Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Construction starts on Gateway Plaza

Construction has begun on the Gateway Plaza portion of the Chapel Renovation project on the campus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). Site preparation work will expose the basement space of the building, which will be renovated to become the offices of the bishop and staff of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and prepare the site for the street-level plaza, designed to connect with the Mt. Airy business direct south of the LTSP campus. The work will also provide full handicapped accessibility to the building, space for quiet prayer and a baptistry, and air conditioning for the building.

Groundbreaking for the project was in April, with project completion planned for November 2008. See the story and photos from the groundbreaking . A gallery of photos of the construction, to be updated as the project progresses, is also available.

Lutherhostel to explore Penn's influence

Lutherhostel program to explore
William Penn’s legacy for today

PHILADELPHIA, PA (May 19, 2008) – “William Penn’s Holy Experiment: Religious Freedom Then and Now” is the theme for the ninth annual Lutherhostel program June 16-20 at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP).

The annual program is a residential or commuter learning experience for older adults (aged 50 or more, non-Lutherans welcome!) co-sponsored by the seminary and the Association of Lutheran Older Adults, based in Baltimore, MD. Participants come from around the country. The program is made possible through a generous grant from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.

“Quaker statesman William Penn cast a long and historic shadow over the development of colonial Philadelphia in the late 17th century, and he espoused formative ideas about liberty of conscience and religious freedom that he put into practice as an English colonizer,” says Mark Staples, Lutherhostel project manager and director of the seminary’s life-long learning initiative called The Faith and Life Institute. “We’re going to take a look at his life and times, his approach to partnering with colonists of differing religious persuasions and the Native tribes of his day. And we’ll consider lessons from his legacy that offer a perspective for today. What are our current religious freedom challenges? How might his approaches guide us as we consider the local to global challenges before us now?”

Keynoters for the week include Quaker presenter Nancy V. Webster, curator/historian for the national Friends Historical Association; Dr. Jon Pahl, professor of the History of Religion in North America at LTSP; Dr. A. Gregg Roeber, professor of Early Modern History and Religious Studies at Penn State University; “Living History” Performer William C. Kashatus, who appears regularly for the National Park Service; and the Rev. Bruce Davidson, director of the Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministry in New Jersey. LTSP Professor Katie Day will show her pictorial research on the faith communities along Philadelphia’s historic Germantown Avenue, including commentary on several historic or “mother” churches from several traditions. The week will include a bus tour of historic Pennsbury, Penn’s distinctive residence for a time when he lived in Philadelphia. Also appearing will be Susan Plaisted, a Pennsylvania Humanities Council presenter who will explore “Dining with William Penn” during a Wednesday afternoon session.

The cost for participating in the program is $430 (residents) and $330 (commuters). The registration fee covers 13 meals, refreshments and the bus tour of Pennsbury. Register on line at www.Ltsp.edu/Lutherhostel08. Detailed information about the program is available there. For additional assistance, contact Staples at 215/248-7352 or email him at Mstaples@Ltsp.edu. The program begins with checking in Monday morning June 16 for a 1:30 p.m. program opening. The program concludes with lunch Friday noon.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Recent Additions to LTSP Online Videos

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) has added several video recordings to the LTSP Web site. These include:

- 2008 Spring Convocation, Learning as Congregational Mission, with keynote presentations Grounded Theologically: Learning Leads to Mission and Mission Leads to Learning by Dr. Norma Cook Everist and The Teaching Ministry of a Missional Congregation by Dr. Richard Osmer, along with the panel discussion Christian Education: Looking into the Future with Dr. Norma Cook Everist, Dr. Richard Osmar, The Rev. Dr. Margaret Krych, and The Rev. Jessicah Duckworth ’03.
- From Tough Texts: An Interfaith Dialog Series for Christian, Jewish & Muslim Leaders: Gender and Sexuality with presenters The Rev. Wil Gafney, PhD, Laura Levitt, PhD, and Constance Carter, PhD; and War and Peace with presenters Paul Mojzes, PhD, Rabbi Leonard Gordon, and Khalil Malik, MD.

Selected programs are also available for download or online listening as MP3 audio files.

See the Web site, www.Ltsp.edu/news/news-media.html, for these and other LTSP online media.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Helping Hands Week to benefit LTSP students

From May 12-18, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) will benefit from Helping Hands Week at Mt. Airy’s Trolley Car Diner & Deli, 7619 Germantown Avenue.

The Trolley Car Diner will donate 10% of the revenue of all customers who present a special coupon with their bill – Monday - Friday 7 am to 9 pm, Saturday and Sunday 3 - 9 pm – and Trolley Car Diner owner Ken Weinstein is personally donating an additional 10% as a special thank you. The donation will add to the seminary’s Leadership Fund, which benefits the seminary’s students through scholarship funds, as well as supporting the seminary’s mission to raise leaders for the church in the world.

You can print out the special coupon - which much be presented at the diner – from the LTSP Web site: www.Ltsp.edu/helpinghands. For directions or more information about Trolley Car Diner & Deli, call 215-753-1500 or go to www.trolleycardiner.com.