News Archive - Alumni/ae, Trustees, and Former Residents
NEWS FROM APRIL 2012 AND EARLIER
News items are listed in roughly reverse chronological order. (The date in parentheses represents the year of entrance as a Disciples Divinity House Scholar.)
House Scholar Tish Duncan will be a Marty Center Junior Fellow for the 2012-12 academic year. A PhD candidate in Bible, she is writing her dissertation on Novel History: Scriptural Exegesis in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies. Former House resident Sam Boyd is also a Marty Center Junior Fellow this year; his dissertation explores literary "reuse" and interaction among Ancient Near Eastern cultures in the Hebrew Bible.
House Scholar Brandon Cline is now serving as the Area Assistant for Pedagogical Initiatives at the Divinity School. He has helped to launch an extensive website on the new Craft of Teaching Program and is coordinating its initiatives.
Beau Underwood (2006) has announced his engagement to Casey Osterkamp. They are planning a July 27, 2013, wedding in Ohio. Congratulations to them both!
Our condolences to Santiago Piñón (1998) and his family upon the death of his mother on September 25 in New Mexico. She was suffering from the last stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Rebecca Anderson (2007) was one of four storytellers who inaugurated 2nd Story's 2012-2013 season with "Up, Up, and Away: Stories of Busting Out" on September 17 in Chicago. The Chicago-based organization, 2nd Story, is a collective of story-makers and story-tellers. Download and listen to a podcast of her story, "Lost and Found," here.
Look for a new book of prayers by Holly McKissick (trustee), You are Blessed: Prayers for checkout lines, ice cream, and other simple moments, available from Hallmark.
Verity Jones (trustee) has been named the Executive Director of the new Center for Pastoral Excellence at Christian Theological Seminary, which was launched with an initial $8 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. The Center's first initiatives are CTS's Discipleship Project and the New Media Project, which moves with Ms. Jones from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. More on Verity Jones here, and see CTS President Matt Myer Boulton's announcement here.
Congratulations to June graduate Andrew Packman (2009), who was ordained on August 19 at First Christian Church, Centralia, Illinois. Michael Karunas (1995), Senior Minister of Central Christian Church, Decatur, Illinois, preached. Dean Kris Culp (1982), Divinity School Director of Ministry Studies Cynthia Lindner (1978), House Scholar Thandiwe Gobledale, and former resident Jeff Lehn also participated.
Brent Reynolds (1997) has been called to be Director of the Florida Christian Center, Jacksonville, Florida, a ministry site of the National Benevolent Association.
Congratulations to June graduate Laura Jennison Reed (2009), who was ordained August 12 at North Hill Christian Church, Spokane, Washington. She is now serving as Assistant to the Dean at the Disciples Divinity House. More here.
Emily Brooker Langston (1985) was quoted in the Irish Times on June 29 with her response to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Health Care Law.
John Cheadle Rich (2001) graduated in April from the University of Southern Indiana with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In June, he passed the state boards to become a Registered Nurse and is working as a Nurse Resident at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. He and Amy continue to serve as Co-Executive Directors of Patchwork Central, a nonprofit ministry operating near downtown Evansville. See www.patchwork.org or the Patchwork Central blog.
Congratulations to June graduate Katherine Raley (2008), who was ordained June 23 at First Christian Church, Columbia, South Carolina. She has been called to serve as Associate Minister of First Christian Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where Chuck Blaisdell (1976) is the Senior Minister.
Bill Wright (1995) and Jessica Barr welcomed Silas Alexander Barr Wright into the world at 4:33 am on Thursday, June 14, weighing 7 lbs. 1 oz. and measuring 21 inches long. Silas and his parents are doing well and are now home in Eureka, Illinois (both his parents are members of the faculty at Eureka College).
Congratulations to December MDiv graduate Jonathan Wallace (2008), who was ordained into the Christian ministry on June 10 at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, his home congregation. Dr. Frank Thomas preached, and Pastor Virzola Law presided; Dean Kris Culp (1982) presented him as a candidate for ordination; Divinity School Director of Ministry Studies Cynthia Lindner (1978) gave the ordination prayer.
Walt Abel (1949) died May 14, 2012, in Denver, Colorado. He was 85 years old. Walter Henry Abel was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 15, 1926. He met his future bride, Myra, in the church youth group at Norwood Christian Church in Cincinnati. They married and had four children: Steve, Phil, Catherine and Dale. He joined the Navy at the end of WWII, and then attended Tulane University on the GI Bill, where he earned a BE in Electrical Engineering in 1947. In 1949, he entered the University of Chicago as a Disciples Divinity House Scholar to work on a Bachelor of Divinity degree. While there he met lifelong friends Dale and Betty Miller, and Ian and Cynthia McCrae.
Walt went on to Kansas State University, where he served as a youth pastor, preached in small congregations, and eventually earned his MA in Counseling and Guidance in 1958. He worked as a minister to students, and finally he earned a PhD in Counseling and Guidance at the University of Kentucky in 1968. He moved from there to Pittsburgh, taking up a position as Research Psychologist and part-time counselor at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University).
Walt was involved in his community. He served on the Board of the Carnegie Tech Faculty Federal Credit Union. He was active at East End Christian Church, helping run a church-basement coffeehouse for youth in the late 60s early 70s, and serving as President and Chairman of the Board. He was also involved with the regional Disciples gatherings in Western Pennsylvania. In 1999, the Abels moved to Foxwood Springs, near Kansas City (where the Millers and McCraes had also moved); later, they moved to Colorado. He is survived by Myra, their four children, seven grand-children, and three great-grand children, and his brother Frank.
Joe Blosser (2005) has received a prestigious Think Big faculty grant from High Point University to support a $50,000 Democracy USA project and a $34,000 external grant to support his work with the Service Learning Program. He has received a named position in recognition of his work, and he is now the Robert G. Culp Jr. Director of Service Learning and Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy at High Point.
Kenneth Atkinson (1991) is the author of Queen Salome: Jerusalem's Warrior Monarch of the First Century B.C.E. (McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2012). This first biography of Queen Salome Alexandra, the sole legitimate female monarch of ancient Palestine, recounts the events of her tumultuous life as well as women in the Dead Sea Scrolls and related texts. Mr. Atkinson is currently Associate Professor of History at the University of Northern Iowa.
David Cobb (1987) has been called as the second pastor of Spirit of Joy Christian Church in Lakeville, Minnesota (in the greater Twin Cities area). He was previously Senior Minister of First Christian Church, Lynchburg, Virginia. David, Katy McFall, and their son Jackson, will move to the Lakeville area in mid-June. Katy McFall (1988) will continue serving as Director of Annual Giving for the Presbyterian Homes & Family Services and the Family Alliance of Lynchburg, working long distance; she is now also serving as President of the DDH Alumni/ae Council.
Michael Karunas (1995) was installed as the Senior Minister of Central Christian Church in Decatur, Illinois, on June 3, having begun his ministry there in March. Michael, spouse Amy Ziettlow, and their three children were previously in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Michael was Senior Minister of the First Christian Church and Amy was the Chief Operating Officer for The Hospice of Baton Rouge.
On June 1, April Lewton (2004; trustee) will become the Vice President of Development and Marketing for the National Benevolent Association (NBA), a general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Founded in the 1880s, the NBA "creates communities of compassion and care" through the provision of health and social services. Lewton commented, “As a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I have known and experienced the legacy and dedication of Disciples in service to others, especially those who are in physical, mental and social need. I look forward to engaging and encouraging Disciples in this ministry of service throughout the life of the Church." Read the press release.
On May 27, United Christian Parish (UCP), an ecumenical congregation (Disciples, UCC, PCUSA, and United Methodist) in Reston, Virginia, dedicated its new sanctuary and wing. Joan Bell-Haynes (1995) is Pastor. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will be the guest preacher. The $6 million project has been underway for nearly two years. UCP is the home congregation of current House Scholar Alexis Vaughan, who returned to UCP for the celebration.
Garry Sparks (2001) has accepted a tenure-track appointment as Assistant Professor of Humanities in Global Christian Studies at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. His research and teaching interests focus on an ethnographic and ethnohistorical understanding of theological production in the Americas, specifically among indigenous peoples. His areas include modern Christian theologies, history of religions, Native American religious movements, Hispano-Catholic missions, and the Highland Maya. This past year he has been the Visiting Assistant Professor of Humanities and Theology at Christ College, the honors college, of Valparaiso University. He and spouse April Lewton (2004; trustee) will move to Louisville in June.
Spencer Dew (1998) will join Centenary College of Louisiana as Assistant Professor of Religious Studies in the fall, a tenure-track position, and he will hold the Mattie Allen Broyles Inaugural Year Research Chair. Currently teaching at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, he is completing a manuscript on religious understandings of writing in the work of Jack Kerouac, Norman Mailer, and James Baldwin, and he is at work on a a study of the Moorish Science Temple of America, funded in part by a research fellowship from the Black Metropolis Research Consortium. He is the author of a collection of short stories, Songs of Insurgency (Vagabond Press, 2008), Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres (Another New Calligraphy, 2010), and the critical study, Learning for Revolution: The Work of Kathy Acker (San Diego State University Press, 2011). His first novel, Maintain, is forthcoming from Ampersand Books in fall 2012. A regular reviewer for Rain Taxi Review of Books, and a Staff Book Reviewer for decomP magazine, his fiction and essays have appeared in scores of publications, including art reviews in Newcity Chicago and Chicago Artists' News, and essays in Religion Dispatches and Sightings.
Beau Underwood (2006) has accepted the position of Campaigns Manager at Sojourners, a national Christian organization committed to faith in action for social justice. He will help to develop and coordinate strategies for Sojourners' issue campaigns, to manage their coalition work, and a variety of other tasks. He concludes his work as the Partnership and Outreach Coordinator at Faith in Public Life on May 15. He continues also to serve part-time at National City Christian Church as an Assistant Pastor.
On May 12, 2012, Chuck Blaisdell (1976) was awarded an honorary doctorate by Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) in Indianapolis. In selecting him, the school noted, "Not only does he exemplify the highest hopes fostered by CTS for leadership in the church, but he has manifest such leadership in all expressions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) .... Chuck has one of the finest critical minds in the Disciples of Christ today in the sense that he has a compelling vision of God and the world emerging from serious dialogue with the Bible, tradition, and experience." He is the Senior Minister of First Christian Church of Colorado Springs.
Congratulations to Rachel Lindner (2004), who received her JD from Northwestern University School of Law on May 11. She will be moving to New Orleans, where she will practice capital defense law.
Michael Kinnamon (1973) will join Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry (STM) for the next three years as the Spehar-Halligan Visiting Professor of Ecumenical Collaboration in Interreligious Dialogue, beginning August 2012. Internationally regarded as an ecumenist, he is the author of several books and recently served as the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches.
We are saddened to learn of the death of Charles Swift (1944) on April 17 in Redlands, California. A native of southern California, he served for 25 years as a US Navy Chaplain. He retired in Redlands, where he gave leadership to community mental health organizations and was recognized by the greater San Bernadino community. His wife, Verna, died in 2003.
