EDS at Union June Newsletter

Categories: EDS at Union

Where Faith and Scholarship Meet to Reimagine the Work of Justice

Dear friends,

As Dean of EDS at Union, I have the privilege of sharing with people across the Church the work that God is calling us to today. Over the past several months, I have been speaking about the dangerous rise of white supremacy in U.S. history and the particular threat it poses today and have had the chance to be in the Dioceses of Massachusetts, Long Island, Connecticut, and Los Angeles, to name just a few. This work has been both challenging and inspirational as I encounter so many of you committed to building “Beloved Community.”

Recently, in a question and answer session, a clergy participant told me about the incredible resistance he faces every day as he strives to help his congregation dismantle its long legacy of racism. The cost of his discipleship was very clear to all in the room, and it was a story that is shared by many in that it reflects the day-to-day struggle of working toward God’s justice in what can only be described as discouraging times.

To that clergy person and to the many like him who are engaged in this incredibly hard work of faith and social justice, this season of Pentecost reminds us that with the gift of the Holy Spirit we have what it takes to keep fighting for a more just world and church despite the obstacles in our way. Additionally, as we celebrate this Pride month, let us be reminded of the particular injustices that LGBTQ persons face and recommit ourselves to building a world where the sacred dignity of all God’s children is respected.

I want also to say ‘thank you’ for your persistent work and witness. I hope that EDS at Union is a place that encourages you and supports you as you keep pressing forward as I believe that this is the work that God has called us to at this moment in history.

As EDS at Union comes to the end of its first academic year in our new home, I want you to know that I am both celebrating this achievement while also keenly aware of the difficult challenges we are preparing our future faith leaders to face head on. The work of ministry is joyful but it is also incredibly serious and costly.

We cannot do this work without faith. Nor can we do it alone. And for this reason, I am so grateful for your continued prayers and support as we reach this important milestone. Know that you are in my prayers as well.


The Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas
Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union

Fall Book Read: No Ashes in the Fire

EDS at Union has selected No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black & Free in America by Darnell Moore for our Community Read for the Fall 2019 semester. Join in reading this spiritual autobiography which tracks Moore’s journey from Camden, NJ to Ferguson, MO, including years at Princeton Theological Seminary. Please hold the evening of September 18 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM ET when Moore will join us on campus for an address, Q&A session, and book signing. This event will be live-streamed for those unable to attend in person. Registration information will be made available by mid-August.

Pilgrimage to Legacy Museum and Memorial for Peace and Justice

Dean Douglas, students, and members of Heavenly Rest Episcopal Church in New York will travel to Montgomery, AL from June 19-22 where they will visit the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum and Memorial for Peace and Justice as well as many other sites.

Tune in on Friday, June 21st at 2:20 PM ET for a Facebook Live Conversation about this pilgrimage. Dean Douglas will facilitate a live conversation among students and church leaders on why EDS at Union has made this pilgrimage and will answer questions from participants about learnings on the trip. Watch by visiting EDS at Union’s Facebook page at the above date and time.

Join a New Interfaith Coalition to Oppose Discrimination Against LGBTQ Foster Parents

EDS at Union is proud to be a founding member of the Interfaith Coalition for Children’s Rights. This coalition is working against proposed state and federal legislation that allows child welfare agencies to discriminate based on religious beliefs and sexuality against potential foster or adoptive parents. Click here to join this interfaith coalition and join in fighting back against state and federal legislation that uses religious freedom to enshrine a license to discriminate.

Philadelphia Eleven Documentary

Help tell the story of the Philadelphia Eleven! Please consider a donation to the following Kickstarter campaign to contribute to this film production. “It was 1974, and eleven women were ordained Episcopal priests in a ceremony held against church rules.” Click here to donate!


LGBTQ Pride Month: Honoring and Remembering Lives Lost to Violence

EDS alumna The Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool (’81) presided and Miguel Escobar, EDS at Union’s director of Anglican Studies, preached at Trinity Church Wall Street’s memorial service to honor the LGBTQ lives lost to homophobia, hate crimes, and gun violence. Click here to watch the full service!


Mayor Pete and the Episcopal Church

The Daily Beast asked Dean Douglas why the Episcopal Church is being attacked by prominent right-wing Evangelicals: “The Episcopal Church faith tradition has been concerned with salvation as it talks about issues of social justice and issues of freedom—a movement toward ‘God’s Just Earth,’ so that the issues that really become central to our concern are issues of how one treats those who have been marginalized.” Click here for full article.


Episcopal Relief & Development Workshop

Chad Brinkman and Sean McConnell of Episcopal Relief & Development led a workshop on Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) and Climate Change. This was a great opportunity for EDS at Union students to learn about the ABCD approach and consider how it applies to their own ministries.

