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Great Thanksgiving
Luther Lecture Texts
Winter School 2010
Campus Master Plan
Graduate Updates
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Above the Fog
PLTS Newsletter

November 2009
Greetings from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. We hope that this email finds you in good spirits and staying warm. 
The Great Thanksgiving
Great Thanksgiving 2009Friends, staff, faculty, board members and graduates of the seminary gathered for the Second Annual Great Thanksgiving at H'S Lordship's on November 6. It was a night of champions, and President Phyllis Anderson seized the opportunity to pay special tribute to Tom Kling, Sr., Barbara Venerdi and the Sierra Pacific Synod for the outstanding support and encouragement they have given to the seminary.
In her tributes, she told stories of how each of them, in their own way, changed the life of PLTS. Tom Kling is just completing his term of service to the board of directors, and was instrumental in reinventing the Remember the Future Society, which is the group of seminary friends who provide for the seminary in their estate plans.
Barbara Venerdi became involved in the seminary's life when Dr. Ted Peters was interim president. In difficult financial times, she stepped up to help PLTS meet its obligations and keep its ministry alive.
Bishop Mark Holmerud accepted the seminary's thanks on behalf of the Sierra Pacific Synod. The synod has demonstrated an outstanding level of support for PLTS, and has pledged to foster an even deeper partnership as we move forward together for the sake of the Gospel.
Randy Foster, who chairs the PLTS board of directors, was on hand to salute all who love and serve PLTS.
The Great Thanksgiving is hosted annually to thank the President's Circle of donors, the Remember the Future Society, board members, staff, faculty and upcoming graduates for their vital contributions to the life of PLTS.

Luther Lecture 2009
November 4, 2009
Finding a Credible Faith -- the Passion of Christ and Luther's Struggle to Believe
Guy ErwinWe welcomed Dr. Guy Erwin as this year's Luther lecturer. 
The text of the lecture can be found here.
Dr. Erwin's sermon can be found here.
Thanks to everyone whose planning, hard work and attendance made this a wonderful day. 
Winter School - January 2010
You are invited to join with PLTS and GTU students in these excellent classes on critical issues for ministry available in the January term.

Tuition to audit is $275. Several of these courses would be of interest to lay people who seek to deepen their understanding the faith for living in these times. For further information about registration, contact Cheryl Heuer, Registrar at PLTS at
Leadership in Hard Times: Re-Imaging Power - Soft, Smart, Supple
Dr. Kathleen Hurty
Soft power is in -- but little understood. Smart power is developing. Supple power has possibilities. Where did 'soft power' originate? Is it a sign of implied weakness? Is it for women only? Does it have any credence theologically? How does it work in congregations? Can it credibly face up to conflict? This course will look at the generative history behind what is currently referred to as "soft power" and will explore its usefulness for ministry in today's world. Students will collaborate in developing theological templates for understanding and communicating "soft/smart power" strategies in congregational settings while stretching power boundaries and making them more supple. Open to both women and men, the course will require full participation, robust discussion of selected readings and a brief, practical and reflective paper. Class meets Monday - Friday, January 11-15, 2010, 9:00 am - 1 pm, Giesy Hall 1
Pastoral Care of the Dying and Grieving
Dr. Herbert Anderson
The human animal is characterized by two great fears from which other animals are protected: the fear of life and the fear of death (Ernest Becker). In order to identify our attitudes around dying and grieving, three expressions of the reality of finality will be examined: finitude, loss, and death. In order to achieve that aim, the course will focus on all the losses of life and the uniquely human fear of death. The aim of this course is to enhance understanding of the processes of dying and grieving and to increase our ability to care for those who are dying and grieving. Congregational grief and the family as the mourner are dimensions of systemic grief that will be included in the exploration. Special attention will be given to situations of ambiguous loss such as Alzheimer's or divorce, violent or traumatic death and the grief that is experienced in job loss or the downturn in the economy. 1.5 credits or audit. Class meets Monday - Friday, January 18-22, 2010, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, PLTS Giesy Hall 1
The Excellent Liturgist
Rev. Sandra Dager
Voice - "Presence" - "Persona." - Liturgical Imagination. These are crucial components of good liturgical leadership. This practical, hands-on course will focus upon chanting, singing, ritual reading, the use of the body and liturgical imagination. Through the direct application of a variety of methods, theories and techniques and insights including the Alexander Technique and the Primal Pattern Theory, students will learn and present a variety of liturgies and/or portions thereof. Evaluations of students' liturgical development will be individualized and based upon each student's degree of improvement. Course requirements include a brief reflection paper. 1.5 credits or audit.
Class meets Tuesday, 1/19/2010, 1:00-5:00 pm; Wednesday, 01/20/2010, 8:00 am-12:00 pm and 1:00-5:00 pm; Thursday, 02/21/2010, 8:00-12:00 pm and 1:00-5:00 pm, Chapel Classroom
Rev. Dr. Mark Brocker
This course will focus on the ethics of German pastor/theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was hung by the Nazis for his role in the conspiracy against Hitler. The primary text will be the 2005 Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works English edition of Bonhoeffer's Ethics. This 2005 edition has been completely restructured, and the editorial apparatus has been significantly enhanced. Bonhoeffer offers a Christological approach that seeks to take seriously both the reality of God and the reality of the world. We will explore key Bonhoeffer themes such as ethics as formation, the concept of responsibility, vocation, church and state, and the natural. We will also examine the ethics of his involvement in the conspiracy against Hitler and how his ethical approach may give us insight into difficult contemporary ethical issues. Evaluation method: Term paper. 1.5 credits or audit.

