Meet the nine volunteers who make up the Steering Committee of the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology.
Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran, Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter and for Covalence. In addition to her work on the steering committee, Susan is also a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science that is the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also works with the Rheticus group that hosts ongoing discussions on science and faith at the Lutheran Campus Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after recently moving to Urbana from Chicago. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson. Susan’s interest in science and God’s creation can be traced back to growing up on a farm in Northwest Illinois.
Bruce Booher is a retired pastor whose last call was to First Lutheran Church of Plano, Illinois. His particular interest is the role of mystery, awe and wonder in both faith and science and he has a website dedicated to exploring this role (http://mysteryandawe.com/). He has been an avid amateur astronomer for 50 years and leads retreats, workshops and presentations. Bruce studied physics and astronomy at MIT as an undergraduate and worked as a computer programmer before becoming a pastor.
Dr. Karl Evans is a geologist, now retired from the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado. His field studies have concentrated on the geology of central Idaho, with occasional research forays into New Mexico and Colorado. He also has laboratory experience in U-Pb geochronology, a method which uses the mineral zircon to determine the age of the host rock. He is pleased to support the alumni associations of Franklin & Marshall College (A.B.), the University of Southern California (M.S.), and Pennsylvania State University (Ph.D.). As a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, Karl has taught adult-learning classes on the dialogue between science and Christian faith, where his fellow parishioners seem to revel in asking questions completely outside the field of geology.
Ida Hakkarinen, a member of Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in College Park, Maryland, is a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She fell in love with the study of weather when she did a unit about it in the 5th grade. Ida received the B.S. cum laude in physical sciences and an M.S. in meteorology from the University of Maryland. She is part of the team developing the next generation of U.S. geostationary weather satellites, GOES-R (www.goes-r.gov). The joint NOAA/NASA project is based at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Ida has served on both the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod Council and the ELCA Church Council. Her interest in the faith/science interchange derives from the exercise of her daily ministry in the scientific community. A part-time M.A.R. student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, her studies have included systematic theology and preaching. Ida thinks she’s likely the only meteorologist among the 2,000 attendees at the Festival of Homiletics conferences (www.goodpreacher.com).
Dana Hendershot is a parish pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. She graduated from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago with a Master of Divinity degree and an emphasis in science and religion. She led the Alliance’s team that staffed the faith and science interactive learning booth at the 2015 and 2018 ELCA Youth Gatherings. Dana began her undergraduate education in oceanography and learned, after being at sea, that living with only few people on a boat was not for her. (She says she’s a “people” person.) Dana then switched her major and graduated with a B.A. in neuropsychology. In her spare time, she’s often found on, in, or under the water. She has two cockatiel birds (Zipporah & Hoops) and a Brittney Spaniel named, Ocean. At night, Dana loves to be outside with her telescope, looking upward at the awe and wonder of God’s universe.
Thomas Johnston is a rising first-year intern at Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio. Thomas is pursuing a Master of Divinity and discerning rostered ministry in the ELCA. Thomas enjoys reading about a variety of different subjects, but he mostly likes reading history and science books. Thomas also enjoys spending time drawing connections between his studies in seminary with different real world applications: public policy, science, and pop culture. Thomas is an avid Simpsons fan. Thomas also enjoys spending time with his two kittens, Graypaw and Tiny, as they bring him joy and love. Thomas’s favorite scientist is Carl Sagan.
Kristi Keller received her Ph. D. in physics from the University of Minnesota specializing in space physics and computer simulations. She comes from a family of Lutheran ministers and is pursuing her family tradition by taking theological courses at United Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg. Kristi also got a love of history from her father, so she is particularly interested in the history of interactions between science and religion. Another academic area of interest is the philosophical interpretation of quantum mechanics and how it impacts theories of free will, determinism and God’s continuing interaction with creation. In her free time, Kristi enjoys God’s creation by volunteering with Washington Women Outdoors.
Will Rose is pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and Lutheran Campus Ministry in Chapel Hill, NC. Will is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (1995) and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia SC (2000). Will has served as a Youth Pastor at Advent Lutheran in Boca Raton, Florida, Interim Lutheran Campus Pastor at the University of South Carolina, and Parish Pastor at Christus Victor Lutheran Church in Columbia, South Carolina. While at Holy Trinity in Chapel Hill, Pastor Will has worked with university students and professors engaging questions and reflections around faith and science. In 2016, Holy Trinity received a two-year STEAM (Science and Theology for Emerging Adult Ministries) grant from Fuller Seminary to go deeper into the issues surrounding faith and science. Will shares that the grant, and the relationships developed during the grant project, has been one of the most enriching aspects of his ordained ministry. Will is married with two daughters. Will enjoys yoga, golf, surfing, comics books and Star Wars, not necessarily in that order.
Lou Ann Trost
Lou Ann Trost taught at San Jose State University in Humanities, Religious Studies, and American Studies for about twelve years, before retiring in 2020 as Lecturer Emerita. She earned a B.S. in Natural Resources (environmental studies/education) and M.P.H. in Environmental Public Health, both at the University of Michigan. After her M.Div. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, she served as a parish pastor in Carlisle, PA, and later in interim ministry in Chicago and Berkeley. Study at LSTC led to a Th.M.; and The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) drew her to Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union to pursue Ph.D. studies. After completing the degree, she worked as Program Director at CTNS and also taught classes at the GTU. She is a member of Advent Lutheran Church in Morgan Hill, Calif., serving on Church Council and a Creation Stewardship Committee, helping encourage the congregation in its commitment to creation care.
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