Lenten series will discuss Lutheran theologian's life


January 27, 1995|By Reported by Frank P.L. Somerville

A group of Maryland clergy is planning an ambitious series of Sunday afternoon Lenten programs to begin March 5 on the life and teachings of the Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran theologian executed by the Nazis in 1945.

"In the 50 years since then," said the Rev. Kingsley Smith, who will coordinate the series, "Bonhoeffer's reputation for wisdom, compassion and courage has grown. As a teacher of ethics, a prophet for justice against tyranny, and a martyr for the cause of freedom, he is a light of hope and faith in a century marked by despair and death."

Father Smith, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Towson, said that five of the Sunday presentations are scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, 400 E. Lexington St., on City Hall Plaza.

A concluding program April 9 will begin with a 3 p.m. service of remembrance at the Holocaust Memorial, Lombard and Gay streets, and include a solemn procession to Zion Church. Massed choirs and interfaith leaders will take part.

In connection with the series, a dramatic performance by Al Stagg, a nationally acclaimed actor who portrays Pastor Bonhoeffer, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 3 at Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, 2200 St. Paul St.

ZTC The dates and discussion leaders for the Zion Church series are:

* March 5, Father Smith and the Rev. Siegfried Otto, Zion's pastor, who will introduce a documentary film about Pastor Bonhoeffer.

* March 12, the Rev. Henry Ernst, a United Methodist clergyman, and Ira Zepp, a professor emeritus at Western Maryland College, who will reflect on "The Cost of Discipleship," one of Bonhoeffer's most influential books.

* March 19, Victoria Barnett, author of "For the Soul of the People -- Protestant Protest Against Hitler," who will discuss Bonhoeffer's resistance to Nazism.

* March 26, Charles Marsh of the Loyola College faculty and author of "Reclaiming Dietrich Bonhoeffer: The Promise of His Theology."

* April 2, Pastor Otto and the Rev. David Manrodt, an Evangelical Lutheran, who will discuss the meaning of suffering and liberation as demonstrated by Jesus' crucifixion and Bonhoeffer's execution.

All of the Sunday afternoon programs are public and free. Nominal fees will be charged students seeking academic or professional credit granted by the sponsoring McKendree School of Religion in Baltimore.

Admission to the dramatic presentation Monday evening, April 3, at Lovely Lane will be $6. Off-street parking will be available and security guards will be on duty.

& Information: 823-3588.

Salem dedication

The Rev. Abraham Walton of Emporia, Va., will be the guest preacher at a service of dedication at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Salem Baptist Church in Dundalk.

The congregation recently moved from East Baltimore to 49 Inverness Ave. Information: 282-1920.

Jews for Jesus

The controversial Jews for Jesus organization has scheduled a free program for "doubters and inquirers" at 3 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Towson Room of the Towson Library, 340 York Road.

"Jesus in the Jewish Bible" will be discussed. Information: 321-7105.

Mission to Israel

The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore has scheduled a meeting at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2 for men and women under the age of 45 interested in learning about a planned trip to Israel in May.

"Israel: A New Age of Opportunity" is the theme for the Associated's "Young Adult Mission" May 21 to May 30. Included will be discussions with top Israeli officials and visits to historic sites.

Next week's informational meeting will be held in a private home. Information: 727-4828, Ext. 246.

New rector

Homeland's Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Charles Street at Melrose Avenue, which has been without a permanent rector since the retirement of the Rev. Robert P. Patterson in 1993, has called the Rev. James Barney Hawkins IV, 45, who will preach his first sermon at Redeemer in mid-March.

Russell R. Reno Jr., the church's senior warden, said, "Barney comes to us from the Church of the Ascension, Hickory, N.C., a parish with exemplary stewardship, outreach and Christian education programs." The new rector's wife, Linda, is also an Episcopal priest.

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