Dear Friends,

We begin our fall quarter next week. Any new school year arrives accompanied by excitement and some apprehension, but none like this one has.The past six months have brought into sharp focus how deeply we depend on one another to act for a greater common good. By each doing our part to take care of our beloved communities and ourselves, we can create powerful collective momentum in support of the places and people we care about most deeply.
Whatever else this year brings, it presents us with a matchless opportunity for unity. Wherever we come from, whatever our area of study or intellectual inquiry, whatever our background, whatever causes inspire us, every one of us has a common interest in keeping each other safe. Below are articles and tools we hope inspire you to consider your impact.

Kelsey Cochrane
Vice President of Institutional Advancement
You're invited to our virtual Opening Convocation 2020 on September 13
Join us for the start of the new academic year by attending our Opening Fall Convocation 2020 on Sunday, September 13 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. (MTN).

Chapel Dean Cathie Kelsey has planned an exciting virtual experience for those who are joining the event. What you can expect:
  • An academic and community building experience with an address by President Wolfe casting a vision for the new academic year.
  • Welcome of new students, new faculty, and new staff.
  • Meet and greet a small number of Iliffians in break out rooms.
  • Singing one of Iliffians' favorite songs.
  • A time to center oneself with colleagues in the midst of the painful confusing events of continuing racism, COVID, and political division.

We hope to see you there! Please visit the Opening Convocation web page for the link to the online event.
Faculty and Staff News
Dr. Stephanie Krusemark joined the Iliff community this summer as our Vice President of Enrollment Management.

Krusemark has more than 18 years of experience in higher education with a focus on strategic enrollment, equity, diversity, inclusion, and student success. She shared that she is "most excited to be part of moving our new learner communities and our 50 in 5 initiative forward, resulting in increased enrollment, retention, graduation, and post-career success."

Krusemark is an alumna of the Doctorate in Higher Education program offered by the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver. Since graduating over a decade ago, she has been immersed in social justice research and practice pertaining to the lived experiences of underserved and underrepresented student populations based on their racial, gender, sexual, religious, able-bodied, and socio-economic identities as an adjunct instructor at the Higher Education and Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Denver and as a Chancellor's Diversity Post-Doc Fellow in the Environmental Planning and Design program at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Her commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion are evident in her ability to immerse social justice practices in her approach to strategic enrollment, which has led her into leadership roles at Naropa University, Prescott College, Santa Clara University, and Trinity Washington University.

She finds restoration and relaxation exploring the natural landscapes of Colorado and the Southwest, often documenting her experiences through spiritual, creative painting and prose. She also enjoys backcountry and urban hiking, live music performances (especially jazz, blues, and funk), travel, reading, and baking.
COVID-19 Update: Fall Quarter Plans
From the earliest days following the emergence of COVID-19 as a global health threat, Iliff’s focus has been on continuing to fulfill our mission to our learners.

As the health and safety of our community is of the highest priority,
Iliff students will be fully online for the fall quarter. This decision was based on concerns of our staff, faculty, and students. We believe that it is the right thing to do as we are committed to the safety and uninterrupted progress in the education of our students.

Our building remains closed for normal business operations through October 9. Iliff is still in full operation with faculty and staff working remotely.

The Iliff Pandemic Planning Committee is in the process of developing a staged re-entry plan for the eventual building reopening. This includes ensuring that the needed safety precautions and protocols are in place. We continue to evaluate the situation by closely monitoring data and guidelines from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Colorado Department of Higher Education, State of Colorado, and the City and County of Denver. We will make the appropriate preparations should conditions allow for a change in our decision. Updates about Iliff's response can be found on our COVID-19 Updates webpage.

On an uplifting note, we are extremely proud of the Iliff community for their support of the Student Emergency Fund. A total of $45,457.00 has been raised for this fund since this April. Twelve students have been granted a combined $12,623.00 in emergency funds to address their current situation. A huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far. Let us continue to encourage and support one another during this time of crisis. If you'd like to contribute to the fund, please click here.

Wherever you are, know that we are thinking of you. Please stay safe!
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
Alumni Updates
Diane D'Angelo (MDiv '17) has joined the assessment team at the Marcus Institute for Brain Health (MIBH), after five years of serving as a chaplain at The Denver Hospice.

