“Educating Mind and Spirit through Reasoned Scholarship”
Welcome to the web home of the Farstrup-Mortensen Lecture Series, held annually at Bethania Lutheran Church in Solvang, California. The Farstrup-Mortensen lectures are lovingly dedicated to the memory of two men, A. Ejnar Farstrup (1909-1984) and Enok Mortensen (1902-1984) whose vision and energy strongly influenced Danish-American church life. Pastors and educators, they exemplified the Grundtvigian ideal of developing one’s humanity, including the intellect, to its fullest and best extent.
Next year’s series, Is God a Being, an Experience, or a “Fragment of Underdone Potato,” will be held February 23-25, 2018, with Professors John Caputo and Brandon Scott speaking. Return here for regular updates. It will mark our 33rd anniversary of presenting world-class scholars and educators who present reasoned and scholarly interpretations based on current evidence. This coming fall you will be able to register online for the 2018 series using Paypal.
2017 LECTURE SERIES – THE REFORMATION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
In 2017 we focused on the Reformation itself and its impact, not only on Christianity, but on society at large, with Bishop Dr. Guy Erwin and Professor Kirsi Stjerna (California Lutheran University). The authority of the church was challenged by Martin Luther 500 years ago with the publication of his 95 theses on October 31, 1517. This radical act encouraged and emboldened others to begin to question the common wisdom in various fields of life. This in turn gave impetus to an entire era called The Age of Enlightenment. Sapere aude — have the guts to reason for yourself — became the motto for this age of reason. All this in turn advanced sciences and technologies that eventually have made it possible for you to own a smartphone!
2017 Lecture Schedule
Friday, February 24:
3:00- 4:30 pm Early Bird Outdoor Activity
6:00- 6:45 pm Registration and Wine Reception with Daniel Gehrs Wines
6:45- 7:00 pm Singing
7:00-8:30 pm INTRO LECTURES I & II:
Bishop Erwin: The Reformation’s Political and Economic Consequences
Professor Stjerna: Luther for Today: Freedom Theology—how Luther’s vision of “Freedom, Equality, and Inclusivity” impacts us today
Danish Folk Dancing with Pastor Warren Nielsen, II
Saturday, February 25:
8:30 am Singing with Suzanne Hollrah and Loretta McConnell
8:45 am Introductions and Welcome
9:00-10:30 am LECTURE III:
Bishop Erwin: The Reformation’s Intellectual and Cultural Consequences
10:30-11:00 am Coffee, Pastry, and Singing with Suzanne Hollrah and Loretta McConnell
11:00-12:30 pm LECTURE IV:
Professor Stjerna: Luther’s Core Reformation Insight on Human Existence: Dancing with Law and Gospel
12:30-1:30 pm Lunch
1:30-3:30 pm LECTURE V:
Bishop Erwin: How Did Luther’s Challenge to Authority Galvanize the Roman Church and Launch Christianity into a Global Movement?
Professor Stjerna: Luther and the Reformation Mothers: Women that Joined Luther’s and Calvin’s Efforts
3:30-6:00 pm Break
6:30 pm Banquet (Dinner and Program): The Songbirds—A Delightful Ladies Quartet
Danish Folk Dancing with Pastor Warren Nielsen, II
Sunday, February 26:
9:30 am Worship Service
10:30 am Coffee by Atterdag Village
11:00 am-12:30 pm PANEL DISCUSSION: Bishop Dr. Guy Erwin, Professor Kirsi Stjerna, Pastor Chris Brown, Professor Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, and Dr. Jarmo Tarkki (moderator)
The lectures take place at Bethania Lutheran Church in the charming village of Solvang—also known as the Danish Capital of America—located in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley of California’s temperate central coast region. The valley is home to over 120 wineries and a plethora of tasting rooms, three major players in the state’s burgeoning craft beer industry, endless boutiques and shops, popular outdoor activities, Chumash Casino Resort, and historic Mission Santa Inés. For more information about local accommodations and activities, please visit SolvangUSA.com, VisitSYV.com, or call the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau at (800) 468-6765.
The Song Birds, a women’s vocal quartet, regaled us with a variety of traditional Barbershop, Popular, and Classical tunes.
Join wildlife biologist, Fred Emerson, and long-time birder, Fred Machetanz, for a pleasant natural history walk covering birds, mammals, insects, plants, ecology, and environmental conservation. To add something new to this year’s walk, we’re thinking of driving a short distance to the Santa Ynez River. Possible subjects to view are Bald Eagles, water birds (such as herons), hawks, and plants of a stream-side environment. We never know what we will see; it may be a bald eagle off-course from Lake Cachuma or a rose-breasted grossbeak from Iowa. Stay tuned for an exciting bird walk, wherever we may go! Meet at the Parish Hall at 3 p.m. Please wear sturdy shoes and a hat and bring binoculars or a camera (rain cancels).
Fred Emerson grew up in rural western New York State, A Ph.D. in wildlife biology from Cornell University Built on his biology degree from Alfred University. Interested in the interface of ecology and public health, he attended Vanderbilt Medical School (M.D.). He enjoyed a 20-year career in teaching and practice of emergency medicine. Since then he has focused on teaching birding along with the ecology, and natural history of Santa Barbara County.
Fred Machetanz has been intensely interested in birds and nature since he was five years old. He has led numerous bird walks for the Los Angeles Community College District and for interested birders in the Santa Barbara area. He was graduated from Cal Tech with a B.S. degree in mathematics and received an Ed.D. degree in Educational Psychology from UCLA.
Folk Dancing: Friday and Saturday evening
We end the learning day these two evenings with folk dancing led by Pastor Warren Nielsen, II. You are invited to participate or watch as dancers with all skill levels are directed in simple line dances as well as mixers.
Throughout the weekend our songleader, Suzanne Hollrah, will lead the singing accompanied by our pianist, Loretta McConnell. You are invited to suggest your favorites and participate in this beloved tradition.
Bethania Lutheran Church and the Lecture Series
Bethania Lutheran Church in Solvang celebrated its Centennial in 2012. Bethania strives to share the “bread of life” with its members, as well as visitors to their congregation, through worship, education and fellowship. Since its inception, the Farstrup-Mortensen Lecture Series has endeavored to present thought-provoking educational and fellowship opportunities.