In This Issue
Of Candles and Carols
Advent Devotional
Honoring our Foremothers
Ted Peters on Creation
Winter School 2010
Lost Lambs
In Memoriam
Graduate Updates
Quick Links
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Above the Fog
PLTS Newsletter

December 2009
Stumped? Can't think of the perfect gift for that special someone?
This year, consider a gift to PLTS to honor that special someone. Your gift to PLTS will help us prepare leaders for the church, and will honor your friend or relative or pastor.
Click here. Your gift by Christmas will be matched by two generous friends of the seminary.
Of Candles and Carols
holly ivy
Neighbors and friends of PLTS gathered in the Chapel of the Cross on December 2nd to celebrate Christmas around the theme: "Of Candles and Carols." World-renown mezzo soprano and seminary friend, Dame Donna Petersen of San Francisco, favored the crowd with four beautiful numbers, concluding with "O Holy Night." Naomi Hoffmeyer, principal harpist with the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, played several selections on her harp.
Other guest musicians included Dr. Ann Callaway, piano and organ; Monroe Kanouse, piano; and PLTS student Debbie McAllister, guitar. Linda Ely and PLTS student Pam Schaefer played a flute duet of "Of the Father's Love Begotten" arranged by Martin Schaefer (BD 1965). The PLTS Chapel Choir sang, and members of the seminary community performed various Christmas readings. The gathered assembly sang some of the most familiar and beautiful Christmas hymns throughout the evening as well.
After the hour of singing and candlelight, all were invited to the President's residence for hot beverages and Christmas cookies that were baked and decorated a few days earlier by students and staff.
"Of Candles and Carols" was arranged by Executive Assistant to the President Linda Ely and Joel Wudel, Vice President for Seminary Relations. Thanks to all who participated in this annual Christmas celebration. Merry Christmas!

(Photo: Linda Ely)
Advent Devotional
AdventThe 2009 Advent Devotional, jointly published by PLTS and Luther Seminary, is available online.
The Advent and Lenten devotionals are written by faculty and staff of both seminaries, and offered as a gift to you from the Western Mission Cluster.
If you would like to receive a printed copy of future Lenten and Advent devotionals, please reply to this email and let us know. 
Save the Date: Honoring our Foremothers
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
9:30 am to 2:30 pm