How to Lead in Church Conflict: Healing Ungrieved Loss, co-authored by Bernie Lyon (1976) and Dan Moseley, was released in April 2012 by Abingdon Press. The book "invites the reader into a deeper analysis of the nature of groups in conflict in order to gain insight into how to be more faithfully present and to help the conflict itself to produce transforming power."
Congratulations to House Scholar Andrew Packman, who has been admitted to the PhD program in Theology at the Divinity School. He is currently completing the MDiv degree and will be ordained into the Christian ministry in August at his home congregation, First Christian Church, Centralia, Illinois.
Congratulations to House Scholar Kristel Clayville, who received the Louisville Institute's Dissertation Fellowship. The fellowship supports the final year of dissertation writing.
Daisy Machado (1989) was selected as one of the 2012 recipients of the El Diario/La Prensa Mujeres Destacadas Award, which honors successful and influential Latinas in the New York City area. Previous honorees have included journalist Soledad O'Brien, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez. Daisy Machado is the dean of academic affairs and professor of church history at Union Theological Seminary.
Former Resident Madison McClendon and Current House Scholar Andrew Packman were co-chairs of the Eighth Annual Student-Run Ministry Conference, held April 13, 2012, at the Divinity School. Entitled On the Edge of Glory: Making Disciples in a "Secular" Age, the conference featured sociologist Mark Chaves; Liz Myer Boulton (1989) was the conference preacher and Clark Gilpin (1970; trustee) was the respondent. House Scholars McKinna Daugherty, Katherine Raley, and Alexis Vaughan, and Current Resident Katherine Ray were members of the planning committee.
F. McDonald (Don) Ervin, a longtime member of University Church and longtime friend of the Disciples Divinity House, died on April 3, 2012, in hospice care in Indianapolis. He was surrounded by family, prayer, and songs at the time of his death. His son, Bruce Ervin, wrote, "We are so very grateful for Dad's patient, gentle, loving ways; for his passion for justice; his insistence that Christian faith be about the practical work of caring for the widow, the orphan, the stranger, the blind and the poor; his commitment to affordable housing and credit unions on the Southside of Chicago; his generosity, and the sweet compassion of his face." Don and his late wife Jean Ervin regularly attended Monday Night dinners; when they were present, we felt that the saints of the church were with us. A celebration of his life was held Saturday, May 12, at 1:00 pm at University Church, Chicago. Don and Jean Ervin are survived by three children, Bruce, Rosemary, and Tom, and their families. More here.
Ray Greenfield (2000) died April 1, 2012, at his home in Lewistown, Illinois. He was 57. Our sympathies are with his wife Helen, his three children, Michael, Meagan, and Allison, and four grandchildren. Ray was the pastor of the Illinois Street Christian Church in Lewistown and the Ipava Christian Church. He was a chaplain at Graham Hospital in Canton and the former pastor of First Christian Church in Rushville. He was born January 27, 1955, at Norfolk, Virginia. He first married Susan Ozier. In 1995, he was remarried to Helen Ronat in Jacksonville, Illinois. He pursued his college education as a second career student, earning his bachelor's degree in social work from MacMurray College in Jacksonville in 2000. He entered the Divinity School as a Disciples House Scholar in 2000 and commuted every week from Jacksonville. When he graduated in 2003, he considered the M.Div. degree to be half Helen's and made sure that she also had a graduation cap. He was ordained at Central Christian Church, Jacksonville. Funeral services will be 10:00 am Thursday, April 5, at the Illinois Street Christian Church in Lewistown. Burial will be in Jacksonville, Illinois.
Congratulations to Allie and Joe Blosser (2005) on the birth of Seth Blosser on March 6, 2012. Seth weighed 5 lbs. 6 oz. and was 19 inches long. At almost 3 months, Seth weighs nearly 14 lbs.
House Scholar McKinna Daugherty performed Beethoven's Missa Solemnis at Symphony Center with the Chicago Chorale on March 5. Led by Artistic Director Bruce Tammen, the Chicago Chorale is a sixty-voice ensemble that "continues the tradition of great amateur choral institutions." www.chicagochorale.org. McKinna has been singing with the Chorale for nearly two years.
Congratulations to Stephanie McLemore (1992) and big sister Sophia on the birth of Ellery Jean McLemore on March 1, 2012. She weighed 7 lbs, 10 oz., and was 21 inches long.
Congratulations to Matt Rosen (2003) and Della Hoffman on the birth of their daughter, Savannah Grace Rosen. She was born at 10:38 am on March 1, 2012. The family is happy and well.
We are saddened by the death of Honorary Trustee for Life and former Board president, Jack V. Reeve (1942), on February 25, 2012, in Indianapolis. He was 93. He suffered a stroke and entered hospice care on February 13. He is a former regional minister of the Christian Church in Illinois and Wisconsin and also a former faculty member of Lexington Theological Seminary. We celebrate his long life, commitment to ministry and service, exemplary stewardship, love of music, love of family, and his stalwart friendship with the House. More here.
Our sympathy to Clark Gilpin (1970, trustee) on the death of his father, William C. Gilpin, on February 22 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The service was held February 28 at Harvard Avenue Christian Church in Tulsa. Bill Gilpin was 88; he is survived by his wife, Joann Gilpin, as well as by their children and grandchildren.
Kinndlee Lund (former resident) was ordained February 4, 2012, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pelican Rapids, MN. She has been called to serve as Associate Pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Breham, Texas, beginning in February.
Cynthia Lindner (1978; trustee) has received a Louisville Institute Project Grant to support the research and writing of a book, Accounting for Our Selves, Responsible to Others: Ministerial Multiplicity and the Well-Lived Pastoral Life. Cynthia has been the Director of Ministry Studies at the Divinity School since 2002. The Louisville Institute's Project Grant for Researchers Program supports a diverse range of research undertaken in the interest of believing communities, particularly projects that involve both academics and pastors in genuinely collaborative inquiry.
Bill Crowl (1962) became the Transitional Interim Minister of the Christian Church of Arlington Heights, Illinois, on January 15, 2012.
On January 4 Tristan Orozco became Associate Minister of Wakonda Christian Church in Des Moines, Iowa.
As of January 1, 2012, Ken Brooker-Langston (1985) became the volunteer Director of Disciples Justice Action (DJAN) at his request and as the organization's finances required his move from being a paid director. He continues his ministry with DJAN and also as the (paid!) Executive Director of the Disciples Center for Public Witness, based in Washington, DC.
Sympathy to former Associate Dean Brittany Barber (1995), whose father, Ray Barber, died suddenly on December 26. The service was held December 31 at the First Baptist Church, Hartford, IL (greater St. Louis area).
Laura Hollinger (2001) is the new Campus Engagement Manager with Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based nonprofit with the mission of building interfaith cooperation. She moves to this position after seven years as Associate Dean of Rockefeller Chapel and as coordinator of Bond Chapel worship for the Divinity School. In addition, she has just announced her engagement to Jeff Antonelli. Congratulations and thank you, Laura!
Michael Karunas (1995) has been named the new senior minister of Central Christian Church in Decatur, Illinois. He will conclude service as the senior minister of First Christian Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on January 31, 2012. Michael is the current president of DDH's Alumni/ae Council.
Jeff Lehn (former resident) and Arianne Lehn, a recent graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary, are now pastors of First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was ordained there and installed as Senior Minister on November 27, 2011; she was ordained and installed as Associate Minister on March 10, 2012.
Teresa Hord Owens (1999) was installed as Senior Minister of First Christian Church of Downers Grove, Illinois, on Sunday, November 13. She became the senior minister in late September. She continues also as Dean of Students of the University of Chicago Divinity School.
Congratulations to Gaylord Yu (trustee) and Jihye (Jenny) Choi, who were married November 11, 2011, in the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at the University of Chicago.
Michael Kinnamon (1973), General Secretary of the National Council of Churches (NCC), will leave his position due to health reasons. The announcement was made November 9. "Members of the governing board received the news with reverence and respect for Kinnamon's leadership of the council during the last four years. Many expressed a sense of loss and offered tributes of appreciation for his ministry," a press release explained. Kinnamon's cardiologist insisted that the stresses of his current position, particularly the extensive travel required, must be reduced immediately and significantly.
In their November letter from London, Tod and Ana Gobledale (1975) reflect on different congregations in which they have ministered and worshiped. They ask, "What makes church?" They answer, in part, "Church, whether on the arid plains of Matabelaland in Zimbabwe, on the Salisbury plain or on the twisted streets of London brings together the faithful of all ages and all places." Read their reflections here.
Northwestern University Press has published a new book by Larry Bouchard (1974), Theater and Integrity: Emptying Selves in Drama, Ethics, and Religion. Bouchard argues that theater’s ways of being realized in ensembles, texts, and performances allow us to reenvision integrity's emergence and ephemeral presence. The book locates ambiguities in our discourse about integrity, and it delves into conceptions of identity, morality, selfhood, and otherness. Its explorations ask if integrity is less a quality we might possess than a contingent gift that may appear, disappear, and perhaps reappear.
Former Resident Ben Varnum was ordained a deacon by the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago on November 1 at St. Chrysostom Episcopal Church in Chicago. In October be became the assistant rector of St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church in Overland Park, Kansas.
Michael Karunas (1995) has started a blog called U-Matters. It can be found at www.u-matters.blogspot.com.
On Friday, October 28, Matthew Myer Boulton was installed as the sixth President of Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, and Professor of Theology. He began serving in July. He was previously Associate Professor of Ministry Studies at Harvard Divinity School, and he taught at Andover Newton Theological Seminary. He earned his PhD in Theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He and Liz Myer Boulton (1989) were married in the Chapel of the Holy Grail; they were both ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Also, his new book, Life in God: John Calvin, Practical Formation, and the Future of Protestant Theology, was published in October by William B. Eerdmans.
Patty and Bill Crowl (1962) are the proud expectant grandparents of a new ... restaurant! Daughter Rachel, an architect and artist, and son-in-law Matthias Merges, who was the Executive Chef of Charlie Trotters for fourteen years, are opening yusho soon in Chicago. Yusho will offer yakitori cuisine, which is based on the grilled street food of Japan.
Beau Underwood (2006) has joined the pastoral team of National City Christian Church in Washington, DC, part-time. As assistant pastor, he will lead new member classes, plan special worship services, and serve as National City's clergy represenatative to the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN). He continues full-time as the Partnership and Outreach Coordinator for Faith in Public Life. On November 1, he attended a gathering at the White House with about 150 leaders from across the country who have been working in support of the American Jobs Act. Both President Obama and Vice President Biden addressed the group, with several other senior officials and Cabinet Secretaries in attendance.
Ritch Savin-Williams (1971) is quoted in an October 2 New York Times article, "The Freedom to Choose Your Pronoun," on teen rebellion against gender conformity. He is professor and chair of Human Development at Cornell University, where he directs the Sex and Gender Lab.
Congratulations to former resident Ian Gerdon and Sarah Gerdon on the birth of William Michael Quodvultdeus Gerdon at 9:50 pm on September 30. Liam arrived early by emergency c-section, and weighed 2 lbs, 10 oz. He will remain in the hospital for several more weeks. However, he is putting on the ounces, his mother is recuperating well, and his father seems a bit giddy.
