Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Annual Easter Vespers, Monday, 4/28

The annual Easter Vespers, led by the choir of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) and coinciding with LTSP's Spring Convocation, will be held Monday, April 28, 2008 starting at 6 pm in the Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel. The public is invited to attend the service. The chapel is located on the seminary campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Mt. Airy, Philadelphia.

For directions to campus, see the seminary Web site - www.Ltsp.edu/germantownave.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

LTSP Gateway Plaza Groundbreaking

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) was joined by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod (SEPA) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and members and leasers of the Northwest Philadelphia community to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new Gateway Plaza, located on the southern end of the campus at 7301 Germantown Avenue, Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. The project also includes renovations to the seminary's Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel to include new office space for SEPA, an upper plaza area and handicapped access. You can read more details here.

Photos from the groundbreaking event (click the image to view high-resolution version)

Architect's Rendering of the Gateway Plaza on the LTSP CampusArchitect's Rendering of the Gateway Plaza on the LTSP Campus

Groundbreaking ProcessionalGroundbreaking Processional

The Rev. Dr. Dirk Lange leading prayerThe Rev. Dr. Dirk Lange leading prayer

Blessing the GroundBlessing the Ground

Breaking the Ground - group 1The Rev. Claire Schenot Burkat, Bishop, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, President, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP); Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, 8th Council District, Philadelphia; Patricia Robinson, Vice President, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod; Dr. Addie Butler, Chair, Board of Trustees, LTSP; The Rev. Cynthia Krommes, Board of Trustees, LTSP

Breaking the Ground - group 2Larry Rutt, Butz Companies (General Contractor); Cristoph Schmidt, LTSP Student Body President; Ken Weinstein, NW Phila Business Community; Laura Morris Siena, Executive Director, West Mt. Airy Neighbors; Dan Muroff, President, East Mt. Airy Neighbors; George Yu, George Yu Associates (Architect)

Gathered on the Chapel LawnGathered on the Chapel Lawn, future location of the Gateway Plaza

The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. KreyThe Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, President, LTSP

The Rev. Claire Schenot BurkatThe Rev. Claire Schenot Burkat, Bishop, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA

Donna Reed MillerCouncilwoman Donna Reed Miller, 8th Council District, Philadelphia

Patricia RobinsonPatricia Robinson, Vice President, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod

Dr. Addie ButlerDr. Addie Butler, Chair, Board of Trustees, LTSP

George YuGeorge Yu, George Yu Associates (Architect)

Dan MuroffDan Muroff, President, East Mt. Airy Neighbors

Laura Morris SienaLaura Morris Siena, Executive Director, West Mt. Airy Neighbors

Ken WeinsteinKen Weinstein, NW Phila. Business Community

Cristoph SchmidtCristoph Schmidt, LTSP Student Body President

Reed Miller, Krey, BurkatCouncilwoman Donna Reed Miller, The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, The Rev. Claire Schenot Burkat

Reed Miller, Krey, Burkat, RobinsonCouncilwoman Donna Reed Miller, The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, The Rev. Claire Schenot Burkat, Patricia Robinson

Morning Ceremony
Morning CeremonySurrounded by community members of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, (l to r) Pa. Representative Cherelle Parker; The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, President, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia; and Pa. Representative Dwight Evans break ground for the new Gateway Plaza to be constructed on the seminary campus. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod will be moving onto the seminary campus as part of the project.

Cherelle Parker, Philip D.W. Krey, Dwight EvansRepresentative Cherelle Parker; The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, President, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia; and Pa. Representative Dwight Evans

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Changing the culture of Gun Violence is aim of ‘Renewing the Village’ conference April 19

Watch the news any evening and usually you will hear one or more stories of gun violence that snatch promising young lives from our midst.

Increasing the practical and prophetic knowledge of clergy in order to change the culture of gun violence is the goal of a day-long Saturday, April 19 conference called “Renewing the Village: Keeping Faith with the Youth in Our City.”

