Alumni trip to Germany featured in Star Tribune’s Protestant Reformation anniversary coverage

Minneapolis Star Tribune - logoThis fall, Augsburg College hosted alumni, faculty, staff, and community members for an international travel experience that took participants to the Czech Republic and Germany, which is in the midst of a tourism boom accompanying the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The travelers visited Wittenberg, the long-time home of Reformation catalyst Martin Luther, and ventured to historic sites to learn about the origins of the Lutheran faith from Augsburg College Religion Department faculty members Hans Wiersma and Lori Brandt Hale.

Star Tribune reporter Jean Hopfensperger and photographer Jerry Holt accompanied the group to chronicle how Minnesotans are observing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in the “Land of Luther” in addition to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” given that religious, arts, and cultural organizations across Minnesota are planning special events and exhibits to mark the occasion.

As Hopfensperger wrote, “Luther’s legacy is particularly deep in Minnesota, and not just because of his followers’ enduring embrace of hymn fests — often followed by Jell-O and hot dish. One in four residents trace their namesake faith to the monk from Wittenberg.”

In a Star Tribune story, Augsburg alumnae Carol Pfleiderer ’64 and Kathleen Johnson ’72 described their excitement with the trip itinerary and the ways it reflects and builds upon their understanding of their faith.

The Rev. Mark Hanson ’68, the College’s Executive Director of the Christensen Center for Vocation, was among other alumni quoted in the article. He described some of the ways the Lutheran church is using the Reformation anniversary to foster Lutheran-Catholic dialogue and to make the church accessible to all people.

Read, “Minnesota Lutherans at forefront of new Martin Luther revolution” on the Star Tribune site.

 

ELCA scholarship recipient Sarah Abendanon is interviewed by
The Lutheran

The LutheranAugsburg College student and Suriname citizen Sarah Abendanon was interviewed for an article in The Lutheran, the magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The story detailed a scholarship program for women leaders from the “global south,” which is comprised of Africa, Central and Latin America, and most of Asia.

Noticing a lack educational access for women in these areas, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted in 2013 to raise $4 million over a five-year period in order to provide scholarships for 200 women.

“My religion professor asks what we think about our readings and encourages different points of view. In Suriname schools, what the teacher says goes,” Abendanon explained.

As far as the outdoor climate, Abendanon has prepared for winter by purchasing a large winter coat. “Bring it on!” she said in the article.

Read: Women of purpose – ELCA scholarships prepare emerging leaders from the ‘global south’ on The Lutheran site.

Former campus ministry staff named bishop of St. Paul Area Synod

Minneapolis Star TribuneRev. Patricia Lull was elected the first female bishop of the St. Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Lull, who served as staff for Augsburg’s campus ministry, was elected on the fifth ballot. Previously, Lull was executive director of the St. Paul Area Council of Churches. Read “ELCA’s east metro synod selects its first woman as bishop” in the Star Tribune.