Thirty pastors with red stoles were among the 120 attendees at the opening service for the 37th school year at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines on Sunday, 30 September. As usual the seminary choir participated and the Board of Regents, who had just met the previous two days, joined in the procession. Unusual this year was the number of out-of-town clergy and guests joining the seminary faculty and family for the installation of Dr Thomas Winger as the President. Dr Robert Bugbee, LCC President, conducted the rite of installation. Dr John Stephenson preached. Rev. Nolan Astley, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Regents, extended greetings and best wishes on behalf of a number of people who could not be present, including a letter from the first Concordia president, Dr Howard Kramer. Dr Norman Threinen, Interim President of Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton, represented that sister institution.
Dr Winger, a 1990 graduate of Concordia, joined the faculty in 1999 and served as a deployed tutor at Westfield House in Cambridge, England, for seven years. During this time he also served on the liturgy committee for the preparation of the Lutheran Service Book. In 2006 he returned to St. Catharines to serve as professor of New Testament and Liturgics. He has also served as Academic Dean, Dean of Chapel, and most recently as Acting President since 2008. In addition to his teaching duties, Dr Winger has also been busy preparing a commentary on Ephesians for the Concordia Commentary series.
Special recognition was given to Rev. Lester Prusha as this year’s “Emeritus Crucis” recipient. This award, rotating among LCC districts and chosen by the district’s Board of Directors, honours men who have demonstrated faithful service in years of parish ministry. As a “veteran of the cross”, their example encourages the students who are preparing for such service. Pastor Prusha had also taught Pastoral Practice as a guest instructor here at Concordia from 1995 to 2002.
Four students also received academic awards. Milton Lam was honoured with the Zondervan Publishing House award for excellence in Greek and Hebrew. The President and Mrs Kramer Honours Endowment Fund Awards went to the students with the highest marks in second and fourth year: James Preus, Basil Christoforidis, and Wesley Hromowyk.
Special thanks to the Seminary Guild who prepared and provided refreshments for the guests. Thanks also to the musicians, James Preus, seminary choir director, Paul Walrath, organist, Anne Winger, violin, and Benjamin Winger, trumpet.
More photos are available here.
A full recording of the service is available here.