Bloy House News         View as Webpage
 February 2019
Join Us for Our 60th Anniversary Gala on Friday, May 31
Watch for your invitation. They will be arriving in your inbox the beginning of April.


Join us on Friday, May 31st at 6 p.m. for dinner and a gala celebration of the 60th anniversary of Bloy House to be held on the New York Street studio set of CBS studios. We've moved to a venue big enough to accommodate all who want to come so that everyone connected to Bloy House can be there. Come catch up with old friends, support the seminary, and share an evening of happy memories. Tickets will become available in the next few days, so mark your calendars now and plan on attending. Bishop John will be there to help us celebrate. For those who wish to we hope to seat you in reunion tables with those you shared your Bloy House experiences with.

Bring your check book so that you can bid on auction items including some special opportunities that the good people of CBS have kindly donated. A complete list of items you can bid on will be forthcoming in the April Bloy House News. Any alumni/ae or friends of Bloy House who would like to donate items for the auction, your gifts would be greatly appreciated. You can contact us at bloyhouse@cst.edu

In addition to being a wonderful celebration of Bloy House, this will also be a fundraiser. We've set the ticket price at $100 a ticket.
Learning About Burning Man
Views of the temple at burning man
On Saturday, March 16 The Rev. Dr. Brian Baker , Interim priest as St. Ambrose, Claremont served as our preacher, presider, and special lunch speaker. Brian has, for some years now, had a ministry of presence at Burning Man. Brian shared with our seminarians the community and spirituality he had come to expect from the experience, and the ways in which being there as a fellow pilgrim, not a hawker of a religious messages, has allowed him to bless the lives of many at Burning Man and offer them an alternative view of what Christianity and church might be about. His presentation was an invitation to our seminarians to open themselves to new spiritual venues, to non-traditional settings for ministry, and to a deeper appreciation of the ways in which 21st century persons may be looking for more in their spiritual journeys than we sometimes give them credit for. Brian also shared that this summer at Burning Man he will be part of a small new camp made up of Episcopalians who hope to offer blessings, love, hope, and healing to any who may knock on their tent flaps seeking spiritual conversation. To learn more about Brian's experiences visit https://www.deanbaker.org
Army Chaplain Recruiter to Visit Bloy House
April 13
Chaplain Andrea Baker of the United States Army will be offering a presentation on military chaplaincy during the April 13 Bloy House lunch. Anyone in the area interested in learning more about this unique ministry is welcome to attend. Those who have experience in the military either as soldiers or as family members of soldiers know that the role of chaplains can be invaluable to the mental and spiritual health of many serving in the military, especially when they are deployed. Andrea will be sharing more about her own experiences in that role, and the criteria for acceptance as a military chaplain. We are delighted to have Andrea with us while she is still serving here in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Andrea (and her husband Brian) will soon be leaving for her next assignment in Fort Knox, Kentucky. The presentation will take place in Haddon Hall on the ground floor of the Butler building at approximately 12:15. Attendance is free. Those wishing to receive lunch should contact bloyhouse@cst.edu to make a reservation. Cost of the lunch is $15.
Early Registration Begins This Weekend
If you are interested in taking a class this fall either for credit or as an auditor and have not already received a registration packet, please contact the Bloy House office at bloyhouse@cst.edu so that our office can email you a registration packet. If you have not taken a class with us in the past, you will also need to apply to enter. See below for further information on how to apply.

When classes begin again this fall these introductory classes will be offered.
Old Testament I (Saturday morning)
Major Christian Doctrines (Friday evening)
Global Anglicanism (Saturday afternoon)

If you don't see exactly what you're looking for, talk to the dean about the possibility of adding a class to the schedule. In the past we have on more than one occasion been able to add a new course to the schedule if enough people were requesting it.