Congratulations to Lee Hull Moses (2001; trustee), Rob Moses, and big sister Harper on the birth of Jonathan Bruce Moses at 10:59 pm on September 27. He weighed 8.6 pounds and measured 20.25 inches long. Mom and baby are happy and healthy (and Dad and Harper are doing well also).
Rebecca Anderson (2007) has been called as Associate Minister of Glencoe Union Church, just north of Chicago. She has been serving at Holy Covenant United Methodist Church in Chicago.
Congratulations to Laura Jean Torgerson (2002), Tim Donaghy, and big sister Quinn, who welcomed the arrival of Maya Rowan at 1:40 am on September 12. She weighed 3600 grams (7 lb 15 oz) and measured 51 cm (20 inches) long. They are serving in Nicaragua with Global Ministries and local partner La Misión Cristiana. Follow their blog here.
Spencer Dew (1998) is serving as a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. This summer he received a grant from the Black Metropolis Research Consortium for archival research on the Moorish Science Temple.
Former resident Jimmy Hoke is beginning doctoral work at Drew University's Graduate Division of Religion this fall, after having completed his MDiv at the Divinity School in June. "Bible scholar by day, chef by night," he also has a new recipe blog, Jacob's Stew.
First Christian Church, Greensboro, NC, replaced its fifty-year-old steeple this summer. The Greensboro New & Record featured a photo essay by Senior Minister Lee Hull Moses (trustee, 2001). And, see Lee's August 19 blog in the Christian Century: The church is a steeple.
Congratulations to former trustee Juan Rodriguez who has been named the next Regional Minister of Florida. His term begins January 8, 2012. He was the organizing pastor of Iglesia del Pueblo-Hope Center in Hammond, Indiana, and just completed service as the First Vice Moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Juan and Sonia will be moving to Orlando, Florida.
On August 9, Tod and Ana Gobledale (1975) wrote as rioting continues in London, where they serve, and elsewhere in England. They invite others to join them in prayer "for our community—Brockley & Lewisham, our city—London, and our country—Great Britain. May our churches and all faith communities across the city be beacons of light in the darkness, and speak words of faith and hope." More here.
Beau Underwood (2006) preached at National City Christian Church in Washington, DC, on Sunday, August 7. Listen here to his message, "The Existential Question," based on Matthew 16:21-28. Beau is the Partnership and Outreach Coordinator at Faith in Public Life, a strategy center advancing faith in the public square as a positive and unifying force for justice, compassion, and the common good.
Congratulations to Brandon Cline and Tish Duncan (current House Scholars) on the birth of Vivian Margaret Cline on August 4. She weighed 8 lbs and 6 oz., and all are doing well. Edy has been waiting ages for "her" baby, and she is proving to be an adoring and tender big sister.
We were saddened by the death of John Sturman (1978) on August 1 after a battle with liver cancer. His life was celebrated on August 6 at University Church in Chicago. Our prayers are with his family, wife Maureen and daughters Alice and Emilia.
On August 1, former Associate Dean Brittany Barber (1995) began serving as Interim Minister of University Place Christian Church in Champaign, Illinois.
John Weaver (1996) was recently appointed Dean of Library Services and Educational Technology at Abilene Christian University. He previously served as Director of The Burke Theological Library at Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Also, he was elected as President of the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) this year.
June MDiv graduate Anna Liv Gibbons (2008) was ordained Sunday, July 17, at her home church in Eugene, Oregon: First Christian Church. Liv and her husband, Elijah Buck, are moving to Kentucky, where she will serve as the Minister in Residence at Central Christian Church in Lexington.
The ministry of David Vargas (1971; trustee) was celebrated on July 11 at the General Assembly of the Christian Church, meeting in Nashville. Since 2003, he has been the President of the Division of Overseas Ministries and Co-Executive of Global Ministries. He is retiring after 28 years of service with DOM. Bishop Medardo Gomez of the Lutheran Church of El Salvador made a surprise appearance to honor him.
Yvonne Gilmore(2001) preached at the Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville during the General Assembly and performed a spoken word piece during the HIV/Aids healing service. She is the founding pastor of New Song Community Church, Columbus, Ohio. Read the sermon she preached in March in the Chapel of the Holy Grail here.
Trustee Holly McKissick, senior and founding minister of Saint Andrew Christian Church, Olathe, Kansas, preached the opening worship of the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 9. The General Assembly theme, "Tell it!," is based on Deuteronomy 6.1-12, which was also the text for her sermon.
Jennifer Kottler (1999) became the Associate Pastor of Park Avenue Christian Church in New York City on July 1. She previously served as Director of Policy and Advocacy at Sojourners. More here.
Congratulations to Dennis and Lana Landon on the birth of their first grandchild, Harrison (Hank) Hoyt Landon, who was born on Saturday evening, June 25. Hank, parents, and grandparents are doing fine.
Chris Dorsey (Current House Scholar) has been named the 2011-12 Faculty Fellow at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. Until March, he was the Vice President for Marketing and Development at Chicago Theological Seminary. A PhD candidate in Theology, he is writing on traditional medicine in Senegal with a focus on exploring the hermeneutics of healing.
Paul Matheny (1978) is the author of two new books, Contextual Theology: The Drama of our Times (Pickwick Press) and The Theology of Christian Churches, a textbook for seminarians, pastors and lay ministers serving in Asia. It is published by New Day Publishers in the Philippines. Both books are intended to be resources for theological formation programs around the world. Paul teaches at Union Theological Seminary in Dasmariñas, the Philippines (near Manila). He and his wife, Mary Nebelsick, have served there since January 2001 as mission co-workers of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Congratulations to Matt Rosen (2003) and Della Hoffman who were married at their home in Washington, DC, on May 28.
We are saddened by the death of K. Everett Munson (1940; Honorary Trustee for Life) on May 22, his 95th birthday. He became a member of the Board of Trustees in 1966, and served as president from 1975-77 and 1986-89. For thirty-six years he was minister of First Christian Church of Maywood, Illinois, and a beloved and influential teaching pastor for many House Scholars. He was esteemed in the community and in Chicago and Illinois churches. Bill Crowl (1962) officiated at the service, held May 26 in Monmouth, Illinois. More here.
Rebecca and Michael Swartzentruber (2007) returned to Chicago for Rebecca's graduation from the Illinois College of Optometry on May 21. Her commencement was held at the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Chapel.
June PhD graduate Joe Blosser (2005) has accepted a tenure-track position at High Point University, a United Methodist school in North Carolina, as Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy and Director of Service Learning. His spouse, Allie, will be teaching on an adjunct basis in the School of Education. Congratulations Joe and Allie.
W. Clark Gilpin (1970; trustee) retired in May from the Divinity School as the Margaret E. Burton Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Christianity and Theology. He was honored with a conference at the Divinity School, Writing Religion: Representation, Difference, and Authority in American Culture, held on May 19 and 20, 2011. More here.
Rob Wilson-Black (1991) returned to Chicago for the May 19-20 conference honoring Clark Gilpin. Rob continues as the Chief Development Officer for Sojourners. Rob, Juli, and their children Hannah, Claire, and Owen live in Reston, Virginia.
Congratulations to Hubert G. Locke (trustee), who was awarded an honorary doctorate by Christian Theological Seminary at their commencement, May 14. He is the John and Marguerite Corbally Professor of Public Service Emeritus at the University of Washington, where he also served as Dean of the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. The author of Searching for God in Godforsaken Times and Places: Reflections on the Holocaust, Racism, and Death (Eerdmans, 2003), Learning From History: A Black Christian’s Perspective on the Holocaust, The Detroit Riot of 1967, and several other books, he was a co-founder of the Annual Scholars Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches, and a former member of the Committee on Conscience of the U.S. Holocaust Museum. Last year he served as Acting President of the Pacific School of Religion. He is the recipient of numerous honors and honorary degrees.
Sympathy to Cynthia McCrae and dear family and friends of Ian J. McCrae (1947), who died May 12. Ian's work as an educator, change agent, mentor, and minister and his humble but insistent spirit shaped many generations of Disciples. In memoriam here. In 2007 he was honored with DDH's Distinguished Alumnus Award; read his address.
On May 8, Lee Hull Moses (2001; trustee) was featured on “Day 1,” a nationally syndicated radio program hosted by Peter Wallace, as part of a special series featuring “Young Leaders of the Church” during the five Sundays in May. Her sermon, “Breaking Open,” explored the story of the two disciples’ post-resurrection walk to Emmaus (Luke 24:28-35). More here.
Rebecca Anderson (2007) was ordained Saturday, May 7, at Holy Covenant United Methodist Church in Chicago. The Illinois/Wisconsin Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); her home church, Hope Central (DoC/UCC) in Boston, and the congregation of the Holy Covenant, which has been a formative place of service for her---all joined together to celebrate her calling and ministry. Cynthia Lindner (1978) preached on John 20.1-8, calling Rebecca and the church to rise to the ministry to which they have been called. Dean Kris Culp also participated. More here.
Angela Kaufman (1995), husband Jack Poehlman, and big brother Connor welcomed Owen Reid Poehlman-Kaufman to the world on May 6 in Fort Worth, Texas. Owen weighed in at ten pounds, one ounce, and was 21 inches long. The pediatrician on staff that weekend affectionately nicknamed him "Tiny."
Congratulations to Jonathan Stockdale (1992), who recently received tenure at the University of Puget Sound. He is editing a volume, Imagining Exile in the History of Religions, and contemplating work on a cultural history of whaling in Japan---what's the Japanese Moby Dick?, he wonders. Still up in the air is whether or not to head to Japan for his sabbatical this fall; spouse Zoe, a curator at the Tacoma Art Museum, was in Japan when the earthquakes and tsunami hit.
Bob (1950) and Sue Bates presented “Remembering the Nanjing Massacre,” at DDH on May 2. In 1937, Bob’s father, Miner Searle Bates, and another 14 foreigners protected Chinese civilians against the atrocities of Japanese soldiers. Sue, Bob, who is the former Global Ministries Area Executive for East Asia and the Pacific, and family returned to Nanjing to mark the 70th anniversary of the massacre.
Congratulations to House Scholar Garry Sparks, who been appointed Visiting Assistant Professor in Theology and the Humanities in Christ College (the honors college) at Valparaiso University, starting in August. He anticipates receiving his PhD from the Divinity School in June.
Laura Jean Torgerson (2002) has written "I Did Learn that in Seminary" for Fidelia's Sisters, a publication of the Young Clergy Women Project. Writing from Nicaragua where she is developing a program of popular education in theology for ministers and leaders of the church, Laura Jean reflects how her experience there "makes me appreciate even more the gift of theological education I have received."
House Scholar Santiago Piñón has been named to a tenure-track position in the Department of Religion at Texas Christian University, beginning in July. He anticipates completion of his PhD dissertation later this year. Congratulations!
Joe Blosser (2005) is author of "Christian Freedom in Political Economy: The Legacy of John Calvin in the Thought of Adam Smith," a chapter in a new book, Adam Smith as Theologian, published in February by Routledge. Joe, who is a Visiting Assistant Professor at DePaul University, will receive his PhD in Religious Ethics from the Divinity School in June 2011. Congratulations!