MIBH is a clinical care and research institute for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Psychological Health (PB) conditions such as post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety, located at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

The Institute offers intensive outpatient care with detailed diagnostic and treatment services, frequently in a four-week program, that integrates conventional medicine with complementary and alternative medicine. Patients and families receive extensive education regarding the nature of TBI and PH conditions designed to enhance self-management of symptoms aimed at improving quality of life.
Janita Krayniak (MDiv '19) is now serving as Pastor for the First United Methodist Church of Powell, Wyoming and the Lovell United Methodist Church in Lovell, Wyoming.

She is originally from Perry, Georgia and has lived all over the world, including Germany, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia (Washington, D.C. area), Kansas, Colorado Springs and Cheyenne Wells in Colorado, and now she is adding Wyoming to her list.

Krayniak has had many jobs throughout her life, but "the one which changed my life forever was being the director of children’s ministries for First United Methodist in Colorado Springs. That is where I answered the call into full-time ministry and what eventually led me here to the 'banana belt' area of Wyoming."

Read more about Pastor Krayniak in this Powell Tribune news article.
Andrea Lengacher Browning (MDiv '07), spiritual guide, is leading a virtual three-session workshop series, Leading through Awakened Action.

Participants will discuss and practice how to listen into soulful, awakened action within, noticing when it bubbles forth and how to allow awakened action to be expressed with courage. Each 60-minute session will include a guided process and reflective conversation. All sessions will be live and recorded.

Lengacher Browning has spent most of her professional career working in non-profit and faith-based organizations. Her career includes work as a psychotherapist, focusing on integrating spiritual and psychosocial methodologies and as a minister in an overseer role of a conference of churches and within congregations providing care and counseling.

Lengacher Browning experienced a spiritual awakening and began connecting with God's living guidance through accessing the spiritual dimension that lives around and within us. As her senses expanded, she began to integrate this into her life's work. She finds great energy and joy in connecting individuals with their soul and divine image.
Mina Nau (MDiv '18), pictured with fiancee’, Danny, and their dog, Bubba, is a new pastor at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church of Security in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Nau was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah where she grew up in the Tongan United Methodist Church.

Good Shepherd is the fourth church she has served since graduating from Ililff. She said, "I am excited and looking forward to serving Good Shepherd as God has called me to." Her vision is to "encourage a faith community to live into an intentional relational discipleship, connecting people with God's love one heart at a time."

Learn more about Nau in this news article and an Iliff story written about her when she was an Iliff student.
Bruce Taylor (MDiv '82), retired Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) minister and attorney, recently published Looking Up at Love: Sermons for the Lectionary, Year B, Advent through Eastertide.

The publication includes sermons for the Common Lectionary (Revised) covers the Sundays and major feast days of Year B, from the first Sunday of Advent through the seventh Sunday of Easter, and includes a sermon delivered for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in an ecumenical setting.
Looking Up at Love offers encouragement to preachers seeking to help their congregations discover the treasures of the liturgical year and provides all readers with a devotional companion for faithful reflection on Mark’s Gospel and the accompanying Scripture readings commended for use in Christian worship.

This book follows two volumes for Year A of the lectionary, and a fourth book (second part of Year B) is currently being edited by Wipf and Stock.

Taylor served congregations in Texas, Nebraska, Kansas, Nevada, and Oklahoma. He is a graduate of Northwestern University (BA, Latin), the University of Denver (JD), the Iliff School of Theology (MDiv), and Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (PhD, church history), and was an organizer and the secretary and treasurer of the Association for Reformed & Liturgical Worship.
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 to the Alumni Office.
Student Spotlight: Daryl J. Walker
Daryl J. Walker is a Master of Divinity student and a self-described “singing-activist.”

Professionally trained, he is a spiritually led and talented minister of music whose creative gifts and leadership have afforded him the opportunity to provide excellence in music ministry, music direction, performance, and music administration for diverse entities across the nation for more than 35 years.

Walker is pursuing his degree with an emphasis in Social Justice and Ethics. He currently serves as Minister of Music and Worship and Arts at Park Hill United Methodist Church in Denver and is seeking ordination as a Deacon.

