Fri. 10/20, 1– 6pm; Sat. 10/21, 9am –5pm
This course will explore how the minister navigates the interesting waters between the material and the spiritual. It will be offered in two parts. The first part of the course will be about Mortals: how to be spiritually ready for marriages, funerals, house blessings, divorces and cancers of the soul and body. Students will learn how to “do” these things when they walk into their sacred spaces; explore how and why to insert spirit into rituals and life’s great moments. Students will also learn to negotiate fees or no fees for services. The second part of the course will attend to the Bricks that surround the mortals, particularly to real estate as a sacred site and sacred site as real estate. This course will not cover facilities management but will explore how to lead a building to its maximal and optimal use. Issues such as: sharing space with more than one worshipping congregations; removing or not removing the pews; sharing the refrigerator with guests or day care centers, etc., will be discussed. Students can take either Bricks or Mortals and learn some of the nitty-gritty of the art of parish ministry. Or students can take both and develop a sense of coherence about the job and the call of ministry in the parish. This course will be especially useful for bi-vocational ministers as well as those lucky enough to have a full-time position.
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church since 2006. She is active in the New York City Sanctuary Movement, Bricks and Mortals (sacred sites and real estate) and with a community ministry program at Judson which trains seminarians in how to do public ministry from a parish base.
Deeply involved in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, she entered the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1969, earning a Master’s Degree in 1971. She was one of the first women ministers in the United Church of Christ in the early 1970s, and was a key figure in the feminist movement within the Church and within campus ministry during the 1970s, when she was first Assistant Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Tucson, AZ, and then Associate Pastor of Tabernacle Church in Philadelphia (also a chaplain at the University of Pennsylvania). She was a key player in Campus Ministry Women, as well as women’s groups within the United Church of Christ. She helped bring the Open and Affirming Movement to the United Church of Christ and the “God is Still Speaking” Movement as well.
For 25 years in ministry, she has been one of the best known feminist civil rights and peace advocates in the church. She is one of the most sought-after preachers and speakers in the United Church of Christ. Donna is also one of the most widely published women ministers in the country, especially within the mainline church. Since the late 1980s, she has had 35 books published on everything from becoming 40, to understanding Sabbath, to spiritual rock gardening, to the differences between male and female ministerial styles, to devotional guides to different Christian seasons (Advent, Lenten, and the like), and most recently, from Nation Books, GRASSROOTS GARDENING: RITUALS TO SUSTAIN ACTIVISTS. She writes weekly for the Poughkeepsie Journal (City Mouse, Country Mouse) and for the National Catholic Reporter.