Matt Rosen (2003) became Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at The Arc of DC on April 18. The organization is celebrating its 60th year of working with and for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
Congratulations to Michael Swartzentruber (2007) who was called as Associate Minister, First Christian Church, Richmond, Kentucky. He began ministry there in April 2011. Michael and Rebecca Swartzentruber were in Chicago the first weekend in April so that she could take her optometry board examinations; she hopes to practice in Richmond.
Sandhya Jha (2001) gave the keynote for the 7th Annual Divinity School Ministry Conference, "Ministry: Left, Right, and In-Between," on April 15. She is the author of Room at the Table: The Struggle for Dignity and Unity in Disciples History (Chalice Press, 2009), pastor of First Christian Church of Oakland, California, and the Missional and Reconciliation Minister of the Christian Church of Northern California-Nevada. James Hoke (Head Resident) and Michael Le Chevallier (former resident) were co-chairs of the Ministry Conference.
Bernie Lyon (1976), the Lois and Dale Bright Professor Christian Ministries and Professor of Practical Theology and Pastoral Care at Christian Theological Seminary, is serving a two-year term as Vice President and Interim Co-Academic Dean at CTS. Also, he is leading Clergy Ethics seminars for the Christian Church in Illinois and Wisconsin in April and September.
Marshall Dunn (1965), Board Member of Higher Education and Leadership Ministries (HELM), recently agreed to chair the Strategic Planning Committee to look five years into HELM'S future. Clark Gilpin (1970) and JoAnne Kagiwada (trustee) will serve on the committee. Marshall is also still directing Young Adult Conference and is chaplain for senior high church camp for the Capital Area. He started his camp counseling career with Bill Crowl (1962) while at DDH nearly fifty years ago and is still going strong!
Frank Burch Brown (1974) is teaching "Aesthetics of Forgiveness: Imagining Forgiveness Artistically" at the Divinity School during spring quarter 2011. The course "examines artistic works in which aesthetic and ethical tension, and any sense of possible resolution, involves questions or confusions regarding exactly who is needing to extend forgiveness, or why, or to whom." It is the third of a series of courses he has taught as the Alexander Campbell Visiting Professor.
Patty and Bill Crowl (1962) are the proud grandparents of Erica Maren Rode, born to daughter Deborah and son-in-law John at 11:22 am on March 24 in Colorado. They report that Erica is "adorable and beautiful," and her big brother Matt is "a gem."
William Wright (1995), Assistant Professor of Religion, Eureka College, presented "A Thought Experiment on God and Being," on March 22 as part of Eureka's Clarence R. Noe Dean's Lecture Series.
Marvin E. Smith (1939; Honorary Trustee for Life), former President of the Board of Trustees and Acting Dean of the Disciples Divinity House from 1975-77, died March 11, 2011, in Gainesville, Florida. He was a long-time vice-president of Christian Board of Publication responsible for church school materials. He and his wife, Grady, were active members of Union Avenue Christian Church in St. Louis. Since his wife's death, he has lived with his daughter, Emily Schwartz, in Gainesville. He died of a massive heart attack; he had gone to his volunteer work at 10:00 am, collapsed, was taken to the hospital, and died about noon. The funeral service was held at Carlock Christian Church (near Bloomington, Illinois) on March 20. Sam Pearson (1951) officiated; Katherine Kinnamon (1977) and Kris Culp (1982) participated in the service. Marvin and Grady spent their early retirement years in Carlock, where they maintained the family farm. (More here.)
Holly McKissick (trustee) is the author of Fellowship of Prayer, lenten meditations published by the Chalice Press for 2011. She is the senior and founding minister of Saint Andrew Christian Church, Olathe, Kansas.
Congratulations to Beau Underwood (2006), who is the new Partnership and Outreach Coordinator for Faith in Public Life in Washington, DC. FPL is a strategy center advancing faith in the public square as a positive and unifying force for justice, compassion and the common good. Beau will be working with FPL's partner organizations to raise public awareness about the relationship between religious beliefs and public policy.
Congratulations to Bonnie Carenen (2005) and Irami Osei-Frimpong, who married on March 4, 2011, in Indonesia. Bonnie works with Church World Service in Jakarta, Indonesia.
A memorial service for May Sweet Lord was held on March 5 at University Church in Chicago. She died on February 5. She was 84. A graduate of Phillips University and Goddard College, she was a teacher in Chicago and Indianapolis inter-city public schools for 22 years. She and her husband, C. Harvey Lord (1962) were married 63 years. They served in the Philippines as teacher and as founding pastor and organizer for the Koinonia Congregation on the campus of Northern Christian College. They were the founding pastors of Villa Park Christian Church in the Chicago area before Harvey served a long pastorate at University Church. Later they were founders of Disciples Justice Action Network (DJAN).
Floyd Knight (1985) has been awarded the Carter G. Woodson Fellowship for his PhD work in Linguistics at Northern Illinois University. The award is for two years, 2010-12. Congratulations!
Congratulations to Richard N. Johnson (1959) and Virginia B. Johnson, who celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary on February 16. Dick and Ginny met and married at the Graduate School of Ecumenical Studies, Chateau de Bossey, Switzerland, which Dick attended on a Traveling Fellowship from Disciples Divinity House. They add, "As Diane Sawyer says her father put it, 'If you find love in your life, you have won the lottery!'"
House Scholars Alexis Vaughan and Andrew Packman were among seventy Disciples and UCC participants in Turning Walls into Tables, a conference held February 10-13 at Iglesia Cristiana Casa De Oracion in San Diego. Scholarships made their participation possible. The conference provided opportunities to learn about immigration policies, to learn from ministries on both sides of the border, and to experience firsthand the border reality. Daisy Machado (1989) gave the keynote, "To Welcome the Stranger, To Welcome Ourselves." Also participating was David Vargas (1971; trustee), Co-executive of Global Ministries, one of the sponsoring organizations.
Kay Northcutt (1985) was the opening speaker and a featured seminar leader for the first CENTER Institute for Excellence in Ministry for the Unitarian Universalists Ministers Association, February 7-11, in Pacific Grove, California. Roger Bertschausen, spouse of Amy Bertschausen (1983) was the co-chair of the event. Northcutt is the author of Kindling Desire for God: Preaching as Spiritual Direction (2010). In 2009 she was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune neurological disease, which has severely curtailed her speaking and involved a different kind of learning.
Armand Antommaria (former resident) was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure at the University of Utah School of Medicine, where he holds appointments in the Divisions of Pediatric Inpatient Medicine and Medical Ethics and Humanities. His recent research focuses on the ethics of pediatric mass critical care.
Amy Lignitz Harken (2000) has accepted a call as Pastor of Mattapoisett Congregational Church United Church of Christ in Massachusetts. For the last five years, she has led the historic First Christian Church of Independence, Missouri, as its Senior Minister. She and spouse Bruce will move in March.
The Christian Church of Northern California-Nevada honored JoAnne Kagiwada (trustee) with their Martin Luther King, Jr., Award on January 9 in Stockton, California. The citation read in part: "For a lifetime of service on behalf of God and Jesus Christ as a witness to and a leader for justice, bridge-building, healing and wholeness of society, and the bringing about of the Realm of God in the Christian Church of Northern California-Nevada." She is the fifth recipient of the award; previous recipients include Robert Lemon (1944) and Esther and Carl Robinson (1944).
Harvey R. Thomas, pillar of the church, friend of the House, and spouse of trustee Sybel A. Thomas, died early Friday morning, December 10. He was an elder at Park Manor Christian Church, Chicago, and held numerous leadership roles in the regional and general church. Together, Harvey and Sybel Thomas received numerous recognitions for their leadership. They shared 62 years of marriage. A memorial service was held December 22 at Park Manor Christian Church.
Sandhya Jha (2001) was the keynote speaker for the North American Pacific/Asian Disciples (NAPAD) Youth Winter Leadership Retreat, December 27-30, in Scotts Valley, California. She is the pastor of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Oakland, California; Regional Minister of Transformation, Northern California/Nevada; and author of Room at the Table: Struggle for Unity and Equality in Disciples History.
Marvin Smith (1939; life trustee) volunteers for six hours a week with the Gainesville Hospice Resale Store, working with donated books. He remains an avid reader (about three books a month). He celebrated his 97th birthday in August.
Stephanie Paulsell (1985; trustee) gave a public lecture, "I slept, but my heart was awake: Retrieving the Song of Songs for Today," at All Hallows College, Dublin, Ireland, on December 7. Her lecture explored the Song of Songs as a resource for a contemporary spirituality that is attentive to the goodness of the body, cultivates a posture of devotion towards the world and others, and seeks intimacy with God.
Mark Toulouse (1977) is the co-author with Doug Foster and Gary Holloway of Renewing Christian Unity: A Concise History of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The book "provides a brief history of the Disciples and their unwavering but ever-adapting commitment to the unity of the church." It is the third volume in a series of co-written histories about the three branches of the Stone-Campbell movement. The book will be released in December by Abilene Christian University Press.
Congratulations to Ian Gerdon (former resident) and Sarah Katherine McCullough who were married November 20 in Greensboro, North Carolina, at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Parish. Ian continues Ph.D. studies in the history of Christianity at Notre Dame; Sarah, who was a reading specialist in the Washington DC area, began a teaching job in South Bend on December 7. Ian reports that several alums and former residents participated in the wedding: "Kyle Rader and Natalie Carnes (groomsman/woman), Ben Varnum (Lector), Brian Miles (Altar Server), Bethany Lowery (choir), Josh Patty (choir and gave a toast at the reception), and Stasia Krupnick Fine (prayer at the reception). Also attending were: Jordan Berry, Liv Gibbons, Elijah Buck, Mike Le Chevallier, and Jay Weaver."
Bonnie Carenen (2005) has written Partners in Prayer, meditations for Advent 2010, published by Chalice Press. Bonnie serves with Church World Service in Indonesia.
We are saddened to learn of the death of Ned Romine (1943) on November 15. He had a long and fruitful ministry in congregations, followed by a very active retirement. Last year he moved from southern California to Wenatchee, Washington, to live near his daughter and son-in-law. He died at home in his sleep; he was 91.
Kerry Waller (2000), Ben Duehom, and son Soren, welcomed a foster child into their family this fall. Kerry continues as Senior Minister of the Christian Church of Villa Park. Also, find the cards she designs at Kerry Dueholm Designs
Marsha G.-H. Peeler, DDH Administrator, is the proud grandmother of Marsha Melonie-Leigh McMillen, born November 1 at 4:02 pm in Chicago. Baby Marsha, her parents Brandy and Ross, and her grandparents are doing well.
At the end of October, Current Scholar Brandon Cook traveled to Lebanon for a meeting of the Executive Committee of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF). He is the North American representative to the committee. They met at the monastery of Our Lady of the Mountain at Fatka, near Beirut. The WSCF is "a global community of Student Christian Movements committed to dialogue, ecumenism, social justice and peace."
Congratulations to Associate Dean Brittany Barber (1995) and her husband Kevin Metzner on the birth of Julius Eric Barber Metzner on October 29, 2010, at 10:40 am. He weighed in at seven pounds, six ounces, and he measured 20 1/2 inches. Julius and his parents are doing well.
Westminster John Knox Press has published Vulnerability and Glory: A Theological Account by Kristine A. Culp (1982). More information here.
