Fall 2009 Edition
Pray with us!
Prayers of Blessing
The opening Convocation of the first semester held in the Seminary’s chapel on Sept. 2nd included these prayers of blessing for new students, continuing students and faculty and staff. While the group being blessed remained seated or kneeled, the rest of the assembly stood with an arm raised in blessing. Feel free to adapt these for use in your own individual and corporate prayer practices.
For new seminarians:
Bless these, your children, as they begin this new stage of their life in youth. Grant them diligence and joy in their work and a constant sense of your presence. By your Word and Spirit, stir up in them the gifts needed for their own growth, for their community, and for their service in your world. Amen.
For returning seminarians:
Bless these, your children, as they continue in their life here. Grant them diligence and joy in their work and a constant sense of your presence. By your Word and Spirit, stir up in them the gifts needed for their own growth, for their community, and for their service in your world. Amen.
For faculty and staff:
Bless these, your children, as they serve in this community to which you have called them. Grant them diligence and joy in their work and a constant sense of your presence. By your Word and Spirit, stir up in them the gifts needed to equip others for the work of ministry, for their life in this community, and for their service in the world. Amen.
For family members of students:
Bless these, your children. In changing circumstances and times of stress, bind them ever more closely to each other and to you. By your Word and Spirit, stir up in them the gifts needed for their own growth, for their life in this community and for their service in your world. Amen.
When a seminarian reflects and prays…
, a senior Master of Divinity candidate, reflects on the difference the support she’s received:
"No matter how small or large, from friends or from strangers, these gifts are proof of the priesthood of all believers following God’s call to serve. I give my heartfelt gratitude for the prayers and gifts of the Body of Christ."
, a 3rd year student in his internship year at Trinity Lutheran Church in Butler, PA, gives thanks for teachers: …And so I want to thank all of my teachers, wherever they are. And I want to thank all of you who will be teaching this year, whether at a public school, a college or a Sunday School class. You are a blessing to every student you encounter and you really do make a difference. But most of all I wish to thank the congregation of Trinity Lutheran Church, which collectively, during this year of internship, will be my teacher as I prepare for ministry within the ELCA. I look forward to learning from you and with you as together, guided by the Holy Spirit, we seek to serve God and our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Learn with us!
Meet Seminarian Scott Schul: Contemporary Tax Collector Goes to Seminary
Scott Schul, a native of western Pennsylvania, was baptized and confirmed at Tabor Lutheran Church, in Kane, PA. Transplanted to New England, Scott was working as Director of the Tax Policy Division at Maine Revenue Services when he discerned that coming to Gettysburg Seminary was the right move for him. Not surprisingly, Scott finds with a great deal of meaning in Mark 2:14: “As Jesus was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus at the tax both, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And Levi followed him.”
During his first year, In addition to a full course load, along with other first year seminarians (also called “Juniors”), Scott spent Sundays at a “teaching parish,” which in his case was Trindle Springs Lutheran Church in Mechanicsburg, PA. During that year, Scott began speak often about “all the help I get putting on my collar.” By “help”, of course, meant his wife, Linda, and his children, Annika and Emilio, but also countless others who have supported him in pursuing his call. During Scott’s second year (also called the “Middler” year) on top of studying he also preached weekly as a “stated supply” at Lazarus Lutheran Church in Lineboro, MD. Now, having completed the first two years of the four-year Master of Divinity degree required for ordination in the ELCA, plus an 11 week summer unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, Scott begins the third leg of the journey: his Internship Year at Trinity Lutheran Church in Butler, PA, working under the supervision of Pastor Tom Pierotti. In July, the whole Schul family moved to Butler. In the midst of this latest move, Scott reflected:
“The moving process seems to strike a nerve with most people. You would not believe the number of folks who have said to me, “I could never endure seminary because of all the moving that’s involved!” Of course, moving is just one aspect of the work. There are late nights spent crafting term papers, hours and hours of study, hundreds of pages of reading each week and of course the exams. Many of us also give up careers to undertake this work. Seminary can seem like quite a daunting experience. And so, not surprisingly, folks regularly say to me, “it must have been such a hard decision to come to seminary!”
