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Tommy Ross, M.A. ’02

What do you do?

I am the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Security Cooperation. I lead an office responsible for overseeing the Department’s policy and strategy relating to U.S. defense engagements with partner nation militaries and defense ministries around the world.

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Tinka Harvard, M.Div. ’01

What do you do?

I teach at retreats and workshops combining theology, philosophy, and the arts in an effort to inspire. I’m also a writer, and this spring for the first time I had a short story published by a literary journal. I’ve just completed my first novel and am searching for an agent and publisher.

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David Cowell, M.Div. ’94

What do you do?

Arguably, bi-vocational ministry is on the leading edge of what ministry looks like now. I am deep in it. I serve as the Manager of Spiritual Care Services at Pathways Home Health and Hospice, the second largest home health and hospice agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am also the called pastor of First Congregational Church of San Francisco, United Church of Christ. Both of these calls are complex and demanding, and serving both well has necessitated a set of skills beyond the requirements of the vocations themselves. At Pathways, I supervise a staff of chaplains who serve patients who reflect the stark income inequality that one finds in an area that reaches from the Silicon Valley to Oakland, from San Jose to San Francisco. One aspect of my work is to support resilience and carry the mission of care within our agency in the face of a stressful and dysfunctional healthcare environment. I’ve also kept a small caseload, primarily our pediatric hospice service. Doing “the work” of hospice grounds my practice and is essential in sustaining my faith journey. When I started at First Congregational Church of San Francisco four years ago, it wasn’t clear to any of us what God was calling this congregation to do. Before I arrived, the congregation had sold its historic building to relocate, but they had not decided where they would go. Eventually, they found a place on the edge of the Tenderloin district where they would build. I had visited them during this “wilderness” experience, and I was aware that this congregation had to grapple with uncertainty and the fear of dying—even after they moved into their beautiful new sanctuary. But this small congregation has a vision of becoming a community center even as it honors its past with the knowledge that the future will look very different than the “glory days.” We’ve partnered with MCC San Francisco, who are now our “roommates.” We are taking care of one another and are becoming far more active in service in the world.

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Cedric H. Jaggard, M.Div. ’41

What do you do?

Technically I’m retired, but am nearing the close of several years’ research for my book entitled Claiming Different Forms of the Good News: Road to a Larger Gospel; Overlooked Bible Foundations for Growing in the Faith. (I would be pleased to hear of any faculty member or other person associated with Union who is interested in this subject. I would also welcome suggestions for an appropriate publisher.) I just realized that this year marks the 75th anniversary of my graduation from Union. I would be interested to know if there are other members of the Class of ’41 still living. [editor’s note: Mr. Jaggard is one of five surviving members of the Class of 1941.] On November 25, 2015, I reached my 100th birthday. I was glad to have my beloved wife of 72 ½ years, Jean Dale McGiffert Jaggard, celebrate with me. Only a month later, at the age of 95 ½, she took her farewell for now. (Arthur Cushman McGiffert, president of Union a little before my days there, was part of her extended family.)

 

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When a liberation theologian travels with a Socially Engaged Buddhist to a Buddhist Conference in India

During Fall Break, Cláudio Carvalhaes, Associate Professor of Worship and Greg Snyder, Senior Director of Buddhist Studies traveled to Nagpur, India for The Social Engagement and Liberation conference, hosted by the International Network of Engaged Buddhists. Both Cláudio and Greg will be reflecting on their experience on the Union website.

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