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Lent Devotional
Hein-Fry Lecture
Week of Renewal 2011
Meet a Seminarian
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PLTS Newsletter

March 2011

Blessings to you on this Shrove Tuesday. Blessings on your Lenten journeys from all of us at PLTS.
Holy and Glorious - Lent Devotional

Lent 2011PLTS annually publishes a  Lent devotional with Luther Seminary, our partner in the Western Mission Cluster.


The students, faculty and staff of our two seminaries will be in prayer with you through the season of Lent. These short reflections are written by members of our communities for your reflection, edification and prayer. They share the vision behind Lent; that is, a vision of a Holy God who goes to the cross out of love for you. May these devotions guide you through this Lenten season and, in a small way, express all of our gratitude for the many ways you support us through all the seasons of the year.

Hein-Fry Lecture: April 27, 2011

Hearing the Word: Lutherans Read the Bible with the Ecumenical World


Justo Gonzalez

Dr. Justo González

The Bible is not an exclusive word and those who share in its messages are related to one another, whether we want to be or not. Other Christians around the world have positive ways of experiencing the Bible from which Lutherans can learn, and Lutherans have an opportunity to share their experiences of the Bible with those around the world. Hein-Fry in 2011 gives us an opportunity to enter into dialogue with a variety of Christians beyond US Lutheranism about engaging the Bible through global and ecumenical perspectives.


For more information and to register, click here


Week of Renewal 2011: June 20-24, 2011

sawyer sunsetYou are invited to a week of renewal with classes, worship, stimulating conversation and restorative time at PLTS. Enjoy the company of old and new colleagues in ministry and lay people interested in theology in the beautiful setting between the Bay and Tilden Park. The Week of Renewal at PLTS offers stimulating classes in the morning and afternoon and much, much more.


Course Descriptions


"Broken Hallelujahs: Preaching and Worship that Listen to Pop Culture's Cries"

(Morning Option 1)

Dr. Christian Scharen
is Assistant Professor at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, where he teaches worship and practical theology and writes about popular culture. Dr. Scharen is a graduate of PLTS and the GTU.

"Rethinking Paul: A Lutheran Perspective" (Morning Option 2)

Dr. David Balch
is Professor of New Testament at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union.

Paul's theology is critical for many issues facing Lutherans today. We are challenged to rethink Paul in relation to his interpretation of the Mosaic Covenant (Genesis vs. Exodus), "bound conscience" in I Corinthians 8-10, Visual Representations of Death in Roman House Churches and the Eucharist in I Corinthians 11, and gender, sex and marriage in I Corinthians 6-7, 11, 14.


Transformed by Those Who are "Other" Than "Us" (Morning Option 3)

Dr. Karen L. Bloomquist, Bellingham, Washington,
served until recently as Director of the Department for Theology and Studies, The Lutheran World Federation, Geneva. She was previously Director for Studies in the ELCA (Church in Society) and is a PLTS graduate.

Dare we as churches risk being transformed...through relationships with those whose culture, views and practices are alien to ours? This is the challenge for local congregations that are part of a global communion like the Lutheran World Federation. How is this boundary-crossing central to what evangelism and justice-seeking are about? How can we as churches bear an alternative public witness in a world marked by polarizing injustices and divisions?


"Luther's Dilemma: The Struggle Between the Truth of the Gospel and the Bonds of Christian Love"  (Afternoon) 

Dr. Jane Strohl is the First Lutheran, Los Angeles/Southwest California Synod Professor of Reformation History and Theology at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.

The Lutheran style of theology and ministry is like a Chanel suit: unmistakable, surprising and timeless. And graceful to be sure, but cut to accommodate rancor and division from the beginning. How can our tradition wear well in these days?


"This was a grace-filled, life-giving week that was renewing in every way. The community experience was a delightful surprise! I've already put it on my calendar for next year. A huge success!"  - Ruth Sievert


For additional information about fees for tuition, room and board, and to register, click here


Meet a Seminarian:

Misael Fajardo-Perez, MDiv Student 

MisaelMisael, or Misa, as his friends call him, was born in Mexico City, where his father, Abiut Fajardo, was a Lutheran pastor.  


As a youngster, Misa had the usual amount of interest in the church, but it was his passion for learning English that started him on his path to PLTS. On a trip to Trinity Lutheran College in Washington, his father learned about Trinity's program for English as a Second Language. Misa was interested. So he applied and was accepted.  


To his surprise and delight, he discovered that Trinity was a small community of "awesome and inspiring people." The Christian community at Trinity drew him in, and his interests evolved from learning English to learning the scriptures, and he changed his major to Biblical Studies.  


Then, as a junior at Trinity, Misa discovered a Hispanic Community at Tree of Life Lutheran Church in Yakima. He got involved there, and as his involvements grew, so did his interest in youth and family ministry. So, upon his graduation from Trinity Lutheran College with degrees in Biblical Studies and Youth and Family Ministry, he was hired at Tree of Life as the youth director.


He prospered in that role. Yet, he came to believe he needed more. More importantly, he came to believe that the community needed more from him. So he began to consider ordained ministry. At the youth gathering in New Orleans, he connected with Ruben Duran, MDiv 1986. Ruben did not merely help Misael discern his call to ordained ministry, he helped him navigate the waters of candidacy and admission. Misa was on his way to PLTS, where once again, to his surprise and delight, he discovered a small community of awesome and inspiring people, committed to growing and serving the church, just as he is.

PLTS on Facebook 

PLTS has a growing presence on Facebook, and we hope that you will find us and "like" us. We have an admissions page, too! Thanks to Erin Horne, MDiv 2008 and PLTS receptionist, and Arielle Driscoll, Assistant Director of Admissions, for keeping us connected through social media.

Mark Allert, MDiv 1999, writes: "Celebrating the opening of Corona's first Community Garden on a previously unused acre of the church's campus, room enough for more than fifty 20' by 20' plots -- it's what loving our neighbor looks like around here these days, greater (good) food security and building community. Being who we are, seeing what we have, and doing what matters!"

Gretchen Bingea
, MDiv 1993, was installed as pastor of American Lutheran Church in Burbank, California, on Sunday, Feb 27, beginning her service there on March 1, 2011.

Korey Finstad, MDiv 2005, and his wife Alison annouce the birth of their daughter, Abigail Reid Finstad, on December 13, 2010.
Jeremy's ordination

Rev. Jeremy Fuerst

Jeremy Fuest
, MDiv 2010, was ordained on Saturday, February 26, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hildreth, Nebraska. He has been called to serve as Associate Pastor at St. Timothy's Lutheran Church in Omaha.

Melissa Reed
, MDiv 2008, is a mission pastor of "The Leaven Project," a young-adult-oriented ministry of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon. Read more about it in the February issue of The Lutheran.

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