by Rick Foss
I feel a deep sense of hope as I write this note to the spring 2014 issue of Luther Seminary's Story magazine. It is a hope filled with excitement, gratitude and peace.
Excitement: The excitement around our new curriculum and new president is palpable.
This issue is largely devoted to the new curriculum that is being launched this fall. As you read about it in the following pages, you will begin to sense the depth and breadth of the new curriculum and the extraordinary sustained work that has gone into its development. It builds on our rich heritage, while reimagining new possibilities for preparing servant leaders to serve the mission of Jesus Christ. New challenges in the world and in the church call for new ways of preparing pastors and leaders, and I believe this new curriculum will serve us well in the years ahead. That is exciting!
We are blessed to receive Robin Steinke as our new Luther Seminary president, beginning June 1. She is a pastor, a scholar and a leader. She is a gracious woman of faith with a wide array of gifts. In prayer, and in discernment with others, she has sensed a call to serve here at Luther. That sense of call is evident in talking with her, and I am glad it was confirmed through a very thorough search process. Robin will now join a remarkable and resilient Luther community as our new leader, and that is wonderful!
Gratitude: I have a profound sense of gratitude at this moment. Life is complicated. Our recent journey has been somewhat difficult. We had a plethora of challenges, both internal and external. Things could have gone poorly, but they didn't; instead, they went well. Even in the hardest times, God's presence was evident. Even in the most stressful moments, the faculty, staff, students and supporters have responded with amazing strength and wisdom. I have been privileged to see the Body of Christ at its finest—and I am deeply thankful for that. I am grateful for the curricular work, of course, and I am grateful for Robin's arrival. But I am grateful for so much more: particularly the gift of working alongside so many of you who have embodied the gospel of Jesus Christ with grace, energy, prayer and presence. Thank you!
Peace: I am at peace. "Peace be with you," says Jesus. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you ... Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid" (John 14:27). "Peace be with you," says Jesus. "As the Father has sent me, so I send you" (John 20:21). As I conclude my service on staff at Luther, I am at peace both for myself and for all the colleagues who will be carrying forward the mission. It is a peace filled with excitement and gratitude. It is a peace without fear. And it is a peace that can only be found in knowing we are called, sent and empowered by God.
Excitement, gratitude and peace: May it be so with you as well.