The truth, however, is that it was the easiest decision I have ever made in my life. It’s not because there’s anything special about me. And it’s not because the term papers magically write themselves, correct answer suddenly appear on the exams or the moving boxes pack themselves. Quite the contrary. But when you know that Jesus is calling you to this work, then, like Levi the tax collector, you simply get up and you follow Him. And so my family and I will pack and unpack boxes once again. We’ll change our address and our phone number and learn our way around a new town. We’ll join a new church family. I will serve them, I will proclaim God’s Word to them and I will learn from them. The work will be hard, but the decision to go is very easy…because Jesus is calling. And when Jesus calls, you simply get up and you follow Him.”
A Resource on Implementing the ELCA Social Statement, “On Sufficient Sustainable, Livelihood for All”
For a resource on implementing the ELCA Social Statement on Sufficient Sustainable, Livelihood for All, check out Scott Schul’s article in The Journal of Christian Ethics
And look for the reflection by Scott in the September, 2009, issue of The Lutheran, page 3: www.thelutheran.org
Leap with us!
Seminarians need lots of encouragement in many forms, beginning with prayer! Become Seminarian Prayer Partners! Your congregation may choose to:
- Pray for one particular student by name regularly throughout the year, or
- Pray for all members of a class year. For example, all the members of the first year class of students, called “Juniors.” (The number of students in a class year ranges from 30-50)
- Another creative approach you come up with that fits your congregation better. Just tell us!
If your congregation would like to pray for a student or for a class of students, email us at frogs@Ltsg.edu
and include the information below and we will send you names soon after the semester begins. In inviting students to be prayed for, we gain their permission to named in public worship or on congregational prayer lists.
Here is the info we need you to email us frogs@Ltsg.edu
(Or you can call: 717-338-3011 or 1-800 MLUTHER ext. 3011):
- Congregation name and location, incl. town and state
- Whether you wish to receive one name, a whole class of names, or another approach
- A contact person’s name, address, email and phone number
Plan to hold a “Plague to Plenty” Sunday: Oh, no! We’ve Been Frogged!
Just as God called upon frogs to help drive home the point that God’s people needed to be freed from slavery in Egypt, FrOGS can dramatize the need for future public servants of the Word to be freed from financial burdens as they study for ministry.
Using 100 (or more) green balloons and a marker: blow up balloons (no helium necessary!), and use a marker to put a froggy face on each. Take care not to over-inflate. Put the “frogs” where they are unavoidably visible, and even uncomfortably in the way, e.g. on the front lawn or steps, in the narthex, aisles of nave, pulpit, etc. For $10 (or other suggested amount) a “frog,” can be transformed! From “plague” to “plenty!” Then, move them out of the way or pop them. For example, they could be carried into worship and be viewed as visible prayers. $1,000 will be raised for Seminarian Scholarship Fund when all 100 frogs are transformed!
Planning a “Seminarian Plague to Plenty Sunday” takes time, not the least because it’s an opportunity to devote time and creativity to learning more about where pastors, diaconal ministers, and other public servants of the Word come from. For inspiration, checkout "Plague to Plague: The Musical, A drama of Biblical Proportions
". Need help or additional resources? Just call: 1 800-MUTHER, ext 3011, or email: frogs@Ltsg.edu
- The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg is the oldest of the ELCA seminaries, founded in 1826.
- The seminary’s founder was Samuel Simon Schmucker, a pastor and teacher who was also active in the anti-slavery movement.
- More than 5,400 men and women have graduated from the seminary and have gone on to serve in many different settings for ministry.
It will cost today’s single seminarian about $35,280 for 2 semesters of school and living expenses. Below is a typical seminarian student budget:
INVITATIONS: Come to Campus for:
|Books & fees
|Seminarian health insurance
|Food & household supplies
|Misc. personal expenses
- Worship! See our daily schedule: http://www.ltsg.edu/chapel/worship_sched.htm
- Music, Gettysburg! concerts. Schedule for Music, Gettysburg!: http://www.musicgettysburg.org/theseason.htm
- Theological Education for Youth events
- Lay School of Theology or our Fall or Spring Academy Weeks
- Luther Bowl: Late October or early November includes flag football teams from nine seminaries from around the country