In This Issue
Staff Changes
On the Road Again
Week of Renewal 2011
Meet a Seminarian
Dr. Schmalenberger's New Book
Quick Links
Join our list
Join Our Mailing List
Above the Fog
PLTS Newsletter

May 2011

Christ is risen! Alleluia! May the God of new life and resurrection hope be with you this day.

Staff Changes


Cheryl HeuerAt its meeting last weekend on the PLTS campus, among a number of actions the Board of Directors took was one to approve a balanced budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011. To meet those budget requirements in the current financial climate, the seminary has found it necessary to reduce staff. The reduction will be made in the Office of the Deans. The office will be restructured to redistribute the responsibilities that Cheryl Heuer has handled with great care and diligence for the last eleven years as Dean of Students and Registrar. This is a tremendous loss for the PLTS community. Please join us in expressing our deep appreciation for Cheryl's work, and in prayer for her future after she leaves her position on June 30.

On the Road Again

PLTS President Phyllis Anderson and other PLTS staff will be at a synod assembly near you! Be sure to stop at the PLTS display table to greet them and get important information about the PLTS reception or gathering.


May 12-14
Rocky Mountain: Crowne Plaza, Colorado Springs

Rev. Donna Duensing


May 13-14

Northwest Washington: Lynwood Convention Center

Rev. Dr. Steve Churchilll


May 13-14

Southwestern Washington: Great Wolf Lodge, Grand Mound

Mr. Joel S. Wudel


May 13-15

Sierra Pacific: Hyatt Regency, Burlingame

President Phyllis Anderson


May 19-21

Pacifica: Irvine Marriott

Mr. Joel S. Wudel


May 20-21

Southwest California: Burbank Airport Marriott

Rev. Dr. Steve Churchill


June 3-5

Eastern Washington-Idaho: Redline Hotel, Spokane

Mr. Joel S. Wudel


June 3-5

Montana: Heritage Inn, Great Falls

President Phyllis Anderson


June 3-5

Oregon: The Hilton, Eugene

Rev. Dr. Steve Churchill


June 10-11

Grand Canyon: Black Canyon Conference Center, Phoenix

President Phyllis Anderson 

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


Registration closes on May 31!


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

Meet a Seminarian:

Marilyn Nyberg

NybergMari Nyberg, TEEM 2001, is excitedly planning for her June 12th ordination at Calvary Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Mari is always excitedly busy: She already serves a 5-point parish as associate pastor, in addition to 3 nursing homes and 2 major hospitals! She also manages to indulge her interests in reading, music, theater, baseball and basketball.


Despite all the activity, Mari remains a smiling center of calm, drawing people to her with her warm heart and happy laugh. She will regret not coming regularly to TEEM classes at PLTS: To her, the program "feels Holy and Home at the same time." It has provided her with the hands-on ministry that allowed her to continue her studies toward ordination, as well as giving her "TEEM friends for life." Mari can't wait to come back to PLTS for continuing education courses. And we can't wait to have her back!

New Book by Former PLTS President Jerry L. Schmalenberger


coffee canDr. Schmalenberger writes:


"I was raised on a little Darke County farm outside Greenville, Ohio. Behind the farmhouse situated near a narrow creek, we had a springhouse. On a hot day in August it was quite a treat to leave my assigned work hoeing corn to drink of that refreshing cool water. The trouble was that on those hot days the pitcher pump had to be primed before one could pull any water from the dug well. My father always kept a tin coffee can in the shade of the overhang of the roof for that purpose. When you first poured the water from the can into the top of the pump while pumping the handle, the water would come pouring out. But the family rule was that you should not drink any of the water until you first re-filled the can and placed it back in the shade of the rafter for the next thirsty person before you drank any for yourself. That was stewardship.


"In this book on the subject we will talk about refilling the can and giving careful consideration as to how we can share the good water. It will be one of our metaphors for living a lifestyle that provides for future generations, making sure that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren might also have enough to live well."


Published by Fairway Press of Lima, Ohio, The Stewardship of All Believers; A Lifestyle and Ministry for These Times is available from the author. The entire proceeds will benefit the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Hong Kong.



Jule' Ballinger, MDiv 2004, accepted a call to Bethel Lutheran Church, Wahpeton, North Dakota, as senior pastor. 


Kenneth E. Bergmann, MDiv 1977, has Myasthenia Gravis, a disorder of the immune system that degenerates muscle strength. In June of 2010 he moved to The Lexington Assisted Living and Residential Care Facility, in Ventura, where he has a cozy room and receives great food and care. Louise continues to live in their home in Oxnard. Kenneth teaches an in-house, weekly Bible Study class and serves as Secretary of the Resident Council. He remains a senior-active member of the Rotary Club of Oxnard, a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, and was the recipient of the Club's Lifetime Distinguished Service Award. He has been unable to conquer his addiction of 75 years as a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan.

Amy Beveridge, MDiv 2005, has been called to Bethel Lutheran Church in Santa Maria, California.

Cindy G. Carroll, MDiv 2011
, was ordained and installed on May 1 at St. John's Lutheran Church, Sacramento, California.
Dinah Dutta, TEEM 2011, will be ordained on June 3, 2011.
Bill Embree, MDiv 1984, recently moved back to California from Iowa. He is enjoying renewing previous relationships and is doing intentional interim ministry at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Salinas.


Barbara Harrison Condon, MDiv 1989, is currently serving as the Resident Pastor for Emmaus Lutheran Community in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Emmaus was started in the late fall of 2010; they are working to become a Synodicaly-Authorized Worshiping Community this coming June.


Gary Morgan-Gohlke, MDiv 1993, was installed as Pastor at Light of Christ Lutheran Church, La Porte, Texas, on April 7, 2011. With a 1/4 time salary from the small but very ministry-minded congregation, Gary runs his own company, GMG Marine Services, doing electrical and plumbing work on boats in the Clear Lake, Texas, for most of his income. While enjoying this tent-making ministry, Gary and wife Carol live aboard their 44' sailboat, Ruach, in Seabrook.

Carole Parmeter Dyer, MDiv 1999, was a recipient of Cal State University Long Beach's 5th annual Lillian Robles award, which recognize award recipients for their community activism and work for social justice. Carole was honored for her work with the Woven Image Sewing Institute in Hyderabad, India. Congratulations!

Sue Schneider, MDiv 2002, has been offered and accepted a call to serve as Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison, WI.

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