ULS President’s Newsletter | Fall Term 2018-19
Volume I, Issue 20
Oh Lord, not again!
By some accounts, there have been more than 304 mass shootings of four or more people in the past 311 days, notably in Louisville, KY, Pittsburgh, PA, and just this week in Thousand Oaks, CA. More than ever, we are called upon to provide the hands to help do God’s work in a broken world where mercy and justice and the love our neighbors must be a never-ending rebuke to evil for all of God’s siblings.
As we at ULS are engaged in our ministry to educate leaders for an ever-changing world, we must constantly remind ourselves of why we are here. We recently restated our mission, and are now working together as a community to reach accord as to the substance of our vision and expressed values. The effectiveness of our strategic planning process will rest on the soundness and the clarity by which we state our mission. But our words are not enough. We have demonstrated throughout our extensive history that actions speak louder than words. It is not enough to think — we must do what we can to make a positive impact on the lives of our neighbors and around the world.
The statues of Luther, Schmucker, Bonhoeffer, and other siblings in Christ grace the grounds of our campuses, alongside portraits of past professors and seminary leaders. Their presence reminds us that their words were — and are! — powerful, and their actions were even more significant as they contributed to our mission to serve God and our neighbors. Today, both our words and deeds are even more needed in this broken world.
Colleagues, faculty, staff, alumni, students, and friends, with the help of the Lord Jesus Christ our God, we can make a difference in our world. As we toil in the vineyards of our Seminary, may we better serve our God and love our neighbors. Our teaching, our studying, our service, our time, talents, and treasures can be put to divine use in His name’ “just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of God, we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4.
Dear Lord God, we ask your guidance as we seek to love you and our neighbors, as we continue to serve as stewards of your heavenly gifts. May we be constantly reminded that we are not perfect, none of us are perfect and that through your death and resurrection, we all have been saved.
But now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, “Where are you going?” [“Whither thou goest?”]
John 16:5 (NIV)
Significant Events and Updates
The annual Luther Bowl flag football tournament was held Oct. 27 at our Gettysburg campus. As usual, it was a great success. The event was a lot of fun for the players and their fans who showed up to cheer on their school. Also, my opening prayer for a safe event was answered; only two injuries (feel better soon!!)
Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
In my October 19, 2018 Presidential Newsletter, I announced several organizational changes to improve our ability to meet our educational, community, and service objectives at United Lutheran Seminary. One such issue (one that I consider to be imperative) is to address concerns about diversity, equity, and inclusion. These concerns, specifically connected to diversity and accessibility, non-discrimination, anti-racism, and LGBTQIA+ issues affect all of us- every student, faculty/staff member, board member, and alum! To this end, I will create a new office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Seminary, with a position title of “Director of Diversity and Inclusion”. Funding will be found and procured to appoint this position as soon as possible. Initially, this person will report to the President and will have a significant and diverse advisory group to help create an effective program.
Happy Veteran’s Day!
With our hearts filled with gratitude, we thank all who sacrificed so much, so that we could have a better life and a country to call home.
Thank you so much. Happy Veteran’s day.
Finally, may we offer our prayers to the families and victims of the tragic fires in California. My son and his family are not in immediate danger, but the smoke from north and south of his home in San Francisco is extremely troubling and unhealthy.