Our Students, Our Treasure
Message from Acting President Therese DeLisio
A small brown wooden case with hinged top, leather straps, brass corners, and a leather carrying handle sits on an end table in my office. It looks like an old miniature piece of luggage, but the trim also makes it look like a treasure chest. Whether imagined as equipment for an adventurous journey or as a repository for precious things-or both-this box has symbolic significance for us at Bexley Seabury seminary.
While the case has been ceremonially opened only twice, it is already a part of our tradition in welcoming new students. The case holds treasure that every new student can carry with them as they journey through their seminary years. They discover
during our matriculation ceremony that they have embarked on a spiritual and vocational path trod by thousands of women and men who have come before them, and who now walk beside them in Spirit, cheering them on.
Signing a matriculation book when students begin their studies is a ceremony that some colleges, universities, and seminaries practice. This ritual had been performed at our antecedent seminaries, Seabury-Western and Bexley Hall, but the custom had gotten lost for a while. Last year, when all of the Bexley Seabury Seminary Federation's programs were consolidated at our new campus in Chicago's Hyde Park-Woodlawn neighborhood, the matriculation books of Seabury-Western and Bexley Hall re-emerged in the course of the move. Our institution was also emerging from being spoken of as "the Federation" to the shorthand name we use now: "Bexley Seabury seminary" -- "not Bexley, not Seabury, but Bexley Seabury," as our recently retired President Roger Ferlo has emphasized.
A year ago, as we planned orientation for our new non-residential students, we wondered how we might resurrect the matriculation ritual. We had no "Federation" matriculation book. So, which book would we use? We could start a new book, we supposed, but what of the rich legacy recorded in those old books? How might these books play a part in helping students to claim their historical inheritance as members of the community of scholars that had gone before them? How might we also mark this inaugural moment of their entering into the new seminary community that we were about to create together?
Welcoming new and returning students
Our Fall 2017 term began August 31, giving us the opportunity to welcome 41 new and returning students in our Master of Divinity and Anglican Studies programs. Among them are four students who transferred from Episcopal Divinity School in order to complete their MDiv studies -- our EDS Scholars -- plus our first St. Marina Scholar (see following article).
The photos below offer a glimpse of the first few days of the term, which were devoted to orientation and the matriculation ceremony that Acting President and Dean Therese DeLisio describes in her message this month. It is a joy to have these gifted leaders with us!
Congratulations, Raul Ausa
Our first of three St. Marina Scholars begins MDiv studies
Earlier this year, through the generosity of two anonymous donors Bexley Seabury received a $279,000 grant to fund full three-year scholarships for three incoming St. Marina Scholars -- Master of Divinity students from the LGBTQ community committed to justice ministry in the Episcopal Church -- one each year through 2019-2020. We are pleased to announce the first of our St. Marina Scholars,
from the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, N.J.
Raul was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, and immigrated to the United States when he was three years old. A graduate of Seton Hall University, Raul works as an investigator for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. He has long been passionate about issues of social justice and faith, stemming from his own experiences as an LGBT immigrant living in low-income, multicultural areas. He reports that he felt a call to the priesthood early in adolescence, and has been pursuing it since, hoping to add to the church's tradition of prophetic leaders.
Bexley Seabury St. Marina Scholars are 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.
If you know any St. Marina Scholar candidates, please
send contact information by
email to Jaime Briceno
or phone Jaime at 773-380-7045 -- or ask your referrals to contact Jaime directly.
Is 2018 Your Year to DMin?
Consider Bexley Seabury
LOTS HAS CHANGED since most of us began our ministries. If that's true for you, it may be time to polishing and broaden your skills by pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree.
We invite you to learn more about our low-residency DMin Degrees in Congregational Development and Preaching expressly designed for full-time ministers.
Both programs emphasize
THEOLOGY put into practice...
CONTEXTUAL LEARNING relevant to your ministry setting...
LEADERSHIP skills to build strong communities...
TOOLS THAT WORK in dynamic settings. MORE HERE
Pass the Word: Online Open House October 17
Help us introduce Bexley Seabury to prospective students
Do you know someone who is called to lead?
Please help us invite prospective students to learn what Bexley Seabury offers them by participating in our next online open house. We welcome all "seminary shoppers," whether they are interested in a degree or diploma program or looking for a way to learn more about their faith journey and the Episcopal Church. All one needs to participate is an internet connection.
