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VIRGINIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Alexandria, VA April 2012
Inside this Issue
• New Faculty Member • Chapel Campaign Launch 6 8
• Presenting the Spectrum 18
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Message from the Dean
Amazing Week, Amazing Work, Amazing Grace
Left: Dean Markham is interviewed by WUSA9 News at the launch of the capital campaign.
n extraordinary week in February at VTS was made more so as we assisted Temple Beth El in the funeral for a paramedic who died tragically the week before. On February 16, Seminary Road was closed for the procession which included hundreds of firefighters, some of whom battled the chapel fire in October 2010. We were invited to serve others as we worked as a community to prepare for a future of service. On Wednesday, the 17th, the Board of Trustees’ Finance and Investment Committees and the Executive Committee met. On Thursday morning, the full Board gathered. There was plenty of work for this Board meeting: the Rev. Dr. James Farwell was elected as the new Associate Professor of Theology and Liturgy; the Project Oversight Group gave a report on the progress towards the new Worship and Welcome Quad; and the full Board approved the Capital Campaign goal. On Thursday evening we launched the Chapel for the Ages Capital Campaign. The launch was spectacular. With the Rt. Rev. Frank Griswold III (co-chair of the Capital Campaign) presiding, it started with a service of Holy Eucharist. The packed interim chapel enjoyed a rich feast of music and celebration. Then we moved to Scott Lounge and the Refectory. Food stations were ready for the hundreds of guests on campus. Presentations followed that included the Mayor of Alexandria, Mr. William D. Euille, Mr. Grant Marani (from Robert A. M. Stern architects), and Ms. Hartley Hobson Wensing (representing Immanuel Church on the Hill). The chapel designs were launched, along with the capital campaign goal and tithe, and the new video. On Friday, the Seminary celebrated a key partnership across the Anglican Communion by organizing a fundraiser for the North American Committee of St. George’s College in Jerusalem. Friday was also the start of the Conference on Ministry. Over 60 guests were accommodated on campus. Our café, 1823, was buzzing; tours were arranged of married student housing, the dorms, the Episcopal High School gym, the Butterfly House, and the Bishop Payne Library; and a variety show was organized for the Saturday night. On Sunday, many participants in the Conference on Ministry seized the opportunity to visit the Washington National Cathedral and join Sunday worship there. From a reorganized Board, to a capital campaign, to the Anglican Communion partners, to the emerging class of 2015, this is a happening place. And we do it all to serve the Church and to the Glory of God. q
News from the Hill · April 2012
Virginia Theological Seminary OFFICERS
The Rt. Rev. James J. Shand Chairman of the Board Ms. Sissy Poland Vice-Chair of the Board The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President Mr. Timothy F. Sedgwick, Ph.D. Vice President The Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D. Vice President Ms. Heather Zdancewicz Vice President, Assistant Treasurer & Assistant Secretary Dr. David H. Charlton Secretary/Treasurer
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Auguste J. Bannard (2016) Mr. David Booth Beers (2015) Mr. Julian M. Bivins, Jr. (2012) The Rev. Catherine M. Campbell (2014) Dr. David H. Charlton (2016) The Rev. Canon Thomas G. Clarke (2012) The Rev. Dr. Harold J. Cobb, Jr. (2013) The Rev. Carlotta A. Cochran (2014) Dr. Lynwood D.I. Day (2013) Mr. W. Carter Doswell (2013) Mr. A. Hugh Ewing III (2013) The Rev. C. Neal Goldsborough (2015) Ms. Martha W. High (2014) The Rt. Rev. Herman Hollerith IV The Rev. Angela S. Ifill (2016) Ms. Elizabeth Cabell Jennings (2014) The Rev. Allan B. Johnson-Taylor (2014) The Rev. R. Kevin Kelly (2013) The Rt. Rev. W. Michie Klusmeyer The Rev. Thomas M. Kryder-Reid (2012) Mr. James R. Lowe, Jr. (2013) The Rev. Dr. Andrew J. MacBeth (2012) Mr. M. Lee Marston (2014) Ms. Sissy Poland (2012) The Rt. Rev. F. Neff Powell The Rev. Dr. Stanley W. Sawyer (2014) The Rev. Dr. William R. Shiflet, Jr. (2013) Dr. William G. Thomas III (2015) The Rev. Christine R. Whittaker (2013) The Rev. Dr. J. Douglas Wigner, Jr. (2014)
Ms. Louise Day Dodson The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston
The Rev. A. Katherine Grieb, Ph.D. The Rev. William B. Roberts, Ph.D.