The Dangerous Rise of White Supremacy

Dean Douglas spoke at clergy conferences and diocesan gatherings in Massachusetts, Long Island, Connecticut, and Los Angeles on the dangerous rise of white supremacy we are witnessing today. A recording of her forum with the Rev. Mike Kinman of All Saints Pasadena, CA entitled “Beyond Whiteness: Moral Courage for a Church in Troubled Times” is available here.


Exploring Democratic Socialism

The Rev. Dr. Gary Dorrien, Episcopal priest and Union’s Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics, delivered an address on Democratic and Christian Socialism to celebrate the release of his new book Social Democracy in the Making. Dr. Dorrien teaches Modern Anglican Theology in the Anglican Studies program. EDS at Union was honored to co-sponsor this event and Dean Douglas offered a response to his address.


Four Churches Consultation

Miguel Escobar of EDS at Union and Dean Cynthia Kittredge of the Seminary of the Southwest participated in the “Four Churches Consultation on Formation for Leadership.” Canadian and American representatives of the Lutheran and Anglican Churches explored broad question of how theological formation programs interact with context and culture. The meeting was held at St. John’s Convent in Toronto, Canada.

Informational Webinar on EDS at Union’s Anglican Studies Program

Do you know of someone who is discerning vocation in the Episcopal Church? An informational webinar for those interested in applying to the Anglican Studies program will be held on September 10 at 2:00 PM ET. Email Miguel Escobar mescobar@uts.columbia.edu to register for this webinar.

New EDS at Union Now Podcasts

  • Margins Speak with the Rev. Dr. Kuzipa Nalwamba
  • Courageous and Just: Interview with Austin Channing Brown
  • Courageous and Just: Interview with the Rev. Canon Broderick Greer

Listen here

Looking Ahead to Fall 2019

  • August 29: EDS at Union reception for new and returning students, friends and colleagues
  • September 4: Book Signing ceremony
  • September 6-7: Orientation retreat led by the Rev. Dr. Gary Commins
  • September 18: Community Book Read Event with Darnell Moore, author of No Ashes in the Fire
  • September 20: Site visit for Anglican Studies students to the Interfaith Center of New York
  • September 24: Webinar with the Rev. Susan Russell on the state of LGBTQ issues in the Episcopal Church today
  • September 25: Interfaith Morning Prayer led by Greg Snyder, Senior Director and Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies

Call for Donations

EDS at Union wishes to thank alumni/ae and friends for the incredible financial support it has received over the past year. We are thrilled to share the news that we have surpassed our fund-raising goal for 2019. If you have not yet done so, please consider making a contribution before the end of June 2019. Please make a donation today!

June 2019 Alumni/ae Updates

Dr. Eleofina (Elly) Andujar ’87 & ’92 has been re-elected to the Executive Committee of the NAACP in western North Carolina.

The Rev. Richard (Dick) L. Blank ’64 is playing saxophone in a wonderful jazz quartet. In this video, he is seen playing “Spanish Motif” for Clifford Murphy’s 87th Birthday Celebration. He warmly recalls playing for the 1965 Spring Dance.

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas ’88 was one of the principal authors of Religious Declaration of Unprecedented Human Emergency, released by National Religious Coalition on Creation Care (NRCCC). This blog post discusses the document’s significance. She contributed an essay to “Standing in the Need of Prayer – Just Peacemaking with the Earth,” an interfaith booklet to be released by Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries (CMM), Boston’s oldest interfaith social justice network. She led workshops on eating disorders for the Institute of Liturgical Studies conference, “Table of Thanksgiving: How Eucharist Forms Us,” at Valparaiso University. Other talks, articles, and sermons are at RevivingCreation.org.

The Rev. Mark H. Butler ’76 is retired but serves as the Priest in Charge of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Tryon, NC. He serves with an ETS alumnus Timothy Holt and Norma Hanson in an experimental ministry of three retired clergy serving a congregation that cannot afford a part-time clergy person. “It seems to work well!”

The Rev. Kenneth S. Campbell ’69 is the convener of the Nauset Interfaith Association of some twenty interfaith congregations on lower and outer Cape Cod. He is presently working on opening a transitional residence house that will be called Beloved Community House. “This June will be the 50th anniversary of my graduation from the Episcopal Divinity School!”

The Rev. William (Bill) C. Cruse ’15 just accepted a call to serve as part-time Priest-in-Charge with the parish of St. John’s Memorial Episcopal Church. In the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, he serves on the Namaste Commission for anti-racism and social justice training and awareness. He also continues his work with the Kaleidoscope Institute as Sr. Associate and East Coast Regional Director, and is also a Trainer for Education for Ministry (EfM). He will co-facilitate the June Training of Trainers in Los Angeles with the Kaleidoscope Institute to enhance intercultural competency within EfM. Bill will officiate at the wedding of his Chung Chi Divinity School classmate, and EDS alumnus Matthew Tsz Him Lai ’17. Co-celebrating will be EDS alumna the Rev. Canon Dr. Ada Wong Nagata ’15.

