“Godly Gossip” / “Bountiful Feet Announcing Good News”

November 18, 2012

The 1953 graduating class of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis numbered 102 graduates. That class of which I was a member will observe shortly 60 years of ministry. Over the course of the past fifteen years  Rev. Dr. Arlo Nau has kept classmates in touch by occasionally sending news of classmates headlined: Godly Gossip. Of the original 102 graduates 57 are still living. Members of the class came from the various Concordia colleges. Concordia College, Milwaukee sent  21 of us to Concordia Seminary in the fall of 1948.  Of that number 12  of the original number celebrate with their nine living classmates but “on another shore and in a greater light”.

As a postscript to Godly Gossip classmate Arlo has requested remaining classmates submit a brief piece describing an experience in ministry that resonates personally.  He plans to gather what classmates submit in booklet form.  I offered the following:

“Recently a celebratory event (10/17/2012) served as capstone for my teaching ministry. First some background as preparation for that event. The Fred and Ruth Bartling Scholarship was established by Concordia Academy students at their fiftieth class reunion two years ago to honor my role as their teacher. One year ago FREDSTOCK (10/28/2011) was an event celebrating five decades of teaching ministry at Concordia University, St. Paul. The Fredstock theme reflected my emphasis when lecturing often stressing freedom, justice, liberty, and equality both as idea and reality in American history. The Fredstock theme also reflected my earlier Sixties and Seventies years teaching at Concordia when I sported long hair and sideburns, wearing a collection of necklaces, and a purse strapped to my shoulder. Teaching emphasis was a response to experiences of ministry in the Jim Crow South in the late Fifties and early Sixties and subsequently when engaged in graduate studies in American history. The Fredstock event marked the major effort to fund the $50,000 endowment scholarship in my wife’s and my name. Scholarships are awarded to history/social science majors. This fall the scholarship reached $32,000 and became a funded endowment making possible the first scholarship award. The second annual Bartling Lecture Convocation (10/17/2012) was the opportunity to present the first Bartling Scholar. The Scholar is a senior majoring in history (my teaching discipline) and plans to go to seminary to become a clergyman. He visions himself serving the church in whatever way the Lord leads him. Indeed, fitting capstone for my teaching ministry.”

My ordination took place at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Richmond Heights, Missouri on July 26, 1953 with my father officiating. He presented me The Pastor’s Companion, a small companion of orders of service, psalms and prayers.  He inscribed:

To    Frederick A. Bartling

Your ordination day,

8th Sunday after Trinity

July 26, 1953

From      Victor Bartling

(Romans 15, 29)

Upon the occasion of observing my fiftieth year of ordination Dr. Robert Holst of  Concordia University, St. Paul  wrote,  May 15, 2003:

“Fifty years of service to the church is a commendable achievement. You have served the church with your wisdom, your theology, your care for students and their learning, and your global awareness. We at Concordia are glad that a portion of your career was spent on this campus.”

Presented on that occasion in calligraphy lettering:

how bountiful are the feet of those who announce Good News  How can they believe unless they have heard of Him? How can they hear unless there is someone to preach? How can they preach unless they are sent?  Romans 10: 14-15

Published by profbartling1

Retired professor Concordia University, St. Paul, Mn. Taught mainly American History. Also taught in other areas of history, philosophy, and theology,

One thought on ““Godly Gossip” / “Bountiful Feet Announcing Good News”

  1. Very nice. Good to be among the survivors and to receive acknowledgement of accomplishments. Ain’t much better than that. Love, V

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