From My Desk to Yours

From My Desk to Yours: Help & Hope

ULS President’s Newsletter | Fall Term 2018-19

Volume I, Issue 16

Help and hope can come from the most unexpected places.

On September 28, I attended the annual banquet of the ELCA Fund for Leaders, which supports students of tremendous promise attending ELCA seminaries.

“I Need Help”

In one of the chapel sessions, the preacher was Elizabeth Peter, a ULS student and previous Fund for Leaders recipient, who is currently serving her internship in Seattle.

Her sermon title was “I Need Help.” In the sermon, she stated that asking for help is often difficult, because it may be seen as a sign of weakness. But she provided a wonderful account of her undergraduate college days as a member of her college’s Gospel Choir, singing in four-part harmony:

O Lord I want you to help me.
O Lord I want you to help me.
Help me on my journey
Help me on my way
O Lord I want you to help me.

She reminded the 70 Fund for Leaders scholars and others in chapel that day of the “divine act” of song, and why the Church, the body of Christ, comes together to praise God in song. Her sermon was an excellent and timely reminder that we can all find help in the Lord.

Elizabeth’s sermon also made me reflect fondly about the many talents of my wife Dorothy. She is a wonderful singer and piano player and was a member of her concert choir as a college student. She is currently a member of our church choir — and she doesn’t hesitate to remind me that I cannot carry a tune in a bucket! But I carry James 5:13 in that metaphorical bucket:

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.

“How Are You?”

Also, at the Conference of Bishops, I heard another inspiring sermon also introduced with three words: “How Are You?”

The usual answer to this question is “I am fine.” But the preacher suggested that we might replace our typical answer of “I am fine” with a more thoughtful answer: “I am hopeful.” We can proclaim our hopefulness because of the risen Christ!

I interacted with most of the 17 ULS Fund for Leaders scholars at the conference, students who expressed this hopefulness in song:

O Lord, I want you to help me.
Help me on my journey. 
Help me on my way.

Our hope is ever-present and stated frequently in Scripture. Romans 5:2 says, in reference to Christ: “… through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.”

Merciful Triune God, Earth Maker, Pain Bearer, Life Giver, you know that we are broken, and you shared that brokenness with us on the Cross at Golgotha. We need your help in this fallen world, and through you we have hope that your Kingdom will be realized here on Earth, as Jesus taught, as it is in Heaven. Bless us this day to do our hopeful work, and with your help, to enact your Kingdom here.

We trust in your mercy and know that your steadfast love lasts forever. Look with mercy on those harmed or displaced by strong winds, floodwaters, and storm damage and grant them the strength to meet the challenges of the days, weeks, and months ahead. May they feel your peace and comfort, which surpasses all understanding. Help us to find ways to acknowledge you even in the midst of disasters, injury, and loss of life and property.

In Jesus’ name we pray.


Richard Green
Interim President

Significant Events and Updates

Meetings with Lutheran Leaders

Met with distinguished Lutheran educators Robin Steinke, President of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN; James Nieman, President of Lutheran Theological Seminary, Chicago; Ray Pickett, President of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkely, CA; Kathryn Kleinhans, Dean of Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University in Columbus, OH; Louise Johnson, President of Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, IA; and Dr. Javier Goitia, Director of Theological Education at the ELCA’s Vocation and Education Unit. We discussed possible partnerships, the future of theological education in the Lutheran denominations and in the world and had prayerful fellowship together.

Organizational Changes

There have been questions concerning organizational changes at ULS. I want you to know that I am working on ways to best address the needs of the Seminary community—especially those of students—and to improve the operational function of ULS. If you would like to set up a meeting with me, please contact Joe Carlucci at

Healing Sessions

Several healing sessions were held at ULS of the last few days for faculty and staff with Dr. Christine Kennedy and Mr. Warren Young. Another event is planned for staff on the Philadelphia Campus on Monday October 15 from 9:30- 11:30 in Brossman 209.

Conversations with Dr. Green

In the coming weeks, three gatherings are planned for students to join in fellowship and receive updates from the President’s Office. These informal gathering are designed for students to share their concerns in an open and relaxed forum. Refreshments (pizza) will be served.

  • Monday October 15 at 5:00 PM in Lull Lounge 5:00 PM (Philadelphia Campus)
  • Thursday October 18 6:00 PM- 7:00 PM via Zoom (Online Campus DL Students/Students on Internship).
  • Monday October 29 in the Valentine Coffee Shop at 5:00 PM (Gettysburg Campus)