ONLINE OPEN HOUSE Tuesday, October 17, 7-8:00 p.m. CST
Participants will hear a range of perspectives -- from faculty, student body, and staff presenters -- about 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
- Q & A
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Register by October 7th and receive a
Bexley Seabury Google Cardboard Viewer!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Latino Ministry Competency Course October 15-24 in Chicago
For lay and ordained leaders...register by September 29
Registration closes September 29 for the October session of Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency, an innovative nine-day intensive course designed for diocesan staff, clergy, lay leaders, and
seminarians to learn cultural competency for Latino ministry.
Offered by the Episcopal Church Office of Latino/Hispanic Ministries, the course will meet at St. James Commons, Chicago, Sunday to Tuesday, October 15 to 24. The course will be taught by seminary faculty, lay church leaders, and clergy with extensive experience in Latino and intercultural ministry.
The course will be conducted in English. Bilingual faculty will interpret as needed. Bexley Seabury will award CEUs applicable to personal, theological and professional development hours to those who complete the course.
Bexley Seabury is Now Part of Amazon Smile
Help us make a difference while you shop
For anything you buy at Amazon Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5% to Bexley Seabury.
Amazon Smile offers Amazon's exact same prices, selection and shopping experience
with a "mission bonus" for Bexley Seabury paid by Amazon.
All you need to do is go to smile.amazon.com and select Bexley Seabury as your desired charity, or go directly to our unique store page:
Bexley Seabury at Amazon Smile
Generous gifts from faithful and far-sighted supporters
Finance Director Robert Doak has announced the receipt of three substantial gifts.
- A gift of $25,000 was received in late summer from the estate of Robert Bertheau (Seabury-Western '92).
- Bexley Seabury received $281,000 in August, the proceeds of a life insurance policy from former Bexley Hall and Bexley Seabury board member/ trustee Carl Gerdau. Gerdau, who served for a decade as canon to the presiding bishop under the Most Rev. Frank Griswold and the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, died May 27 at age 84.
- Proceeds from a Church Life insurance policy for $15,500 was received from the estate of Charles Wood, Jr. (Seabury-Western '65).
If you would like to provide for Bexley Seabury through your estate and want to discuss planned giving options, please send an email to Robert Doak or phone him at 708-380-6783.
The Joy of Books: Part II
Reading for enlightenment and enjoyment
We recently asked faculty members what they are reading outside of classwork, so we can share the information here to inspire your next trip to the library or local bookstore. This issue, we hear from Associate Professor of Anglican Theology Jason Fout.
Here is Jason's report:
Have you read something you think others would enjoy or find useful? Send us the details and we'll pass along your recommendations in an upcoming issue of Community News.
- There Goes the 'Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up, by Lance Freeman (Temple University Press, 2006), which gives a nuanced ethnographic account of gentrification from the perspective of the residents of gentrifying neighborhoods. This would be a valuable resource for people wanting to think beyond the tidy binaries of good or evil, losers or winners, about the experienced reality of gentrification.
- The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class -- and What We Can Do About It, by Richard Florida (Basic Books, 2017). The title provides a nice summary of the book, which builds on - and corrects - Florida's previous work on the "creative class". The book really dramatizes the urgent need for affordable housing solutions in major cities, particularly those that are economically vibrant.
- Ecologies of Faith in New York City: The Evolution of Religious Institutions, ed. by Richard Cimino, Randia A. Milan, and Weishan Huang. (Indiana University Press, 2013). This is a multi-authored work in a growing field which engages religious congregations through multiple disciplinary lenses to show how they are agents in their own right in the contemporary urban environment, rather than only being reactive to their context.
On and Off Campus
(Bexley Seabury '17, Seabury-Western '08), has been called as the next rector of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukie, Ore. Deborah was awarded the DMin from Bexley Seabury this past May. She reports that her first day in the office is October 23, and her first Sunday in the pulpit is October 29. We offer our congratulations!
A joint funeral was held at St. John's Cathedral in Spokane, Wash., on September 16 for
Charles Edward Wood
(Seabury-Western '65), who died December 28, 2016, and his wife Ann Rayner Wood who died July 19, 2017. Charles' obituary can be found
and Ann's obituary can be found