Disciples Divinity House

of the University of Chicago

With sadness and gratitude for her life, we remember Deirdre Louise Jackson Jones (2007). She died March 23 in Chicago. She was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 27, 1970, to Beverly Lowery (Webster) and Bernard Jackson. As she would later narrate in story-telling events, she battled and triumphed over cancer as a teenager. She went on to graduate from Iowa State University (Transportation Logistics) in 1994. She made her home in Chicago, marrying Lewis Jones in 2003. They have three young sons, Lawrence, Lance, and Logan, who was born this summer. Deirdre and Lewis were founding members of the Family of Hope Christian Church in Blue Island; she was called to ministry then. She was a benefits administrator for Aon Consulting before beginning MDiv studies in 2007 as a Disciples Divinity House Scholar. She later transferred to Chicago Theological Seminary, where she was a student at the time of her death. In addition to her husband and their sons, she is survived by her mother, Beverly Webster (Fred); father, Bernard Jackson (Sheila); and three siblings, Kendal Jackson, Aldan Jackson, and Tonya Duncan. A funeral took place in Des Moines, Iowa on April 1. A memorial service was held in Chicago on April 22 at Park Manor Christian Church.

On March 23 at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, Kris Culp (1982) participated in a public seminar with other members of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches. The event was hosted by The Very Revd Prof. Iain Torrance, Pro-Chancellor of the University. It brought together seven theologians and ecumenists from around the world. They discussed their current work on theological foundations of "Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace" and how the WCC theme can inform the churches’ work for Christian unity.

John Emory McCaw, a member of the entering class of 1939, was born March 10, 1917. Happy 100th birthday! A celebration of his birthday took place on March 12 at Wakonda Christian Church in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Grace Elizabeth Lord Williams, widow of John Norton Williams (1947), died February 5 in Naples, Florida. She was 98. Born in Massachusetts, she was raised in Indiana and spent most of her adult years there. In 1971, she married John Norton Williams, who served Disciples congregations in Indiana and Ohio. They enjoyed twenty-five years together until his death in 1996. She is survived by stepsons Dr. John N. Williams, Jr. (Lucy) and Greg (Marla), all of Indianapolis, several nieces and nephews, and three grandchildren. More here.

Kristel Clayville (2001) will present “Avoiding Burnout: Self-Knowledge and Care for Dark Times” on February 16 at the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, University of Chicago. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana.

Floyd Knight (1985), who continues as a PhD student in Linguistics at Northern Illinois University, will present a paper entitled "Kairos, Thematic, and Extra-diegetic Time in Malory" at the Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language, and Media, April 7-8, 2017.

Sightings published "The Acquittal of 'Patient Zero'" by House Scholar and PhD student Mark Lambert on February 2.

Daisy Machado (1989) will give the Divinity School Dean's Seminar in the Craft of Teaching on January 27 at noon. Her seminar, entitled Pedagogy and the Public Intellectual, will "explore one important role available to the scholar/teacher: as public intellectual who seeks to understand lived religion as a lens through which divine presence and activity are interpreted in the world." She will explore how research, teaching, and writing can be integrated as a form of public responsibility that examines the realities of people’s embodied faith, especially in the marginalized communities whose existence challenges but often remains unaccounted for by mainstream scholarly accounts. She is Professor of Church History and the former dean at Union Theological Seminary in New York City; she was the first U.S. Latina ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

William Wright (1995) will be installed as Minister and Theologian-in-Residence of the Church of Christ Congregational, UCC, in Grandby, Massachusetts, where he has been serving for the past year. The service of installation is planned for Sunday February, 6 at 3:00 pm. The congregation, which is near Amherst, Massachusetts, was founded in 1762.

An article by Joel Brown, House Scholar and PhD student in Religions in America, was published in Sightings on January 12 entitled "Dylan Roof, the Radicalization of the Alt-Right, and Ritualized Violence." Mr. Brown is also the new managing editor of the Religion and Culture Web Forum, the Martin Marty Center's other digital publication.