In This Issue
Many Hands Make Light Work
Week of Renewal 2012
Dr. Balch's Festschrift
TEEM Students on Campus
Lenten Devotionals
In Memoriam
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Above the Fog
PLTS Newsletter

February 2012

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:7).
Saint Valentine is the name of fourteen martyred saints of ancient Rome. All we know of the saint whose feast is celebrated today is his name, that he was born on April 16, and that he was buried on February 14.
It is easy to be distracted by today's abundant sales of chocolate hearts, cartoon character valentines, and red roses by the dozen. And the consumer love-fest can also feel alienating to people who are single.
Today, may we keenly feel God's love for us, and love others as God first loved us. May we reflect on God's divine love, which gives us the vision to see the very best in those we love, and the strength and patience to endure their shortcomings.

Happy Saint Valentine's Day from everyone at PLTS. Thank you for all the ways you bless us each and every day.
Many Hands Make Light Work

Joel Wudel 3

Did you see the Harrison Ford movie some years ago entitled "Witness?" Do you recall the scene during the house raising when the frame of the house was crawling with friends and neighbors who had come together to build it? Of course it was a movie, but there must have been some basis in fact for that affair. When it was time to raise a house, everyone came to get the job done. It was beautiful to see all those hands working for a common purpose. When everyone pitches in, the job gets done.


During the last four or five years, PLTS has enjoyed tremendous support from its graduates and friends. We have enjoyed steady - 7%! - growth in the Seminary Fund for the last few years. Fantastic!


But this year has been different. The numbers are not as strong. It's not immediately clear why, but a good guess would be the economy. We know many of you are struggling in ways you may have never imagined, and you simply cannot help like you have in the past. We all hope with you for an economic recovery.


But there are many of us. Thousands, to be exact. Is there any reason to believe that together we cannot raise this house - this seminary? Of course not. When we all pitch in, the job gets done.


Our goal for the Seminary Fund is $800,000. We are half way there. We need to reach it by June 30. We have time. We have talent. And we have treasures. We can meet this goal, but it will take everyone's hands, including yours.


Pitch in. Lend a hand. Make a gift to the seminary today. Click here to help build a stronger PLTS.


Ever gratefully,


Joel S. Wudel

Vice President for Seminary Relations

Week of Renewal: June 25-29, 2012

"This was my second Week of Renewal and it was even better than the first. Great class, great worship, wonderful community, amazing conversation, lots of laughs, a few tears, and a very relaxing environment." - Ruth Sievert


You are invited to a week of renewal of classes, worship, stimulating conversation and restorative time in the company of old and new colleagues in ministry and lay people interested in theology in the wonderful setting between the Bay and Tilden Park.


Four Outstanding Classes


Rev. Dr. Barbara Lundblad, "Embodied Preaching in a Virtual World"


Preaching is a strange and wonderful craft where spoken words are embodied not only in the preacher but in the listeners as well. In this week, we will engage the body (voice, movement, pauses, etc) and spoken words as resources for preaching and also explore how electronic resources can expand the dialogue preachers have with the congregation.


Rev. Dr. Barbara K. Lundblad, is the Joe R. Engle Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York.


Rev. Dr. Ted Peters, "Life Beyond Death: What Can Christians Expect?"


The tragedy of human dying is accompanied by an impenetrable mystery: what next? Various religions have offered up a variety of theories. What can we learn from what the Bible or from the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? What is God's promise for us?


Rev. Dr. Ted Peters is Professor of Systematic Theology, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union


Dr. Lisa Fullam, "Spirituality and Ethics in Pastoral Ministry"


This course will bring into dialogue aspects of ethics and the spirituality of life and ministry around four salient virtues: self-care, justice, fidelity and trustworthiness. How does spirituality intersect with ethics?


Dr. Lisa Fullam is the Associate Professor of Moral Theology at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University and the Graduate Theological Union.


Steed DavidsonSteed Davidson, "Jeremiah: A Voice Out of Time: Reading and Hearing the Book of Jeremiah in our Day"


This class will explore the implications for life and ministry today of understanding Jeremiah as a marginal, solitary figure bereft of much support for his controversial positions that were probably never embraced in his time.


Dr. Steed Davidson is Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Biblical Studies, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union.


For more information and to register, please click here.

A Festschrift in Honor of Dr. David Balch

Twenty-four scholars joined their efforts to congratulate David Lee Balch for a long career of dedication to scholarship and teaching. Topics range from the life of early Christian house churches to the kinds of challenges that early Christians needed to negotiate in their artistic and literary worlds as they established their own identity.
Text, Image, and Christians in the Graeco-Roman World: A Festschrift in Honor of David Lee Balch was edited by Aliou Cissť Niang and Carolyn Osiek, and published by Wipf and Stock Publishers. It was presented to Dr. Balch at the November meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Francisco.

A Festschrift is a volume of writings by different authors, presented as a tribute within a person's lifetime. The word's origin is German, from Fest (celebration) + Schrift (writing).   
Congratulations, Dr. Balch!

