People Notes - January 2014

More news from the YDS community


"A kneejerk response to violence is to lock doors and close in out of fear," said Oby Ballinger '08 M.Div., pastor of Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul Park, MN,

Oby Ballinger
Oby Ballinger '08 M.Div. (Photo: Chris Polydoroff)

"What I'd like to do is help folks claim the power to do something else, to respond with hope and concern for one another rather than isolating out of fear." Ballinger was recently punched in the face during an attempted mugging in the neighborhood where he and his husband, Javen Swanson '09 M.Div., live. The next week Ballinger preached on forgiveness. Online on Pioneer Press (MN), Dec. 30.


>Read the story.


On Dec. 24 Ian Barbour '56 B.D. died in Minneapolis. Barbour "gave birth almost single-handedly to the contemporary dialogue between science and religion," said Robert John Russell, the founder-director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, a nonprofit teaching and research institute. Barbour taught both physics and religion at Carleton College for more than thirty years, gave the prestigious Gifford Lectures in Scotland, and was awarded a Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1999. Online in the Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2014.

>Read his obituary


After a thirteen month search, the Lakeville United Church of Christ in Lakeville, NY has called Cassandra Granados '11 M.Div. to be their pastor.

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"We are all called to lives of love, service and joy for the sake of the world God so loves. As chaplain, I will be a companion and fellow traveler as we seek to discern that call within ourselves and respond," said Scott M. Kershner '00 M.Div. who will join Susquehanna University as its new chaplain in January 2014. Online on, Dec. 11.

>Read the announcement

Vera Bush '74 M.Div. died on December 18 in West Simsbury, Connecticut. She was ordained a Lutheran minister in 1975—the second woman in the New England Synod to receive that honor.

>Read her obituary


"He had tremendous moral vision," said Assistant Professor of the History of American Christianity Clarence Hardy III of African-American writer James Baldwin, "He's one of the four or five best American essayists and one of our best critics in terms of understanding the connection between race and sex." Yale's Beinecke Library has recently added approximately 100 of Baldwin's personal letters to its collection. Online in The New Haven Register, Dec. 18.

>Read the story

Jarvis Streeter '82 S.T.M. passed away on December 23. He taught theology at California Lutheran University for more than 25 years. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, in California Lutheran University's Samuelson Chapel. Online, on, Dec. 24.

>Read the announcement

Dan D. Rhoades '59 B.D., '60 M.A., '63 Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at Claremont School of Theology, died on December 19. Rhoades was an ethicist and was involved with a significant grant-funded project working with congregations and race relations in the 1970's.

>Read the announcement


"We are engaged in this action because we believe we can only see Christian hope when we confront the reality of bombs being dropped on children by remote-controlled killing machines," said Creighton Chandler '15 M.A.R. and Gregory Williams '15 M.Div. who were arrested with another activist while trying to deliver what they called a "citizen's order of protection" at Hancock Field Air Base in Syracuse, N.Y. on Dec. 19. Online on National Catholic Reporter, Dec. 13.

>Read the story


"David is, to my mind, the only figure from the Hebrew Bible for whom there is a full enough story to make a narrative, and whose historical existence is accessible enough to conjecture as to what his life may have been like," said Associate Professor of Old Testament Joel Baden about his book Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero (HarperOne, 2013) which was featured on the Publisher's Weekly blog. Dec. 18.

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Date Posted: Friday, January 3, 2014 - 8:26pm