The Rev. Patricia (Pat) A. Eustis ’98 will be retiring on June 30 from active ministry and will be moving to Seattle, WA.

The Rev. Frederick (Fred) Fenton ’61 married Linda Scanlin, RN, January 15, 2019. Fred and Linda are active members of St Luke’s, Long Beach, CA where EDS alumna the Rev. Jane Gould ’86 is rector. The Fentons left on May 9 for a five-week trip to Europe.

The Rev. Eric Fialho ’17 was ordained to the Transitional Diaconate on June 1st at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston. Eric has accepted a call to be Curate at St. Paul’s Church in Riverside, CT.

For the 50th anniversary of Thomas Merton’s death, The Rev. James (Jim) L. Friedrich ’69 designed a solemn high mass constructed largely of Merton’s own words. He continues to blog about religion, culture, and the arts as The Religious Imagineer and his posts have been featured at Episcopal Cafe as well as Christian Century, which published his essay on preaching the resurrection in its April 10 issue.

The Rev. Dr. Milton M. Gatch, Jr. ’60 provided the foreword to a collection of sermons by displaced former members of theological faculties: Courage Beyond Fear: Re-Formation in Theological Education, edited by Katie Day and Deirdre Good (Pickwick Publications). During the summer, he will be in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, occasionally assisting at the Chapel of St. James the Fisherman and communing with Jack Smith ETS ’59.

The Rev. Stephen (Steve) K. Jacobson ’66 lost Deni, his spouse of 58 years, in March 2018. Deni struggled with Alzheimer’s before this cruel disease took her life. Steve has found new life with Diana Erb, widow of the Rev. John Erb, in Toronto, Canada. They reside in Eastham, MA and in Toronto where they worship at The Church of the Redeemer. Steve’s daughter, Ingrid, recently completed her second year of study at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP).

The Rev. Kristin Krantz ’06 has been called to be the Launch Director of the Diocese of Maryland’s College for Congregational Development. The College, which will launch in Summer 2020, began in the Diocese of Olympia in 2009 and currently has affiliate programs in five other dioceses. She will also continue to serve as Rector at St. James’ in Mount Airy, MD.

The Rev. Eric J. Partridge ’14 has just completed his Doctor of Ministry degree at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. His thesis topic was “The Impact of Gratitude Practices on Feelings of Chronic Loneliness.” He is the rector of the Anglican Church of Canada, at St. Andrew, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada.

Dr. Charles Patterson ’63 is the author of Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust, which was just published in Norway and brings the number of languages it’s now in, to 17.  His new book — In Dante’s Footsteps: My Journey to Hell — was recently reviewed favorably by India’s largest English language newspaper. The book is about an Episcopal priest who leaves his parish and goes to Hell. More information here (click “novel”).

The Rev. Dr. Earle W. Pratt, Jr. ’69 built a home in Waynesville, NC and is serving as an Assisting Priest at Grace Church in the Mountains.

Mr. Montgomery Tugwete ’15 is now a third-year Ph.D. candidate at Chicago Theological Seminary and will be teaching a summer course at Vancouver School of Theology in Vancouver BC entitled Creating a Functional, Holistic and Compassionate Youth and Family Ministry from July 15-19. This will include an evening lecture on July 16th entitled A Case for an Authoritative Community: Even Boy Jesus Needed One. The course is on Practical Theology as realized through Person Theologies, System Thinking, the Digital Age in a Consumptive Society, Leadership, Re-tooling and Engagement, Communication, and Conflict Resolution in order to build a Compassionate and Holistic Youth & Family Ministry.

The Rev. Marta I. Valentín ’03 was selected to be the preacher for the Sunday morning service at this year’s Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in Spokane, WA. It will be live streamed and recorded on June 23rd beginning at 9:45 AM PT. Anyone who would like to gather virtually can access it here. Rev. Marta is also the Denominational Counselor for UU students at Harvard Divinity School, pastors at UU Church of Medford and independently consults in support of the Association’s centering people of color/decentering whiteness work. She lives in Ayer, MA with her wife Alison and their twelve-year-old daughter Jaiya.

The Rev. Cn. Walter Van Zandt Windsor ’00 is serving as Clinical Chaplain 3 at Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola Prison. He also serves as the priest of St. Paul’s in Woodville, MS.

The Rev. Dr. David A. Williams ’72 is currently the National Director of Ceremonies and Officer of the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem and Chaplain of the Charleston Chapter of the St. David’s Society. He retired in 2015 after 12 years as Rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC and is currently living in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

On August 1st, the Rev. Mary Cat Young ’06 will become the Associate Rector for University Ministry at Chapel of the Cross, and University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC. Mary Cat served as the Diocesan Liaison for Campus and Young Adult Ministry in the Diocese of New York since 2011.

In Memoriam

Sarah Davis Smith ’81 died on December 6 in Oahu, HI. A memorial service for her was held at the First Congregational Church in Rowley, MA on May 11, 2019. Her obituary can be read here.

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