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Topics - Michael Slusser

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Your Turn / Rev. Dr. Darold Beekmann, RIP
« on: January 24, 2021, 11:56:32 AM »
The President of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg from 1990 to 2000 has died:


Your Turn / Rev. Jeff Walther, RIP
« on: November 26, 2020, 09:31:37 AM »
The Rev. Jeff Walther was a man of God and a lover of nature — and for him, the two were inseparable.

Walther, of Esko, Minn., died Oct. 25 of COVID-19 complications at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth. He was 58.
Does anyone know if he was related to THE Walther?
A priest-friend of mine worked for years in Pastor Walther's National Parks program.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and peace,

Your Turn / Rev. Dr. David Schmiel, RIP
« on: November 08, 2020, 09:18:16 AM »
Last week a former President of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne was taken home to the Lord:


Your Turn / Gender reveal parties: good or bad trend? [POLL]
« on: September 08, 2020, 11:56:58 AM »
When I first heard that one of the biggest California wildfires was started with careless fireworks at a "gender reveal" party, I didn't know what that was. Since we're talking California, where gender is loosely defined, I was afraid to ask. But then it was explained that the celebration was when expectant parents would reveal to scores of their closest family and friends whether the child they were expecting was male or female.
     Being an old man, I was used to greater modesty in this matter: either the couple would leave the revelation until the birth itself, or the mother would let some female members of her family in on the secret, or information would spread casually without fanfare.
     If parties like this are trending, are there pluses or minuses (apart from the burning of large parts of the surrounding countryside) to the practice? Could the enhanced public recognition that the mother is expecting an actual child (and it's already there--and maybe even named--folks!) be a small impetus towards looking with joy toward birth, and consequently disfavoring an abortion mind-set? Or is the whole thing too presumptuous, disruptive of the physical and spiritual preparation for the birth of the child, and consumerist?


Your Turn / Rev. Craig Breimhorst, R.I.P.
« on: April 25, 2020, 01:24:11 PM »
As I have mentioned twice on this Forum already, Pastor Craig Breimhorst fell ill and eventually died of the coronavirus. His obituary is now available

The obituary includes a summary of his ministerial work:
"While he was in college at Mankato, Craig was active in Campus Lutheran Chapel and also began working at Grace Lutheran Church with youth, a love that he never lost throughout his life. After graduating in 1972, he continued at the church until he went on to Luther-Northwestern Seminary in St. Paul. He graduated in 1979 and began serving at First Lutheran Church in Worthington.

"In 1985 Craig, Carol and family moved to Faribault where Craig went door-to-door to invite people to the new church he was starting, Christ Lutheran Church. For thirty years he poured himself into the congregation and the community, serving not just as pastor, but also hospice chaplain, police/fire chaplain, Via de Christo and prison ministry rector, ministerial association and community leader. After he retired in 2016, he did not stop preaching or serving, but helped congregations on a part-time basis at Our Saviors Lutheran in Faribault, Saint Paul Lutheran in Pine Island and Trinity in West Concord. He also found the time to lead and go on trips with Carol, including a recent trip to the Holy Land. He was especially passionate about the church and people of Tanzania, visiting several times and teaching for three months at the seminary in Kiomboi."

May his family and friends be comforted by our Lord.


Your Turn / Armistice Day, now Veterans Day
« on: November 10, 2019, 11:27:57 AM »
The news has been showing Remembrance Sunday observances in England. That led me to look up the story of that morning of November 11, when at 11:00 a.m. hostilities ceased. The story is not without its tragic aspects:

American forces weren’t alone in launching assaults on the last day. The British high command, still stinging from its retreat at Mons during the first days of the war in August 1914, judged that nothing could be more appropriate than to retake the city on the war’s final day. British Empire losses on November 11 totaled some twenty-four hundred. The French commander of the 80th Régiment d’Infanterie received two simultaneous orders that morning: one to launch an attack at 9 a.m., the other to cease fire at 11. Total French losses on the final day amounted to an estimated 1,170.

The Germans, in the always-perilous posture of retreat, suffered some 4,120 casualties. Losses on all sides that day approached eleven thousand dead, wounded, and missing.

Indeed, Armistice Day exceeded the ten thousand casualties suffered by all sides on D-Day, with this difference: The men storming the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944, were risking their lives to win a war. The men who fell on November 11, 1918, lost their lives in a war that the Allies had already won.


Your Turn / Ash Wednesday Ashes
« on: March 06, 2019, 11:03:29 AM »
Today, March 6, is Ash Wednesday in the RCC. It is widely observed, and many Catholics get ashes on their foreheads with the prayer, "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return" or "Repent and believe the Gospel."

Other churches begin Lent in other ways or on other days.

I'm curious to know if there is a Lutheran view of this practice?


