Saturday, July 25, 2015

Wuthnow on Polls

I've always enjoyed the work of Robert Wuthnow. His book, The Restructuring of American Religion, has played a formative role in my thinking about The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod in the second third of the twentieth century.

And so when a friend tipped me off to his piece on religious polling, I had to take a look. I found this paragraph to be particularly gripping.

  • "As polling gradually gained popularity, it became increasingly lucrative, prompting significant expansion of a for-profit commercial industry as well as interest at universities.

I think you might find the remainder of the article engaging.  You may find it at at the following link: 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Rev. Dr. Alfred O. Rast

Digging through some family history materials, I found the following biography of my grandfather, Pastor A. O. Rast. It seems to have appeared in the newsletter or bulletin of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Bristol, Connecticut around the time of his death.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dedication of the Wayne and Barbara Kroemer Library at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne

Dedication of the Wayne and Barbara Kroemer Library at CTS–FW   
For Immediate Release
January 22, 2015

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Students, faculty and guests from all over the world filled the chapel and the library for the dedication of the Wayne and Barbara Kroemer Library on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS–FW), Fort Wayne, Indiana, on January 22, 2015. The day began with prayer in Kramer Chapel and moved to the library where CTS–FW President Lawrence R. Rast Jr. opened the doors and led the crowd into the completed expansion. The expanded library complex allows for all volumes owned by the Seminary to be housed in one place and opens up additional areas for group and individual study. Click here to view a video of the dedication.

The guests of honor were Wayne and Barbara Kroemer of Zionsville, Indiana, who are longtime friends of the Seminary and very instrumental in the completion of the expansion. “We saw that this would be an opportunity for us to give back for the spiritual growth we feel we experience at the Seminary and to God for His many blessings. We are so pleased that many other donors felt as we do and that this beautiful and amazing library has been completed,” said the Kroemers. “There are no greater places in the Lutheran Church to support than it’s seminaries as this is where the future lies. This new, first-class building is a shining star for the Fort Wayne Seminary and will be an asset that keeps giving to the students and professors here in the years ahead.”

“Building a structure of this magnitude certainly requires the generous gifts of our donors and we are most thankful for their selfless giving. Just as important, it shows their deep commitment to supporting the continued formation of servants of Christ on the CTS–FW campus,” commented Rast. “The resources now available in the Wayne and Barbara Kroemer Library will serve to enhance the formation of future church workers as they prepare to teach the faithful, reach the lost and care for all.”

The building, its books, meeting spaces and electronic resources are available for use by alumni, theologians and laypeople. “Professional church workers of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in need of a resource not locally available may find our extension service of benefit. Through this service, we extend our circulation and reference services to those who serve our congregations and schools,” explained the Rev. Prof. Robert V. Roethemeyer, CTS–FW director of Library and Information Services. “The library can also be a destination for church groups looking for a reflective place for a retreat. Reserve one of the large group rooms in the library and punctuate your retreat with worship time in Kramer Chapel.”

To learn more about the Wayne and Barbara Kroemer Library and the resources it offers, go to  or phone 260-452-2149.      

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Service of Worship and Praise - The Reverend A. O. Rast 40 Years in the Ministry 1924-1964

My first cousin once removed recently posted a picture of my grandfather (his great grandfather) on Facebook and pointing out how cool it was. Right he was (and is)! Here is what he posted:

Of all the coincidences, at just about the same time I had stumbled across the bulletin to the service celebrating Grandpa Rast's 40th anniversary in the ministry. I promised my cousin I would post it, so here it is.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Dr. Daniel Gard Elected President of Concordia University, Chicago

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CTS)—Today, Friday, May 30, the Board of Regents of Concordia University, Chicago unanimously elected the Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Gard to be the eleventh president of the university. Dr. Gard currently serves as professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and as Rear Admiral in the United States Navy Reserve.

The seminary community congratulates Concordia University on choosing a leader whose breadth and depth of experience will serve the university well. Dr. Gard has proclaimed the Gospel and given a clear Christian witness in churches, the classroom and in the multicultural environment of today’s military. He has distinguished himself in each setting by his ability to work with people from all backgrounds.

“As an alumnus of Concordia University, Chicago, I am thrilled for my alma mater,” said CTS President, the Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast, Jr. “Should Dr. Gard accept this call, we know that he would bring the same degree of professionalism and passion to his work there as he has at CTS."

Dr. Gard’s strong leadership enabled him to advance to the U.S. Navy Reserve's highest rank where he has shown visionary guidance in helping to redefine the chaplaincy as the military transitions away from a wartime footing. He has served the seminary and the nation faithfully and with excellence.

We invite all to join us in prayer for Dr. Gard and his family as he deliberates this call.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dr. Roland Ziegler Named Holder of Preus Chair at CTS

Dr. Roland Ziegler Named Holder of Preus Chair at CTS
For Immediate Release
May 22, 2014

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CTS)—The Rev. Dr. Roland F. Ziegler, associate professor of Systematic Theology at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, has been named holder of The Rev. Dr. Robert D. Preus Chair in Systematic Theology/Confessional Lutheran Studies. The Chair is endowed to honor the faithful service of Dr. Preus to this seminary and the church-at-large.

“I am honored and humbled by this appointment,” said Ziegler. “I take it as a call to me and to all of us to honor Dr. Preus by following his example in our vocations: to be faithful to the Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God, to join joyously in the confession of our Fathers as we find it in the Book of Concord, to honor the Fathers of the 17th century by reading and engaging them, to engage and confess the faith in the theological confusion of our time, to be a debtor of the Gospel to those among whom we live and to those abroad and, thus, to heed the admonition of the apostle and honor the motto of Concordia Theological Seminary: Preach the Word.”

Ziegler joined the faculty at CTS in 2000 and received his Dr.theol. from the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen in 2011. He is a native of Germany where he studied at the Universities of Tübingen, Erlangen, and at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Oberursel. During his studies, he joined the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church. A scholarship enabled him to study as an exchange student at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne from 1990-1991 as a student of Dr. Preus. After finishing his studies, he served as a teaching assistant at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Oberursel, a vicar in Berlin and a pastor in Konstanz.

Concordia Theological Seminary exists to form servants in Jesus Christ who teach the faithful, reach the lost, and care for all.

For additional information concerning educational opportunities and events at CTS, please contact: Jayne Sheafer, CTS Director of Public Relations, 260-452-2250 or If you no longer wish to receive these updates, you may opt-out.