He has served as the minister of music for several decades with his most recent appointments including serving as the Sacred Music Theologian and Music Minister for Campbell African Methodist Episcopal Church. Walker served as the Performing Director of The Spirituals Project, housed at the University of Denver Lamont School of Music. He is the founder and director of the Walker Music Academy and the Legacy Ensemble which annually celebrates A Heart for the Holy-Days. This event brings together Christian, Islamic and Jewish Faiths to join our hearts to give to those truly in need by living out a Legacy of Love for humanity.

His service also includes co-leader of No Enemies, a local Denver group that combines social activism and music. No Enemies brings music to movements to help people find and raise their voice as an agent of change for social activism. “No Enemies, envisions communities engaging with music as a tactic. Whether calling for climate justice, police accountability, or immigration reform, successful movements must find ways to invite new people to join. During marches, demonstrations, nonviolent civil disobedience, or other actions, the application of the right song can clarify the message, convey the spirit, and increase the impact.”

In 2007, Walker entered Iliff as a student but extenuating circumstances, including his father being diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer, prevented him from being able to continue. Then, he had a conversation with former Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Services, Vincent Tango, who proclaimed "this is now the best time for you at Iliff " and encouraged him to enroll again in 2014.

He shared, “It made sense to allow Iliff to be a space and place for me to walk my Dad home and receive a quality education and further my calling. It is a balance that is going on that you still have to renegotiate what school is asking of me versus what my dad is asking of me. It is more than I ever thought it could be, but it is working.”

There is another person who had a significant influence on Walker’s return to Iliff and continued progress in training in ministry. Knowledge of Dr. Vincent Harding’s work in the Civil Rights Movement enabled Walker to discern his call.

Dr. Harding gave me permission to ask questions when he prophetically said," Daryl, you do not ask the questions of only a musician." I acknowledge that my questions can agitate, raise awareness and provoke thought that serves to move the cause of Social Justice and Ethics forward as I am committed to equip and empower humanity to be the agents of change they are called to be.

“I am being created, refined for the role of the sacred music theologian. That is a wow experience. To that end, it will embody, yes, sacred music that is influenced by spirituals. Dr. Vincent G. Harding, who was the champion of peace, has deposited the relentless drive to work with the music but also [to determine] how the music is going to move social justice forward. That is exciting. This brings back singing activism. It brings back the sacredness of the music that we sing. It’s not just music but it is ministry and they [music and ministry both] have the power to heal the hurt but also to convict persons that we would say could never be convicted.”
"Ethics in an Age of Plagues, Pestilence, and Pandemics" begins next week
Dr. Miguel De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies at Iliff, will lead a course this fall, "Ethics in an Age of Plagues, Pestilence, and Pandemics," which is open to alumni and the public to audit.

This self-paced, 10-week course provides a deep understanding and glimpse of our world from an ethical and moral lens following the global pandemic. Participants will wrestle with the importance of maintaining a moral compass during crisis and an ethical vision as a new reality is constructed. Special attention will be given to how not all suffer equally, and the role racism, classism, and sexism during national emergencies. Finally, the course will assist the student in finding their own ethical voice during a time of hopelessness and desperation.

Two registration options are available:
  • Self-paced course: $50.00
  • Self-paced course, plus five, one-hour live Zoom webinar sessions with Dr. De La Torre: $100.00

Dates and Location
The course begins on September 14, 2020. 10 weeks of material will be offered and each participant will have up to 16 weeks to complete the course. This is a self-paced, online course.

Join us for free, virtual meditation
The Iliff Meditation Group meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. (Mountain Time). This group is open to everyone and beginners are welcome. There is no cost to participate.

The core of our practice is a brief introduction, approximately 20 minutes of still, silent meditation, followed by a little time to speak afterward (speaking is optional). Meditation instruction/advice is available.

Please join us! To get the Zoom link, or if you have any questions, please contact: 
Request a Taylor Hall keepsake
On July 27, we decommissioned the 71-year-old Taylor Hall and gave thanks to it housing generations of Iliffians.

Would you like a momento to remind you of your time in Taylor Hall? Request a brick from the building to have as a keepsake. A brick from the building will be mailed to you as soon as they are available. May you find your memories of Taylor Hall bless you!

Thanks to those in our community who posted memories on Iliff’s FaceBook page.
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.
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