News of Alums & Friends

We are saddened to learn of the death of George W. Shields III (1977) on August 13, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. He was 69. He received the MA (1974) and PhD (1981) from the University of Chicago as a House Scholar. An expert on the thought of Charles Hartshorne and the analytic tradition of process philosophy, he was Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Environmental Studies and former University Distinguished Professor at Kentucky State University, where he served for 15 years as Chair of Literature, Languages, and Philosophy and interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He then went on to teach at University of Louisville in the Comparative Humanities PhD Program and the Department of Philosophy. He was the author of numerous articles and co-author of works including the recently published, The Mind of Charles Hartshorne: A Critical Examination. In it, he and coauthor Donald Wayne Viney provide "an updated, wide-ranging, and sustained critical overview of Hartshorne’s thinking, the kind of project not seen since [fellow DDH alumnus] Eugene Peters’ landmark study half a century ago." Also an accomplished singer and musician, George was a band member of Copperfield, and later joined Louisville Brass & Electric (LB&E). He is survived by his wife Marsha Shields, daughter Kirstin Tuttle (Jason), a grandson, and his sister. A memorial service will be held in Louisville on November 1.

Liberating Love, a new book by Sandhya Jha (2001), provides 365 "loves notes from God" for "when the world is scary and comfort is in short supply." Jha connects daily life with "the Bible's many stories of imperfect people facing real challenges." It is published by Chalice Press.

Joshua J. Patty has been called to serve as the Regional Minister and President of the Christian Church in the Upper Midwest, effective October 1. He has been serving as Senior Minister of Eastgate Christian Church in Independence, Missouri. Josh, who is an MDiv graduate of the Divinity School, became a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and was ordained after he left Chicago. He will be relocating to the Upper Midwest with his wife, Rev. Sara Patty, and their two active boys, ages 3 and 1. More here.

Congratulations to Bethany Watkins Lowery (2006) and Joe Zielinski on the birth of Caton Luka Zielinski on July 21.

A new book by W. David Hall (1989), Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Theology, and Political Resistance, coedited with Lori Brandt Hale, was published by Lexington Books in June. "In 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a theologian and pastor—was executed by the Nazis for his resistance to their unspeakable crimes against humanity. He was only 39 years old when he died, but Bonhoeffer left behind volumes of work exploring theological and ethical themes that have now inspired multiple generations of scholars, students, pastors, and activists. This book highlights the ways Dietrich Bonhoeffer's work informs political theology and examines Bonhoeffer's contributions in three ways: historical-critical interpretation, critical-constructive engagement, and constructive-practical application." More here

Joshua Menke, former DDH Resident and 2018 MDiv graduate, was ordained to the ministry of word and sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by the Northern Texas - Northern Louisiana Synod on Thursday, July 2. Participants joined remotely on facebook from around the country and from Geneva, Switzerland, and included his family, Cynthia Lindner, and fellow former DDH colleagues Colton Lott and Braxton Shelley. Watch the recorded service here. He has been called as Associate Pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Southlake, Texas.

Liv Gibbons (2008) has been serving as Associate Pastor of Pioneer United Methodist Church in Walla Walla, Washington. The UMC bishop made the appointment effective on July 1. Be sure to check out her creative worship resources on the congregation's facebook page.

Braxton D. Shelley, former DDH Resident and Stanley A. Marks and William H. Marks Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute; Assistant Professor of Music in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences preached, "Because they are hard," at Harvard Memorial Church on Sunday, June 28. "Doing justice and loving mercy and walking humbly, these are our high callings. While we should be honest and forthright about the difficulties we face, we should also draw strength from the fact that we've done hard things before. It was hard to struggle against slavery, to strain after suffrage and to combat Jim Crow. And it will be hard to get justice for Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and all those trampled by the new Jim Crow. And that is the reason we ought do these things. Not because they're easy, but because they are hard."

Congratulations to McKinna Daugherty (2010) and Theodore "T.J" Shinners who will celebrate their wedding on June 25, 2021. Their celebration has been postponed a year due to the pandemic. They note, "Love is patient."

Video technology and PPE have allowed field learning to continue this summer despite the pandemic. MDiv students Benny VanDerburgh (2019), Erin He, and Ross Allen (2019) are doing Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in hospitals in Chicago and the greater Kansas City area. Hiatt Allen (2018), not pictured, who is based in Kentucky this summer, is working in community engagement.