Discovering Something Rich and Strange
Message from President Ferlo
As I write I am preparing to lead the pre-Lenten clergy retreat for the Diocese of Massachusetts. Their new bishop the Rt. Rev. Alan Gates, is a former Bexley Hall and Bexley Seabury board member, and a thoughtful and informed supporter of seminary education in a time of unsettling change -- including change in his own theological neighborhood.
In the political and cultural turmoil of the last several weeks, I know I am not the only person who has found it hard to focus. So I am looking forward to this time in Massachusetts, if only because
the theme I have chosen for the retreat --
Engaging the Scriptural Imagination
-- is intended to offer something of a respite from the dread and anxiety that has afflicted so many of us recently.
We will spend time with artists like Rembrandt and poets like Emily Dickinson, both of them better scriptural interpreters than most of us gathering in Ipswich. My hope is that an artist's take on our sacred stories -- at once critical and creative, impatient of pious cant and yet resplendent in beauty -- will embolden us to approach our Lenten scriptures as if we were reading them for the first time, and discover in them something rich and strange.
The Massachusetts clergy don't know this yet, but by the time I am done with them they will all have written a few lines of poetry based on the coming season's lectionary, and will be asked to share their work with each other in an impromptu public reading. I love doing this poetry thing with preachers. What better way to take our minds off what's happening in Washington, get off our high horses, and reconnect to the Source of Meaning that makes life not just bearable but even beautiful -- a place to rest, and even rejoice, in what for many of my ordained colleagues (and for me) are such dark days.
APPLY BY April 15...Begin Studies in June
DMin in Congregational Development
As anyone who is leading a congregation will attest, SO MUCH HAS CHANGED in our church, in our communities, and in our world in the last decade. That is perhaps why our Bexley Seabury DMin in Congregational Development continues as one of the country's most well-regarded programs. Our curriculum is expressly designed for priests and pastors who are ready to re-invest in their leadership skills and deepen their theological grounding. Our DMin CD graduates gain strategic perspective and practical tools that contribute to effective and innovative ministry in today's multi-everything society.
If you or a congregational leader you know is considering a DMin:
> EMAIL Jaime Briçeno
> PHONE Jaime at (773) 380-7045
NEW Program Helps Dioceses Form Deacons
Diaconal Enrichment Program Launched January 25
Bexley Seabury's new Diaconal Enrichment Program is designed to supplement and build upon diocesan training programs for deacons -- both persons on track for the permanent diaconate and for currently ordained deacons seeking to enrich their ministries. The program offers a low-residency, graduate-level, five-course curriculum that focuses on developing theological understanding and ministry skills most essential to deacons serving in the Episcopal Church today.
Fundamental to the program is a course in Baptismal Ecclesiology, which is devoted to the deacon's unique place in the ministry of all the baptized. Additional courses focus on refining skills in pastoral care, cultural competency, community organizing, and preaching. All Diaconal Enrichment Program courses are offered in one of two formats -- intensive week-long or hybrid week-end -- that include both face-to-face and on-line learning.
Participants may earn a program certificate by completing Baptismal Ecclesiology and four additional program courses, which may include one elective. Alternatively, participants may take any individual course. Depending on the recommendation of their dioceses, participants may enroll as auditors, for continuing education credit, or for academic credit.
Contact Recruiter and Digital Missioner Jaime Briceno if you think your diocese might benefit.
NEW Scholarship for LGBTQ Leaders Called to Justice Ministry
Two anonymous donors step forward to make a difference
EXCELLENT NEWS for the church and the world! Bexley Seabury has received a $279,000 grant funded by two anonymous donors to provide three, three-year Bexley Seabury St. Marina Scholarships for entering Master of Divinity students from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. The scholarships are available to LGBTQ leaders who are committed to justice ministry in the Episcopal Church and who fulfill other Bexley Seabury Scholars Program requirements. The full cost of tuition, books, travel, and other expenses for all three years of the MDiv curriculum will be paid, leaving Bexley Seabury St. Marina Scholars free to concentrate on their studies.
