Installation of The Rev. Dr. Karen Bloomquist

First Dean and Chief Administrative Officer of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary of California Lutheran University

The installation of Dean Bloomquist occurred on Saturday, April 26, 2014, in the PLTS Chapel of the Cross.

The morning began with a panel discussion entitled “Theological Education for the Future.”  The panelists were Provost Clay Schmit of Lutheran Theology Southern Seminary of Lenoir-Rhyne University, the first ELCA seminary to merge with an ELCA university; and Dean Robin Steinke of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.  Each panelist gave opening remarks and then opened it up for questions and general discussion among all who attended.  This was a lively discussion with area pastors and lay leaders, bishops and academics.

The Rev. Dr. Clay Schmit completed his Ph.D. at Graduate Theological Union. The Rev. Dr. Robin Steinke is President-elect of Luther Seminary and serves as chair of the ELCA’s Theological Education Advisory Committee.

Members and friends of PLTS gather to discuss the future of theological education.

The festive worship service with installation began at 11:00 am. Dean Bloomquist describes the theme of the service as “Boundary crossing into the future” and notes:

Although I am being installed during it, it really is a celebration of the various relationships that are bringing new life and possibilities to PLTS as a whole. This can be sensed in our beginning outside, surrounded by the stunning beauty of creation as we witness it here on this campus, and to which God’s call for care and justice is so urgent, along with other critical cries for justice in our world today. It can be sensed in the movement and music of different cultures who lead the rest of us into discerning in new ways, as did the Samaritan woman, what it means for Jesus to be the living water. These are some of what I hope to emphasize as PLTS grows more deeply into a Lutheran identity that is multicultural, pluralistic and public.

The worship service began outside with the first part of the Gospel reading, the poem “Samaritan Woman” by Musa Wenkosi Dube, and music.

Jennie Bower Young carries a traditional pot on her head as she dances.

The Rev. Adissa Armand-Miller reads the Gospel.  The text was about the Samaritan woman conversing with Jesus at the well (John 4:5-42).

Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, the president of the Global Fund for Women and a longtime friend of Dean Bloomquist, served as preacher.

Representatives of PLTS’s partners in mission pour water into the baptismal font, symbolizing the renewed life of this campus.

Representatives from PLTS, CLU, the ELCA, the GTU, and the global Lutheran community install Dean Bloomquist into her role.

Following the worship service, all were invited to lunch on the chapel patio for a time of fellowship and celebration.

Dr. Musimbi Kanyaro preaches to a full chapel of worshipers.

Dean Bloomquist and her husband, the Rev. Bill Strehlow.