Retirement: Marsha Zimmerman

Today is the last day at CTSFW for one of our dedicated servants: Marsha Zimmerman, who first began working at the Seminary in June 1998. She started out in the daycare, had to take a break from the Seminary to return to teaching in the Fort Wayne area when the daycare closed, but eventually returned. “It’s such a great place,” she explained. “Everybody tries to get back here.”

She has worked in Admission and as the relocation coordinator (helping our married students find housing), and most recently has assisted in the Vicarage and Field Education office. When asked what her favorite thing about being at CTSFW is, she said, simply, “Working directly with the students and getting to know them.”

Now, after thirteen years with us, it’s time to say goodbye. We celebrated Marsha’s retirement after chapel this morning, along with her husband Tom. God’s richest blessings to Marsha as she moves on to this new phase in her life!

The Visitation

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
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And Mary said,‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍

“The Magnificat (Le magnificat)” by James Tissot, painted sometime between 1886-1894.

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
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And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.
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Luke 1:39-56

60th Anniversary: Campus Dedication

Sixty years ago, on Friday, May 30, 1958, dedication festivities began for the new Concordia Senior college; what would someday become our CTSFW campus.

The dedication was big news back in the day. It made such publications as the Vidette-Messenger of Porter County, the Hartford Courant, The Minneapolis Star, The Terre Haute Star, The Indianapolis Star, The Times (Munster, Indiana), The Winona Daily News, and The Town Talk (Alexandria, Louisiana).

In the course of the search, we also unearthed this photo of a Concordia Senior College class back in October of 1967, taught by Dr. Ludwig. Below it is the exact same classroom, taken 49 years later in October of 2016, this time of Concordia Theological Seminary students. That’s Kantor Kevin Hildebrand teaching the class on the left with Dr. Grime on his right.

The Dedicatory Service itself on May 30, 1958 opened with the hymn “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord” (224 in the TLH back in the 50s, and now hymn number 497 in the LSB), then continued with the following:‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍

V. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost
R. Amen
V. Our Help is in the name of the Lord
R. Who made heaven and earth
V. I will go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy. O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles, that I may go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy, and praise Thee, O God, my God.
R. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
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The Officiant shall say:
Let us now dedicate this campus, with all of its buildings and facilities, to the honor and service of the Triune God. To Thee, O Lord, we dedicate the chapel, that it may be a house of prayer and praise for all who live and worship here, wherein Thy saving Word may be proclaimed and Thy Sacraments administered according to Thy command and promise.
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May Thy people ever love the habitation of Thy house, and the place where Thine honor dwelleth.
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To Thee, O Lord, we dedicate the buildings set aside for study, for instruction, for culture, for counsel, and for the administration of this school, that men may come to know Thee better through Thy Word and works, to foster those things that please Thee, and to serve Thee through the wisdom which Thou alone canst give.
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Grant that those who teach and those who learn may grow in the knowledge of Thee and in love to their fellow-men.
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To Thee, O Lord, we dedicate the residential quarters on this campus, for students and for staff, that those who dwell there may find rest for their bodies, quiet for their work, and the spirit of love and fellowship through the indwelling of Thy Spirit.
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May the coming in and going out of those who dwell there be ever in the name of the Lord, and may Christ be the ever-present Guest under every roof.
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To Thee, O Lord, we dedicate the service facilities and buildings, that there men may find refreshment for their daily tasks, health of body, and the opportunity to serve Thee, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift.
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Bless unto those who serve and unto those who are served, the hours which they spend between these walls.
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To Thee, O Lord, we dedicate the recreational facilities, the fields and grounds of this campus, that in their beauty and their utility, they may glorify Thee and serve the welfare of Thy people.
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May Thy people ever use Thy gifts and benefactions to the honor of Thy name and to the service of their fellow-men.

Before You, Lord, We Bow

Before You, Lord, we bow,
Our God who reigns above
And rules the world below,
Boundless in pow’r and love.
Our thanks we bring
In joy and praise,
Our hearts we raise
To You, our King!
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The nation You have blest
May well Your love declare,
From foes and fears at rest,
Protected by Your care.
For this bright day,
For this fair land—
Gifts of Your hand-—
Our thanks we pay.
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May ev’ry mountain height,
Each vale and forest green,
Shine in Your Word’s pure light,
And its rich fruits be seen!
May ev’ry tongue
Be tuned to praise
And join to raise
A grateful song.
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Earth, hear your Maker’s voice;
Your great Redeemer own;
Believe, obey, rejoice,
And worship Him alone.
Cast down your pride,
Your sin deplore,
And bow before
The Crucified.
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And when in pow’r He comes,
Oh, may our native land
From all its rending tombs
Send forth a glorious band,
A countless throng,
With joy to sing
To heav’n’s high King
Salvation’s song!
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LSB 966

This version of the hymn (words by Francis Scott Key, best known for “The Star-Spangled Banner”) sung in harmony by Westminster Choir College members.

