Lou Charest, Manager for University Engagement for Catholic Relief Services, describes the current global refugee crisis and explains why Catholic social teaching, as well as Pope Francis, calls us to welcome migrants and refugees. He offers suggestions for how local communities can provide support, from encouraging legislation to linking with refugee families.
Dr. Maria Erling, Professor of American Church History, ULS, and author, “The Augustana Story” sets the Lutheran World Federation Assembly, held in Windhoek, Namibia in the context of justice and reconciliation in Namibia and the abused women in the Congo.
Dr. David Crowner, Professor Emeritus, Gettysburg College and Co-Chair, Project Gettysburg-Leon, describes how charitable organizations can avoid simple charity, if this means patronizing those they serve, and making them dependent; and instead aim for sustainable development. In other words, they help people help themselves. Project Gettysburg-Leon has established eight criteria for this process. Most import is the need to listen and build partnerships.
Dr. Donnella, Chaplain of the College at Gettysburg College, shared his thoughts on Black Lives Matter, Immigration, Inter-religious dialogue, and Pope Francis. While he expressed his hopes in light of these topics, he also was saddened by the lack of religious and civil tolerance during the recent political issues in the United States.
Former Gettysburg Seminary student Ivan Belanji discusses the Lutheran church in Serbia and Slovakia, and describes his study at the seminary in Bratislava.
Dr. Vincent Evener, Visiting Instructor in Reformation and Lutheran Studies at the Gettysburg Seminary discusses his choice of the ten top stories/events in religion for 2015. These include: The visit of Pope Francis, the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, issues of violence in particular the A.M.E. church killings in Charleston, South Carolina and terrorism, and immigration. He highlighted his concern for cooperation, openness, constructive endeavors to counter the rhetoric of suspicion and hate.
Dennis F. Carter, Career Foreign Service Officer, Department of State addresses several important questions: How is the U.S. and the United Nations handling the refugee crisis? Is there reason to fear the influx of Syrian refugees? What religious ideology drives Isis to detest the “secular state”? Why does Russia support the Assad regime?
Dr. Christianson speaks with Ambassador Lawrence Taylor who describes the current tensions in eastern Ukraine and suggests that the U.S. and NATO were surprised by Russia’s incursions. On the other hand, Vladimir Putin was not prepared for the resistance from the new government in Ukraine. He suggests that we take seriously Russia’s claim to protect Russians everywhere and do so unilaterally, but also try to bridge the gap between the Old Europe (“Mother Russia”) and the New.
The Poetry + Theology editor for Seminary Ridge Review speaks with internationally-exhibited fiber artist Laurie Wohl. Wohl’s traveling exhibit “Birds of Longing: Exile and Memory” came to Gettysburg Seminary in the fall of 2014. The 14-piece show integrates excerpts from Muslim, Jewish and Christian texts from the Convivencia and from contemporary Middle Eastern poets. Alluding to the oldest traditions of narrative textiles, the pieces in the exhibit include original iconography and mixed media as well as an audio soundscape.