In This Issue
Dr. Stortz Joins Foremothers Panel
TEEM Students at PLTS
Lenten Devotionals
Kudos, Class of 1960!
Hein-Fry Lecture 2010
Faculty News
Mexico Immersion
Holy Week at PLTS
Summer 2010 Greek
In Memoriam
Graduate Updates
Quick Links
Join our list
Join Our Mailing List
Above the Fog
PLTS Newsletter

February 2010
Blessings to you from the PLTS community on this Shrove Tuesday. May your Lenten journey bring you ever closer to the God that created, loves and sustains us.
Martha Stortz to Join Foremothers Panel
butterflyHonoring our Foremothers
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
9:00 am to 2:30 pm

You are invited to come and honor women who have started us on our journeys toward full participation of women in church and society: Marge Wold* and Fran Burnford (former ALC), Dr. Martha Stortz (former LCA) and Christine Grumm (former AELC). It will be a day of worship, stories, memories, stimulation and fellowship. The cost is $20 per person and includes lunch.
*Marge is unable to travel, so she will be honored in absentia.
9:00 - 9:30 Registration and Fellowship
9:30 - 10:00 Honoring Our Past: Foremothers Speak
10:00 - 10:45 Response & Conversation
11:00 - 12:00 Worship
12:15 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:30 Facing Our Future: Group Discussion
Please register in advance! Click here.
TEEM Students on Campus
teemTEEM Winter session was held from January 26-30 on the PLTS campus for 46 students.
A special workshop on 'Teaching and Learning in multicultural contexts" was offered by Dr. Moses Penumaka and Dr. Dick Nysse for students from Sudan, Liberia and Ethiopia.
The Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman, Executive Director of the Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission Unit of Churchwide, the Rev. Dr. Kathryn Love, Assistant Director for Evangelism, EOCM, the Rev. Nancy Larson, Director of Evangelical Mission for the Northeastern Iowa Synod, and Dr. Carol Jacobson, lead powerful workshops on church polity, evangelism, stewardship and youth ministry respectively. 
TEEM faculty Dr. Everett Kalin taught 'New Testament'; Dr. Michael Rogness of Luther taught 'Preaching I'; and Dr. Carol Jacobson taught Systematic Theology II.' 
TEEM students enlivened our campus and were busy deliberating with their cohort on their dynamic ministries. We look forward to their next visit!
Lenten Devotional Available Online 
Lent 2010The 2010 Lenten Devotional, jointly published by PLTS and Luther Seminary, is available online.
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. 
The Class of 1960
We are pleased and proud that 100% of the PLTS class of 1960 has supported the seminary financially this fiscal year. Special thanks to John Wetzel, class steward!
Hein-Fry Lecture 2010
On Wednesday, April 21, 2010, PLTS will host the twentieth annual Hein-Fry Lecture. The lecture series continues to engage with the Book of Faith initiative. This year, the topic is "Hearing the Word: Teaching the Bible in the Parish and Beyond." 
carlsonThe lecture at PLTS will be given by the Rev. Dr. Richard P. Carlson, Philip H. and Amanda E. Glatfelter Professor of New Testament Language, Literature, and Theology at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg.
A response will be given by Dr. Carol R. Jacobson, PLTS Associate Professor of Practical Theology: Youth and Family Ministry and Christian Education. The day will start at 9:30am. The schedule will be determined shortly. 

The fee for early registration is $20 ($10 for students). On-site registration is $25. You can register early and pay online here.

