Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pr. John Huneke, LTSP Class of 1956, has died

Pr. Huneke at the 2010
LTSP commencement
The Rev. Dr. John Huneke ('56), an MDiv graduate of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), has died. He served as pastor at Reformation Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, New York, since 1973, his fourth pastorate in a long and faithful career that spanned more than 50 years. His long ministry serves as an example of faithful stewardship, as well as of pastoral leadership, providing a ministry of compassion, presence, and proclamation of God’s gift of justification by God’s grace through faith.

Pastor Huneke was born in Brooklyn, New York, on August 6, 1931. He graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1953; completed some preliminary MDiv coursework at Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1953-54; and entered The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in fall 1954, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 1956. He continued his education at Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was awarded the Master of Theology degree in 1958. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia at the 2010 commencement, where seminary President Philip D. W. Krey cited Pr. Huneke "for his exemplary stewardship and pastoral leadership and his compassionate presence" in making use of God's gifts to serve others.

Like St Francis, who used to renovate urban churches in the 13th century, Pr. Huneke spent a generation renovating the building and mission of Reformation Church in Brooklyn, a congregation with a long connection to LTSP. The Honorable Charles A. Schieren, turn-of-the-twentieth century mayor of Brooklyn, merchant, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, gave LTSP the Charles A. Schieren chair, now held by the Rev. Dr. Katie Day. The Honorable mayor also gave Reformation a stunning stained glass window as a tryptich with Jesus as teacher, healer, and one who blessed children. 

Pastor Huneke continued this philanthropic tradition by providing, through the ELCA Fund for Leaders in Mission, an endowment for scholarship aid for students at LTSP from the Metropolitan New York Synod, especially students of color from the seminary's joint program with Wagner College. 

Pr. Huneke's funeral will be on Friday at 10:30 am at the N.F. Walker of Queens Funeral Home, 87-34 80th St, Woodhaven, NY 11421. Metropolitan New York Synod Bishop Robert Rimbo will preside.

You can read more about Pr. Huneke and watch his address at LTSP's 2010 commencement here.

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