Jeans to quilts
The theme for the 2022–2023 school year at Lutheran South Academy, Houston, was “Gifted to Serve.” The theme was taught in class, shared in chapel and demonstrated in service projects throughout the year. On March 6, the entire school population took time off from class to serve the surrounding community in various ways, such as helping with landscaping and sorting food at the food bank.
One group of 30 high school students stayed at school to work on the already underway Jesus quilt project. In the preceding months, students and staff had collected over 300 pairs of blue jeans to use as the fabric. Students and staff worked to cut them into squares, sew them into quilts and quilt them onto wool blankets. The quilts will go to Orphan Grain Train (OGT), an LCMS Recognized Service Organization with a branch in Pasadena, Texas, to be distributed to people in need.
On April 21, school chapel began with a procession of students carrying the quilts, which numbered 57. Each quilt measured 4 feet by 6 feet. Laid side by side, the quilts covered a 1,400-square-foot area in the school gym. Mike Rathje, branch manager of the OGT Pasadena branch, spoke, and campus pastor Rev. Aaron Richert offered a blessing plus words of thanksgiving for all the students, staff and parents who helped make the project possible.
The Lutheran Roboteers of Lutheran High School (LHS), St. Peters, Mo., recently competed at the 2023 FIRST® Robotics World Championship in Houston. At the competition, they consistently ranked within the top 10 teams of their 77-team division and ultimately finished as the 5th-ranked alliance (with three other teams) in the world.
These results are a testament to the grace of God; the LHS Robotics and STEM program; and the support of dedicated students, mentors, parents, sponsors, alumni, faculty and the entire LHS community.
Concordia University Ann Arbor (CUAA), Ann Arbor, Mich., has added two new Lifecast manikins to its simulation tools. Lifecast manikins are built in the anatomical likeness of a real person, with fine details such as veins and underlying structures added to imitate reality. In total, CUAA has 15 manikins, including three Lifecast manikins, in its state-of-the-art Simulation Center. The center and its resources allow students to engage in simulation exercises that are carefully orchestrated to mimic real-life situations, helping students hone and perfect their skills in a low-stakes environment so that they are ready for the real deal in the future. Learn more at blog.cuaa.edu/new-manikins.
New life in Christ
Stephanie Jondahl transferred to Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW), Mequon, Wis., in 2021 because of the exemplary reputation of the university’s Batterman School of Business. In her words, CUW’s Lutheran identity “did not at all factor” into her decision. She had never attempted to read or navigate a Bible until she enrolled in the Rev. Dr. Daniel Paavola’s Religion 100 course, a required class for all Concordia undergraduates. Once she started reading God’s Word, however, she couldn’t stop. On Sunday, April 23, she was baptized in Concordia’s Chapel of Christ Triumphant, with Paavola officiating. Read more at blog.cuw.edu/the-right-environment.
Focus on faith
Concordia University Chicago (CUC), River Forest, Ill., welcomed guest speaker Timothy S. Goeglein to campus in April to deliver the presentation, “Faith in the Halls of Power: Why Grace and Humility are Needed Now More than Ever.” Goeglein shared his insights as a person of faith whose long and distinguished career has provided numerous opportunities for service in support of elected officials at the highest levels of government.
Goeglein was press secretary for U.S. Senator Dan Coats for a decade. He joined George W. Bush’s presidential campaign staff and became special assistant to Bush from 2001 to 2008. He has served as a Lutheran deacon for more than 25 years and is currently serving as vice-president for external and government relations at Focus on the Family.
Developing athlete leaders
Concordia University, Nebraska (CUNE), Seward, Neb., has announced the launch of the university’s new Master of Science in Athletic Administration graduate program. The program is designed for current high school and college coaches or athletic directors who desire to further their education, network with industry experts and like-minded professionals, and earn a degree that includes both National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) and InsideOut Administrator Certification. This new program will launch in summer 2023.
“This purpose-based, Christ-focused program develops students into ethical and respected leaders who are prepared to navigate current and relevant issues in the athletics industry,” said Jeremy Geidel, CUNE Director of Graduate/Adult Admissions and Operations.
Studying the Confessions
Concordia University, St. Paul (CSP), St. Paul, Minn., hosted its first annual “Confessio: A Retreat on the Lutheran Confessions” on Saturday, April 15. Held in Graebner Memorial Chapel, the full-day event was attended by 62 pastors, professors, students and congregational members. Under the theme “Luther’s Baptismal Booklet and the Life of the Church,” the event centered around the 500th anniversary of the booklet’s printing. The Rev. Dr. Thomas Winger, president of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharine’s, Ontario, was the featured speaker. Confessio 2024 is set for April 20, 2024, with the Rev. William Weedon presenting.
Grant supports Hispanic students
In April, the U.S. Department of Education’s Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans Program (PPOHA) awarded Concordia University Irvine (CUI), Irvine, Calif., a $3 million grant. CUI’s grant-winning initiative is titled “Vocación” and will positively impact Hispanic graduate students in the School of Education.
“The awarding of this grant will enable us to support Hispanic graduate students in a more robust way, with enhanced support services and increased scholarships,” said CUI President Dr. Michael Thomas. “It also validates Concordia University Irvine’s ongoing partnership with the Hispanic communities in southern California as we faithfully train up the next generation of leaders who embody our mission [to] form ‘wise, honorable, and cultivated citizens to serve the church and the world.’”
The PPOHA grant will help CUI enroll and equip future Hispanic teachers, school administrators and K–12 district leaders so that the percentage of Hispanic leaders in education will better reflect the Hispanic student population in California. The PPOHA grant provides $600,000 per year, over the next five years, starting this October.
The Continuing Education season at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW), kicks into high gear in June. Course instructors, including many CTSFW faculty, will be crisscrossing the nation over the next few months, presenting a wide variety of topics for consideration and study. The classes, typically two and a half days each, are open to pastors, retired pastors, vicars, students, professional church workers and laypeople. Course fees vary.
Upcoming classes include:
- June 27–29, Marysville, Wash. — “No More Peek-a-Boo Jesus: The Christology of the Old Testament,” Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Pulse
- July 10–12, Grass Valley, Calif. — “The History of the LCMS and Applications for Today,” Rev. Dr. Lawrence Rast Jr.
- July 13–15, Austin, Texas — “Praying the Psalms with Christ and His Church,” Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Boyle
- Aug. 1–3, Cheyenne, Wyo. — “21st-Century Preaching,” Rev. Dr. David Petersen
To find a complete list of courses, visit ctsfw.edu/CE or check the events listed on CTSFW’s Facebook page.
One Body, many parts
Ministry among people with special needs is the subject of an Aug. 5 Lay Bible Institute at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (CSL), taught by CSL Associate Professor of Practical Theology Rev. Dr. Ely Prieto. The workshop will explore the biblical basis for ministering to those with special needs and will share practical methods that participants can use to connect those with special needs — and their families — into the life of the congregations.
“I appreciate the way that the apostle Paul describes the Body of Christ in 1 Corinthians. 12:12–27,” Prieto said. “He says that the body of Christ is made up of different parts. In our eyes, some parts seem to be more important and necessary than others, but not in God’s eyes! We are all part of the Body of Christ, regardless of how we look or what strengths or weaknesses we have.”
Open to anyone interested in the study of Scripture and the proclamation of the Gospel, the workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 5 in Sieck Hall 202 on the CSL campus, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105. The registration deadline is July 21. Cost is $20 per person or $35 per person with lunch. For more information or to register, visit csl.edu/lbi or contact Continuing Education at 314-505-7286 or email@example.com.
Posted June 20, 2023