We're Resending This Issue...
- To correct the table of contents listings
- To add an opportunity to register for selected Spring 2017 courses -- while space remains
- To amplify information about our April 26, 2017 Convocation in Chicago
Pray for Justice. Act for Justice
Message from President Ferlo
I am writing this message on Martin Luther King Day, just four days before the next presidential inauguration. The juxtaposition of these two events underscores the deep racial and economic divisions that have haunted our national polity since its inception in the late eighteenth century. These divisions have seldom been more evident.
For perhaps the first time in my life as a Christian in America, I realize that if I really believe what I say when I repeat the promises of the baptismal covenant, my political and cultural passivity is no longer acceptable. In the current political climate, when a hero of the civil rights movement (and the great city he represents) can be so ignorantly pilloried by the most powerful man in the country, silence is no longer an option, any more for us than it was for Dr. King. If we really mean as Christians to uphold the dignity of every human being, and to make no peace with oppression, there is hard and risky work ahead.
Elsewhere in this newsletter, you will see an invitation to gather with your fellow alumni and friends of the seminary at our April 26 convocation,
Bending Toward Justice, to be held at St. James Common in Chicago. My hope is that the work of that convocation will resonate with the prophetic witness of Dr. King and Congressman John Lewis. We are honored that the Rev. John Floberg, long-time priest at the Standing Rock reservation and a Bexley Hall alumnus, has agreed to speak to us about his work in organizing the clergy participation in the recent Standing Rock protest.
In a panel discussion, John will be joined by our keynote speaker, the Rev. Gayle Stewart-Fischer, a former police officer and now Episcopal priest, and founder of the Center for Faith in Justice in Washington, DC; and by Mr. Kenji Kuramitsu, an Episcopal seminarian at McCormick Seminary. Kenji is an eloquent writer and speaker on issues of civil rights and ethnic justice, and a member of the national board of the Japanese American Citizens' League.
Please mark your calendars; tell your friends and colleagues; and urge them to attend on April 26 at St. James' Common, 65 Huron Street, Chicago. The convocation begins at 2 p.m. and ends with a reception following Evensong at 5:30.
Pray for justice. Act for justice. In Christ's name.
Save the Date: 2017 Chicago Convocation April 26, 2017
Accepting the Challenge of "Bending Toward Justice"
JOIN US Wednesday, April 26, when the Bexley Seabury community will assemble to recommit to praying and acting for justice. Our 2017 Chicago Convocation, "Bending Toward Justice," will gather students, alums, supporters, faculty, and staff for worship, teaching-learning, and fellowship at St. James Commons, 65 E. Huron, Chicago, home to the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.
We are pleased to welcome three compelling guest faculty members who promise to challenge and inspire us.
A former Washington, D.C. police captain and Episcopal priest, the Rev. Dr. Gayle Fisher-Stewart founded
the Center for the Study of Faith in Justice
in response to the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The center studies the intersection of faith and justice in society and provides concrete steps to help churches live into the mission of Jesus. Fisher-Stewart is associate rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Washington, DC.
Bexley Hall alumnus the Rev. Canon John Floberg is supervising priest for three Episcopal congregations at
Standing Rock Sioux
Nation and canon missioner for the Diocese of North Dakota. Leader of the Episcopal Church's support to water protectors at Standing Rock, Floberg organized a national call to serve that drew more than 500 interfaith clergy and lay ministers to Standing Rock in November 2016. Floberg serves on the 21-member Executive Council of the Episcopal Church.
Kenji Kuramitsu is a writer and Master of Divinity student at Chicago's McCormick Theological Seminary. A child of two police officers, he co-created the popular Theology of Ferguson and #StayWokeAdvent anthologies, and recently authored a booklet of "uncommon prayers" dedicated to the movement for black lives. Kenji serves on the national board of directors of the
Japanese American Citizens League
the Reformation Project
, which furthers LGBTQ inclusion in the church.
Guest faculty, L-R: Gayle Fisher-Stewart, John Floberg (in chasuble), Kenji Kuramitsu
Please join us for the day and invite interested colleagues:
Register by email
- 2 PM President's Forum
- 3 PM Panel: Gayle Fisher-Stewart, John Floberg, Kenji Kuramitsu
- 4 PM Keynote: Gayle Fisher-Stewart
- 5:30 PM Evensong in St. James Cathedral
- 6:00 PM Reception with Refreshments
A reflection from Newland Smith
With gratitude to Susan Bentley (Seabury-Western '90), here is a reflection from our longtime colleague Newland Smith, on his experience at Standing Rock Sioux Nation.