Your Turn / Family Reunification
« on: October 24, 2018, 10:55:06 AM »
U.S. Bishops’ Office of Migration and Refugee Services and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Release Report on Agencies Assisting Trump Administration with Family Reunification
October 17, 2018

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS) and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), released its report today, entitled Serving Separated and Reunited Families: Lessons Learned and the Way Forward to Promote Family Unity, which documents the work of Catholic and Lutheran agencies who assisted the Administration with reuniting separated families during the month of July.

Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, in a letter of introduction of the report states:  "I am proud of the response of USCCB/MRS, LIRS and of our Catholic (in particular CCUSA and the Catholic Charities network) and Lutheran partners around the country, including my brother bishops, to be able to work with the Administration to provide support to these vulnerable families." He further states: "USCCB/MRS (in collaboration with 75 Catholic Charities agencies) and LIRS continue to provide assistance including helping families comply with their immigration obligations. I believe the recommendations made [in this report] are important and should be seriously considered in order to avoid pain and suffering in the future caused by the separation of families."

In July 2018, USCCB/MRS and LIRS assisted over 1200 families who were reunified after being separated due to the Administration's "Zero Tolerance" policy. The report highlights the work that was undertaken by Catholic and Lutheran partners on the ground and gives a unique data point regarding the separated and reunited families.   

Resources and information about family separation and the report are available on the Justice for Immigrants website Included is a backgrounder on family separation and information about the current release practices of immigrant families at the U.S./Mexico border and their immigration compliance requirements.

The full text of the report can be found here.

I presume that this edifying collaboration will continue as the circumstances it addresses repeat themselves.


Your Turn / Rev. Kenneth Siess
« on: September 02, 2018, 09:56:06 AM »
Some Concordia St. Louis grads on this Forum may remember the late Rev. Dr. Kenneth Siess, whose obituary appears in today's Star-Tribune. I never knew him, but his cv is impressive.
Siess, Rev. Dr. Kenneth Age 86, died Aug. 24, 2018. Director of Chaplaincy and Clinical Pastoral Education at University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinic, 1976-94, and Director of Chaplaincy with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, 1994-2002. Taught at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.

Any memories to share?


Your Turn / Godwin on Godwin's Law
« on: June 28, 2018, 10:43:21 AM »
A search of the ALPB Your Turn shows 30 references to Godwin's Law in the past five years. Today in the Minneapolis Star Tribune Mike Godwin considers the question, "Does Godwin’s Law need to be updated? Repealed? I get asked this question from time to time because I’m the guy who came up with the law more than a quarter century ago."

His closing paragraph:
By all means cite GL if you think some Nazi comparison is baseless or hyperbolic. But Godwin’s Law was never meant to block us from challenging the institutionalization of cruelty or the callousness of officials who claim to be just following the law. It definitely wasn’t meant to shield our leaders from being slammed for the current fashion of pitching falsehoods as fact. These behaviors, distressing as they are, may not yet add up to a new Reich, but please forgive me for worrying that they’re the “embryonic form” of a horror we hoped we had put behind us.


Your Turn / Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« on: June 22, 2018, 04:49:23 PM »
Saint Paul's Luther Seminary will be selling land and buildings and offering free tuition to incoming students.

A neighborhood paper has what looks like a good story, though it's heaving on the sales and light on the tuition plan:

The former Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary is to be sold, along with the adjacent dormitory Stub Hall.What I don't quite understand is the proposal to ' find an “outside partner” that would renovate Bockman Hall, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places, and create space that the seminary can use for short-term student housing.' The short-term student housing would presumably be for students in the "distributed learning program."

The article does say, "Students will still need to pay for room and board, transportation and books, but the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts students will get full tuition."


Your Turn / National Lutheran Choir - Arnesen "Holy Spirit Mass"
« on: October 21, 2017, 08:14:38 AM »
This part of the 500th anniversary commemoration seems to me to deserve its own listing.
It can be heard via livestream Sunday, Oct. 22; then in performance in Minneapolis and Saint Paul later in the week.
The National Lutheran Choir presents a premier performance of Holy Spirit Mass by Norwegian composer, Kim André Arnesen. Commissioned for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, this new work for chorus and strings comes with the spirit of the recent document “From Conflict to Communion” calling upon Roman Catholics and Lutherans, once divided by the Reformation, to seek that which unites rather than divides in order to strengthen what is held in common. 


Your Turn / Ratzinger Prize to Lutheran, Catholic, Orthodox
« on: September 26, 2017, 11:07:12 AM »
This year the Ratzinger Prize has been awarded to three recipients: Theodor Dieter (Lutheran), Karl-Heinz Menke (Catholic), and Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (Orthodox).

Here is Prof. Dieter:


Your Turn / Luther Prayer to the Virgin Mary
« on: July 18, 2017, 01:27:41 PM »
The new German Catholic hymnal Gotteslob contains a prayer by Martin Luther, addressed to the Virgin Mary. Does this appear in any Lutheran hymnals or prayer books with which you are familiar?


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