Keynoter for the program that runs 8:30 am to 4 pm at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) is Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, the 10th president of Morehouse College. Dr. Franklin previously served at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University as presidential distinguished professor of social ethics. In the office of Provost at Emory, he led the university’s strategic theme focused on “Confronting the Human Condition.” A frequent commentator for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” Franklin has built a national platform on social ethics and community values.

“We’re deeply concerned about the wave of gun violence, particularly in Philadelphia, but also elsewhere,” explains the Rev. Dr. Katie Day, a Presbyterian pastor who serves as Charles Schieren Professor for Church and Society and director of the Urban Concentration at LTSP. She is a key planner for the day. “We want to support congregations to be realistically and effectively involved in addressing both the causes and effects of gun violence.”

Other goals of the conference are to bring clergy together “with those currently engaged in programming for at risk youth to introduce clergy to needed skill sets in developing programs such as job skills training, economic development/job creation, re-entry from prison, conflict resolution, responsible parenting, and anger and stress management,” Day says. The day will make networking possible among those addressing the crisis of gun-related violence to encourage partnerships and strategic development to address youth violence. Educating seminarians and considering public policy initiatives are also key for the day.


The program will feature not only Franklin’s pivotal remarks, but also two sessions of workshops focusing on the topics of “How Do We Respond to the Crisis of Violence Now?” “Transitional Support” – moving individuals toward wholeness, “Social Service” – how can churches prevent recurring violence? “Justice and Advocacy” – changing the systems that contribute toward violence; and “Community Transformation.” Workshop providers are the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, the Youth Art Spirituality Project, Northwest Victims Services, Arts & Spirituality, Philadelphia Safe & Sound, CeaseFirePA Parents United for for Public Education, Reconstruction Alumni Ex-Offenders Association, the Germantown Clergy Initiative, the Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project, Amachi and the Teens United Performing Arts Project.

Co-sponsors for the program are the seminary, First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, Reconstruction Alumni Ex-Offenders Association (related to Graterford Prison), and the Commission on Human Relations of the City of Philadelphia.

The event is underwritten in part by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation. Cost for the conference, including lunch, is $50. You can register on line with a credit card at www.Ltsp.edu/village. Or, contact Carrie Schwab to register at 215-248-7382.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Groundbreaking set for Gateway Plaza at LTSP

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Gateway Plaza on the LTSP campus on Friday, April 11 atArchitect's rendering of LTSP Gateway PlazaLTSP site of future Gateway Plaza 1 pm. The groundbreaking will commence a $3 million project that will create the only public square on the Germantown Avenue commercial corridor in Mt Airy, and will link The Lutheran Theological Seminary campus to the thriving Mt. Airy Business District. The project will also bring the headquarters of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to Mt. Airy. The synod, including over 180 congregations in Southeastern Pennsylvania and presided over by Bishop The Rev. Claire Burkat, has been attracted to the economic vitality of the Germantown corridor, the seminary’s new Brossman Conference Center, and the famous diversity of the Mt. Airy community. The synod offices are currently in Norristown, PA. The ceremony will be held on the LTSP campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, and members of the community are encouraged to attend. (photos show architect's rendering of the Plaza and the current space on the LTSP campus)

This ambitious project will integrate the campus with the surrounding community and provide much needed public open space. The current wall along Germantown Avenue will be opened at the campus' southernmost point, and a public gateway promenade and plaza will provide an inviting access point for the community directly onto the campus. Grading enhancements at the site of the plaza will expose an undercroft-level entrance to the chapel where publicly accessible space for the bishop’s offices will contribute to business and jobs along this commercial corridor. Project plans for the gateway plaza include new lighting, public benches, plantings, and general beautification and enhancement of the fa├žade along historic Germantown Avenue, ensuring that the streetscape modifications encourage public use. When completed, the chapel structure, abutting the new plaza, will look like a Gothic cathedral with a public square.

Representatives of the seminary and synod will be joined at the groundbreaking by dignitaries from the community and region to celebrate this latest addition to the vibrant Northwest Philadelphia community. Philadelphia Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, whose Eighth Council District includes the seminary, will be thanked for her efforts to bring the Plaza project to realization.