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July 24, 2014, 9:22 am

Seminary honors Sen. Washington

State Sen. LeAnna M. Washington of Mount Airy has her portrait hung in Benbow Hall at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia’s (LTSP) Brossman Center. The unveiling of the honor was done in a brief ceremony held at the seminary located at 7201 Germantown Ave. on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 9:30 a.m.

The accolade was given because Washington, who represents the Fourth Senatorial District, has spearheaded efforts to secure funds from the state to help pay for the state-of-the art structure.  Washington secured a $250,000 grant to aid in the construction of a connector between Brossman and the century-old Krauth Memorial Library.  This gives the handicapped access to this historic resource center.

“I am really excited that this seminary was so gracious in recognizing me this way,” said Washington after the ceremony.  “I always try to do all I can do when it comes to bringing funds back home.  It’s clear this campus deserved these funds because they are truly a part of this community.  They are Christian leaders in Northwest Philadelphia and around the world.”

The Rev. J. Louis Felton, the new pastor of the Mount Airy Church of God in Christ and pastor to Washington, was on hand.  He said that Washington’s contributions to the seminary proved that there need not be a separation between church and state.  He pointed to the fact that this is often the case in countries like Canada and Norway.

“As far as church and state though we may be separated we are not divorced,” said Felton.  “We can still have a relationship where we come together for the good of the whole.  I think that Sen. Washington is a fine example of how church and state can have a balanced relationship in doing thing that are nurturing and beneficial for our communities.”

In his remarks, the Rev. Philip D. W. Krey, LTSP president, commended Washington’s contributions to LTSP and Northwest Philadelphia.  He said that she has shown this through her domestic violence walk and annual banquet on behalf of victims.  “No public official has done more for this school than you have,” Krey said. 

“These are challenging times for the seminary and challenging times for political leaders,” added the Rev. Dr. John Richter, chair of LTSP’s board of trustees.  “We are grateful for your partnership and generous commitment to do what you have done for this little corner of God’s kingdom.”

The program also included a brief religious service delivered by the Rev. Dr. Jayakirian Sebastian, LTSP chaplain. She called the seminary “a real anchor” in Mount Airy and stressed that LTSP is not just located on Germantown Avenue but “is really a part of the community.”

Also present was the Rev. Claire Schenot Burkat, bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  The ELCA offices are on the LTSP campus.