Open House: STM & PhD-TS

About a month ago, Dr. Masaki and his wife, Yohko, hosted an open house for the STM (Master of Sacred Theology) and PhD in Theological Studies programs. The PhD in Theological Studies is a very new program as it doesn’t begin until this fall, but most of the candidates for the program are already here as they come from among this year’s graduates. The annual open house is to celebrate the students’ accomplishments of the past year and to welcome new students for the coming year.
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Many of Dr. Masaki’s colleagues were able to join, as well as Cindy Johnson of the Graduate School and Dr. Chris Barnekov of the Scandinavian House. A couple of PhD in Missiology students (Rev. Prof. Abdi Mulat and Rev. Dean Tsegaye Rebu of Mekane Yesus Seminary in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) joined the group as well. Between students, faculty and families, about 38 people were able to spend the afternoon together.
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A week ago today we had to say goodbye (and congratulations) to a number of these students as they received their degree of Master of Sacred Theology. God’s blessings as the rest either continue or begin their further educational pursuits, diving ever deeper into the Scriptural theology offered here at CTSFW.

Summer Urban Vicarages

Last Friday, the Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Gray Jr. (left in the picture), Director of LCMS Black Ministry, met with Dr. Jeffrey Pulse (right), Director of Certification and Placement, to hand over a check from the LCMS Urban & Inner City Mission to fund summer urban vicarages. “There is great need in the inner cities,” explained Dr. Gray. “Many of these churches are in decline as far as memberships go. This program gets people excited for mercy ministry, to go where it’s at. Mercy ministry creates witness ministry that helps create life together with people in these communities.”

The vicarages typically last 2 ½ to 3 months, and help train pastoral students in urban and inner city settings. These locations present unique ministry opportunities, which are often very different from typical vicarages but that cry out for the same things for which we all cry out: mercy in Christ Jesus, through Word and Sacrament.

From left to right: Rev. Matt Wietfeldt (director of Admission), Terrell Davis (Sem I), Dr. Gray (director of Black Ministry), Dr. Pulse (director of Certification and Placement)

Dr. Gray was joined by incoming student Terrell Davis, who also happens to be his brother-in-law. Terrell will soon begin Summer Greek, which will officially begin his studies as a seminarian here at CTSFW. After a career serving our country in the US Navy, Terrell is following the advice of his brother-in-law and the advice of his pastor, Rev. Louis Miller (recently retired from Unity Lutheran Church in Norfolk, VA) to study at the Seminary in order to become a pastor and to share the Gospel with the world.

Learn more at the LCMS Urban & Inner-City Mission.

Baccalaureate 2018

The procession into Baccalaureate begins with the crucifix, carried by seminarian Simeon Cornwell.

Graduation Exercises begin an hour from now, at 6 p.m. (EDT). The service begins on page 14 of the Graduation Booklet, which can be found by CLICKING HERE.
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And our thanks to everyone as we reach the end of the 172nd academic school year here at CTSFW. We are reminded of the great love you have for our men and women, and of the need that we still see in the Church, even as we celebrate with our students. In the words of President Rast during Baccalaureate this morning:‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍

President Rast addresses the graduates during Baccalaureate.

“I realized earlier this year that I had passed over a significant threshold in my life. I entered that demographic of the Missouri Synod: over 55, which includes over half, now, of our clergy. So over half the clergy of the Missouri Synod is over the age of 55. The need for pastors remains. The need is great. We thank our future pastors here and we encourage all of you to encourage in your own arena those who are qualified to serve the Lord in His Church.
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“We also thank the families. Without your help, these students would not be here. So thank you so much for the support you’ve shown them over the years, the way you continue to support them, even if they may be far away on Christmases from here forth.”
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That mention of Christmas at the end is in reference to the Baccalaureate sermon preached only a few minutes before:‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍

Rev. Arlo Pullmann, pastor at Saint John Lutheran Church in Laurel, Montana.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled,” Rev. Arlo Pullmann (father of graduating seminarian Gideon Pullmann) said. “Yes, your son or your daughter may soon be living far away and will no longer be able to be with you over Christmas. And yes, enrollment is down, and you may think you have less certainty about your future than you used to. And yes, the burden of many souls entrusted to your care is daunting. The task of regularly and rightly divining the Word of truth is difficult. Making plans to establish a home among people you do not know may be frightening.
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“Let not your hearts be troubled. Neither let them be afraid. An orphan may have cause for a troubled heart… But you are not an orphan and you are not alone in the world. You have a Father who loves you. The Spirit of truth dwells with you.”

