In This Issue
Enjoy a Week of Renewal at PLTS: June 24-28
Transformed to be Transformational
Time to Pick Up the Pace
Rev. Judith Rainforth '03 Participates in National Clergy Renewal Program
Interview with Rev. Steven Sabin
Alum Speak: Rev. Laurie McHugh '92
Wellness at PLTS
Alum Updates
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Above the Fog
PLTS Newsletter

January 2013


It's a New Year and resolutions, goals, hopes, and dreams are on my mind and perhaps they are for you as well.  Whether you are hoping to make a little more time in your day for prayer, eat more fruits and vegetables, or run your first marathon, I invite you to let a new idea grow into a daily spiritual practice.  It's not easy to learn something new or change a daily routine, but God is constantly encouraging us to grow into the future and neither dwell in the past nor stay stuck in the present while walking with us on our journey.  So in the spirit of this time of year when many of us are making resolutions, this issue is dedicated to wellness.  Relax, grab a cup of your favorite drink, and be inspired by the stories of alumni, students, and friends of PLTS, whose lives have been transformed and are now inspiring others.  Beginning in February, we hope to continue featuring a wellness piece.  If you have a story or ideas to share, we would love to hear them and please email me anytime! 


Wishing you health in body, mind and soul! 


Sara L. Wilson, MDiv. '13

Office of Seminary Relations     

Enjoy a Week of Renewal at PLTS: June 24-28, 2013

You are invited to come and experience a week of restoration, fun, and learning as we gather together for worship, classes, conversation, and Bay Area sight-seeing!  A Week of Renewal at PLTS promises to offer five days of exciting time with new and old friends, knowledgeable faculty, and exploring Berkeley and San Francisco.  Participate in classes during the day and explore Tilden Park, see the Golden Gate Bridge, attend a Giants game, or see a show in the evening!  


A full schedule and more information are available below, or online here. Don't miss out; register online today!

Outstanding Classes


Mornings 9:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.


Reclaiming the "E" Word 

Tom Rogers, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary


How might our witness in the world to the Good News be enhanced as Lutherans if we reclaimed 'evangelical' as central to our identity? What would culturally sensitive evangelism look like? In addition, this class will explore the connection between evangelism and justice as a full expression of an 'evangelical' faith.


Prophets Then and Now  Steed Davidson

Steed Davidson, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary


This course explores the social location, function and office of the prophet in the ancient world as the basis for understanding a modern conception of prophetic preaching. The aim of the class is to integrate the preaching tradition of the prophet in its broadest sense into the routine of pastoral work.


Justice for a New Day: Anarchism and Christianity

Victor Thasiah, California Lutheran University


As the church continues to do justice, what can it learn from social movements like Occupy Wall Street? What is the connection between recent anarchist interventions and the church's work for justice? Are there new ways for the church to show up in public space?



Afternoons 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.


The Global Luther 

Jane Strohl, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary


An African Lutheran Bishop once observed that "for us the date the first white missionary landed in Africa is more important than 1517." The Lutheran faith has not just been carried to other lands; it has taken root there and borne new evangelical fruit. We will explore the story and witness of some of these churches in Asia and Africa.



The Economy: Jesus,Luke/James/USA/El Salvador

David Balch, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary


These discussions will be informed by Biblical material, the perspectives Dr. Balch gained on sabbatical last spring in Argentina, Puerto Rico, and El Salvador, and a book by Hacker and Pierson entitled Winner-Take-all Politics. This is a critical time to reconsider the church and theology in fashioning a just economy. 



Special Events

  • Monday, 12:30 p.m. - Lunch in Sawyer Dining Room
  • Tuesday, 7 p.m. - Informal wine and cheese with President Anderson in Sawyer 7
  • Wednesday, 7 p.m. - Dessert and conversation with Faculty
  • Thursday, 4:45 p.m. - Eucharist in the Chapel, followed by dinner with President Anderson at 5:45
  • Case conference for those interested. TBD

Daily Schedule

  • 7:30-8:30 a.m. - Continental Breakfast outside the chapel
  • 8:30-9:00 a.m. - Morning Prayer
  • 9:15-12:15 p.m. - Morning Classes
  • 1:30-4:30 p.m.  - Afternoon Classes



Tuition for One Class: $275

Tuition for Two Classes: $400

Hospitality: $75 (includes 5 breakfasts, Monday buffet lunch, and regular morning coffee or tea)

Monday buffet lunch only: $15

Box Lunches: $11 each

Housing: Costs range from $20/night to $70/night. See below




PLTS Dorm - single: $40 per night

PLTS Dorm - double: $20 per person, per night

PLTS Canyon Room w/ private bath: $70 per night

CDSP Dorm w/ shared bath: $45 per night (1 twin, 1 double, or 2 double)



Deadline to register is May 31, 2013.


