In This Issue
Founders' Day and Seminex
Public Health Care
Dr. Stortz in Turkey
Grad Updates
In Memoriam
Quick Links
Join our list
Join Our Mailing List
Above the Fog
PLTS Newsletter

July 2009
Summer can be a quiet time at PLTS, but we still have a lot of news to share. Blessings to you this day!
Founders' Day and Seminex Celebration
September 23, 2009
Building Cultures of Trust
Dr. Martin E. Marty, Keynote Speaker 
martin marty
Dr. Martin Marty will be the keynote speaker at Founders' Day, September 23, 2009. We also gather to celebrate and remember the important history of Seminex. Please join us!
Daily the media bring us stories of trust - broken, threatened, and sometimes even kept! Trust is shattered on many levels of politics; the financial crisis is in no small measure a crisis of trust. The worlds of entertainment and celebrity, of marital life and covenanted relationships provide further evidence. What to do?
It would be silly to suggest that we have a "solution" to set the UN, the US government, the economy in order. But the church can make some contributions. We can be faithful to the Gospel and the commitments we make. We can build sub-cultures of trust, in church, home, community, work place, and transactions, and thus regain some confidence. As a case study, we will look at some theories and practical addresses to the discourse between science and religion. All trust involves risk. No risk? No need for trusting. How to minimize risk and maximize trust is the endeavor.

Founders' Day
9:30 - Registration and coffee
10:00 - Keynote presentation
11:15 - Eucharist
12:30 - Lunch, award presentations
1:45 - Q & A
Christ Seminary-Seminex Celebration
2:30 - Hymn Fest and organ music
3:15 - Refreshments at the President's residence
5:30 - Seminex celebration banquet
Click here for more information.
PLTS Graduate Speaks to Public Health Care
Aana VigenDr. Aana Marie Vigen, a 1995 graduate of PLTS and the Graduate Theological Union with an M.A. in ethics, had an op-ed published in the Newsweek and Washington Post online paper, On Faith. Her piece is called "'Heal the Sick': Why Public Health Care is a Christian Duty." Aana is an assistant professor at Loyola University in Chicago, where she lives with her partner and son.

From Los Angeles to Liberia, from Southern Oregon to South Africa, from Colorado to the Carolinas, PLTS is expecting a terrific incoming class of new students this fall. As usual, we'll have a healthy diversity in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, theological perspective, as well as varieties and levels of church experience and backgrounds, etc. All in all, we'll welcome folks passionate about ministry in Christ's church in the ELCA.  
We'll welcome students with a variety of educational backgrounds and levels of experience, with a wide variety of majors and areas of study; students who've been out of college and working for some years; students with international and language experience; global concern and passion for justice and public policy.
We'll welcome students some of whom sense God's call to be diaconal ministers or deaconnesses; many feeling called to ordained ministry; some who will be Associates in Ministry; others with a call to teach or pursue other academic interests.
Please keep them as a group in your thoughts and prayers!
Dr. Martha Stortz in Turkey
bluemosqueIn May, Dr. Marty Stortz went on a pilgrimage to Turkey as a guest of the Pacifica Institute, a Turkish-American organization interested in "intercultural dialogue."
As she discovered on the way, the travel directly relates to her ATS research grant on pilgrimage. She wrote an extensive and informative travelogue of her trip, which we are presenting in weekly installments.
For the latest installment, click here. To read from the beginning, click here.
Graduate Updates
Ron Cox (MDiv 2009) has been called to serve as the pastor at Christ Lutheran in Goleta and will begin his call on August 1. 
Don F. McMillan (MDiv 1994) has recently been called to the position of Chaplain with Hospice Compassus of Northern Arizona.  He will be serving hospice patients and their families in Flagstaff, Sedona, and Winslow, Arizona (and surrounding areas, including the Navajo Indian Reservation).  In 2008, Pastor McMillan completed a one-year Chaplain Residency at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon with emphases in Trauma, Pediatrics, and Burn Survivor care.  He and his family have resided in Flagstaff, Arizona for 9 years.  
Michael Mortvedt (MDiv 1982) recently began a new part-time call to serve as the Vicar of Trinity Episcopal Church in Kremmling, Colorado, and a part-time position as national Co-Director of Alternatives for Simple Living, a faith based organization that challenges consumerism and promotes simple, earth-friendly living and celebrations. Sandy Olson-Mortvedt is the other Co-Director and the mother of PLTS student Anna Hansen.  Michael is the editor of Alternative's publication Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?, which is published each fall for Advent and Christmas. Last May Michael raised $2200 for the ELCA World Hunger Appeal and Episcopal Relief and Development by riding his bicycle from his parish in Kremmling the the Rocky Mountain  Synod Assembly in El Paso Texas, a total of 687 miles. In June, Michael was honored to officiate with Dr. Jane Strohl at the wedding of his stepdaughter Anna Hansen to PLTS graduate Adrian Bonaro.
Jill Rowland (Jill Gendreau, MDiv 1994) was married to Phil Scott on May 23. Jill serves as chaplain and coordinates the Faith in Action program at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital in Hood River, Oregon. Together, they have three children, Carter Scott (13), Emelia Gendreau (11), and Alden Gendreau (9). In May 2008, Jill received her Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Mission and Leadership from Luther Seminary. Her kids enjoying calling her "Dr. J!"
Your Name Here -- please send your updates to
In Memoriam
Sam Giesy died on July 9th after a long illness. He was 85. The Giesys have been long time supporters of PLTS. Because of their generosity, the old PLTS library building was remodeled to become the Giesy Hall that is the center of campus life today. Sam is survived by his wife, Linda.
G. Patrick (Pat) Morris, an honorary alum and former member of the PLTS Board of Directors, died on June 20, 2009 after a ten-month battle with acute myelogenous leukemia.  Pat died peacefully at home with his wife and family by his side.
Nancy Peterson died on July 3rd at the age of 69. Nancy was a close friend of PLTS: a donor, a volunteer, and a frequent participant in events on campus. She was very active in our Women and Philanthropy program, was a member of the Remember the Future Society, and fondly remembered her experience on travel seminars with Tim Lull. Recently she was leading an effort with PLTS and area congregations to develop a program to promote understanding of the diverse religious traditions of our neighbors. She is survived by her sister and her son, Ted. Cards may be sent to Ted Smith-Peterson, 839 Washington, Albany, CA 94706.
Joenne Cannon Riek died on April 6, 2009. She was a life-long supporter of the seminary, active in the auxilliary, and the wife of George Riek, who served for many years as the Chair of the Property Committee. She died of terminal cancer under the care of hospice. Joenne will be remembered for her faith, her positive outlook on life, her leadership in every congregation to which she belonged. Joenne is survived by her husband, George, son Paul, daughter Deanna, three grandchildren, her mother, Evelyn Cannon of Piedmont Gardens in Oakland, her sister, Jeanne Overcashier of Santa Rosa, and other family members, most of whom live in the greater SF Bay area.
Blessed be the memory of these servants of God.