Story Magazine - Third Quarter, 2007

Building Bridges and Foundations

by Richard H. Bliese, President, Luther Seminary

"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ." - I Cor. 3:10

It took only four seconds for the massive steel structure spanning the Mississippi to buckle and fall into the river. As a result, since late this past summer we Minnesotans have been focused on bridges in particular and the nation's infrastructure in general.

Focusing on "infrastructure" is vital not only for our political leaders but for our church leaders as well. Are our foundations strong enough today to hold our visions for the future?

In order to keep our focus on Christ as our sure foundation, we will be lifting up three dimensions of our seminary's call this year:

First: We are called to be Servants of Evangelical Renewal

We need leaders who can see the Spirit at work and the promise of God's activity in their churches and neighborhoods. For this to happen, leaders must be captured by an evangelical imagination for ministry.

Second: We are called to be Heralds of Hope

Because we serve a God who promises new life and resurrection, we live in hope, we preach hope and we commit ourselves to educate leaders of hope. Our high calling is to encourage our church's leaders, present and future, with a vision full of promise.

Third: We are called to be Catalysts for Change and Mission

A commitment to evangelical renewal brings with it a call for change and continuous reform, essential parts of our Reformation heritage.

By focusing on our callings as servants of evangelical renewal, heralds of hope and catalysts for change and mission, we will keep working on the foundational infrastructure of equipping leaders for Christian communities. As you read this annual report, please notice not only the facts and figures, but also the faces. These people are the building blocks upon which we construct our future; namely, our students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae and donors. Our work together, with Christ as our sure foundation, is the bridge that will carry us into the future.