An Indigenous Experience of Pandemic
Faculty Dean Rev. Dr. Boyung Lee recently hosted a Dean's Cafe with a presentation by Dr. Mark Freeland titled "An Indigenous Experience of Pandemic."
Dr. Freeland is Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies / American Indian Studies Program Coordinator at the South Dakota State University and continues to be the first Tinker Visiting Professor at Iliff this academic year.

Supported by the Tinker Program Endowment Fund, the Professorship is committed to continuing Dr. Tink Tinker's work. In addition to teaching two courses over the course of an academic year and participating in public presentations, the Tinker Visiting Professor also mentors Native students.
Iliff's Pandemic Toolbox

Iliff offers a curated set of pandemic resources for those serving in leadership, whether in a church or a non-profit. Visit the Pandemic Toolbox at
Fall Alumni/ae Survey
Thank you to everyone who has completed the fall Iliff alumni/ae survey!

We want to gain a better understanding of what is important to you and keep connected with you by sharing Iliff news and opportunities. Your responses, and those from fellow alumni/ae, will shape our future lifelong learning programming at Iliff. They will also help determine how Iliff connect and engage with our alumni/ae family.

You're welcome to take the survey if you haven't done so already.
Faculty and Staff News
Dr. Miguel De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies, was one of the two panelists on the Dismantling Racism forum on October 28, presented by the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race, in partnership with the Council of Bishops, United Methodist Women, the United Methodist Board of Church and Society and United Methodist Communications.

"You can't begin to have a conversation about anti-racist work as long as there is this conversation about splitting the church over sexuality issues," said Professor De La Torre. "If our queer brothers and sisters are not part of the liberationist movement, we cannot have any type of church that's anti-racist."

Together with Rev. Traci West, Professor of Christian Ethics and African American Studies at Drew University Theological School, they both agreed that "real progress on racial issues in the United Methodist Church is impossible unless LGBTQ people are accepted as full participants in every aspect of the denomination."

Watch a presentation on the importance of spiritual self-care in our lives during a stressful time of the pandemic by Dr. Carrie Doehring, Clifford Baldridge Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling.

Her presentation is part of a Henry Luce Foundation-funded collaborative project on theological dimensions of life in the pandemic lead by Professor Zachary Moon at Chicago Theological Seminary.

At a later date, the video presentation, which is part of a public lecture series, "Doing Theology in Pandemics: Facing Viruses, Violence, and Vitriol," will be included as a chapter in a book. The edited volume will serve as a resource to aid religious leaders, seminary classrooms, and communities of faith.
Dr. Julie Todd (PhD '12), scholar-activist and John Wesley Iliff Senior Adjunct Lecturer in Justice and Peace Studies, recently published a book, Struggling with (Non)violence and an accompanying study guide.

Ignoring the complexity of what constitutes violence is where the (non)violent thought and praxis represented by white, liberal Christians in the United States falls short. In this book, twelve scholar-activist interviewees share perspectives and effective practices that destabilize traditional rationalizations of violence, including those from the institutions and practices of a dominant Christian theology.

Todd calls on communities committed to (non)violence to invest in a model for social change which:
  1. Roots itself in contextual historical analysis
  2. Includes other-than-human lives as necessary partners
  3. Values practices that dismantle violence over theological abstractions
  4. Emphasizes creative communities of active, counter-cultural resistance over individualism
  5. Experiments with diverse, disruptive tactics
  6. Urges a self-critical solidarity that welcomes differences regarding various means of social change

The Interviewees: Rita “Bo” Brown (B♀), Ward Churchill, John Dear, Vincent Harding, Dolores Huerta, Derrick Jensen, Kathy Kelly, Alice Lynd, Staughton Lynd, Katherine Power, Sarah Schulman, Akinyele Umoja

Watch a recent interview with Todd and Iliff student Dennis Saavedra Carquin-Hamichand about this new book.
Alumni/ae Video Spotlight – a Message on Giving
The Rev. Lonnie R. Eakle '67, elder in The United Methodist Church and an Iliff Honorary Trustee, recently shared with us why he and his wife, Terry, support Iliff with philanthropic gifts. You can watch the video here.

“During my time at Iliff, my mind and spirit were opened; it helped me grow and to find answers to questions. At Iliff, I learned reflection, discernment, affirmation and bridge-building. My time at Iliff helped me create the framework of my life’s work.”

Eakle’s view of the Iliff over a period of nearly 40 years has remained steadfast, he added. “I offer my time and skills to Iliff when I can. The school served me and my wife, Terry well and we in turn, want to serve it. When you love something, you take care of it and nurture it. I love Iliff and am committed to it.”
Alumni/ae Updates
The Rev. Ryan Canaday (MDiv '09) is Pastor and Executive Director of FREE, a spiritual community for addicts, loved ones of addicts, and spiritual refugees.

