About People - July 2013

BanakisKathryn Banakis ’03 B.A., ’09 M.Div. has recently published her spiritual memoir, Bubble Girl: An Irreverent Journey of Faith (Chalice Press, 2013). Writes one reviewer: "Banakis's humor, transparency, and honesty resonate across generations, while also offering a lucid window into the state of postmodern American young adulthood as it wrestles with faith, organized religion, and even our traditional archetypes of God, gender, and family. But ultimately, as Banakis says, this is a love story between a young woman and God." Banakis is a priest and community connector at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, Illinois.

>Preview Banakis’ book on Amazon.

On June 3, Patricia Kriss ’10 M.Div. was installed as pastor of First Congregational Church of Danbury, the city’s oldest congregation. "We want to bring people here and make them happy," said Kriss at her installation, "That is where God is." Online in The (Danbury, CT) News-Times, June 3.

>Read the full story.

Riess Potterveld ’69 M.Div. has been elected Acting President of Graduate Theological Union, a consortium of nine ecumenical and interfaith seminaries concentrated in Berkeley, California. “There is a growing interest in spirituality and religion across the globe,” said Potterveld, “At a time when interreligious dialogue and understanding are essential, the Graduate Theological Union offers incredible opportunities to students and the wider public to engage in the study and appreciation of the great religious traditions of the world.” Online on www.gtu.edu , May 17.

>Read the press release.

Ian Doescher ’98 B.A., ’05 M.Div. has recently published his first book, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (Quirk Books, 2013), a retelling of George Lucas’ Star Wars in iambic pentameter. One reviewer quips: “For those who wish to read the Star Wars legend in the original Elizabethan, this is the book for you.”

>Preview Doescher’s book on Amazon.

The United Church of Christ's Coalition for LGBT Concerns awarded Otis Moss III ’95 M.Div. the Courage Award for taking a public stand in support of President Obama’s statement affirming same-sex marriage. "I don’t know if it was courage, but it was the grace of God. Trinity UCC loves you all deeply, and we appreciate the work you're doing," Moss said. "Let us continue to fight for justice, undergirded by love." Moss is the senior pastor of Trinity UCC in Chicago. Online on www.ucc.org/news, June 28.

>Read the story.


After 25 years as pastor of Damascus United Methodist Church in Maryland, Walter Edmonds ’70 B.D. has retired. “I’ve had a magnificent time with many deep koinonia relationships,” said Edmonds, “It’s now time to share with other people in other places.” In his retirement, Edmonds will continue to run the Academy of St. Cecelia Youth Orchestra, which he started in 2001. Online in The (Maryland) Gazette.net, July 2.

>Read the story.

Kendrick Norris ’77 M.Div, ’01 S.T.M is retiring from his position as Senior Pastor of Guilford (CT) First Congregational Church, a position which he has held for the past 36 years. “It’s been an unusual and remarkable privilege to be involved in peoples’ lives so intimately for 36 years,” said Norris. In his retirement, Norris will work part-time as a Jungian analyst. Online in the Shoreline (CT) Times, July 3.

>Read the story.


“There’s nothing in classical education inherently conservative or liberal,” said Jonathan Beeson ’03 M.A.R., principal of St. Theresa Catholic School in Sugar Land, Texas in a story on the revival of classical education on CNN’s Schools of Thought blog. “And we’re not scared of memorization. Kids need content in their brains and they’re wired to absorb it. You can’t reflect on something if it’s not in your brain in the first place.” Online on CCN.com, June 21.

 >Read the story.

William H. Willimon ’71 M.Div. was recently interviewed about his novel, Incorporation (Wipf & Stock, 2013) on The State of Things, a program on North Carolina’s public radio station, WUNC 91.5. His novel follows the members of a large suburban church in the Midwest, a portrayal of church that Willimon hopes is “affectionate but truthful.” Willimon is a retired UMC bishop and current professor of the practice of Christian ministry at Duke Divinity School. Online on WUNC.org, June 10.

>Listen to the interview.

Matthew Schneider ’12 M.Div. has been called to serve as an associate at All Saints Episcopal Church on Hilton Head Island. He will focus on ministries related to youth, children, singles, and young families. Online on IslandPacket.com, June 28.

>Read the announcement.

Elaine Hall ’07 M.Div. has been appointed pastor of Bethelview and Valle Crucis United Methodist Churches in North Carolina. Online on goblueridge.net, June 29.

>Read the announcement.


“Lost entirely is the Christian notion that our loves, not our fears, are the central drama of a human life,” said Justin Hawkins ’14 M.A.R. in his review of the film After Earth, posted on Patheos.com, “Thus the range of emotions experienced is truncated and stunted, with the result that audiences are not even for a moment tempted to sympathize or identify with the characters.” Online on Patheos.com, June 12.

>Read the review.

Date Posted: Sunday, July 7, 2013 - 4:38pm