ULS President’s Newsletter | Fall Term 2018-19
Volume I, Issue 18
Dear ULS Community,
This week, we were honored to host six Bishops from across the country as part of an annual visit to United Lutheran Seminary. These visits were primarily student-focused and were an opportunity for Bishops to interact and create relationships with students for the future.
It was a blessing to interact with each of the Bishops — both at dinner with my wife, Dorothy, and in the many group settings. I was extremely proud of our students who led each of the group discussions with enthusiasm, grace, and keen understanding of the role of the Bishop in the church.
I had the privilege of spending the better part of the day with three ELCA bishops from Washington, Michigan and Wisconsin. From the start it was apparent that all three men had very approachable pastoral styles and their presence on campus was greeted with kindness and appreciation by the student body. I believe their time here was productive in that it offered new perspectives to all students who spent time with them and shed some light on the challenges and opportunities that we can all expect to encounter going forward. It was a pleasure having them here and learning from them.
Joe Di Marius, ULS Student
I enjoyed getting to know the bishops who visited campus and show them a little bit about what campus life is like here. We got to share the experience of sitting in class together, schedule one-on-one conversations with them, and learn more about the direction that the broader church is heading — both in technicalities and in mission. Their pastoral presence as people outside of the seminary institution who are still deeply invested in seminary education was welcome.
Taylor Dieringer, ULS Student
While many topics and items were discussed, I think the most important takeaway from these visits was communicated by Bishop Susan Briner from the Southwestern Texas Synod. During one of the group discussions, she simply and poignantly said,
“We are all in this together — the Bishops, the Church, the Seminary, the Congregations, and the Community — unified together.”
It was thrilling to hear this message and it reminded me just how important we all are — to each other.
It was a pleasure to visit the United Lutheran Seminary – Gettysburg Campus in October 2018. The students were genuinely engaged, not only in their classes, but in responding faithfully to the new challenges and opportunities before them as Rostered Ministers. I especially commend Interim President Dr. Richard Green, the faculty and staff at ULS for courageous and compassionate leadership in turbulent and transformative times. Come Holy Spirit!
Bishop Bob Humphrey
This was my first visit to the Gettysburg Campus of ULS – I found the students, faculty and staff to be highly engaging and committed to a process of joint learning for the sake of the gospel. I would welcome more ULS grads in Southwestern Texas!
Bishop Sue Briner
I greatly appreciate the warm welcome and sincere engagement of the students, faculty, and staff we encountered during our visit to the Philadelphia campus. I was impressed by the ways that the changes in how seminary education is organized will prepare the students well for a world in which we will continually need to find new ways to proclaim God’s ancient message of grace, love, and mercy.
Bishop Paul Erickson
It was a delight to visit with the students, faculty and staff of United Lutheran Seminary – Philadelphia. I greatly appreciate Dr. Green’s steady and knowledgeable leadership and was equally impressed with the student’s commitment and eagerness to serve Christ in various forms of ministry. I look forward to wonderful gifts emerging from the combined ministry of ULS.
Bishop Rick Jaech
I am extremely grateful for the team who helped make these visits successful and for all who participated. The six visiting Bishops were:
Bishop Richard E. Jaech
Southwestern Washington Synod
Bishop Susan J. Briner
Southwestern Texas Synod
Bishop Paul D. Erickson
Greater Milwaukee Synod
Bishop Robert F. Humphrey
Craig Alan Satterlee
North/West Lower Michigan Synod
Bishop David B. Zellmer
South Dakota Synod
Righteous and merciful God, thank you for the gift of ministry in your church, the very body of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We give thanks today for the bishops who care for us as true representatives of your Apostles, our good shepherds in our mission of unity, learning and service. Help us always to remember their role as your servants here on earth as we prepare for Your kingdom. In Christ’s name we pray,
Significant Events and Updates
Luther Bowl is Saturday October 27 on the Gettysburg Campus. Dorothy and I will be attending and are looking forward to enjoying the game and visiting with students, faculty, alumni, staff, and visitors.
The Institute for Luther Studies will sponsor the annual Luther Colloquy, Tuesday, October 30 – Thursday, November 1. The theme for the 2018 Luther Colloquy is “Theology and Exegesis in African Contexts.” Click the button below to view more details and register for this event.Learn More
Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries
It was an honor meeting with Executive Director, Amanda Gerken-Nelson and Program Director Olivia LaFlamme from Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM)—an organization which affirms and supports LGBTQIA+ Lutheran rostered leaders and those pursuing a call to rostered leadership, while engaging allied congregations and ministries to proclaim God’s love and seek justice for all. In addition to our one-on-one meeting, Rev Gerken-Nelson also presided at chapel on both campuses this week. If you would like to know more about their work and ministry, please visit them at elm.org