Garry Sparks (Current Scholar) presented his work on interreligious dialogue between Christian theology and Mayan spirituality at Eureka College on October 28. He spoke at the W.E. Garrison Theology Colloquium, which was organized by Bill Wright (1995), Assistant Professor at Eureka. Sparks, a Theology PhD candidate, was selected as the Divinity School's Mellon Dissertation Fellow this year.
Michael Kinnamon (1973) has been elected to a second four-year term as the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches.
Ed Kolbe (1956) has worked with Kairos Prison Ministry in Texas for ten years.
Jennifer Kottler (1999) writes about social justice on the “God’s Politics Blog” (blog.sojo.net) and at www.huffingtonpost.com.
Bonnie Carenen (2005) serves with the Church World Service in Jakarta, Indonesia. During the week of October 24, Indonesia suffered devastating flooding, an earthquake and subsequent tsunami, and volcanic eruption. Church World Service (and the Disciples Week of Compassion working with CWS) mobilized to respond to the need. Her report from this "supermarket of disaster" was circulated by Week of Compassion.
Tod and Ana Gobledale (1975) have sent reflections from London for Remembrance Day (11/14) and Armistice Day (11/11) in the United Kingdom on the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. Click here to read the reflections, see photos, and join their prayer for peace and justice.
Samuel C. Pearson (1951) has edited Supporting Asian Christianity’s Transition from Mission to Church: A History of the Foundation for Theological Education in South East Asia, which was published by Eerdmans this fall. The volume traces the efforts of one North American foundation to train an indigenous leadership and to nurture theological scholars in China and Southeast Asia.
David Vargas (1971; trustee) has announced that he will retire as President of the Division of Overseas Ministries and Co-Executive of Global Ministries in August 2011. He has served in DOM for 27 years; before that he served in the Division of Homeland Ministries (now Disciples Home Missions), including from 1992-93 as the first National Pastor for Hispanic Ministries prior to the appointment of a permanent National Pastor. He earned a B.A. degree in history from the University of Puerto Rico and a Master of Divinity degree from Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico, and then studied the History of Christianity at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago as a Disciples Divinity House Scholar. In 2003, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico.
Michael Swartzentruber (2007) was ordained October 16 at the Community Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Lincolnshire, Illinois, where Michael served during his MDiv studies.
Longtime friend of the House, Jean Ervin, died September 23, 2010, in Chicago. Sympathy to Don Ervin and their family. A retired Chicago Public School system teacher, Jean provided exemplary volunteer service to University Church, to the Disciples Peace Fellowship, and in many community organizations. A memorial service was held at University Church, Chicago, on October 16.
House Scholar Andrew Packman is serving on the Council of Theological Students of the Global Ministries of the UCC and Disciples of Christ. They met October 7-10.
Teresa Hord Owens (1999) preached the closing worship service of the Indiana Regional Assembly on October 2. She has been Dean of Students at the Divinity School since 2005; she also serves as the interim minister of First Christian Church, Downers Grove, Illinois.
Congratulations to Jaime Polson (1999) and Zack Flanagin, who are the proud parents of Julia Madeline Polson-Flanagin. Julia arrived on September 16 at 6:06 p.m., weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces and measuring 18.5 inches long joining sister Isabella who is now 21 months old.
As the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, Michael Kinnamon (1973) issued a statement on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. The statement calls for remembrance, commitment, and prayer. Click here to read the message.
A Service of Induction on September 11 inaugurated Tod and Ana Gobledale's (1975) co-pastorate with St. Andrew's United Reformed Church and St. Michael's United Church in the southeastern part of London, England. Read a report about their new context of overseas service here.
House Scholar Deirdre Jackson Jones, husband Lewis, and son Lawrence welcomed Lance Vincent Jones on August 31 at 8:57 p.m. Lance arrived weighing 7 pounds, 8.5 ounces and was 20 inches long. Congratulations to the entire family.
Liz Myer (1998) and Matthew Myer Boulton together with Holly McKissick (trustee) have founded SALT, a not-for-profit project dedicated to reclaiming and sharing the beauty of Christian life through film, photography, music, poetry, and ideas. They "aim to build a community of conversation and resource-sharing that, like salt itself, preserves and seasons the best and most beautiful of the Christian tradition."
Beau Underwood (2006) was ordained to the Christian ministry on July 10, 2010, at his home congregation, First Christian Church of Princeton, Illinois. A number of his Disciples House colleagues traveled to Princeton for the service, as did ministers and members of his field education church, Jackson Boulevard Christian Church in Chicago; faculty from Eureka College where Beau received his undergraduate degree; Cynthia Lindner, Director of Ministry Studies at the Divinity School; and Dean Kris Culp.
Trustee Hubert G. Locke has been appointed to a three-month term, July 1 to September 30, 2010, as acting president of the Pacific School of Religion. Locke, who is the Corbally Professor Emeritus and former dean of the School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, previously served as PSR's acting president in 2003.
Sympathy to Howard Kennon, pastor of United Christian Church of Country Club Hills, on the death of his spouse, Doris Kennon, on July 8. Rev. Kennon and the congregation have supervised field education for a number of Disciples House students over the past years.
Daisy Machado (1989) became the Academic Dean of Union Theological Seminary on July 1, 2010, where she is also Professor of the History of Christianity.
House Scholar Laura Jennison Reed served as as a delegate with the Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council (DECC) to the Uniting General Council of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Ecumenical Council this summer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on June 18-28. The two groups are uniting to become the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC).
House Scholar Katherine Raley will serve Smyrna United Church of Christ in Canby, Oregon, this summer as an intern while their pastor is working in Africa with CARE. Also, she has been admitted to the School of Social Service Administration and will begin her third year of the joint MDiv/AM in Social Work degree program this fall.
House Scholar Alexis Vaughan will work at the Chatauqua Institute during summer 2010.
House Scholar Beau Underwood has accepted the position of Research Director for the re-election campaign of Bill Foster (Illinois) to the U.S. Congress. Beau anticipates receiving the MDiv and AM in Public Policy degrees this June. A service of ordination is planned for July 10 at the First Christian Church of Princeton, Illinois.
Tod and Ana Gobledale (1975) have been called to serve St. Andrew's United Reformed Church and St. Michael's United Church (URC and Anglican) in Brockley, southeast London. They plan to move there in July.
Former resident Margaret M. Mitchell, Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature at the University of Chicago, has been appointed the next dean of the University of Chicago Divinity School, effective July 1, 2010. See the press release.
Congratulations to Erica Brown, who has been named Director of Spiritual Life and Community Engagement at Wesley College in Dover, Delaware, beginning July 1, 2010. She previously served as Associate Chaplain at Northwestern University, and has recently been working with Family Promise of the Mahoning Valley (Ohio), a network of churches that provide temporary housing to homeless families.
Congratulations to Spencer Dew (1998), who has been appointed a visiting instructor in the Religion and Philosophy Department at Iowa State University. Also, his book on Kathy Acker will be published by Hyperbole Press, an imprint of San Diego State Press.
Trustee JoAnne Kagiwada spoke on the second night of the Disciples Women's Quadrennial Assembly, emphasizing that women must be bold in dreaming of the future. "We should look for the sources of our wisdom, learn from our heritage and always remember we are God's people," said Kagiwada. The Quadrennial Assembly brought nearly 2000 persons (over 1,800 women) from 44 states and Canada to Greensboro, North Carolina, in late June.
Sympathy to Michael Kinnamon (1973) on the death of his father, Jack Kinnamon, on June 21 in Iowa.
Sympathy to G. Parker Rossman (1941) on the death of his wife, Jean, on June 16 in Columbia, Missouri. She was 90 years old.
In early 2009, Lizy and Santiago Piñón (House Scholar) welcomed Gabriel into their family as a foster child, and the DDH community welcomed Gabe to Monday dinners. On June 14, 2010, the court ruled on their adoption of Gabriel José Piñón. Congratulations to all!
On June 14, John Dungan (1987) concluded eight years of ministry with the First Christian Church of Kirksville, Missouri, to become the executive director of the United Way of Adair County and Northeast Missouri. He and spouse Jennifer Jesse (1987), who is a member of the faculty at Truman State University, will continue to reside in Kirksville.
Laura Jean Torgerson (2002) and Tim Donaghy are now serving in Nicaragua through the Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. Laura Jean works as a consultant to the Education and Theology Department of the National Board of the Christian Mission Church of Nicaragua and assists in the development of new congregations. Tim works in the social justice program of the Christian Mission Church and teaches physics at the Martin Luther King University in Managua. Read their blog.
We mourn the death of Don Browning (1956; trustee) on June 3, 2010, at his home in Hyde Park. He was 76. Our sympathy is extended to Carol Browning and family. Browning was the Alexander Campbell Professor Emeritus of Ethics and the Social Sciences in the Divinity School. He studied the influence of religion on American family life, as well as the intersection of psychology, the social sciences, moral theory, and religion. From 1977-83, he was the Dean of the Disciples Divinity House, and he served as a trustee until his death. More information here.
Congratulations to Current House Scholar Brandon Cline, who passed his PhD examinations in June.
Congratulations to Current House Scholar Tish Duncan: her dissertation proposal, "Novel Hermeneutics: Scriptural Exegesis in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies," was approved in June.
Congratulations to Tim Lee (1986): on April 22, the Board of Trustees of Brite Divinity School granted him tenure. He is Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity. He is the author of Born Again: Evangelicalism in Korea, and the moderator-elect of the North American Pacific-Asian Disciples (NAPAD).
Trustee Charles Watkins marked 41 years in ordained ministry and retired as Senior Minister of Central Christian Church, Decatur, Illinois, at the end of April. With his leadership at Central Christian, which began in 1992, the congregation expressed its life in vital worship, education, outreach to the community and, through strong support of the wider ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), mission around the world. (More here.) Charles and Jane Watkins will move to Bloomington, Indiana, in June.
House Scholar Michael Swartzentruber is a co-chair of the 2010 Student Ministry Conference, "Worship in Crisis," to be held April 23 at the Divinity School. House Scholar Aaron Smith and House residents Michael Le Chevalier and Jimmy Hoke are chairing committees in preparation for the event.
Matt Rosen (2003) will be the speaker at the Divinity School's Ministry Alumni Reunion Dinner on April 23. He is the Director of Advocacy and Social Justice for So Others Might Eat (SOME), an interfaith, community-based organization in the District of Columbia that offers a comprehensive, holistic approach to caring for the homeless and poor.
Ayanna Johnson (2000) was one of six featured preachers at the Festival of Preaching Northwest, April 19-21, 2010, in Seattle.
Andrea and Ross Martinie Eiler (2002) along with their son, Paul, welcomed Tressa All the Saints Martinie Eiler, who was born April 11.
Kindling Desire for God: Preaching as Spiritual Direction by Kay Northcutt (1985) has been named one of the Top Ten Clergy Books of 2010 by the Academy of Parish Clergy. See the full list here.
Bill Crowl (1962) is serving as interim Associate Regional Minister in Illinois-Wisconsin during Christal Williams's sabbatical.