TEEM  Students Attend Classes on Campus


Theological Education for Emerging Ministries [TEEM] Director Dr. Moses Penumaka and PLTS President Dr. Phyllis Anderson welcomed 32 students to the January 24-28 session of the TEEM program held on campus. Students traveled from snowy and rainy Nebraska, Texas, Montana, Washington, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Missouri, Idaho and beyond to attend classes. Courses in new testament, systematic theology and preaching were taught by PLTS and Luther Seminary professors, and workshops in evangelism, stewardship, youth & family ministry and ELCA polity were facilitated by national leaders from the churchwide office, the Rev. Brenda Smith, Keith Mundy and the Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman. The next TEEM session will take place from June 3-9 on the Luther Seminary campus.

Water Marks

This year during Lent, we invite you on a scriptural journey in which you will hear and experience God's word through myriad biblical passages dealing with water.

The written word of scripture is incarnational not only in its center in Christ, but also in the way it speaks to us through new words and experiences in every time and place. Our hope is that by swimming deeply in the water passages of scripture, you too may connect these stories, prophecies and songs to your own ongoing lives of baptismal faith.

We invite you on this water-marked journey in partnership with the Book of Faith Initiative of the ELCA. These devotions, which cover the 40 days of Lent, are excerpted from Augsburg Fortress' Water Marks: a Book of Faith Lenten Journey. May the Triune God accompany and guide you on this journey and be with you all your days.


Diane Jacobson
Professor Emeritus of Luther Seminary and director of the ELCA Book of Faith Initiative


Jesse Brown, MDiv 2011, has been called to Our Redeemer in Newberry, Michigan, and was ordained on January 22, 2012.


William Embree, MDiv 1974, writes, "I'm still rostered in the Western Iowa Synod but have been working and Intentional Interim Ministry at Good Shepherd, Salinas, California for the last couple of years. In February we moved back to Vallejo, California from Des Moines. I have, this November, taken a new Intentional Interim position at Grace Lutheran, San Francisco. Commuting is interesting, but so far not much fun."


Tim Feiertag, MDiv 2009, was hired by Lutherans Concerned as the grassroots organizing and training coordinator at the LC/NA headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. Tim will take up his position on February 15.


Katy Grindberg, MDiv 2006, ended her call at Advent, Citrus Heights, on November 9 and began her new call as Assistant to the Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod on December 4, 2011.


Caralyn Holmquist, MDiv 2011, received her first call to Morning Star Lutheran Church in Monroe, Washington, and was ordained on November 16, 2011.


Harry G. Kapeikis, BD 1968, has published two memoirs. Exile From Latvia depicts his experiences as a young boy in WWII and his perception of the war's effects on himself, society, and the world. Beyond All Dreams depicts, in narrative form, his efforts as a young immigrant to build a new life in America, accepting the cultural differences as opportunities to fulfill his dreams. Both books are available online under the title and his name.


Lori Kitzing, MDiv 2011, will be serving as the Interim Pastor at Grace Lutheran in Walton, Nebraska.


Roger Lenander, MDiv 1982, was awarded a $50,000 sabbatical grant from Lilly Endowment. The grant will fund a three-month study tour on building community in the summer of 2012.


Rick Lund, MDiv 1990, has been serving congregations in Minnesota and Wisconsin since 1997.


Thomas A. Nibbe, MDiv 1968, has been married to Priscilla for 43 years and recently celebrated 42 years of ministry. He and Priscilla have been serving as missionaries to both Pakistan (Northwest Frontier Province) and Peru, and recently became grandparents to Sophia.


Cassandra Ridenour, MDiv 2007, just completed a Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of Southern California and will shortly be a certified secondary English teacher in the state of Washington. She is thrilled to become a teacher and can't wait to have her own classroom.


The Rev. Susan Scott, MDiv 1985, works as the Decedent Care Chaplain at Stanford Medical Center and was recently named the hospital's Employee of the Year.


Laurin Vance, MDiv 1974, accepted a call in the summer of 2010 as pastor in Burlington, Washington, after having served 18 years at a church in Indiana.

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In Memoriam


Kenneth Bergmann, MDiv 1977, died on November 22, 2011. He served most recently as pastor at Our Saviour's, Oxnard, California. He is survived by his wife, Louise, his daughter, Linda, his son, Robert, and by four grandsons. A celebration of his life and ministry was held at Our Saviour's on December 3, 2011.


Tom Jorde, BD 1963, died on November 19, 2011. Cynthie Garrity-Bond wrote this tribute to him.


Duane Woida, MDiv 1990, died on January 1, 2012. Following his ordination in 1990, Duane served as Associate Pastor at St. Matthew, Walnut Creek, California; Chaplain/ Director of Pastoral Care Services for the Contra Costa County Adult Detention Facilities; and Director of Spiritual Care Services at Salem Lutheran Home, Oakland, California. He is survived by his wife, Karen, and two adult children, Craig and Kaari. Memorial services were held at Salem Lutheran Home and St. Matthew on January 7th and 8th.


Blessed be the memory of these servants of God.