Or stay tuned for future information about upcoming workshops and retreats. To learn more about these classes and other Bloy House classes go to our website and browse the catalog. http://www.bloyhouse.org

Bloy House has always been supportive of lay participation in course work. However about eight years ago we realized there was no easy way for lay persons to apply to attend Bloy House if they wanted to take a single class or an occasional class to further their own spiritual development or their ministries. To that end we developed the Education for Episcopal Leadership track at Bloy House. Our EEL students include those participating in the Li Tim-Oi Center classes, Fresh Start for Lay Leaders, the Instituto de Liderazgo, workshops and conferences, and those taking graduate level course work as auditors. By setting up this track we not only affirmed our commitment to lay formation as a critical aspect of our mission, but also created a much simpler process by which lay persons could be accepted to the school and apply to take classes. If you are interested in attending a Bloy House class as an EEL student, visit our website at www.bloyhouse.org and go to the prospective student section. In that section you will see a link to materials about applying to the school as an EEL student.
Diocesan Discernment Year:
Welcoming a Pilgrim
In the last few months some of you may have noticed a newcomer in your community who has been introduced as someone doing their diocesan discernment year. With a desire to broaden the parish experiences and the discernment process for those considering a call to ministry, the Commission on Ministry at the end of 2018 instituted a new element to the discernment process. Now following endorsement by a congregational discernment committee, those who are discerning about a call to ordained ministry may be invited to begin a year long process of learning and discernment within a congregation outside of their home parish.This process is designed to help individuals develop greater clarity about the nature of their own call; exploring in a new setting if others see in them the gifts for a particular lay ministry, a diaconal ministry, or a priestly ministry. Many of those participating in this discernment year are either preparing to take classes at seminary or have already begun their academic studies.

If your congregation has the opportunity to host a nominee for holy orders during their discernment year, please welcome them and get to know them. This new way of cross pollinating our congregations through leadership exchanges can provide a wonderful opportunity for both individuals and communities to come to see the world through new eyes. I can assure you that having a seminarian in your midst is both a gift to the community and a blessing on those seminarians who have been invited into your church's spiritual lives. Currently Bloy House has three students participating in their time of diocesan discernment. Our deepest appreciation to The Rev. Jane Gould and the people of St. Luke's, Long Beach, The Rev. Tom Carey and the people of Epiphany, Los Angeles, and The Rev. Nancy Sinclair and the people of St. Wilfrid's, Huntington Beach for the ways they are mentoring and blessing our seminarians!
It is a reality of all higher education that tuition alone cannot cover the costs of an education. We, like like almost all seminaries across the church, are dependent upon gifts from people like you in order to keep our doors open and provide our seminarians with an education that is both affordable and of the highest caliber. If you have a seminarian in your church, please work with your vestry to establish and support a seminarian fund that can help pay tuition, fees, and books for your seminarian.

The other way you can support seminarians is by giving directly to Bloy House. Bloy House works diligently to keep its tuition costs as affordable as possible, far below the costs of almost all other seminaries in the country. Your gifts to the school help to ensure that we can continue to do this. If you are especially interested in giving a gift to a financially needy student, you can specifically designate your gift for the in-house scholarship fund of Bloy House. Whatever you prefer, we hope that you will consider keeping our ministry strong and healthy with your gift.

The best way to give is still by check. When you do so 100 percent of your gift goes directly to the school. We also have a donate button on our website that will allow us to accept credit card gifts at a reasonable cost to us and as responsible stewards of your gifts. To donate in this way go to www.bloyhouse.org

If you care about ministry in the Diocese of Los Angeles and believe in the work Bloy House is already doing to support people in their ministries, and you want to see theological education continue here within the diocese, please give.

Checks can be sent to
Bloy House, ETSC
1325 N. College Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
March 20-22 the Episcopal Preaching Foundation offered a "Preaching across the Divide" conference here in the Diocese of Los Angeles, bringing in recognized preaching experts from across the country who helped participants develop both basic practical preaching skills for all occasions and also spoke specifically to the challenges involved in preaching in situations where there are racial, political, gender, ethnic or other divides within the community. Free scholarships to that event were offered to all Bloy House students who had already participated in a preaching class during seminary. Numerous Bloy House alums were also participants in the conference. We want to give special thanks to EPF for providing full scholarships to four of our current seminarians Antonio Gallardo, Greta Ronnigen, Daniel Tamm , and Paula Walker.

Anyone interested in learning more about this summer's upcoming Preaching Excellence Program II for preachers seeking to develop more advanced skills in preaching, visit www.preachingfoundation.org .