John McCaw (1939) has published Prayers of Record: A Collection of Public Prayers. The original setting for many of these prayers was at Drake University, where he served as Dean of the Drake Divinity School and as unofficial chaplain for numerous events including the visit of President Truman, the dedication of buildings, and commencements.
Congratulations and thank you to L. Dale Richesin (1976) who has written Seven Ways to Read the Bible: A Glimpse at Over 250 English Translations and 951 Questions of Bernard Shaw: A Question From Almost Every Play and Essay, and who gave copies of these newly-published books to the DDH library.
Floyd Knight (1985) has published Loving, Open and Transforming: Questions and Answers Regarding Homosexuality and Gay Marriages from a Biblical Perspective under his pseudonym, Sadao Nitta. Written from a multi-cultural perspective, the book-length Bible study contains lesson plans and handouts.
The Charles Harvey and May Sweet Lord Fund at Disciples Justice Action Network (DJAN) honors the work of May and Harvey Lord (1962) and supports DJAN.
The March 9 issue of The Christian Century features "Lent's terrible gift: Lessons in dying" by Kay Lynn Northcutt (1985) and a Faith Matters column by Stephanie Paulsell (1985; trustee) about reading Pilgrim's Progress.
We are saddened to learn of the death of Winifred Mabee, widow of Frank Mabee (1948), on March 22, 2010, in Dallas, Texas.
On March 6 & 7, Michael Karunas (1995) performed The Gospel of Mark at First Christian Church, Baton Rouge, where he is Senior Minister. He memorized the gospel and developed the nearly 90-minute presentation with director Tracy Stephenson Shaffer, who is a professor of performance and film at Louisiana State University.
On March 4, David Hall (1989) presented "A Collusion of Tropes: Analogy, Metaphor, Hyperbole, and Irony in Mark's Parable of the Mustard Seed," as a Martin Marty Center Senior Fellows Research Symposium. An Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Centre College, he is working on a project at the Marty Center this year tentatively titled "Rhetorical Theology: Analogy, Metaphor, Hyperbole, and Irony in Religious and Theological Discourse."
Congratulations to Kristin Van Heyningen (1995) and Christine Isham who were married in Iowa on February 10, reconfirming earlier vows celebrated with their extended families. Both work for the State of Missouri and also have been serving a UCC congregation near Columbia, Missouri.
The University of Hawai'i Press has published Born Again: Evangelicalism in Korea by Timothy S. Lee (1986), who is a professor at Brite Divinity School. "Understanding the evangelicalism of South Korea is crucial to grasping the course of its modernization, the rise of nationalism and anticommunism, and the relationship between Christians and other religionists within the country."Congratulations to House Scholar Kristel Clayvillewho passed her PhD examinations on February 16. She studies Religious Ethics and is interested in the status of the land, especially as presented in Leviticus, in moral deliberation. This spring quarter she is teaching a ministry course at the Divinity School that examines "the land" in ethics and the Bible and in relation to environmentalism and nationalism.
Crista and Chad Martin (trustee) along with their daughter, Claire, welcomed Charles Heath Martin, who was born on February 12, 2010.
Wallace Bubar (former resident), wife Gabrielle, and daughter Magdalena, welcomed Sophie Elizabeth who was born February 9 at 12:38 p.m.
Diana Ventura (former resident) has authored Our Fractured Wholeness. Through autobiography and theological reflection, she reflects on "what it means to live with and overcome brokenness of all kinds - whether physical or psychological, the result of violence or the consequence of emotional pain." Her book had its genesis as a senior ministry project at the Divinity School. She is a doctoral student at the Boston University School of Theology.
Adam Frieberg (2006) is now the Regional Minister for Communications in the Christian Church in the Upper Midwest, serving part-time. He and his wife, Heidi Haverkamp, live in Bolingbrook, Illinois.
Current PhD student Bethany Watkins Lowery was ordained Saturday, January 2, in her home region of Oklahoma at Meinders Chapel at Phillips Theological Seminary. Her grandfather Keith Watkins was the preacher. Bethany is a 2009 MDiv graduate of the Disciples Divinity House and the University of Chicago Divinity School, who studies the History of Christianity.
In his new book, Reviving Christian Humanism: The New Conversation on Spirituality, Theology, and Psychology (Fortress Press), Don Browning (1956; trustee) argues "that the social sciences can help to reinvigorate the human strands of religion, and ultimately, feed the public good."
Joe Blosser (2005) and Allie Harvey exchanged wedding vows on December 19, 2009, at University Christian Church, Fort Worth, Texas, just off the TCU campus where they met and graduated in 2002. Joe is Visiting Assistant Professor at DePaul University and Allie is a PhD student at Loyola University in Chicago.
Congratulations to Amy Collier Artman (1995) who received her PhD from the Divinity School on December 11, 2009, in the History of Christianity. Her dissertation explored the "gentrification" of Pentecostalism and the use of media in the work of Kathryn Kuhlman.
Sandhya Jha (2001) has returned from a three month sabbatical. Travel in India included lecturing on congregational transformation at Tamilnadu Theological Seminary (a Global Ministries partner) and giving a paper on Black Liberation Theology and the Bible at a seminar at Eastern Theological College (Baptist) in Jorhat, Assam. Also pictured: being blessed by an elephant while in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Laura Jean Torgerson (2002) was the sabbatical minister at First Christian, Oakland, CA, during Sandhya's absence.
An interview with Clark Williamson (1957; trustee) was featured in DisciplesWorld in early December. "If we are indeed to be a movement for wholeness in a fractured world, we will need to begin to take far more seriously how we understand ourselves in relation to all the other religions of the world not just other kinds of Christians," he comments. "This is what I've worked on for almost forty years, mainly with regard to Christian-Jewish relations."
John Donggook Roh (1983) served as Acting Executive Pastor of NAPAD (North American Pacific Asian Disciples) from September 1 - November 30, 2009, during Geunhee Yu's sabbatical. He continues his work as a consultant with Church Extension.
Ed Kolbe (1956) had triple bypass surgery in late September 2009. In early December he reported that the surgery was 100% effective and that he is feeling much better.
Elizabeth Myer Boulton (1998) and Matthew Myer Boulton together with Zoe Krohn have recorded a CD as the band Butterflyfish. They offer "a rootsy blend of American folk, gospel, blues, country, and bluegrass, cooked down and spiced up into fresh takes on the spiritual themes so characteristic of old American music." They were recently featured in a DisciplesWorld story.
Congratulations to Stephanie McLemore (1992) on the birth of Sophia Leigh Bryant McLemore on November 13, 2009. Sophia arrived at 3:49 am, weighing 7 pounds, 2 ounces, and measuring 20.5 inches
Congratulations to House Scholar Patricia Duncan who passed her PhD examinations on November 5, 2009. She studies the New Testament and has received a P.E.O. Scholar Award for her research on a fourth-century Christian “romance novel” that suggests an alternative view of Jewish-Christian relations.
Deepest sympathy to Frank Burch Brown (1974) on the sudden and unexpected death of his wife, Mary Mitchell, on November 4, 2009, after a short illness. They had just married on August 9.
Jennifer Kottler (1999) is now Director of Policy and Advocacy for Sojourners. Read her recent meditation, Neighbors We May Rarely See.
Barbara and Marshall Dunn (1965) ended the month of October with two very happy events: their third granddaughter, Phoebe, was born October 25, 2009; three days later, their son Eric (who is Phoebe's new dad) was honored with a Milken Educator Award, a prize of $25,000 given to outstanding teachers.
Congratulations to April Lewton (2004) and Garry Sparks (House Scholar) on their marriage, October 17, 2009, at University Church in Chicago. Their celebration included a reception in the Common Room at DDH. April continues her work as Director of Annual Giving and Community Development at Chicago Theological Seminary; Garry is a PhD candidate in Theology.
In October 2009, Kent Dorsey (1982) became the Senior Minister of Riverside Avenue Christian Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Kent and Jan moved there from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Don Browning (1956) gave the 2009 James Luther Adams lecture on "Religion and Civil Society" at the Divinity School on October 15.
Former resident Kevin Madigan is now the Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard Divinity School. He began teaching at HDS in 2000 and specializes in high-medieval scholastic biblical exegesis and theology. He is married to Stephanie Paulsell (1985; trustee).
Ryan Singleton (2008) ran the Chicago Marathon on October 11, 2009. He raised over $2,000 for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
Joy Omslaer (1997) and Stan Laws are planning a December 5, 2010 wedding. They became engaged on October 6, 2009.
Matt and Sara Staton (2003) welcomed the birth of Evan Matthew on September 15, 2009. Evan was 7 pounds, 10 ounces and 20 inches long.
House Scholars Santiago Piñón and Garry Sparks are two of ten Divinity School students who were selected as Marty Center Dissertation Fellows this year; Garry works on the earliest Mayan-Christian theological dialogue, while Santiago is writing on “the law of the nations” in the sixteenth-century Dominican Francisco Vitoria. David Hall (1989), who is an associate professor at Centre College, is a Senior Fellow in the Marty Center this year.
Matt Rosen (2003) now works at So Others Might Eat (SOME), an interfaith, community-based organization that offers a comprehensive, holistic approach to caring for the homeless and extremely poor citizens of the District of Columbia.
Congratulations to Bill Wright (1995) and Jessica Barr who were married on August 15, 2009, in Sugerties, New York. Both are members of the faculty at Eureka College.
Ayanna M. Johnson (2000) has been named the new Director of Community Life at Chicago Theological Seminary, beginning in late August 2009. She moves from Family of Hope Christian Church in Blue Island, Illinois, and after concluding three years of service as Minister in Residence at the Disciples Divinity House. At this summer’s General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), she completed service as the as First Vice Moderator of the denomination.
In early August 2009, House Scholar Garry Sparks was in La Paz, Bolivia, to participate in the symposium on “Social Movements and Liberation Theology in Latin American” at the Ecumenical Andean Superior Institute of Theology (ISEAT). He presented a paper on indigenous cultures and spirituality and was a member of a panel “Liberation Theology in the 21st Century." The event drew scholars and church activists from across Latin America and the world.
Michael Kinnamon (1973), General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, gave the 25th Peter Ainslie Lecture at the Council on Christian Unity/Disciples Historical Society dinner at the General Assembly on August 1, 2009. It marked the bicentenary of Thomas Campbell’s Declaration and Address and the centenary of the Council on Christian Unity. Read the lecture here.
Yvonne Gilmore (2001),pastor of New Song Community Church in Columbus, Ohio, offered a spoken word meditation at General Assembly.
Rob Wilson-Black (1991) has become the Chief Development Officer of Sojourners, working with Jim Wallis. He concluded his work as Vice President for Seminary Relations at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary in July 2009. Rob, Juli, and their three children are pleased to be living in Virginia, which is home for Juli and means four grandparents nearby.
Our sympathy to Patty and Bill Crowl (1962) on two losses in their family in a short span of days. Their youngest grandson, five-month old Nathan Gray Rode, died in his sleep on July 23, 2009. Patty's mother, Mrs. Vivienne Hammell, died July 26 at the age of 93.