Contact Gretchen McDonald with any questions. 


This promises to be a rich week for learning, prayer, conversation, and rest. We hope you will join us!

Transformed to be Transformational

Rev. Murray D. Finck, Bishop of Pacifica Synod and PLTS Board Member published a book,  Stretch and Pray: A Daily Discipline for Physical and Spiritual Wellness, in 2005.  Bishop Finck shares "I never set out to write a book.  My life changed in 1997 as I was preparing to go on Sabbatical the following year.  Truthfully, I felt miserable; my back hurt all of the time from an injury that happened 20 years earlier.  Despite many trips to the chiropractor, an orthopedic surgeon, and a lot of Advil, the pain was something decided I was going to have to endure. I wanted to trek with a group for a month through Thailand, Nepal, and the Himalayans."


Read more about Bishop Finck's journey to wellness

Time to Pick Up the Pace

By The Rev. Jeff Thiemann

President & CEO of Portico Benefit Services, MDiv. '05


When I think back on my time at PLTS, I realize how important taking a whole-person perspective is to prepare for ministry. That means caring for ourselves fully - tending to our physical well-being, just as we do the other dimensions of well-being (spiritual, intellectual, financial, etc.).


Read more about Portico Benefit Services exercise plan, 30-A-Day

Rev. Judith Rainforth, MDiv. '03 Participates in National Clergy Renewal Program

First Lutheran Church has received a grant of $37,739 to enable its minister, Pastor Judith Rainforth, to participate in the NationalClergy Renewal Program funded by the Indianapolis-based LillyFirst Lutheran Church has received a grant of $37,739 to enable its minister, Pastor Judith Rainforth, to participate in the National Clergy Renewal Program funded by the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. It is one of 147 congregations across the country that will support their ministers in the program, which allows pastors to step back from their busy lives and renew their spirits for the benefit of their ongoing ministries. 


Find out more about Rev. Judith Rainforth's incredible opportunity

Interview with Rev. Steven Sabin

Rev. Sabin has been very successful in his recent quest for a healthier lifestyle. He kindly agreed to share his story with us, which could easily be an inspiration to others to improve their own lifestyles.


Q: Would you describe exactly what changes you've been making in your life to improve your physical wellness?'


A: I've adopted a discipline of increased exercise and decreased caloric intake. I track my food intake very carefully and also make sure that I get some exercise every day.  


Read more from this interview with Rev. Steven Sabin's about his journey to wellness

Alum Speak: Rev. Laurie McHugh MDiv. '92

"People ask how it was that I, a PLTS graduate approved for ordination in the ELCA, became United Methodist minister.  I usually respond, 'It's a long story.' "

Read more of Laurie's story here, or  download a PDF of songs she's written!

Wellness at PLTS

A campus student group, PLTS Being Well, provides a space for students to gather, share ideas, and support one another in efforts to live holistically healthy lives.  


Read more about how PLTS students are keeping well


Community Lunch on Wednesdays following worship provides an opportunity for fellowship and nourishment with healthy food.  


Read more about community lunch here, or download a recipe for Turkish Spinach Lentil Soup

Alum Updates

Rev. Ron Martin-Dent, MDiv. '82 is now serving as Pastor at Mt. View/Trinity United Methodist Parish in Butte, MT.


Rev. Douglas J. Toepel '57 of Lincoln, NE died on Tuesday November 6, 2012.  Condolences may be made to 


Trudy Franzen, MDiv '07, has been called as pastor of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in El Dorado Hills, CA.


Abby d'Ambruoso, MDiv '08, has spent the last 4 years in her first call in Seattle. She is now taking a call as solo pastor to Fir-Conway Lutheran Church near Mt. Vernon, WA. Although Fir-Conway has hosted many interns over the years, the congregation has had a recent history of challenging times, and now is in redevelopment. She is excited for the challenge. Will continues in his Ph.D. program at University of Washington. They are expecting their second child in May 2013. Prayers for the transition to new ministry, new home (parsonage), and new baby all appreciated.

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