That Monday morning, October 31, in response to the call issued by John Floberg, I joined five Lutheran School of Theology students and a New Testament professor at that seminary in the two-day drive to Cannon Ball, N.D., in order to be present for the solidarity event that Thursday.
There were three reasons why I made this trip.
First as Seabury-Western's librarian I witnessed the agonizing and tragic experiences of many of the Native Americans who attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary between 1985 and 1991, where they were confronted with a Eurocentric curriculum and daily chapel services that failed to incorporate Native American spirituality.
Did You Stand at Standing Rock?
A request for reflections and prayers based on your experiences
As part of our April 26, 2017 Convocation, we want to create a book of reflections and prayers from those who stood with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation in North Dakota. We welcome written contributions and photos or other images --
please send via email to Ron Fox
Room at the Inn
A few places remain for three Spring 2017 courses
There is still time to register for three upcoming courses. All courses are offered in a low-residency format-classroom sessions on three Fri-Sat weekends over three months plus online learning.
Note there is no requirement that one be in a degree or diploma program.
These courses open to interested ALL lay and clergy leaders.
Choose from academic credit ($1,770), continuing education credit ($500), or enrichment/no credit ($475). Find the course for you, then
-- while space remains. JOIN US!
Explore the diverse range of theologies and ethics reflected in the worldwide Anglican Communion, including the work of "classic" Anglican theologians. Jason Fout leads this foundational course.
Anglican Theology & Ethics
Classroom sessions Feb. 10-11, March 10-11, April 7-8
Learn six strategies for teaching the biblical story in ways that lead to personal and communal transformation. John Dally leads this course, intended for lay and ordained teachers and anyone interested in learning about the Bible -- a great choice for learning and leading as a ministry team.
Strategies for Teaching the Bible
Classroom sessions Feb. 24-25, March 24-25, April 28-29
President Ferlo leads this challenging, experiential course. Participants explore Anglican spirituality and ethos in theology, liturgy, music, poetry, and the visual arts while examining the implications of global Anglicanism and assumptions about race and ethnicity, human sexuality, and social justice.
Anglican Spirituality & Ethos
Classroom sessions March 3-4, March 31-April 1, May 5-6
Seeking President Ferlo's Successor
The Bexley Seabury President Search Committee is actively and prayerfully discerning who we will call to be our next president. After publishing the search profile in mid-December, members of the committee began making phone calls to people inside and outside the Episcopal Church seeking nominations. The committee has also received several applications from those interested in discerning with us. Over the next several weeks the committee will consider the nominees and applicants, narrowing their focus to the candidates they believe are best qualified to lead Bexley Seabury as we seek to live fully into our vision to be a seminary beyond walls.
For more information, please read
the search profile
on the Bexley Seabury website. The committee notes that it's not too late to make a nomination. The person's name can be sent to the committee, with your thoughts on why the nominee would be a good candidate. All submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the President Search Committee are Cathy Bagot, John Denson (chair), Suzann Holding (faculty representative), Gary Manning, Melinda Rhodes-DiSalvo and Dan Shannon.
On and Off Campus
Staff and Faculty
President Ferlo and Dean DeLisio (third and second from right, front row) with others participating in the January meeting of the Council of Deans at General Seminary, New York City. Image by/courtesy of Chad Rancourt.
In an article published by Religion News, Gary Hall, former Seabury-Western president and former dean of Washington National Cathedral, has called on the cathedral to "return to its primary role: proclaiming an inviting, inclusive, just and liberating vision of the gospel to all Americans and the world." Read the article here
We have received word of the death of
David Maxwell Warner
(Seabury-Western '55) on New Year's Day.
David was a long-time resident of Denver, Colo., graduating from Denver University before attending Seabury-Western. He was ordained in Denver in 1956. His ministry included churches in Colorado, Utah and Richmond, Virginia, serving at Christ Ascension Episcopal Church for 20 years. After retiring from active ministry, David served three small churches in the Diocese of Ely near Cambridge, England, for a year. Interim ministries included Aquia Episcopal Church in Stafford County, Va. and St. Paul's in King George, Va.
View the complete obituary here