In July, Westminster John Knox Press published Doing Justice in Our Cities: Lessons in Public Policy from America’s Heartland by Warren Copeland (1968). Copeland, who is Professor of Religion and Director of the Center for Civic and Urban Engagement at Wittenberg University, has also served in city government for two decades, including 15 years as mayor of Springfield, Ohio. He argues that "the nature of American cities is itself an ethical problem." He asks, how do we create mixed income communities again?
On July 18, 2009, Adam Frieberg (2006) was ordained at the Norwalk (Iowa) Christian Church. Rev. Michael Davison preached; Dean Kris Culp was among the participants. Adam is pursuing opportunities in the greater Chicago area; his spouse, Heidi Havercamp, is vicar of the Church of St. Benedict in Bolingbrook.
Bonnie Carenen (2005) was ordained on July 11, 2009, in the Greater Kansas City region. Her home congregation is Budd Park Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri. She will begin work in Indonesia with Church World Service in September.
Congratulations to Shane Isaac and Tabitha Knerr (2005) who were married on June 26, 2009, in Chicago. They also joined their names to become the Isners.
Tabitha Knerr (2005) was ordained June 14 at Iglesia del Pueblo/Hope Center in Hammond, Indiana. She graduated with the M.Div. and Master of Public Policy degrees two days before. Former trustee Juan Rodriguez, who is senior minister of Iglesia del Pueblo, preached; his sermon, "Baptination or Ordinaptism?," called all Christians to the service implied in their baptisms and affirmed in ordination.
Jordan Berry (2005) graduated from the Urban Teacher Program (UTEP) at the University of Chicago in June. Next year she’ll teach kindergarten at the Legacy Charter School in Chicago.
On June 11, a group of 33 religious leaders, including Ken Brooker Langston (1985) and Michael Kinnamon (1973), met with officials of the Obama administration to urge the establishment of an independent, non-partisan "Commission of Inquiry on Torture." For more and to read the letter they presented, click here.
In the June 2 issue of the Christian Century, Stephanie Paulsell (1985; Trustee) reflects on the importance of "thinking things through" in "Torturous Times." She suggests the relevance of Rabbi Gamaliel's counsel against torture in Acts 5. "The apostles' lives were saved because one learned man was willing to make his argument another way: through language, through history, through reason."
April Lewton (2004) has been appointed Director of Annual Giving and Community Engagement at Chicago Theological Seminary, effective June 1. Previously she served as a community organizer with the Asian American Institute. In May, she was featured in an ABC7 Chicago special, Asian Influences: Dream America, about Asian immigrants to the U.S. and work by Lewton and others for immigration reform. Also, read Lewton's essay on Asians and the immigration debate from the Chicago Tribune online.
In June, Ray Greenfield (2000) began the D.Min. program in pastoral and spiritual care at McCormick Theological Seminary---and stayed at the House. He reports that it feels great to be back in the classroom. He continues as the pastor of the Lewistown and Ipava Christian Churches.
Chalice Press has just published an essential new resource for Disciples history, Room at the Table: Struggle for Unity and Equality in Disciples History, by Sandhya Jha (2001). Based on extensive research and interviews, the book recounts 200 years of multicultural Disciples history and the journey toward full recognition of and participation by racial ethnic groups within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Congratulations to Ronald Hopkins (1999), who received the Doctor in Ministry degree on May 30, 2009, from Union Theological Seminary-Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia. He is the minister of the First Christian Church, Petersburg, Virginia.
Congratulations to Greta Davidson Hicks Gilbert and George Ryan Gilbert (2004) on the arrival of Amelia Davidson Gilbert on May 21, 2009, at 3:27 p.m. She weighed 7 lbs., 7 oz. and measured 19 inches long.
Kent Dorsey (1982) is now the interim minister of First Christian Church of North Kansas City, Missouri.
Michael Kinnamon (1973), General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, has urged the passage of a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives that calls upon the U.S. government to acknowledge "the verdict of history" by classifying the 1915 massacre of 1.5 million Armenians as a "genocide." Read the NCC press release here.
Chalice Press has published Disciples: Reclaiming our Identity, Reforming our Practice by Michael Kinnamon (1973) and Jan Linn. The authors lead congregations to reflect on who the Disciples have become and to examine reforms needed to move into the future, thereby undergirding the mission of peacemaking and compassionate service.
Congratulations to Joe Pettit (former resident), who has received tenure and been promoted to Associate Professor at Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland.
Vivi and John Weaver (1996) celebrate the birth of their son, Eben, on April 30, 2009; Eben has three sisters, Josephine (6), Adela (4), and Thessaly (2). Also, John has been named by Columbia University as the new director of The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, effective August 1, 2009. Double congratulations!
At the end of April 2009, Don Browning (1956; trustee) received very good news in his treatment for cancer of the duodenum. After undergoing surgery for the cancer last June, doctors found signs that the cancer had metastasized in his liver. They've now pronounced his liver "all clear"---a recuperation that defies the odds. He'll continue with milder chemotherapy to address remaining traces. He's feeling well, if a little weary of having constraints on his schedule.
Bethany Lowery, Michael Swartzentruber, Michael LeChevalier, and Benedict Varnum (current scholars and residents) were members of the planning team for the fifth annual Divinity School Ministry Conference, held May 1-2, 2009. The theme was "From the Ends of the Earth: Christianity in the 21st Century." Alumni Ryan Gilbert (2005) and Vy Nguyen (2004) returned for the event.
Pamela James Jones (former resident) has been appointed to the religion faculty at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, effective July 1, 2009. She is now finishing her dissertation in the History of Christianity.
House Scholar Joseph Blosser has been named Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at DePaul University in Chicago for the 2009-10 academic year. He has been teaching as an adjunct at DePaul while writing his dissertation on Ernst Troeltsch and Adam Smith.
Lynchburg College has announced that Stephanie McLemore (1992) will become its new Chaplain and Director of Church Relations, effective July 1, 2009. She has served as the Associate Regional Minister of the Christian Church in Virginia for the past seven years.
House Scholar Tish Duncan has received a PEO Scholar Award to support work on her dissertation during 2009-2010. Her dissertation will explore the single surviving instance of an early Christian “romance novel” and how it opens an alternative view of early Jewish-Christian relations in the Mediterranean world.
David Vargas (1971; trustee) has published a new edition of a 1988 book by his father, Reverend Joanuin Vargas, titled Los Discipulos de Cristo en Puerto Rico: albores, crecimiento y madurez de un peregrinar de fe, constancia y esperanza 1899-1987. The book traces the journey of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico. It now includes additional photos, an appendix, introductory pieces, and a study by Carmelo Alvarez Santos.
Kris Culp (1982) concluded three years of service as chair of the board of DisciplesWorld, Inc., on March 27. April Lewton (2004) continues as secretary of the corporation. Katherine Kinnamon (1977) has been elected to the DisciplesWorld, Inc., board beginning January 1, 2010.
"Dancing backwards in high heels: Reflections on being a woman in ministry," by Amy Lignitz Harken (2000) was published in the winter 2009 inaugural issue of Just Women, a quarterly magazine developed by the International Disciples Women's Ministries. Also in the magazine: an exchange of letters between Cynthia McCrae and granddaughter Kiah McCrae Shepley. Kiah's grandfather and Cynthia's spouse is Ian McCrae (1947).
Russell Fuller (1948) had surgery to remove his gall bladder in mid-March. He is now home after a twelve day hospital stay and is recovering slowly but steadily.
Amy Ziettlow and Michael Karunas (1995) announce the birth of Luke Michael Karunas on March 17, 2009, at 3:51 p.m. He was 21" long and 8 lbs, 0.3 oz. They report that “Thomas and Isabella are delighted that they both have a baby brother, though Bella can't understand why ‘her’ baby won't play with her yet.”
Lowell Handy (1979) has edited and introduced Psalm 29 through Time and Tradition in the Princeton Theological Monograph Series (Pickwick, 2009). His chapter, "Luther and Calvin on Psalm 29," explores Luther's supersessionalist reading versus Calvin's corrective reading based on close attention to the Hebrew text. The DDH library is grateful for his donation of a copy of the book; as a former DDH librarian, Lowell encourages fellow alumni/ae to consider doing the same.
House Scholar Santiago Piñón, Jr., and spouse Lizy are the proud foster parents of Gabriel, age 4. Gabe is enjoying Monday dinners at the Disciples Divinity House.
In March, Marshall Dunn (1965) began a half-time interim ministry as the Minister of Transition at First Christian Church, Falls Church, Virginia.
Frank Burch Brown (1970) has published Inclusive Yet Discerning: Navigating Worship Artfully (Eerdmans, 2009). In addressing a situation in which worshiping communities today have access to more arts and styles from more times and places than ever before, he offers a practical theological aesthetic "with teeth but no fangs."
Lee Hull Moses (2001; trustee) was installed as the Senior Minister of First Christian Church, Greensboro, North Carolina, on February 22, 2009. Previously she served as Minister of Faith and Family at First Christian Church, Falls Church, Virginia.
Holly McKissick (trustee) gave the Wells Sermons on February 9-11, 2009, as part of Minister's Week at Brite Divinity School. She delivered three sermons on the topic, "For the Healing of the Nation: Using Scripture and Story to Make Our Way Forward."
Daisy Machado (1989) was inaugurated as Professor of the History of Christianity at Union Theological Seminary on Wednesday, February 4, 2009. Her inaugural address was titled, "Expanding the Borders of the Historical Enterprise: Religious History for the 21st Century."
As of February 1, 2009, Vy Nguyen (2004) is the Assistant Director of Church World Service, Northern California Region. An article in DisciplesWorld announces his new position and explores the background he brings to it.
Angie Kaufman (1995) and husband Jack Poehlman welcomed Connor Reece Poehlman-Kaufman on January 29, 2009. Connor weighed in at nine pounds, three ounces, and was 21 inches long. He was born on his mother's birthday! Connor plans to attend his first Alumni/ae Council meeting in April.
Stan Van Etten (1956) is the publisher of Hunting & Fishing Collectibles Magazine which was founded eight years ago. He says the publication's #1 goal is to preserve history. Previous to his work as publisher, Stan served churches in Florida and Alabama, taught at Auburn University and Florida State Community College, and worked for McGraw-Hill College Division as a Field Editor and Sales Representative.
House Scholar Joe Blosser traveled to Edinburgh in January to participate in the John Templeton Foundation Advanced Research Symposium on Adam Smith as Theologian. He presented a paper entitled, "Christian Freedom in Political Economy: The Legacy of John Calvin in the Thought of Adam Smith."
We are saddened to learn of the death of Robert Sulanke (1935) on January 15, 2009, in Muncie, Indiana. He was 95.
Jordan Berry (2005) is now in her second year of the Urban Teacher Program (UTEP) at the University of Chicago. She is interning at Ruggles Middle School in a 7th grade classroom.
The Christian Church in Northern California and Nevada named Esther and Carl Robinson (1944) the third recipients of the region's Martin Luther King Jr Award on January 11 in recognition of lifelong work for justice and reconciliation.
Jackson Cobb, age 10, son of Katy McFall (1988) and David Cobb (1987) had the lead role in the Lynchburg College production of Amahl and the Night Visitors this December. Besides being stage parents and active in other community and church involvements, Katy works at Presbyterian Homes and Family Services of Virginia and David serves as senior minister of First Christian Church, Lynchburg.