Plan a Visit to Learn More

If you are contemplating beginning a degree or certificate program or taking a class at Bloy House this fall, we'd love for you to come visit and learn more about our seminary. Below are the dates of our teaching weekends for the remainder of the academic year. If you're interested in finding out what a teaching weekend is like, taking part in a seminary worship service, visiting a class, and/or meeting with the dean, we'd welcome your inquiries. To contact the dean to arrange a visit write to ssweeney@cst.edu
 
Spring Semester
March 29-30
April 12-13
April 26-27
May 10-11 Graduation Weekend and Trustees Meeting

Academic Calendar 2019-2020
 
August 17 orientation and make up classes for faculty going to AAR 
August 23-24 
September 6-7  
September 20-21 
September 27-28 
October 11-12
October 25-26
November 8-9
November 22-23
December 6-7
December 13-14
 
January 17-18
January 31-Feb. 1
Feb. 7-8
Feb, 21-22
March 6-7-8 (Long Retreat Weekend)
March 20-21
April 3-4
April 17-18
May 1-2
May 15-16
From the Dean
Lately I've spent a great deal of time thinking about and learning about "Preaching Across the Divide." As a result of hearing some wonderful speakers talk about the art of preaching in such moments and also having spent time pondering what I wanted to share on the subject, I inevitably find myself considering the divides within our own communities. Where do they come from? What is it that divides one tribe of humanity from another? How does being a Christian change our view of the divide?

Recently I heard a podcast in which a guest of Fareed Zakaria discussed the neurological roots of us versus them. Dr. Robert Sapolsky, Professor of biology and neurology at Stanford described the ways in which human brains are wired to define an us and a them, and to see those who are not recognized as "us" as dangers to us. Dr. Sapolsky discussed how when presented with a rapid series of faces, the brain will make an almost instantaneous decision about whether that person seems familiar, safe, and part of "us" or different, dangerous, and part of "them". Dr. Sapolsky explained that while there are other animals that have a similar basic survival response, what makes humans unique is their capacity to take part in more than one group simultaneously. Our tribe may be defined in different ways at different moments in our day. I can simultaneously be a mother, a priest, and a professor. In the classroom my tribe is my students. In my home my tribe is my family. In my church my tribe is the gathered community. And because I can have this complex identity, I have the capacity to decide who I will call stranger and who I will call kin.

I think preaching across the divide is about choosing to live in relationships where those who we might be first tempted to call "other" instead become kin. There is an inclusive language term that is sometimes substituted for the language of talking about God kingdom. Instead of imagining together the kingdom of God, we are invited to imagine the kindom of God. What if in God's kindom there is no us and them? There is only us. What if we were to choose to act out our Christian belief that every human being is a beloved child of God? How does that reshape our response to that reptilian part of our brain that sees in difference a warning of otherness and potential danger? What if we really believe that we're a rainbow made of children, that our differences create the template for our beautiful, expansive, color drenched world?

We are blessed here in Southern California to live in a teeming sea of humanity. Our world is rich in biodiversity and human diversity. We speak many languages. We listen to many kinds of music. We eat many varieties of food. We pray to different gods. Our skin is many colors. Our facial structures are varied. Our body shapes are not alike. Our cultural rules of politeness and decorum are often quite different from one another. That is the deep blessing of our lives. We have the opportunity to live on the boundary lands of the kindom of God. We have the opportunity to find friend and neighbor in one who does not look like us or talk like us or think like us. We have the opportunity to cross the divide whenever we choose to. Knowing that no matter how skilled we may become in living on the borders of this new kindom, there will always be new divides that bring us up short and invite us to stretch and grow until we are able to live deeper into the kindom of God.

Before this Lent is over, may we all become better at reaching across the divide. May we choose the hard work, the life-long work of living our day-to-day lives at the boundaries of the kindom of God. And at those boundaries may we learn to love ever more deeply the God who longs to unite those who are divided. May we break down the walls that divide us. May we live as bridges reaching across the divide. May we encounter in one another the One who unites us all.
Bloy House | 1325 N. College Ave. | Claremont | California | 91711 |   www.bloyhouse.org.