The Life of Justice
trisynodAlicia Vargas, Associate Professor of Contextual and Multicultural Studies at PLTS, was a keynote presenter, preacher and panelist at the Tri-synodical Theological Conference in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 25-27, 2010. 
Pictured with Alicia is Steve Churchill, Director of Admissions, and several grads of PLTS who were in attendance at the event. From left to right: Paul Collinson-Streng; Phil Holck; Gary Morgan-Gohlke; Laura Holck; John Westerfield; Greg Ronning; Virginia Georgulas; Charles Meyer; Gnana Segaran; and Caleb Crainer.  PLTS grads shared lunch and conversation together during the event; all appreciated the chance to catch up on the goings-on at PLTS, and especially to share stories and reflections on their lives and ministries with one another.
Dr. Vargas' address was on "La vida de justicia," The Life of Justice.  Other keynote presenters at the conference, whose focus was Latino theology, culture and ministry, were prominent theologians and church leaders Justo González and Eliseo Pérez Álvarez.  The conference was a truly forward-looking and model event for the life and ministry of the three synods that encompass most of Texas and Louisiana.
Remembering Pilgrimage in the Midst of an Immersion
The following is an excerpt from Dr. Marty's Stortz's blog from her trip with PLTS students to Mexico in January. You can read more of Dr. Stortz's blog on her travels here. The photos were provided by Anderson Peterson. In the first photo, the group is standing on the bridge that connects the homes of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
mexico1This afternoon, I rent computer time from the Office Max near the Lutheran Center in Mexico City, contributing to the transnational corporations that the leader of a campesino movement we met with this morning charged with exploitation. Next to me are three other members of our delegation. And across the street sits Lisa at a Starbucks, where there is free WiFi. We stop here every morning on one of our early morning hikes up Avenida Insurgentes into the heart of the city.

I am noticing....

On the first day of our program, Director of the ELCA Lutheran Center Kim Erno gave us the most important conversion rate. It wasn't from dollars into pesos. It was from pesos to pesos, converting the required daily wage $55 (here the $ sign is used to signify pesos)/day into the prices of the goods we see in shop windows, the food we see in grocery stores. In the Office Max where I sit on the computer, there would not be much that $55 will buy. Maybe the box of rubber bands in the photo, but little else. Indeed, it would cost half a day´s wages to pay for the hour I will be on this computer.

I am noticing....

I am also trying to parse the similarities and differences between pilgrimage and immersion. This immersion in Mexico City is the follow-up to our pilgrimage to Santiago in September. We hypothesized that immersion is the post-modern version of the ancient practice of pilgrimage.

How does that hypothesis look now?

mexico2I have to say that pilgrimage is much more individual, immersion more communal. While I learned a lot about myself on pilgrimage, immersion makes me look long and hard at my country and its complicity in a global economy that has had devastating impact on Mexico. In language dear to my tradition, I have to ask how well we serve this place, our nearest neighbor? The answer is shockingly clear: not well at all.

At the campesino organization we visited this morning, leaders spelled out the consequences of trade agreements and privatization on a country that used to be able to feed its own people, but now cannot compete in a world market. Unemployment spikes, land is wrested from the people and put into corporate hands, fields that used to support a way of life become a tourist corridor. Mexico risks becoming a theme park that its own people will not be able to afford to visit.

That's one difference: pilgrimage probes the individual soul, immersion exposes a more corporate or national psyche.

This leads to another comparison. In an earlier post, I examined how pilgrimage -- and any religious practice -- uses the body to mentor the soul. All of our best spiritual insights on pilgrimage came from our feet. One of the more humble body parts turns out to have lots to say about spirituality.

mexico3Immersion may be similar -- only the body part changes. Instead of registering insight through our feet, we are taking things in with the eyes. Moving around the city, we simply look. It looks pretty much like any bustling metropolis in the United States: Wall-Mart, 7-11, Office Max are here too. That´s part of the problem. Other international corporations masquerade under a Spanish name. And everywhere, even in the wealthiest neighborhoods of San Angel or Coyoacan, are the street vendors, representatives of an informal economy that is run by campesinos run off their land.

Of course, we talk about what we see, but looking comes first. After the lectures, we head back into the City, literally for a second look. We see more the second time around. Even more on the third.

We are all deeply moved, and the question haunts us: what will we do with all this new knowledge? What will change?

Immersion dumps you into another culture, demanding that you do nothing more -- and nothing less! -- than notice.