Leverne Pfile (1961; former trustee) and Rolland Pfile (1960) report that 2008 was "an eventful year" in the Pfile household. Rolland underwent a long series of tests which resulted eventually in a diagnosis of serious sleep apnea and Leverne has been rebuilding her private practice after concluding work in the business sector. Rolland is now feeling much better and Leverne is grateful for the time that the shift in her work allowed her to devote to family needs.
Chris Dorsey (2001) has been appointed Vice President for Development and Marketing at Chicago Theological Seminary.
Kindling Desire for God: Preaching as Spiritual Direction by Kay Northcutt (1985) was published by Fortress Press on January 1.
Marshall Dunn (1965) served as Acting Regional Minister in the Capital Area and as interim preacher for a Presbyterian congregation this past year, but notes, "I still most delight in my other job, watching 28 month-old Mia [granddaughter] one day a week. It is SO wonderful being such a big part of her life." Mia is the daughter of Kristen Dunn (1995) and Jon Thomason.
In his 2008 holiday letter, Marvin Smith (1939; life trustee) cites the Chalice Introduction to Disciples Theology and Michael Kinnamon’s ecumenical leadership and theological vision as strong signs of hope for the Disciples of Christ. We extend sympathy to Marvin and his daughter with the loss of Emily’s husband, Herb Schwartz, to ALS this past April.
Mark Toulouse (1977) has been named the twelfth principal of Emmanuel College, effective January 1, 2009. Emmanuel, which is one of seven federated theological colleges within the Toronto School of Theology, is Canada's largest United Church Theological school. He leaves Brite Divinity School, where he has taught American religious history for 22 years and also once served as academic dean.
Peiying Peng (1995) writes that she became a U.S. citizen two years ago and took special pride in being able to vote in her first presidential election in November 2008. She is an art therapist in California.
Paul and Kristin (Johnson) Dow (1992) welcomed the birth of Theodore Daniel on December 17, 2008. His sisters, Annie and Eleanor, were waiting his arrival. Kristin is one of the pastors of New Song Church, a Disciples of Christ Faith Community in Kansas City, Missouri.
Congratulations to Jaime Polson (1998) and Zack Flanagin, who became the proud parents of Isabella Claire Polson Flanagin on December 10, 2008, at 2:14 pm. She weighed 8 lbs and 2 ounces. Mother and daughter are doing fine.
We are saddened to learn of the death of Robert Shaw (1965) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on December 2, 2009.
On November 15, 2009, Hubert Locke (trustee) received the 2008 William O. Douglas Award from the ACLU of Washington state, the organization's highest honor. He was honored for his decades of committed leadership, scholarship, and public service in defense of civil rights and human rights.
Royce Paul Gray (2005) has been accepted to medical school at Texas A & M. He writes that although his time at the House was short, “it was a very formative experience.”
Don Browning (1956; trustee) delivered a series of six lectures, funded by the Templeton Foundation, at Boston University during fall 2008.
On November 30, Ryan Gilbert (2005) was installed as Associate Pastor for Youth at the First Presbyterian Church of Prestonsburg, Kentucky. He is also serving as Vice President of the Kentucky Council of Churches and working with hospice.
On November 24, Jake Bitner (2006) became engaged to be married to Kathryn Fallon.
Katherine Kinnamon (1977) is now Minister to Visitors and New Members at Park Avenue Christian Church in New York City.
Tom Stockdale (1956) continues his involvement in the Interfaith Sidebar of the St. Louis Film Festival. The 2008 recipients of the juried Interfaith Awards were “Days and Clouds” for best feature and “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” for best documentary.
Phil Points (1960) had a special vantage point on election night: as an overnight host for street people at a church in Lexington, Kentucky. "Before lights out at 10 p.m. we were watching returns. Ten of the fourteen men were vitally interested, and about six of those were fairly well informed, even with impressive memories of previous elections and political history."
The Board of Trustees passed a resolution at their October 25, 2008, meeting to honor Jack Reeve (1942; Honorary Trustee) on the occasion of his 90th birthday. A surprise party was held for him that same day in Indianapolis. Happy Birthday, Jack!
Liz Myer Boulton (1998) is now the Minister of Discipleship at Old South Church (UCC) in Boston.
Now in production at Northwestern University Press is Larry Bouchard’s (1974; trustee) book, Theater and Integrity: Emptying Selves in Drama, Theater, and Religion.
Wallace Bubar (former resident) is now the minister of Overbrook Christian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Cynthia Lindner (1978) has a grant from the Louisville Institute to explore how effective and satisfied ministers negotiate the complexity and challenge of pastoral work through multiple roles. She will be on leave from the Divinity School in the spring.
Several alumni/ae are contributors to The Chalice Introduction to Disciples Theology, Peter Heltzel, ed., published this fall by Chalice Press: Don Browning (1956), Kris Culp (1982), Clark Gilpin (1970), Michael Kinnamon (1973), Bonnie Miller-McLemore (1978), Mark Miller-McLemore (1975), Kay Northcutt (1985), Stephanie Paulsell (1985), Don Pittman (1976), Clark Williamson (1957), and Bill Wright (1995).
Congratulations to Carol and Don Browning (1956; Trustee), who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on September 27, 2008.
We extend sympathy to former trustee Harry Ratliff on the death of his wife Deborah on September 25, 2008.
Bill Crowl (1962) concluded an interim ministry at Cherry Log Christian Church in north Georgia in September 2008. Patty Crowl retired in July after 8 1/2 years with the University of Chicago's real estate office.
We are sad to note the death of former trustee James Reed on September 1, 2008. He was the founding president of the Christian Church Foundation and a founder of DisciplesWorld magazine. Our condolences to Lucy Reed.
On August 30 House Scholar Adam Frieburg and Heidi Havercamp, a Divinity School alumna and Episcopal priest, were married in Chicago.
Congratulations to Crista and Chad Martin (trustee) on the birth of Claire Elyse on August 11, 2008. She weighed 7 pounds and was 20 inches long.
Michael Karunas (1995), Senior Minister of First Christian Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, reports his city has been surprisingly hard hit by Hurricane Gustav. Hundreds of thousands of people are without electricity and may remain so for weeks.
Ana Gobledale (1975) and her husband, Tod, recently returned from 5 years teaching at Churches of Christ Theological College near Melbourne, Australia, are the new interim ministers at Kirkland United Church of Christ, Washington, starting August 2008. New address: 330 7th Ave., Kirkland WA 98033; email them.
Shane Isaac has been called to be the minister of Plymouth Creek Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Plymouth, Minnesota, beginning August 3, 2008. On May 28, he and House Scholar Tabitha Knerr became engaged to be married.
The Disciples of Christ Historical Society dedicated the new Oscar Haynes Exhibit Hall on July 29, 2008. Oscar and Joan Bell-Haynes (1995) were in attendance. Oscar Haynes's significant lay leadership includes service as president of the National Convocation and on the Historical Society and Christian Church Foundation boards.
Congratulations to Michael Swartzentruber (House Scholar) and Rebecca Hampu, who married on July 12, 2008, in Alliance, Ohio.
Ed Kolbe (1956) has been serving as interim minister of Richland Hills Christian Church in Fort Worth since July 2008.
Lowell K. Handy (1979) has published Jonah's World: Social Science and the Reading of Prophetic Story (London: Equinox). Thanks to the author for a gift of his book to DDH's Willett Library.
Don Browning (1956) is recuperating well---and is back at work in the library---after being diagnosed with cancer of the duodenum. He underwent surgery on June 26 and will undergo a course of chemotherapy in the coming months. [December update: Don has responded well to chemotherapy and is pursuing a full schedule of research, writing, and speaking.]
Amy and John Cheadle Rich (2001) have moved to Evansville, Indiana, to take positions as Co-Executive Directors of Patchwork Central, a small inner-city non-profit (www.patchwork.org). Amy will also be teaching art in other places around town. She has a show coming up in January at a gallery near Dayton, Ohio, and was recently named an Ohio Visiting Artist by the Ohio Arts Council. John will be attending the University of Southern Indiana in the fall to pursue a degree in nursing.
Rachel Lindner (2004) is studying Arabic in Damascus this summer. She plans to study law and journalism at Northwestern University beginning this fall.
On July 1, 2008, Kay Northcutt (1985) became the first incumbent of the new Fred B. Craddock Chair in Preaching at Phillips Theological Seminary. She was promoted to associate professor.
Ross Martinie Eiler (2002) reports that he, Andrea, and one year-old Paul have just moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where they are starting "a new ChristianRadical/Catholic Worker community."
Kara Mooneyham (2000) is working for the Obama 2008 campaign. After volunteering in Iowa in December, she was hired as a field organizer for the North Carolina primary. She is now working as a field organizer in Las Vegas.
Ryan Gilbert (2005) was ordained to the ministry on June 15, 2008, at Woodland Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky. He plans to serve a congregation in the eastern part of the state and live with his newly-wed wife Greta in Prestonsburg.
Three current Scholars took part in international delegations in June: Rebecca Anderson and Aaron Smith were in Venezuela as part of a delegation of seminarians sponsored by the Division of Overseas Ministries; Adam Frieberg was selected to travel to Bosnia with Week of Compassion.
Congratulations to Kerry Waller (2000) and husband Ben Dueholm on the birth of their son, Soren Daniel, on June 5, 2008.
We are saddened to learn of the death of Maurice F. Knott (1940) on June 3, 2008, in southern California.
Bill Wassner (1981) became the Executive Director of the United Religious Community of St. Joseph County, Indiana, in May 2008. The 65 year-old interfaith organization is composed of over 140 faith communities in the county representing Christian, Jewish, and Muslim congregations. The URC helps those in crisis with basic needs, sponsors refugee resettlements, and builds relationships between the different faith traditions.
Robert Browning, father of Peter Browning (1978) and brother of Don Browning (1956), died on May 11, 2008, in Worthington, Ohio. Our sympathy is extended to the Browning family.
Our sympathy to the family of Laura Frances Sheafor, widow of Rolland Sheafor (1936), who died February 19 at the age of 93. Her memorial service was held in the Chapel of the Holy Grail on May 10, 2008.
George Shields (1977) presented a Monday DDH Forum on May 5, 2008, about process philosophy and theology.
We are saddened to learn of the death of Kay Ritchey Lunger, widow of Irvin Lunger (1934) and former "first lady" of Transylvania University, April 30, 2008, in Danville, Kentucky.
Kris Culp (1982) has edited and written the introduction for “The Responsibility of the Church for Society” and Other Essays by H. Richard Niebuhr, published by Westminster John Knox Press in April 2008.
Jennifer Jesse (1987) has been awarded a sabbatical for the 2008-09 academic year and a AAR Research Grant for a project entitled “There’s a Methodism to His Madness: William Blake as a Religious Moderate.”
Our sympathy to John Dungan (1987) and spouse Jennifer Jesse (1987) on the death of John’s mother, Sarah Dungan, on April 14, 2008.
Bonnie Miller-McLemore (1978) and Herbert Anderson are the authors of Faith's Wisdom for Daily Living (Fortress, 2008). They consider how understandings about God, Christ, the Church, salvation, sin and redemption can inform faithful living today, and also what questions from Christian practice might reshape theological understanding.