FREE holds gatherings every Saturday evening at 7 p.m. MST. "All walks of life gather here... people with lots of faith, people with no faith. People who have memorized the Bible, people who have been bashed with it. People who use pretty words, people who curse like sailors. People with big homes, people without a home. People who have been to prison, people who guard the prison. People battling the bottle, people who have been sober for years. People who know addiction, people who have a loved one who’s addicted. People who are lawyers and executives, people who are unemployed and looking for work. People who have been on a spiritual journey for decades, people who have been kicked around by religion. In this community, no matter where you are, we don’t do shame."

Recently, Canaday shared his expertise and ideas about supporting people in recovery during an episode of a Mountain Sky Conference of The United Methodist Church's "Vital Conversations" webinar series.
The Rev. Jordan Derhammer (MDiv '19), Lead Pastor at Alden United Methodist Church and Associate paster at Iowa Falls First United Methodist Church.

Derhammer was recently featured in a news story published by the Times-Citizen, "Full of Grace: Derhammer aspires to create a space for all people."

In the piece, she shares ,"“My biggest goal is to share God’s love and God’s grace with people, no matter who they are, no matter what their past is,” said Derhammer. “I want to meet people where they are and I want to create a place that is full of grace and full of love and is welcoming for who they are and not try to change them.”
Terresa Newport (MDiv ’19) is a Chaplain at Intermountain Healthcare. She works in the adolescent behavioral health unit for Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Recently, she contributed to an online article, “From tantrums to talking: A practical guide to processing difficult emotions.”

Newport is also working towards her ordination in the Presbyterian Church.
The Rev. Ronald Wooding (MDiv '98), Executive Director of Peoples' Production Company and Executive Director of the Bruce Randolph Legacy Foundation, will debut his documentary about "Daddy" Bruce Randolph, Keep a Light in Your Window, on Rocky Mountain PBS at 8 p.m. MST on Thursday, November 19.

In Denver, even recent arrivals to the Mile High City know the name Bruce Randolph; there's a two-and-a-half-mile stretch of road named after him between Downing and Dahlia streets, as well as the Bruce Randolph School in the Clayton neighborhood. Randolph’s philanthropy was legendary. He gave away clothes and food every year, on his birthday and on Christmas, held Easter egg hunts, and staged massive Thanksgiving dinners for the less fortunate.

Randolph moved to Denver and started a restaurant at the age of 64 and said that he wanted to be like Jesus and feed five thousand. Before Randolph passed at 94, his Thanksgiving meals were reaching many more during the Thanksgiving season. Salem Baptist Church kept the event going after he passed. When Wooding found out that the event was going to be cancelled in 2003, Wooding and Elder King Harris of Epworth made a commitment to carry on the legacy of Daddy Bruce Randolph.

Wooding moved to Denver in 1995 to attend Iliff. He never met Randolph, who passed away in 1994. Before graduating, Wooding completed his student Pastor work at Park Hill United Methodist Church. He later began an assignment at Epworth United Methodist. While looking for a home in the neighborhood, a realtor showed him a house on the corner of Bruce Randolph and Gilpin. The house was close to the church, so he moved in immediately. He found out later that the house was at one time connected to the Daddy Bruce Barbecue Restaurant on the corner. Wooding believes that "it was a God-ordained move." He says that "the spirit of Bruce Randolph was sill there in the neighborhood." The neighbors began sharing many rich stories about Randolph with Wooding.

Now, thanks to Wooding, more people will know about Randolph, the barbecue chef, philanthropist, and "unofficial mayor of Denver." Read more about the documentary in Westword's article, "Daddy Bruce Documentary Debuts Ahead of Annual Thanksgiving Giveaway"
The Rev. Lora Young (MDiv ’17), Minister at South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, recently hosted and marched with the National Temporary Protected Status Alliance justice riders who were on a national tour advocating for immigration reform.

Young offered a prayer during their press conference and rally in Salt Lake City, Utah, to demonstrate the Society’s solidarity with the advocates. Watch a video of the rally.
Share Your News!

If there is something going on in your world that you would like us to share with your colleagues, you are welcome to submit your news.
In Memoriam
The Rev. Allen Clark Harris (MDiv '79), retired elder Minnesota Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church for more than 50 years, died on October 13, 2020.
The Rev. Dr. Warthen "Bud" Talmadge Israel (MDiv '62), elder in The United Methodist Church and former President of Vennard College, died on October 5, 2020.
Watch "Making Room for All: Equity in Public Education"
Iliff's Women's Alliance held an online event last month, "Dialogues on Social Justice: Black Women Solutionaries, 'Making Room for All: Equity in Public Education.'" Thanks to all of you that participated!

You are invited to watch the main presentation and Q&A session.

Our presenters included: Dr. Carolyn Love, Dr. Rosemarie Allen, Dr. Janiece Mackey, and Dr. Sandy Mason. You are encouraged to learn more about their initiatives:
Iliff's Professional Information Network (PIFN)
Iliff hosts an online list of available positions for the community. You can sign up to submit positions directly, too!

To visit PIFN, click here.
Something You'd Like to Share?
Have you been recently ordained or promoted? Or, have you started something new or celebrated a personal milestone?

Connect with us using this online form if you have news you would like us to share in future issues of this alumni/ae newsletter.