The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago will honor four alumni on Tuesday, February 9, 2010, for their distinguished service in the areas of biblical interpretation, churchwide service, mission leadership, and stewardship of creation. A banquet and awards ceremony are part of "Inch by Inch: Growing a Green Congregation," LSTC's annual leadership conference being held February 9 – 10, 2010. For banquet and conference information, visit http://www.lstc.edu/leadership/10/registration.html.
The Rev. Dr. Mercedes García Bachmann will receive the Distinguished Alumna Award in Biblical Interpretation. Dr. Bachmann received her Ph.D. in theology in 1999. She is a full professor in the Bible Department of the Instituto Universitario ISEDET in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She specializes in Old Testament, Pentateuch, and Wisdom Literature and her research interests include feminist hermeneutics, gender criticism, and ideological criticism in the biblical narratives.
Bishop Robert Rimbo, a 1976 graduate of Christ Seminary-Seminex, currently leads the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Distinguished Alumnus Award for Churchwide Service recognizes the myriad ways Bishop Rimbo has enriched the church through his ministries. In addition to serving parishes in Michigan, New York and New Jersey, serving as bishop and a bishop's associate in the Southeastern Michigan Synod, he has worked on both the Renewing Worship Project of the ELCA, leading to Evangelical Lutheran Worship, and, in the 1970s on The Lutheran Book of Worship. He has published and made presentations on worship, including Why Worship Matters (Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2004).
The Rev. Dr. Richard Bliese, president of Luther Seminary, will be presented with the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Mission Leadership, recognizing his work as a missionary and a scholar. Bliese has directed programs for pastors and evangelists in Zaire and Rwanda. He has served congregations in Germany, Zaire, and the United States. Dr. Bliese earned a Th.M. in 19th and 20th century theology and a Ph.D. in confessional theology from LSTC. He joined the LSTC faculty in 1997 and served as director of LSTC's Th.M. and Ph.D. program from 2001 – 2005. He is co-editor of The Dictionary of Mission: Theology, History, Perspectives (1997), and, with Craig Van Gelder, The Evangelizing Church (2005).
1975 graduate, the Rev. Dean M. Stewart, will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Stewardship of Creation. Leading by example in his congregation in Moscow, Idaho, Pastor Stewart has created a culture of care of creation. He has led Emmanuel Lutheran Church to adopt, as a guiding principle, "We are responsible stewards of God’s creation,” and carrying out that commitment in matters large and small, by living “gently and justly." The congregation lends part of its land to the Palouse Clearwater Environmental Institute to provide garden plots to 25 community families. In the letter nominating him for the award, he is commended for "reminding us that responsible stewardship does not need to be complicated. . .individually and collectively we can make a difference."
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.