I could not avoid thinking about the plight of God’s people, our siblings in Christ, facing the pending landfall of menacing storms, extremely high, hurricane force winds, and huge sheets of rain approaching the southeast coast of the United States. They need and have our prayers!
The Scriptures have much to teach us about stewardship, which touches all aspects of our existence.
“Let us be regarded in this manner, as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy”. (1 Cor. 4:1-2)
We most often think of stewardship in terms of money, but it is more important that we think of the stewardship of our time, talents, and treasures.
One incredible illustration of good stewardship is the time people take to do things that are not strictly part of their expected responsibilities.
Students have little time to lead services in chapel or participate in student government—but they do.
Faculty do not always have to spend time chatting with students before and after class or lead evening study groups—but they do.
Staff are not required to go the extra mile (that extra mile that Jesus suggested we all walk with someone who asks for our company) to make sure students get what they need, or to spend their time serving on ULS committees—but they do.
Time, Treasure, & Talent
God has given all of us the gifts of time, treasure, and talent. Of course, we all have these things in varying degrees. But we can all take on the challenge of meeting our God-given responsibilities to the ULS community, the changing Church, and the changing world, using our time, treasure, and talent as they have been given to us to accomplish our goals.
Our advancement department at ULS uses the document below—10 Ways to Partner with ULS in Ministry—to suggest ways members and potential members of our community can join us in Unifying, Learning, and Serving. These 10 activities—which include opportunities like youth theological get-togethers, retreats on either of our campuses, joining us for worship in our beautiful chapels, hosting an intern, and simply coming for a visit—are only a few ways our community members can use their time, treasure, or talent to join us in our Godly mission.
Whether you are a graduate of ULS, student, staff member, faculty, or a supporter of ULS, we want to invite you to help engage in the mission of ULS in any of the ways you see on the accompanying document—or in your own creative way!
We can’t do it without you….
God of Grace and Mercy, as your grateful servants may we use our talents, time and treasures as we carryout God’s work. Along with our prayers for the safety of our neighbors, may we understand and act upon your mandate that we love our neighbor, especially in these times of pending disaster. And the need for our actions to the glory of God and on behalf of all our brothers and sisters. May the stewardship of our time, talents and treasures be apportioned to help our neighbors.
In Christ’s Name we pray for all affected by the current storm, including some who are related to members of the ULS community.
Significant Events and Updates
Welcome and Equity Statement Town Halls
A very special thanks to those who planned and attended the first two town hall meetings dedicated to the creation of a Welcome and Equity Statement for ULS. Both meetings were received well and were extremely informative. Our next town hall event will take place on Monday September 17 5:00- 7:00 PM in the Valentine Auditorium on Gettysburg Campus.
Special Visitors on Both Campuses Next Week
We are blessed to have several visitors on both campuses next week.
- On September 20, the Rev. Dr. Stephen Munga, Bishop of the North Eastern Diocese of Tanzania, and his wife Rev. Dr. Anneth Munga, former Vice-Chancellor of SEKOMU University in Tanzania, will be visiting us in Philadelphia as part of their partnership with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod. Bishop Stephen Munga and Rev. Dr. Anneth Munga have been engaged in ministry in Tanzania for many decades and have also overseen the operations of a seminary, publishing house, and many social ministry organizations across the North Eastern Diocese.
- On September 21-22, as part of a partnership with Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod, Madame Jeanne Christiane will be visiting both campuses of ULS. Madame is a theologian from the Tulear Synod in Madagascar and is the Director of the Bible School in Ambovombe which trains evangelists and lay catechists.
Conversations on Culture
Over the last few months, Dr. Christine Kennedy and Warren Young have offered a series of “Conversations on culture” with specific constituencies at ULS. Their efforts, that focused on students last semester, will continue into the new academic year on both campuses. This year, the plan is to broaden this work to include faculty and staff, in addition to students. Several events have already been planned throughout the semester. Keep an eye out for details in the Common Cup and the calendar of events section of our website.