The scholarship is named for St. Marina, an eighth-century woman ascetic who assumed a masculine identity as Brother Marinus in order to join an abbey. Her sex was discovered upon her death, and she was later canonized as St. Marina, venerated by Syrian, Albanian, Coptic, and Maronite Christians.
ONLINE OPEN HOUSE March 15, 6:30-7:30 PM Central
Help us spread the word
Wondering what God is asking of you? Feel called to lead?
Bexley Seabury is a diverse and welcoming Episcopal community for learning and discipleship. We offer multiple study programs -- for lay and ordained leaders and seekers -- who want to deepen their faith and be more actively engaged in congregational and community life.
Join us March 15, online, 6:30-7:30 p.m. CST
Learn about our historic commitment to serving the Gospel and what it's like to study at Bexley Seabury today, through our Online Open House. You'll hear from our leadership, faculty, and student body, and be able to ask questions from the comfort of your couch or wherever you prefer to connect via the Internet. You'll hear multiple perspectives on the Bexley Seabury experience, how our course design creates new possibilities, and ways we create community.
- Our tradition, vision and culture
- Our "new possibilities" course design
- Student perspectives
As Seen in The Christian Century Magazine
"Bexley Seabury forming priests among
Bexley Seabury is proud to be featured in the Feb. 15, 2017 theology issue of
The Christian Century magazine. As noted in the article, "Bexley Seabury has launched a new way of educating seminarians based in a particular parish for all three years of their M.Div. studies."
NEW COURSE Helps Communities Move Toward Wellness
Premiere offering June 5-9, 2017
Ministries of support and healing are essential to congregational life.
But how do we get there?
Our June 2017 term will mark the debut of "Community Based Wellness Ministries: Reimagining Pastoral Care with Congregations and Their Surrounding Communities" led by Scott Stoner. The course provides a proactive, strength-based approach to supporting individuals, couples, and families who want to cultivate wholeness and wellness. The course will also show participants how the approach can be offered to people beyond church walls.
REGISTER NOW for 2017 Chicago Convocation April 26, 2017
Accepting the Challenge of "Bending Toward Justice"
EVERY DAY our 2017 Chicago Convocation, "Bending Toward Justice," becomes more timely. Join us Wednesday, April 26, 2:00 to 7:00 p.m., at St. James Commons, 65 E. Huron, Chicago, home to the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Bexley Seabury is pleased to host this opportunity to learn from leaders who are on the front lines of criminal justice reform, solidarity and resistance with the Standing Rock Nation, and immigrant and LGBTQ rights.
- 2:00 PM What I Am Still Learning, presented by President Ferlo
- 3:00 PM After Standing Rock by John Floberg, responses from Gayle Fisher-Stewart, John Floberg, Kenji Kuramitsu, moderated by President Ferlo
- 4:00 PM Keynote Address by Gayle Fisher-Stewart
- 5:30 PM Evensong in St. James Cathedral and awarding of honorary degree to Bexley Hall alum John Floberg
- Reception with refreshments immediately following Evensong
Please plan to join us and feel free to invite a colleague or friend.
Guest faculty, L-R: Gayle Fisher-Stewart, John Floberg (in chasuble), Kenji Kuramitsu
about our guest faculty.
How Did the Stand at Standing Rock Affect You?
A request for reflections and prayers based on your experiences
Did the witness of #StandingRock water protectors against the Dakota Access Pipeline change your prayer life...inform your preaching ...take you to North Dakota..cause you to consider switching banks? As part of our April 26, 2017 Convocation, we want to create a book of reflections and prayers from those who experienced a shift in thinking about and acting for justice. We welcome written contributions and photos or other images --
please send via email to Ron Fox.
Visit with us...lunch & learn with us...workshop with us
If you are participating at
CEEP 2017, February 22-25, in Washington, D.C
. please reserve some time to reconnect with us. Here are three sure-fire ways to find members of the Bexley Seabury team.
- Visit us in the exhibit hall. We'll be on hand Wednesday through Saturday. Just look for our display (shown below right).
