People Notes, February 2012
“Can we let in this voice of challenge to remind us just how urgent economic justice is, and how complicit we are in making or unmaking it? Can we remember that even if it’s normal for people to go hungry or to lose their homes that it’s still not right?” Anne M. Turner ’03 M.Div., assistant to the Rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, Virginia, in a sermon that earned her Virginia Theological Seminary’s 2012 John Hines Preaching Award. The award is given annually to the outstanding preaching entry “where prophetic voice is central within the sermon.”
“Twenty seminaries now meet a majority of the criteria for a sexually healthy and responsible seminary, or twice what we found in 2009. During the past three years, the Religious Institute has partnered with these seminaries to ensure that tomorrow's clergy are prepared to minister to their congregants, and to be effective advocates for sexual health and justice. These 20 seminaries now provide coursework on sexuality, policies that support sexual health, a commitment to an environment safe from harassment and abuse and leadership that is committed to activism on sexuality issues. Debra Haffner, Executive Director of the Religious Institute and onetime lecturer in pastoral care at YDS, Feb. 2, 2012, writing in the Huffington Post, in the column “Meet 2012’s Sexually Healthy Seminaries.”
“The virtues of Christian courage, vulnerability, and humility in our temporary nature that Dr. King and St. Paul gave witness to are instructive to all of us in carrying out a faithful witness for Jesus the Christ and not ourselves. Such virtues can be touchstones that lead us to a spiritual transformation of conversion and to the promise of our being changed, transformed and conformed to the likeness of Christ.” Angelique Walker-Smith ’83 M.Div., in a homily she wrote for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Jan. 18-25, at the request of the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute. Walker-Smith is executive director of the Church Federation of Indianapolis.
"Through creative, forward-thinking initiatives like its International Ph.D. Program, Hartford Seminary continues to show just how good a 21st Century seminary education can be. I am thrilled to add my theological research and teaching to this mix, and eager to work with colleagues and students to further enhance and embolden our common efforts.” Edward Waggoner '00 M.A.R., '07 Ph.D., lecturer in theology at YDS, Feb. 2, 2012, Hartford Seminary news, in the article “Theology Scholar Named Coordinator of International Ph.D. Program at Hartford Seminary.”
I'm an idealist and also a pragmatist. The idealist wants a global world more invested in making peace with each other, in speaking with civility and courtesy to each other. The pragmatist says that as a society we put a high priority on early detection and early treatment of mental and physical healthy.” Holly Adams ’09 M.Div., Jan. 11, 2011, Greenwich (CT) Citizen, in the article "Never lose sight of what you're called to do and be..."
"Unless we take on the influence of money and corporate power in our political system, we have not addressed the root issue," he said. "It boils down to being willing to take on the Citizens United court case and do what we can as a nation to make clear that corporations are not persons and that speech is not the same thing as money." Dave Strohmaier ’95 M.A.R., Jan. 19, 2012, Billings (MO) Gazetter, in the article “Strohmaier stresses local government work.”
At the recent National Festival of Young Preachers gathering, Divinity School students Carlene Demiany ‘12 M.Div. and Lyvonne Briggs ’12 M.Div., both delivered sermons that were duly captured on YouTube.
“She is calm and confident, and with so much in transition, she brings strength and a steady energy I think is going to be very helpful. And so much we do has legal implications, and it’s nice to have that expertise in house.” Yellow Springs, OH, Council President Judith Hempfling, Jan, 6, 2012, in the Yellow Spring News, speaking about Laura Curliss ’90 M.Div., named to be the interim village manager in Yellow Springs.
“Miracles are articles of faith, for true believers today and for the Bible as well. Whether they actually happened or not is debatable. But to chalk them up to freak occurrences of nature is fundamentally to misunderstand the nature both of the Bible and of belief in it.” Assistant Professor of Old Testament Joel Baden, Jan. 3, 2012, Huffington Post, in the column “The Problem With Rationalizing the Bible”
Dwight Andrews ’77 M.Div., ’93 Ph.D., Senior Minister, First Congregational Church in Atlanta, is being honored at the Annual Day1 Benefit honoring six community leaders of faith. The annual benefit for the Alliance for Christian Media and the Day1 ministry will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 28. An announcement for the celebrations says, “This year's event will honor leaders in the Atlanta area who are well known for their commitment to the good of our community, but who may have not been recognized for their deep commitment to their church and the religious community.”
Steve Peterson ’84 M.Div., a principal of American Homeowner Preservation, a Chicago-based investment fund, says the fund wants to prevent foreclosures from going vacant by acquiring foreclosed properties and then renting them back to the foreclosed former homeowners at a deep discount. Petersons says the plan is a vehicle for investors who see both “a financial opportunity and a social mission in the [foreclosure] mess in this country.” Chicagomag.com, Jan. 11, 2012, in the article “Investment Fund Helps Foreclosed Homeowners Hang On.”
Kentaro (Ken) Buma ’52 B.D., ’53 S.T.M., ’55 M.A., died in Tokyo, Japan the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 11 after a lengthy illness. He was 90 years of age. A memorial service was scheduled to be held on Jan. 29. He is survived by his wife, Elsie. Richard Stazesky writes, “Those of you who attended the 50th reunion of the class in 2002 may recall that during the reunion it was discovered that YDS ’52 classmate Rick Mapes had been a guard at a prisoners of war camp on the Philippines in which Ken was a Japanese prisoner. Later they attended YDS together.”