From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Peter Marty To Become Host For Lutheran Vespers In 2005
Mon, 21 Jun 2004 15:31:47 -0500
ELCA NEWS SERVICE
June 21, 2004
Peter Marty To Become Host For Lutheran Vespers In 2005
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. Peter W. Marty, senior pastor of St. Paul
Lutheran Church, Davenport, Iowa, will assume the role of host of Lutheran
Vespers, the radio ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(ELCA), in 2005, said the Rev. Eric C. Shafer, director of the ELCA
Department for Communication. Marty's first broadcast will be Feb. 13,
the first Sunday of Lent.
Lutheran Vespers airs on 186 stations and reaches an estimated 3
million to 4 million listeners a year in the United States, Africa,
Australia, Europe, Guam and Puerto Rico. Each program can be heard on the
Lutheran Vespers Web site -- http://www.elca.org/lv -- and ELCA
missionaries and chaplains also receive copies of the programs.
Marty, 45, will succeed the Rev. Walt Wangerin Jr., who announced
last week he will leave the radio ministry in January 2005, after serving
more than 10 years as speaker. Wangerin, an ELCA pastor, professor,
author and lecturer, is a faculty member at Valparaiso (Ind.) University.
He said he wanted to leave the radio ministry to concentrate on teaching
and writing, and be at home with family more often.
The Rev. Stephen P. Bouman, bishop of the ELCA Metropolitan New York
Synod, will serve briefly as interim speaker Jan. 9 to Feb. 6, 2005.
Marty was selected following a process that spanned several months,
Leaders within the ELCA were asked for suggestions on Wangerin's
successor, and the Lutheran Vespers staff followed up, he said. Marty's
role as host is part-time, and he will remain as senior pastor of St.
Paul, a 2,900-member congregation.
Marty will be formally commissioned in his new role Aug. 8 at St.
Paul Lutheran Church, Shafer said. He will be introduced to participants
at the ELCA Communicators Consultation here Aug. 19-22, and serve as
chaplain for the event, Shafer said.
"We're delighted to have someone of Pastor Marty's abilities joining
us as host of Lutheran Vespers," Shafer said. "He brings a pastoral heart
and the ability to interpret complex theological concepts and ideas in
ways that our listeners will find useful, inspirational and
One person who suggested Marty as host was his bishop, the Rev.
Philip L. Hougen, bishop of the ELCA Southeastern Iowa Synod, Des Moines.
"He is an extremely effective leader for his congregation," Hougen said.
"St. Paul is one of the leaders in the ELCA in mission support. Through
the synod and churchwide ministries, they reach out into their urban
community and with global mission projects."
"Pastor Marty is a creative preacher and writer, and I am pleased he
has been selected as the [host] for Lutheran Vespers," Hougen added.
"I am excited about the potential of Lutheran Vespers to grow from
the strength Walt has built," Marty said in an interview with the ELCA
News Service. "He really shaped a ministry. I want to build on that."
Wangerin is a nationally known and award-winning author and
storyteller. It is "daunting" on one level to follow someone as uniquely
talented as Wangerin, Marty said, but "it's also very exciting."
"I'm so different from Walt," Marty said. "Walt is unique. Few can
tell a story like he can. His gift for weaving faith and story together
Marty, who said his "heart is in pastoral ministry," said there were
two reasons why he was interested in hosting Lutheran Vespers. One
reason is that it offers a chance to contribute to the life of the
Lutheran Church, he said. "That's a big thrill for me," he said. "I
believe in this church. It has so much to offer to the world."
A second reason is that hosting Lutheran Vespers gives Marty an
opportunity to contribute insight and faith to people searching for
meaning in their lives, he said. "I love the idea of helping others to
make sense of faith and life," Marty said.
Marty said he has little experience in radio ministry, though he
considers himself a communicator. Radio has the potential to turn
Scripture into "a living Word," and help listeners believe the speaker is
"right there in their living rooms," he said. Words and music on radio can
enliven the spiritual experience of listeners, he said.
"This ministry needs someone to speak in the vernacular," he said.
"I dislike 'holy language' that sounds 'churchy'. That actually takes the
Marty said he is eager to get acquainted with listeners and
supporters while new listeners who are "hungry for the gospel" are added.
Marty was born here Aug. 6, 1958. He earned a bachelor of arts in
history from The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, in 1980. He studied
at the Oxford University, Oxford, England, after receiving an honors
fellowship in history in 1979. Marty lived for 18 months in Cameroon,
West Africa, serving as the director of building for a mission outpost of
the Lutheran Church before he earned a master of divinity in 1985 from
Yale University Divinity School, New Haven, Conn.
Following ordination in 1986, Marty served two years as pastor at
Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest, Ill., and eight years as pastor at
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Kansas City, Mo., before he accepted a call in
1996 to serve at St. Paul.
Marty has served on a number of hospital, college, foundation and
community boards. He currently serves on the board for the Christian
Century magazine, Vera French Community Mental Health Center, Davenport,
and Yale Divinity School. He preaches and speaks around the country and
regularly publishes articles on leadership, preaching and parish renewal,
and is a workshop leader on creativity in worship.
In 2002, he was a contributing writer for a three-volume work on
lectionary preaching. He has been a consultant on pastoral leadership for
the Fund for Theological Education, Atlanta, a fellow with the Louisville
(Ky.) Institute, and a participant in the Duke University (Durham, N.C.)
Project for the Study of Ministry. Currently he is participating in the
Valparaiso University study of practical theology and ministry.
In the ELCA, Marty has been involved in ecumenical ministries teams,
and served as a candidacy committee advisor. He has led
Lutheran-Episcopal seminars, served as chair of the Senior Pastors'
Conference and twice was a Colleague Program Leader for mentoring new
Marty and his wife, Susan, are parents of two children, Jacob, 15,
and Rachel, 13. He said he enjoys family travel, woodworking, tennis,
playing the French horn and reading.
Information about St. Paul Lutheran Church is at
http://www.stpaulqc.org/ on the Web.
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or email@example.com
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