One Journey to the United States: An Immigrant Story

March 12, 2018

Justine Odila talks about his journey from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United States. While in the Congo, he worked to help child soldiers to return to school, their families and mental stability as well as helping other young children to not become soldiers in the first place. This work resulted in him being arrested but he escaped to Zambia where he lived in a refugee camp for 17 years where he carried assisting those around him. After a 5-year vetting process, he was finally able to come to the United States via a resettlement program. He presently works at Walmart, works part-time as a mental health counselor, and attends classes at the community college.


To learn more about the Democratic Republic of the Congo you can begin here:


From the Desert to the Peach Orchard

February 26, 2018

During her residency, Tucson-based writer Julie Swarstad Johnson will be working on poems inspired by stories of pacifist faith communities around Gettysburg before, during and after the time of the battle, with a particular focus on the experiences of the Sherfy family (owners of the Peach Orchard). Her own practice as a member of Mennonite and Quaker congregations will add perspective to the historical role these communities. It is an opportunity to understand examples of pacifism and faith in American public life. She took time from her research, writing and explorations for a conversation with Katy Giebenhain about her project. The author of Jumping the Pit by Finishing Line Press, Swarstad Johnson is a Library Specialist at the University of Arizona Poetry Center.

Julie Swarstad Johnson will give a free public poetry reading March 3rd at the Gettysburg NMP Museum and Visitor Center at 3:00 p.m.
The event is sponsored by a grant from the Gettysburg Foundation and other generous sponsors. For more information about the event call 717-334-1124.

Thanks to our host site for this interview, Waldo’s and Co. on the square in Gettysburg.


The Healing Power of Art

February 12, 2018

Artist Joshua Osburg, MFA Candidate at FontBonne University, Artist in Residence at the Gettysburg National Military Park, and combat veteran explores the importance of art to him throughout his life. He explores the idea that art can serve as a method to eliminate stress and how art can be a vehicle for personal healing.


Building Community Around Sourdough Bread

January 29, 2018

Mark Jalbert, Director of Bakewell Farm, shares his love of bread and explores ways that Bakewell Farm is using bread to build community. From the science of fermentation to sharing a loaf with a neighbor or those in need. You can almost smell the loaves come out of the oven.


On-Site Immediacy and the Continuing Role of Combat Artists

January 15, 2018

Chip Beck is not only a veteran and an artist, he is also a combat artist with global experience who has rendered these experiences first-hand. His academic training is in political science, but he has been capturing what he sees on paper and other surfaces since he was a small child. Beck is an artist-in-residence at the Gettysburg National Military Park. He joins Katy Giebenhain for a conversation about “stone soldiers” and his current time on Gettysburg’s battlefield.


Signs of Safety

January 1, 2018

Social-justice poet Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is the first “Poets in the Park” artist-in-residence at the Gettysburg National Military Park. She stopped by the Gettysburg campus of United Lutheran Seminary for a conversation about her evolving collection, her experience as a desert aid worker on the U.S.-Mexico border, hobo markings, Tarot card prompts and more.


A Year in the Woods

December 19, 2017

Dylan Miller spent his last year of college living in a hut he built himself in the middle of the woods. While it was part of his capstone project on living a minimalist life it was truely much more than an "assignment."  Dylan discusses his approach to life, what led him to this project and where he is going from here in this truely unique perspective on living an examined life.


Gerrymandering: How to Skew Election Results Without Hardly Trying

December 4, 2017

Often one party receives more votes for congress or the legislature and ends up with fewer representatives. The reason is “gerrymandering”: shaping voting districts to favor one party or the other. Steven Niebler, Coordinator, Fair Districts, Adams County, a Sub-group of Fair Districts, Pennsylvania,  argues that the key to this unbalance is that elected officials choose their own voters. “Fair Districts,” a non-partisan advocacy group, proposes an eleven-member commission, chosen partly at random and partly by serious vetting, to set impartial boundaries.


The Theological Librarian and Library

November 20, 2017

Mr. Evan Boyd, Library Director and Archivist for United Lutheran Seminary, discusses the role of the theological library in theological education. He noted changes that are beginning to be made as well as changes for the future needs of such a library system.

  • Ebooks for theological education
  • Support of faculty and students
  • Outreach to pastoral/church leaders in the community
  • Preparation for theological librarianship
  • Library as a living room

Years of Service

November 6, 2017

Phil Roth talks about his experience as a volunteer in the PAX program sponsored by the Mennonite Church as his alternative service for the military in the mid-1950s. He described the history of the program as well as the challenges for him and his fellow workers.