ULS President’s Newsletter | Fall Term 2018-19
Volume I, Issue 23
In the liturgical calendar, Advent is a time of reflection and renewal, of preparation, of watchful waiting for the glorious promise to come, and the secular calendar mirrors those attributes with its own season of waiting and renewal. Of course, in the academic calendar, this season is a bit more stressful than most, with final exams, final papers, and final projects all coming due. I urge all of you, especially our hardworking students, to pace yourselves, to practice self-care, and set aside some time for reflection and prayer in this season.
Our ULS community took a few hours to celebrate with the annual Advent Vespers in our campus chapels. On the Gettysburg campus, Music, Gettysburg! presented its 34th annual Advent Vespers Dec. 2, led by Keith Fair, pastor of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, York, PA and the Schola Cantorum of Gettysburg. Among the highlights were two psalm settings written by the Schola’s founder and ULS professor emeritus Stephen Folkemer.
In Philadelphia, on Dec. 9, our chapel choir offered an excellent performance behind the leadership of Chapel Music Director Sheila Booker. Sacristans Kelsey Brown and Kevin Tracey made sure the service ran smoothly, and our advancement staff, led by Karen Sease, presided over a very successful evening capped with a beautiful reception in the Brossman Center.
Liturgically, advent invites us to reflect while we await a most glorious arrival, and the secular calendar has its own glories to wait for, and its own impetus for renewal in the changing of the calendar year. Our 2018 at ULS was marked with some triumphs and some harder times. However, we stand on the brink of 2019 with optimism, ready to Unify, Learn, and Serve in new and innovative ways. It is with the Lord in mind that we perform our duties, to celebrate and uphold God’s church, to train the religious leaders of the future, and to cherish our traditions while leading the way into the future.
Dorothy and I wish the ULS community, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends a joyous holiday season and Merry Christmas. May you and your families be filled with love and happiness during this blessed time. We will visit with our children and grandchildren in Tucson, Arizona and Castro Valley, California. While spending time in Arizona, we will also host events with ULS Alumni in Tucson and Scottsdale.
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” – Luke 2:10
Generous God of abundance and mercy, help us to celebrate the coming of your son with glad hearts, help us reflect on the challenges of the old year, and prepare for the challenges of the new, and always with love in our hearts, words of praise and glory on our lips, and the best interests of your church, our students, and the world in our minds. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray.
Significant Events and Updates
Farewell Lunch Honoring Dr. Brooks Schramm
It was standing room only in Valentine 206 on Monday as current and former faculty members honored the Rev. Dr. Brooks Schramm. Dr. Schramm, Kraft Professor of Biblical Studies, has accepted a call to be pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Santa Barbara (Goleta), California. We wish him only the very best in his new endeavor.
Caroling with Students
On Sunday evening, Dorothy and I were treated with the musical talents of over a dozen seminarians at our home in Gettysburg. It was a joy to hear the delightful carols and visit with such a wonderful group of students.
It was a blessing to worship at St. James in Gettysburg on Sunday with the Rev. Dr. Angela Zimmann. On behalf of United Lutheran Seminary, I offered a word of gratitude for the more than $250,000 in support that the congregation has provided to the seminary throughout recent years. Many thanks to Rev. Michael Allwein and Rev. Andrew Geib for your hospitality.