E-lert - June 2014

The promise of the Holy Spirit

The First 100 Hours
Dr. Robin Steinke, President

It seems very fitting that my first day of service, June 1, was on a Sunday. The message in church that morning was the Acts 1 account of the promise of the Holy Spirit at the Ascension of Jesus. I have sensed the blessing and promise of God's Holy Spirit at Luther Seminary through the thoughtful, gifted leadership of Rick Foss as he so ably led the seminary through tough waters. He has been gracious and kind to me in enabling a very smooth transition.

I have sensed the blessing and promise of God's Holy Spirit in the vitality of our alumni, some of whom I met during the Festival of Homiletics. During this exciting event held in Minneapolis, we welcomed more than 1,700 leaders from a variety of ecclesial traditions from all over the country for a week of stunningly good preaching, workshops and fellowship. The Festival gave sustained attention to what God is up to in the world and how we might bear witness to God's work in the world.

I have sensed the blessing and promise of God's Holy Spirit in the work of the faculty. I have sat with a number of them—imagining creative possibilities, hearing their wisdom and watching them teach. I am reminded just how important their roles are in educating future leaders for ministry as I see them in action with our summer school students, as well as our Doctor of Ministry and distributed learning students, who are here for intensive training this month.

I have sensed the promise of God's Holy Spirit in the work of the staff. Last week, we hosted 150 young adults, who will spend the summer serving as camp counselors in Minnesota and Wisconsin. These possible future seminarians are already being encouraged to think deeply about how God's Spirit abides in them as they are God's witnesses to thousands of young people.

I have sensed the blessing and promise of God's Holy Spirit in connecting us to global friends as I head to Medan, Indonesia, for a meeting of the Lutheran World Federation (LYF) Council. As I sat at dinner with some of the participants of Camp Day, I learned that four are sponsored by the ELCA Global Mission Unit. As they introduced themselves—hailing from Tanzania, Hungary, Brazil and Columbia—I realized that each of their bishops serve on the LWF Council and I will see them all in Indonesia. I assured these young people that I would carry news of their safe arrival to their bishops.

In this first 100 hours, as I have enjoyed conversations with a variety of people, I give thanks for God's Spirit in our midst. I look forward to ways our work together may now continue to bear fruit as we live into God's promise and the enormous possibilities present in this place. It is a delight and privilege to begin this call in service to God's mission for the world as Luther Seminary's new president.