In This Issue
Luther Lecture 2009
Welcome Donna Duensing
Wounded Lord
Martin Marty Recording
Remembering Ross Hidy
Graduate Updates
Quick Links
Join our list
Join Our Mailing List
Above the Fog
PLTS Newsletter

October 2009
The 2009 Luther Lecture is almost here. If you plant to attend and have not yet registered, please do so today.
Luther Lecture 2009
November 4, 2009
Finding a Credible Faith -- the Passion of Christ and Luther's Struggle to Believe
Guy ErwinPlease join us in welcoming Dr. Guy Erwin as this year's Luther lecturer. 
The young Martin Luther wrestled with Scripture and his own demons to arrive at the distinctive understanding of faith and grace and salvation that we now call "justification by grace through faith." But what did Luther really understand by "faith"? Incorporating often overlooked sources, this lecture will relate Luther's emerging theology to his ongoing spiritual formation in its Augustinian monastic devotional setting, and give a more fully-rounded picture of his "Reformation breakthrough."

Dr. R. Guy Erwin holds the Gerhard and Olga J. Belgum Chair of Lutheran Confessional Theology at California Lutheran University. He is currently also chair of the newly-founded Department of Languages and Cultures and has a joint appointment in the departments of Religion and History. Dr. Erwin teaches survey courses on the history of Christianity. He also holds seminars in medieval, Reformation, and early modern history and theology, including courses devoted to the life and thought of Martin Luther and to St. Augustine's City of God.
Schedule of Events 
9:30 - Registration & Refreshments
10:00 - Luther Lecture
11:30 - Divine Service
12:45 - Lunch
1:30 - Conversation
Click here for more information.
Welcome to Donna Duensing
DuensingWe are very pleased to welcome the Rev. Donna Duensing (MDiv 1993), who began half-time work last week as the associate director of the Office of Seminary Relations. She writes,
"Once again I begin a new chapter in my life at PLTS. When I graduated in 1983, I would never have guessed that I would have so many opportunities to live out my vocational calling here at PLTS. God is a God of surprises.
"I am delighted to be back working in the Contextual Education office as deployed associate with Dr. Alicia Vargas. My primary responsibility is maintaining contacts and supporting the PLTS students on their internships. This includes leading intern/ supervisor retreats for students from all ELCA seminaries in Region II. I enjoy the opportunity to be invited into this part of their theological education journey where their pastoral identity develops in such amazing ways.
"The other half of my time will be spent working as associate director of seminary relations. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to reconnect with fellow PLTS graduates, many of whom were students when I served as director of contextual education.
"I'm also excited about visiting congregations. Some I already know and others I am looking forward to getting to know. My own passion for ministry is energized when I see the creative ways the people of God embody the love of Christ in their communities.
"It is a gift to be in a position to be a partner in this task of equipping leaders for the church and world." 
Welcome, Donna!
Wounded Lord
Wounded LordDr. Robert H. Smith's final book, Wounded Lord: Reading John Through the Eyes of Thomas, a Pastoral and Theological Commentary on the Fourth Gospel, has just been published.
Dr. Everett Kalin, long-time colleague and friend of Robert, writes, "Always an innovative teacher and writer, Smith trumps all that in his final book. He finds in Thomas's plea to see Jesus's wounds precisely what John's Gospel wants us to see: a God who became incarnate in Jesus, wounds and all."
Dr. Smith (1932-2006) was professor of New Testament at PLTS and served as a member of the core doctoral faculty at the GTU. He is the author of Apocalypse: A Commentary on Revelation in Words and Images (2000) as well as numerous commentaries on Matthew, Acts and Hebrews. 
Wounded Lord can be ordered at a discount from Wipf and Stock Publishers at 541-344-1528 or
Founders' Day Audio Recording
The audio recording of Dr. Martin Marty's keynote address at Founders' Day is available. Please send an email to to request the file. 
In Memory of Pastor Ross Hidy
Hidy and GarmanThe Rev. Ross F. Hidy, beloved friend and long-time supporter of PLTS, passed away on Saturday, October 10 at the age of 93. Pastor Hidy was instrumental in the founding of both PLTS and the Region 2 ELCA Archives Center, and in the acquisition of the properties in Berkeley that became the PLTS campus. He is pictured here with the Rev. Quentin Garman.
Pastor Hidy was born on May 7, 1917 in Springfield, Ohio, and studied at Temple University and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia before being ordained in 1942 into the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA). He served churches in Pennsylvania, Washington and California, including St. Mark's Lutheran in San Francisco and St. Michael's in Berkeley.
He was also the author of many books about various Lutheran leaders and churches, including Frost among the Eskimos: Memoirs of Helen Frost, Missionary Nurse on the Seward Peninsula, 1926-1961 and The Story of St. Mark's Square: How the Oldest Lutheran Congregation in California Helped Rebuild San Francisco.
Following his retirement in 1984, Pastor Hidy volunteered at the Lutheran History Center of the West. One of his greatest passions was preserving the history of our church and creating opportunities to raise new generations of leaders. He will be missed and we are thankful for the blessings he shared with our community.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 7, 2009, 10:30 am, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 4000 Clayton Road, Concord, CA, with the Rev. John Ridenour officiating.
Graduate Updates
Charlie Bang (MDiv 1980) was Chaplain to the Chautauqua Institution this past summer. The theme for the week was Cuba: Neighbor or Enigma. This was Pastor Bang's 5th invitation to be Chaplain to the Institution. He remains at Holy Trinity Church where he is Senior Pastor. He came to Holy Trinity in 1983. 

Joshua Burkholder (MDiv 2009) has been called as pastor to St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Frankfort, Indiana. He will be ordained and installed there on October 25th.
Lori Eickmann (MDiv 2005) has been called by the Sierra Pacific Synod to do intentional interim ministry. She begins her third interim position within the synod, at Bethel in Cupertino as the interim associate, on October 26th and will be ordained on January 16, 2010.
Linda M. Golden (MDiv 1992) will be installed as Senior Pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Livonia, MI. 
Susan K. Hedahl (GTU PhD 1988), Professor of Homiletics at Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary, has had the Herman G. Stuempfle Chair of Proclamation of the Word conferred on her. The official celebration was October 13-14th, 2009.
Eric Jones (MDiv 2008) was called as solo pastor to Orfordville Lutheran Church in Orfordville, Wisconsin. His ordination was held on October 10th, 2009 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin.
Richard (Rick) Lund (MDiv 1990) presently serves as pastor of St. Martin's Lutheran Church, a small town outside of Madison, Wisconsin. 
Vivian Martin (MDiv 1997) retired from Messiah Lutheran in Los Angeles on June 21, 2009 after two years interim ministry and nine and a half years of ordained ministry. She continues to work as a certified mental health psychosocial counselor in Long Beach, California, certified through the United States Psychosocial Rehabilitation Association (USPRA).
Roger Rogahn (MDiv 1965) has returned from a second year as an ELCA Global Missioner, serving in the Presbyterian seminary in Cairo, Egypt as the director of graduate studies. He has purchased a mobile home in Sylmar and is doing some supply preaching and taking courses in Art History, something he always wanted to do. If you want to know of his experiences in Cairo, click here.
Jarrod Schaaf (MDiv 2009) will be ordained on October 24, 2009 at Saint John's Lutheran Church in New Washington, Ohio.
Mons Teig (GTU PhD 1992) and Gail Ramshaw's book Keeping Time: The Church's Years was published in May of this year.
Your Name Here -- please keep us up to date with your whereabouts and happenings here.