I am noticing.... 
Holy Week at PLTS
In a rare coincidence of calendars, this year all Christians East and West will celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the same day. 
Come join in the preparations and festivities of Holy Week at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary:

Holy Monday
March 29, 2010, 10:00 am
A service of Morning Prayer

Holy Tuesday
March 30, 2010, 5:15 pm
A service of Evening Prayer

Holy Wednesday
March 31, 2010, 11:00 am
This service concludes the Season of Lent with Confession of Sin, Declaration of Forgivness with Affirmation by the Laying on of Hands, Word, and Lord's Supper.

Maundy Thursday
April 1, 2010, 12:45pm
This begins the Three Days with Word, Footwashing, Lord's Supper, and Stripping of the Table to Psalm 22

Good Friday
April 2, 2010, 12:00 noon
This continues the Three Days with lessons and canticles in adoration of the Crucified God

Easter Vigil
Saturday, April 3, 2010, 8:15pm
In preparation for the celebrations of Easter Day, this vigil continues the Three Days with Service of Light, Service of Readings, Renewal of Baptismal Promises, and the First Eucharist of Easter. A festive reception with refreshments will follow the vigil service.

All are welcome! 
Summer Greek


Summer 2010


The course operates with the two demonstrable assumptions: that learning Greek in an intensive, concentrated setting (3 hours in class plus homework, 5 days a week) has many advantages and that "People learn to read Greek by reading Greek." After an introduction to the basic elements of Greek grammar, students are soon learning by reading the Greek New Testament itself, building vocabulary while honing grammatical skills. Extensive portions of the Gospel of John will be read during the course. Students successfully completing the 6-week intensive program will earn 6 units of credit.

Tuition is payable to PLTS and is $1670 for 6 credits (6 weeks). A $500 tuition deposit must be paid to PLTS no later than 6/1/10 and is non-refundable. The remaining $1170 is payable the first day of class and is non-refundable after the first day of class. Tuition is $1008 for 3 credits (3 weeks). A $500 deposit must be paid to PLTS no later than 6/1/10 and is non-refundable. The remaining $508 is payable the first day of class, and is non-refundable after the first day of class. [Auditors with Faculty permission] Class meets weekdays, 7/12/10-8/20/10, from 8:45 am-12:00 noon, in PLTS Giesy Hall Classroom 1.


To register, contact Cheryl Heuer at or 510-559-2754.
In Memoriam
Ronald W. Springer (MDiv 1979) died on February 7, 2010. Ron was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was ordained in 1980 and served congregations in California, New York, and most recently Christ Lutheran Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. T
he funeral will be held on Thursday, February 25, 2010, at Christ Lutheran Church, Fort Lauderdale at 1:30 pm, and internment will be in the Christ Church columbarium.
Blessed be the memory of this servant of God.
Graduate Updates
Glen Chase (MDiv 1989) recently accepted a call to the Oregon Synod as Director of Mission Support.
Lori Eickmann (MDiv 2005) was ordained into intentional interim ministry for the Sierra Pacific Synod on January 16 at Peace Lutheran in Danville, California, and is serving as interim associate pastor at Bethel in Cupertino.
Tim Feiertag (MDiv 2009)
 begin an interim ministry position at Blue Ridge Trinity Lutheran Church, Raytown, Missouri. 
Ernst F. (Fred) Tonsing (PhD '66) will be honored by the Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation (SACHF) as the "Outstanding Scandinavian American of 2010" on Sunday, Feb. 28. 
Tonsing, who grew up in Kansas and graduated from Midland College in Nebraska, has strong Swedish roots. The SACHF board member emphasizes his heritage in his research, writing and lecturing. He had been a leader and lecturer for the American Scandinavian Foundation of Thousand Oaks, which recently merged with SACHF. One of his many favorite lecture topics is his second cousin aviator Amelia Earhart, whom he will discuss in May as part of the SACHF Scandinavian Lecture Series.
Peggy Yingst (MDiv 2003) was ordained on February 7 and begins a call at Trinity Lutheran Church, Brattleboro, Vermont.

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