Alumni Awards panel, “Religion in the Public Square” discussion, highlight panel presentations at Convocation

Convocation highlights include a number of panel presentations, some designed for individual reunion gatherings and others intended for all attendees.  Among the latter are a panel featuring Alumni Award honorees for 2012 and the panel “Religion in the Public Square,” organized by the 1976, 1977, 1978 35th reunion cluster group.

The alumni awardee presentation promises to inform and inspire as panelists talk about their life and work.   Participating in the panel will be (click here for more information on honorees):

  • Bill Barnes ‘59 B.D., Distinction in Congregational Ministry, is a Methodist minister who was a civil rights activist in the 1960’s and is a life-long instigator and servant of social justice. He is the founding pastor of Edgehill United Methodist Church in Nashville.
  • John Chane ‘72 M.Div., Lux et Veritas, is retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and former president and CEO of the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation, with oversight of the operations of Washington National Cathedral and its three schools. Chane is well-known for his work in interfaith relations and human rights.
  • Marcia Y. Riggs ‘83 M.Div., Distinction in Theological Education, is the J. Erskine Love Professor of Christian Ethics at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA.  A recognized authority on the black woman’s club movement of the nineteenth century, she has developed an ethical theory and practice called “religious ethical mediation,” which prepares leaders to address religion, conflict, and violence in a transformative manner.
  • Toshihiro Takami ‘60 B.D., William Sloane Coffin ‘56 Award for Peace and Justice, founder of the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) in Japan.  ARI is an international training ground for grassroots rural leaders and each year conducts a nine-month Rural Leaders Training Program on sustainable agriculture, community development, and leadership. Upon completion, program participants return to their home villages and communities to work side-by-side with their people, pass on their learning, and promote development from within.

The panel “Religion in the Public Square,” moderated by Chris Glaser ’77 M.Div., will address potential topics such as the relationship of church and politics, black and white relations, LGBT issues, race, education/socio-economic class issues, religious/cultural discrimination.  Other panelists include Dwight Andrews ’77 M.Div., Bob Brashear ’75 M.Div., Janet Edwards Anti ’76 M.Div., Professor Emerita Margaret Farley, Marie Fortune ’76 M.Div., Lee Hardgrove ’76 M.Div., Paige Lindsey Smith ’76 M.Div., and Kim White ’77 M.Div.

The Class of 1952 will hold a panel discussion on “The Faith by Which I Live Today.”   Twenty-five members of the class made contributions to a document of the same name that will serve as a starting point for the discussion, which will be moderated by Paul Hammer ’52 B.D., president of the class.

The 1976, 1977, 1978 cluster group has organized two other panels, “Where Our Lives Have Led Us,” designed to help classmates catch up with each other, and “What Matters Most,” addressing what really matters 35 years out of YDS.

Other Convocation panels confirmed to date include one on values and vocation and another featuring discussion by current students about their experiences at YDS and their plans for the future.

August 2, 2012
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