Dr. Largen interviews Dr. Kent Gramm, Visiting Professor of English at Gettysburg College, about his new book, Psalms for Skeptics, a series of sonnets based on one phrase from each of the Psalms 101-150.
In this episode, a theologian, Dr. Largen, and a historian, Rev. Dr. Maria Erling, talk about the construction of Lutheran identity, and how it relates both to theological doctrines and also social, historical context. The issue of slavery is discussed as one example of such identity construction.
The Rev. Dr. Mark Oldenburg shares with Dr. Largen two “horror stories” involving 4th of July Sunday morning worship services as a way to talk more constructively about how to balance “secular religion” and Sunday worship services. The goal is to both recognize and celebrate the things that matter in our daily lives—like our country, but also honor and worship God as the absolute center of our life. Public ministers, you don’t want to miss this one!
Dr. Largen speaks with The Rev. Dr. Martin Zimmann, Pastor, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mechanicsburg, PA, about the importance of talking about issues of race and culture in the church. Pastor Zimmann offers some helpful strategies for beginning the conversation.
Dr. Christianson speaks with the Rev. Glenn Ludwig, Vice President of Seminary Advancement, Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary, and author, In it for the Long Haul: Building Effective Long-term Pastorates (Alban Institute, 2011) about long term pastorates. Rev. Ludwig observes that we have changed our minds about long-term pastorates. Where once three years was thought to be a good average, we now think that one doesn’t really develop a foundation until the seventh or eighth years. He describes five pillars for building a healthy congregation and a long-term pastorate, including how to create a climate of trust.
Dr. Tom Deloe, Retired Health Researcher, Department of Health and Human Services talks to Dr. Christianson about Marijuana. With the number of states approving medical or even recreational use of marijuana increasing, several questions arise. How extensive is the use among teens and what do we know about its effects? What are the chances that teens or adults will move on to harder drugs? Has legalization reduced the prison population? Has marijuana helped cure any diseases? If not, what are the positives and negatives of medical use?
Dr. Strobert explores the nature of “friendship” in contemporary society with Pastor Fritz Foltz. Pastor Foltz discussed the changing nature of friendship from the biblical texts to the Church Fathers to the present technology of Facebook. He also shared his introduction to “professional” friendship roles in the professional sports and gambling industries.
Shirley Armstrong, Psychological Counselor and Peer Education Advisor at Gettysburg College describes the goals of The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program is for congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, and other Lutheran organizations. RIC recognizes Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender believers. She discusses the need for churches to make a statement on the subject, but stresses that the main objective is to get people talking with each other, not simply taking votes.
Pastor Brown discussed her week as Minister-in-Residence at Gettysburg Seminary with Dr. Strobert. She describes her conversations with students, preaching and presiding in chapel as well as attending and lecturing in seminary classes. Pastor Brown also discussed her context of parish ministry at Advent Lutheran Church in New York City. It has an immigrant population in addition to being in a gentrified neighborhood. Although a small congregation, the church is involved in broad social outreach in the community.