You are invited to come and honor four women who have started us on our journeys toward full participation of women in church and society: Marge Wold* and Fran Burnford (former ALC), Elizabeth Bettenhausen (former LCA), and Christine Grumm (former AELC). It will be a day of worship, stories, memories, stimulation and fellowship. Lunch is included.
*Marge is unable to travel, so she will be honored in absentia.
Registration information will follow.
Ted Peters on "Creation"
Ted PetersTed Peters, PLTS Professor of Systematic Theology, has published an article entitled "The Uses and Misuses of Creation" in the November/ December issue of Lutheran Partners magazine. In the article, Dr. Peters outlines seven different references to the word creation in common usage, including what we do, what God does, and "an ethical call to care for our earth." You can find the entire article here.
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
We were surprised to wake up and come to work in snow on December 9th. Those of you in the midwest and other places with "real" snow may consider this a mere light dusting. For Berkeley residents, this is a rare and wonderful treat. Many made special trips to play in Tilden Park, where the snow was as deep as two inches. Even the fire department joined in the fun! With overnight temperatures in the high 20s, there was plenty of snow left along Grizzly Peak Blvd the next day. More photos are available here. Thanks to Jane Phillips for the photgraphs.
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.
Can You Help Us?
We have lost touch with the following graduates. Please let us know if you have contact information for any of them.
Roger P. Adams (1969)
John Ahn (1999)
Gregory B. Aldrich (1983)
Dan L. Alexander (1986)
Craig E. Anderson (1989)
Richard Atkins (2003)
Tae-Jin Bae (2000)
Timothy D. Barber (1999)
Thomas J. Bariteau (1973)
G. D. Bergman (1962)
Svea Bley (1995)
Jurgen Braungardt (2001)
Jeffrey Buhl (2001)
Joyce K. Byus (1994)
David E. Campbell (1980)
Ronald Carter (2000)
Daniel Y. Cho (1999)
Ronald R. Clutz (1966)
Henry B. Coates (1984)
Jennifer L. Colby (1987)
Isidro S. Cortez (1997)
Daniel Crandall (2001)
Kathleen M. Crary (1984)
Anthony L. Davis (1998)
Dan P. Davis (1991)
Larry P. Duffield (1992)
Linda G. Eckstrom (1982)
Alison Embler (1998)
Darren R. Erickson (1997)
Pablo Espinoza (2000)
T. S. Farisani (1995)
Erzsebet Ferenczy (1999)
Donald R. Ferguson (1971)
John H. Finefrock (1979)
In Memoriam: T. Scott Minke
The Reverend T. Scott Minke (MDiv 1974) died on Monday, November 16, 2009.
Scott was born November 25, 1947 in Columbus, Ohio. He attended California Lutheran University, graduating in 1970, and PLTS. He was ordained September 15, 1974. He did additional study at the Wartburg Academy of the Rockies in Old Testament.
Pastor Minke served Calvary Lutheran Church, Kent, Ohio; Trinity Lutheran Church, Norwalk, CA; Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Burlingame, CA; Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Galt, CA; and Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Reno, NV.  He received a call from the Synod Council to Interim Ministry and served in that capacity at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, Sacramento, CA, and Trinity Lutheran Church, Hollister, CA.  He also served on the Board of Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of Northern California, Mt. Cross Bible Camp, for many years.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; children, Kristen Minke, Alyssa Minke, Mark Calise, and Lisa Fowler; his mother, June Minke; his sister, Barbara Minke; and grandchildren Autumn Fowler, Briana Fowler and Joshua Fowler.
A memorial service was held Friday, November 20, at Lutheran Community Church in Watsonville.
Blessed be the memory of this servant of God.
Graduate Updates
Juliet Bongfeldt (MDiv 2000) reports: On November 8, 2009, Good Shepherd [in Saunderston, Rhode Island] dedicated its new sanctuary, the culmination of five years of planning and fundraising. Architect Herman Hassinger designed a worship space that is warm and welcoming, while also radiating a sense of transcendence. A stained glass Nativity window above the altar adds a focal point of color. New England Synod Bishop Margaret Payne presided and preached at the festive worship service, which was attended by 163 people.
Geri Cunningham (MDiv 2000) has been called to serve as pastor of Saint Peter Lutheran Church in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Geri and Earl are also pleased to announce that their son Kevin is engaged to be married to Melanie Olstad in August 2010.
Bill Embree (MDiv 1974) has taken up full-time intentional interim ministry. His most recent position has moved him from Des Moines, IA to Salinas, CA. He is enjoying being back in the Sierra Pacific Synod and on the west coast.

Jon (MDiv 2009) and Kara (MTS 2006) Haug recently moved to Battle Creek, MI, where Jon was ordained and installed at St. Peter Lutheran Church on October 25. At the same service, their daughter Ella Jo was baptized into the faith. 
Rachel Hoobing (MTS 2001) has been promoted at Treasure Island Job Corps to Career Transition Specialist working with the students who did not complete the Job Corps program. Job Corps is a nationally-funded program to train economically-challenged young people, ages 16-24, in a vocational program and who can receive their High School Diploma or GED.

Marvin R. Jonasen (MDiv 1994) has published his first book, titled, Why Have All the People Gone: The State of the Christian Church in America. This book is the result of a project that he has been working on for a number of years. In the writing of it, he sought the input and critique, questions and challenges of many people. The focus -- based on study, research and experience serving the church in several parts of the country and in several different ways -- is to reveal what he has come to believe is the core problem, what he refers to in the book as the "Privatization of Faith," (ie, the inability and/or unwillingness of the people in the pews to share the faith).

Rudy Leeman (BD 1958) has just had published his historical novel, For Everything A Season. It tells the history of a Lutheran missionary to India, Rudolph Arps and his family. It covers the real 400-year history of this family, beginning at the Reformation, and its eventual immigration to America. One reviewer, Pastor Gene Davis, historian, says of the book, "A compelling story of a family's 400-year journey only one intimately involved could tell. The blend of history and fiction brings characters to life, shaped by their times and who shape those times. It is a journey you will long remember and reminds us we're all immigrants." The book can be ordered here.  
Dave Miller (MDiv 2009) was ordained on November 1st, and installed on November 15th, as associate pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Hamilton, Ohio.

Cal Oraw (TEEM 2007) is now serving his second year as Pastor for Zion Lutheran Church in Fairview, Montana and East Fairview, North Dakota.

Jeryl Phillips (MDiv 2000) has been been called to serve St. Paul Lutheran Church in Chewelah, Washington.

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