Congratulations to all the YDS and ISM members of “3 Penny Chorus and Orchestra,” who recently performed their choral version of “Call Me Maybe” on the NBC TV show America’s Got Talent. The group has advanced in the contest and will perform again at Radio City Music Hall on August 13. Good luck!
“When you live on the edge, when we work on the margins, when we decide to step into an academy that coalesces itself at the center of importance, arrogance, and the height of institutionalization, it costs something to be a part of this,” preached Kyle Brooks ’05 B.A., ’08 M.A., ’12 M.Div. at the final worship gathering for the FTE Leaders in the Academy Conference, “But it also costs something to stand on the edge, to say yes, I am here, but I will not be complicit. To say, yes, I am here but will not be seduced by what you are offering. It takes something to be like Jesus, to stand on the edge of the cliff and survey all the things that have been offered if we will only cast ourselves upon the stones.” Online on FTE’s On Call blog, July 25.
“It’s time for the church to be involved in community, back to what it was in the first place – to help with social services in town,” said Karen Cook ’00 M.Div., who recently became the minister of Bethel United Methodist Church in Bethel, CT, “Young people want to change the world. If the church is changing the world, young people will want to be part of it.” Online the (Danbury, CT) News-Times.
“My own personal goal is to get into the congregations and to teach, and help people understand that every Christian is a theologian,” said R. Guy Erwin ’81 M.A., ’84 M.Phil., ’99 Ph.D., who was recently elected bishop of ELCA Southwest California Synod. “If you think about how your faith affects your life, you’re doing theology already. So let’s put some structure on this and do it in a thoughtful way.” Erwin taught the history of Christianity and historical theology at Yale Divinity School from 1993-99, and returned as a visiting professor of church history from California Lutheran University from 2006-2007. Erwin is an active member of the Osage Tribe of Indians. He is the first Native American bishop in the ELCA as well as the first openly gay ELCA bishop.
Anthony Johnson ’71 M.A.R. has recently been recognized as one of the few American sailors who has sailed around the world. Online in the Marin Independent Journal, July 14.
“I think the trial opened up a psychic wound within America that has always been present,” said Otis Moss III ’95 M.Div. in response to the verdict of the Trayvon Martin case, “but other people were able to witness that many African-American boys, no matter how well-educated, no matter how accomplished, can always be viewed as a thug, a threat or a criminal who is up to no good.” Online on NPR’s All Things Considered, July 14.
Natalia Marandiuc ’04 M.A.R., ’08 M.Phil., ’08 M.A., ’13 Ph.D. has been appointed professor of Christian theology at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. She will teach Christian theology courses in the various degree programs at Perkins School of Theology, in addition to teaching in the M.A. and Ph.D. curricula of the Graduate Program in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman College. Marandiuc was also recently awarded a Louisville Fellowship from the Louisville Institute’s “Vocation of the Theological Educator” initiative for the academic years 2013-2015. Online on smu.edu, July 25.
“I am honored to join the Council on Foreign Relations, among the leading voices on international affairs,” said Arthur B. Keys Jr. ’73 M.Div. who was recently accepted as a lifetime member of CFR, “Non-governmental organizations continue to play a growing role in humanitarian, stabilization and governance activities. I look forward to joining with CFR colleagues to help inform the discussion about effective strategies to further global values and improve lives.” Keys is Founder, President, and CEO of International Relief and Development, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization responsible for implementing relief, stability, and development programs worldwide.
Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager ’13 M.Div. participated in the Seminarians Project on Interfaith sponsored by Claremont Lincoln University and held at the Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York from July 13-20. Fitzpatrick-Nager was nominated by Dean Sterling.
“What is happening in Egypt does not concern only Egyptians. It matters a great deal to the US, the West and indeed the world,” wrote Visiting Professor of Middle East & Islamic Studies Ambassador Sallama Shaker in an article about the impact of recent events in Egypt. “Egypt has long been an anchor of stability in the Middle East and can influence the rest of the Muslim world.” Online in Pakistan Today, August 4.
Craig A. Ford, Jr. ’13 M.A.R. and Drew Konow ’14 M.A.R. were selected to attend the fourth annual Human Rights Campaign Foundation LGBT Mentorship Program for Religious and Theological Study, held at Vanderbilt Divinity School, July 21-26. The program seeks to encourage and promote the dialogue on LGBT issues and religion in seminaries and, by extension, in our congregations and communities by investing in the next generation of LGBTQ and allied scholars.
“At home in both Christianity and Islam, he does not shy away from addressing the challenges,” writes a reviewer of D. Willis James Professor of Missions &World Christianity Lamin Sanneh’s memoir Summoned From the Margin (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2012). The book “compels the West to look beyond the clash-of-civilizations thesis that valorizes the insuperable conflict between Islam and Christianity. His involvement with PROCMURA (the Program for Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa) provides insight on how, in other contexts, Christians and Muslims have developed networks of solidarity that transcend religious chauvinism and bigotry.” Online in the National Catholic Reporter, July 17.
“Nearing the end of my graduate studied in religion at Yale Divinity School, I was filled with questions,” writes Fred Sievert ’11 M.A.R. in the preface of his book God Revealed: Revisit Your Past to Enrich Your Future (Morgan James Publishing, 2014), “How would I ever impact more lives than I had in my former career as the president of a large Fortune 100 company with more than 55,000 agents and employees? Was my voluntary early retirement a mistake?” Sievert finds the answer to these questions and more through telling the stories of his own encounters with God.