Wakefield-Kroemer Director’s Chair

This is an exciting time. The days are packed and there are so many things going on that it’s hard to capture it all, especially with graduation in a little less than six hours. We have our long-distance deaconess students on campus, alumni reunion attendees (from the years ending in eight and three — one gentleman I met yesterday was celebrating his 45th year since graduation), international students, pastors here to finish an even greater level of theological education, and the many family and friends that come with these men and women.
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One such couple with us this week is Wayne Kroemer and Barbara Wakefield-Kroemer, whose names you may recognize from The Wayne and Barbara Kroemer Library. Three and a half years after the dedication of the major library expansion, we were able to thank them once again, following last night’s Vespers service, this time for the dedication of the Wakefield-Kroemer Director’s Chair in Library and Information Services.
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The chair itself is symbolic, as what it does is pay the salary and benefits of a faculty member — in this case, the Director of Library and Information Services (currently the Rev. Prof. Robert Roethemeyer). President Rast spoke at the dedication, thanking Prof. Roethemeyer, David Daniels (who made the chair itself, and many more like it here on campus), and the Kroemers for their continued and incredible support of the Seminary. The brick and mortar that make up the campus find purpose and life through the people God has placed here to serve and be served. We are richly blessed.
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He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
2 Corinthians 9:10-15

Retirement: Dr. Timothy Quill

This note showed up in today’s chapel bulletin:

“Farewell and Godspeed to Professor Timothy Quill on the Occasion of His Retirement.”

Dr. Grime led the Farewell and Godspeed to Dr. Quill during chapel.

Dr. Quill has been with us for 20 years, having joined the faculty in 1998. This is his last quarter of teaching, as he will officially complete his service with us on June 30th. Following chapel, CTSFW held a reception for him in the Student Commons, where he spoke of his years of extensive travel, following the jet streams across the seas. He has served as dean of International Studies since 2002, and he oversaw the recruitment of about 40 students from Russia through the Russian Project at CTSFW (Dr. Gieschen in particular mentioned this as he was speaking of Dr. Quill at the reception; it was quite the thing, he said, teaching Greek to a roomful of Russian students who didn’t know English).

Dr. Quill shows off the world’s ugliest tie (his words), gifted to him from fellow CTSFW faculty, as Dr. Gieschen looks on.

Though retiring from the Seminary, Dr. Quill will continue to serve as a visitation pastor in the area. “Being at the bedside of someone whose jet stream is leading them to heaven…” he said, explaining his new ministerial focus, “Now that’s really something.”

Students, faculty, and staff all signed this book (the front cover says, “We thank God because of your partnership in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!”), with their own thank yous and words of encouragement. These are only two pages out of many.

Final Week of the 172nd Academic Year

It’s Monday in the final week of the 172nd academic year at CTSFW. Commencement is Friday, and this year’s graduating class will soon be ringing the Springfield Bell to celebrate the end of their last class at the Seminary. Today’s chapel sermon, preached by the Rev. Bill Johnson (ordained staff member at CTSFW), was definitely thinking particularly of our pastor-elects as they prepare to go into the ministry this morning. In his words:

“It may be that all of your baptisms happen young and your funerals happen at the end of a long life…it could also be that your baptisms will come at the end of a long, hard road, it may be that your funerals will come way too many years too early… If I had it in my power I would tell you and I would warn you and I would take away the pain that comes from suffering alongside God’s people, but that is not given to me or anyone here; the future lies in the hands of God.

“Finish the papers, take the exams, ring the bell. Go out from here to the very ends of the earth, and know that our thoughts and prayers go with you as you serve God’s people. God is before you, God is with you, God is working in you. You are not done, by any means. But you are ready.”

Chapel will be at the normal time this week through Thursday, which marks the end of Spring Quarter. Baccalaureate will replace chapel at 10 a.m. on Friday, followed by the Commencement Organ Recital (which will not be livestreamed) at 3 p.m. and Graduation Exercises (which will) at 6 p.m. We’ll take the following week off, then begin summer chapel on Tuesday, May 29, at 9:30 a.m. every weekday while summer classes are in session.