- Lunch & Learn, Friday, Feb. 24, 12-1:30 p.m. -- President Ferlo will address "Formation Beyond Walls: A New Future for
Clergy Education." Come learn about our latest innovations in contextual learning.
- Workshop Session B, Friday, Feb. 24, 2-3:30 p.m. -- President Ferlo and Wes Smedley, Rector of St. Chrysostom's Chicago, will address "Religion in the Public Square," drawing on the writings of Cathleen Kaveny, Jonathan Sachs, Czeslaw Milosz and others. Dialogue will focus on how leaders in the church can reclaim an audible religious voice and speak with theological integrity to current pressing issues.
We look forward to seeing you!
On and Off Campus
Staff and Faculty
In January, Recruiter
attended the 2017 FORMA Conference in Garden Grove, Calif. As noted on their website,
"Forma is an association and dynamic community of Christian educators, formation professionals, and their institutional partners that celebrates and upholds the diverse ministries of Christian formation across the Episcopal Church."
Creating Change, the largest national gathering for the LGBTQI movement, met in Philadelphia January 18-22. Jaime also attended this conference, noting that Bexley Seabury shared a booth with our host seminary, Chicago Theological Seminary. Over 3,000 people attended the conference. Jaime distributed our "welcome" brochure to the LGBTQI community, and said several people stopped by to inquire about programs offered at Bexley Seabury.
Ron Fox, assistant to President Ferlo, has completed course requirements at Providence Theological School, a distance learning theological school, and has been advised he has been awarded a Master of Ministry degree, Magna Cum Laude. Ron is a life professed brother and the Director of Vocations for the Brotherhood of St. Gregory, a community of the Episcopal Church.
DMin Program Director Suzann Holding and Recruiter and Digital Missioner Jaime Briceno spent six intensive days in late January and early February at St James Commons with a diverse group of 20 other clergy and lay leaders from around the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago for training with the College for Congregational Development (CCD). This is a two-year comprehensive program that was developed by the Diocese of Olympia in western Washington to equip congregational leaders with knowledge, skills, and practices to develop healthier and more faithful and sustainable congregations. The program is now being rolled out in the Diocese of Chicago. Jaime completed his second year and Suzi her first; both were gratified to have the opportunity to be part of this community of learning and practice and build stronger connections among congregational leaders in the diocese.
Jana Troutman-Miller (BSSF Anglican Studies '14), MA, BCC, has recently been appointed as Chair of the Commission on Certification for Board Certified Chaplains, Inc., an affiliate of the Association of Professional Chaplains. Troutman-Miller has served as a professional chaplain for 15 years and has served in many different committees and task forces in the APC. She recently served as APC Chair of the Professional Ethics Committee and has been on the board of directors for three years. She is endorsed by the Episcopal Church as a professional chaplain and is a priest in the Diocese of Milwaukee where she is the chaplain at Saint John's On The Lake, a Milwaukee retirement community.
Daniel Prechtel (SWTS 1984 Div, 2002 DMin) has published his second book through Church Publishing/Morehouse, released in October 2016. His book is
Light on the Path: Guiding Symbols for Insight and Discernment,
and is available here. Dan continues to operate Lamb & Lion Spiritual Guidance Ministries. More information on that ministry can be found here
Walter (Wally) Griesmeyer (SWTS 1974), retired priest of the Diocese of Chicago, died on February 3. He served as vicar at Good Shepherd in Momence, Ill., for five years and retired in 2005. A memorial service was held February 11 at Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in East Chicago, Ind. A second memorial will be held at Good Shepherd Momence at at future date.
Ellen Athas, sister-in-law of Roger Ferlo, died unexpectedly last week at age 62. Obituary here
Former Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary Professor Emma Justes, known to many Seabury-Western graduates, died on January 31. She was also a former professor at Northern Seminary. The memorial service will be on February 25 at St. John's AME Church, 2950 Bilter Rd., Aurora, Ill. View the obituary here
We have received word that James L. "Dutch" Nelson, (Bexley Hall '64) died in November 2016. He was a retired priest in the Diocese of Massachusetts. The complete obituary can be found here