Trinity's Interim Thoughts                                                                                                 November  1, 2017


Saints, Vocations, and Gratitude

All Saints Day often makes me think of the great cloud of witnesses that encourages us to perseverance in faithful living (Hebrews 12:1). That biblical image often takes specific shape for me in visual memories—pictures of family reunions, friends from many decades, school groups, co-workers. Walking down the hall from my office I pass photos of the former deans and presidents of Hamma, ELTS, and Trinity. Across in the Alumni Room I’ve studied the many assembled portraits of Trinity graduating classes.  I could dig in the archives for class photos going back nearly two centuries. Further, in the seminary courtyard, Schenk Chapel and elsewhere in the building there are plaques with the names of faculty and friends of Trinity and its predecessors. Over on the Capital University campus are many plaques by trees, honoring faculty members on their 25th anniversaries at Capital. These saints are all part of the cloud of witnesses to remember today.

Of course, these campus photos and plaques represent a somewhat specialized group of saints—nearly all are or were pastors, teachers, and/or other workers in the institutional church. These are deeply worthy of remembrance on this day and often, and they do encourage our persistence in faithfulness. But to think of all the saints who encourage us, we will see a much truer and larger picture if we consider Martin Luther’s understanding of vocation. Luther wisely and persistently taught that all are called, in roles that are chosen and roles that are given. They too are saints, these parents, daughters, sons, siblings, friends, workers in all arenas, baptismal sponsors, helpers, healers, renewers, students, retirees, congregation members, citizens. The saints honored on the walls at Trinity were encouraged and strengthened for faithful persistence by that much larger circle of saints, and that large circle has been strengthened and encouraged by those saints honored here and others like them.

Trinity is a small and vital part of the much larger blessing accomplished through the faithful persistence of people over the centuries. This coming weekend the boards of Trinity Lutheran Seminary and Capital University will consider final formal steps to integrate these two schools for mission. There are many things to be done in those meetings and in the months ahead as the integration takes shape. Let thanksgiving be interwoven in all. May we all make gratitude a vital part of our roles in this—gratitude for the saints of Trinity and its predecessors and for all those varied saints who have prepared us for this time and who have, do and will encourage us to persist in faith. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Thanks be to God for all the saints!

With Thankfulness

Trinity gives thanks for the many ministries of Prof. Emlyn Ott and for the privilege of hosting the Healthy Congregations organization. Dr. Ott concluded her twelve years of work at Trinity in October. She will be teaching at the Methodist Theological Seminary of Ohio. Healthy Congregations will be based there also. Mutual gratitude was expressed at a post- chapel coffee time yesterday. She will be missed here, and we know she will continue to be a blessing for the whole church!

Stan Olson

Interim President

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Upcoming Events
Join us for Choral Evensong, November 3, 2017 8 P.M.
You are cordially invited to Choral Evensong on Friday, November 3, when Trinity’s 50-voice Seminary Choir will sing Haydn’s Mass in D Minor (“Nelson” Mass) within the service of Evening Prayer. Prelude music starts at 7:30 p.m., followed by Evensong at 8 p.m. There will be a freewill offering.
Listening Circle at TLS, November 6, 2017 10:45 A.M. 
Join us for another listening circle, November 6, 2017, 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m in Tierra Santa. You listened to the desires of your heart and you landed here in this place, at this time. As you reflect upon your journey, what have been your challenges, your insights? What are you learning about who you are and what you need? Can you travel this path in wholeness and connection with yourself and your fellow cohort? Come and listen.
Campus Preaching Festival November 10, 2017 9 A.M.
Trinity's annual preaching festival will be held on November 10. The event is free and open to preachers between the ages of 14 and 35. Participants from various denominations and with varying degrees of preaching experience are invited to worship and preach in sessions with peers and mentors. The day begins with registration at 9 a.m. For more information, please visit our website or register here.

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