Class meets Monday - Friday, January 25-29, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm in PLTS Giesy Hall 1.
Campus Master Plan
Louden photo of chapel
PLTS has an overall plan for campus development that serves as our guide as we make improvements. Our architects have provided a virtual tour of their plans, which you can take here.
This photo was taken by Jeffrey Louden on a recent visit to campus.
Graduate Updates
Sid Bennett (BD 1964) writes: Director of Counseling Services Retired Cuesta Community College, San Luis Obispo, CA. 
Janie Blakely (MDiv 1997) started a call to Our Shepherd, Hartsville, South Carolina, on Nov. 1, 2009.
Jan Castleberry (TEEM 2008) has been called as Pastor by Four Mile Lutheran Church in Mabank, Texas. She was installed on November 15, 2009. 
Dan Gibson (MDiv 2001) was called on August 31 by the Southwest California Synod to be the new campus pastor of the Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Southern California.

Karla Halvorson (MDiv 2006), serving San Marcos Lutheran in San Marcos, California, and James Jerpseth (MDiv 1996), serving King of Kings Lutheran in Oceanside, are proud parents of Elsa Karla Halvorson Jerpseth, born in July. Karla passed the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) exam in October.

Richard Hinger (MDiv 1977) has just been called as Director of Pastoral Ministries at Tabbitha Lutheran Health Care Systems in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Jeff Johnson (MDiv 1988) will celebrate the 20th anniversary of his ordination on January 20, 2010, as well as 10 years at the Chapel in Berkeley as Lutheran Campus Pastor this November. He hopes to be rostered soon as ELCA clergy now that the policy permits openly LGBT partnered clergy.

Gerald Jones (MA 1999), became a full ACPE Supervisor on October 27th.
Susan Langhauser (MDiv 1990) is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the ELCA Church Council, as well as chairing the Planning and Evaluation Committee.
John Maas (MDiv 1977) completed 54 hours of Police and Fire Chaplaincy training at the Washington Chaplaincy Training Academy and is certified for Police and Fire Chaplaincy. He is currently serving as Chaplain to the Oregon State Fire Marshal's Office.
Jorn Muller (BD 1968) writes, "Following retirement in 1998 from Ebenezer Lutheran Church in San Francisco, I moved to Fortuna, California, where his late wife had become the vicar of St. Francis Episcopal Church. I continued to assist until the new vicar, former Lutheran pastor David Owren, was called after my wife Pamela Muller died in 2001. Having conducted the Christmas service in Danish on the 23rd of December for over thirty years at the old Danish church in Portland, I had come to know many of the Danes in this area. Among them is Bodil, who was president of the Pacific Northwest Danish Association in Portland. We have now been married for over six years and have recently moved into our new house in Hillsboro, Oregon. We attend church at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Portland. Whenever asked to help out, I preside at the Eucharist and preach (with the bishop's blessing.) Bodil and I very much feel at home in this friendly and open parish, and I enjoy being allowed in my retirement to contribute in a modest way to being actively a part of the agreement Call to Common Mission between the ELCA and the Episcopal Church.

Joanne Richmond (MDiv 1985) is the Instructor of Ethics at Western Technical College in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Sandra Rudd (MDiv 2009) was called to Sitka Lutheran Church in southern Alaska and was ordained on November 15, 2009.
Liliana Stahlberg (CATS 2008) will be ordained on November 21, 2009.
James Swanson (BD 1966) retired in 1994 after thirty years at Christ, Hammond, Indiana. In November 2008, he was named Pastor Emeritus. Besides parish choir, pulpit supply, and Synod activities, his time is spent serving on the College Bound program in Hammond, and in model railroading, rail fanning, keeping tropical fish, old time radio, and the Monon Railroad Historical-Technical Society.
Sabrina Vasta (MDiv 2009) has been called as a pastor to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Dana Point, CA. She will be ordained and installed there in January 2010.

Your Name Here -- please keep us up to date with your whereabouts and happenings here.