Pastoral Letter to the United Lutheran Seminary Community
Dear Friends in Christ,
Yesterday, the Board of Trustees made important and difficult decisions about the future of our seminary. One of those decisions included electing me as your Acting President. I humbly accept this position with an awareness that there is much work to be done to bring about healing and restoration. Though this position is only temporary until an Interim President can be identified, I want you to know that I am fully committed to working together in earnest to heal divisions and unify our ULS community.
As we approach the coming days and weeks, I look forward to meeting with our community as we begin our work together to build a new, unified Seminary. I will be in Gettysburg today and Philadelphia on Friday to meet with various people. Let me assure you, I will listen with an open mind and heart to the stories and perspectives of all the seminary stakeholders, including LGBTQIA+ members, our African American members and any others who feel as if their voices are not heard.
These are difficult times; but in such times, we cling to God with trust and hope. This hope will guide ULS leadership and our community to a greater and deeper understanding of our undeniable faith. Together, we will make decisions that will strengthen and sustain ULS. I pray for this outcome because we must create a community where all feel safe. Nothing less is acceptable.
The story of United Lutheran Seminary is only just beginning. Despite our infancy, The United Lutheran Seminary is a vibrant, compassionate and loving community that has already overcome many obstacles. While we have a long way to go, through God’s grace, I trust our story is Christ’s story, a story of death and resurrection. Through continued prayer, thoughtful discussion and active listening, I am prayerful that out of these recent painful and difficult events will come new life.
I invite the ULS community to join me in prayer for God’s light and guidance for healing, trust, wisdom, and compassion.
Bishop Jim Dunlop
United Lutheran Seminary