Dr. Christianson asks Dr. Daryl Black, new President and Executive Director of the Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum, the question, “Why do we have museums and should they do more than just collect “keepsakes”? Dr. Black describes the change in museums over the past two decades from emphasizing a collection of items, e.g. rifles, to interpretation of these items in the wider context of the need for human beings to make meaning of the past. He illustrates this with the conflicting ways North and South used the Bible and even viewed God in the Civil War.
Dr, Christianson and Sue Hill discuss the life and writing of Elsie Singmaster. Elsie Singmaster was one of the best-known authors of her day, appearing in anthologies along with Ernest Hemingway. Her stories of Gettysburg citizens who were caught in the battle and still managed to serve the wounded and dying are worth discovering again.
Will Lane, Director of the Writing Center, Gettysburg College and former Chair, Adams-Hanover Health Care for All discusses the current status of healthcare in America with host Dr. Christianson. Mr. Lane says the health care is slowly improving under The Affordable Care Act, but the goal is still to cover everyone with affordable health care. The obstacles today are political and not value or workable solutions. Two models to meet the goal are regulated private companies and the expansion of Medicare for everyone.
Dr. Christianson and John Spangler, Executive Assistant to the President for Communication and Planning and former President of the Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation, explore what we can learn from a small school on a large campus on how to realize a commitment to preserving the environment by “going green:” using new technologies, such as geothermal wells, measuring the “carbon footprint,” recycling, and planting. The Historic Walking Pathway and campus renewal with new parking and tree planting are prime examples at Gettysburg Seminary.
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.