A fantastic show: Top, at the fall Variety Show, Junior, Adrienne Hymes, applauds one of the many fabulous acts put on by the VTS community. Bottom, Middler, Melanie Jianakoplos, and junior, Christopher Slane, have their engagement blessed in a special ceremony officiated by the Rev. Ruthanna Hooke, Ph.D., professor of Homiletics.
The Rev. Virginia C. Wilder (’12) Student Body President
News from the Hill is published three times per year (January, April, and July) for alumni and friends by the Office of Public Affairs, Virginia Theological Seminary, 3737 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA 22304. Editorial comments should be directed to email@example.com.
On the Cover: Firefighters from Fairfax County prepare Seminary Road for the funeral of EMT, Joshua Weissman, who died in the line of duty. Photo: S. Shillinglaw.
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Center for Anglican Communion Studies
International Women’s Day
Journey to India
by Shirley Porter (VTS ‘12)
New Delhi, India is a place of exotic sights and smells. There are colorful women wearing colorful saris. Swarms of people move in five lanes of motorized traffic or in three lanes of walking traffic. Noise, smells, and people. That is what daily life was like for me during my intentional immersion in this extremely populated city to study the Untouchables, named Dalits. I went to New Delhi expecting a city similar in size and layout as any other large, urban U.S. city. The masses of poor people and the pollution were a surprise to me. I was stunned to see people who presumably had very little keeping very busy doing what they could do. On a corner the size of a doorway, a homeless man sat all day outside his corrugated metal hut, without sunshine, shining and repairing shoes. He didn’t have a chair. He sat on a mat while his customers sat on a small wooden bench. He must have been very good at his job because he seldom went a day without a client. Most clients were businessmen or college age students on their way to the Metro station. Despite these realities, strangers in different settings smiled and laughed with me. A Group of women with warm hearts and worn hands from manual labor offered directions in their language as I tried to understand the right door to go into for my appointment. In so many I felt the love and saw the face of Christ in India. The Rev. Shirley Porter, MDiv 2012 Diocese of Atlanta
n recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, the Center for Anglican Communion Studies hosted the Rev. Susan Hayward, senior program officer in the Religion and Peacemaking Center of Innovation at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. In her presentation, Cross Currents: Women, War and Religion, Rev. Hayward discussed the role that women of faith – especially Christian and Muslim women – play in religious peacebuilding in international conflict zones. “Women’s work for peace is often inspired and shaped by their faith,” Hayward noted. She further explained that whether they are building bridges across violent divides, coming together to support male or female victims of war and violence, or engaging in advocacy, women of faith play a quiet and effective role in global peace work. These efforts often run up against patriarchal roadblocks in the transnational
peacebuilding community, said Hayward. Indeed, women’s roles in religious peacebuilding are frequently invisible or marginalized, in favor of senior male clerics. Yet women of faith have come to embrace what she describes as “strategic invisibility,” doing great work “under the radar.” They also draw from feminist theologies and women-focused religious traditions to help affirm their agency as peacebuilders. Hayward expressed concern over the growing divide between secular and faith-based women’s groups working for peace on the global stage. “There is a gulf between these movements,” she said, and she encouraged those in attendance to reach out to secular organizations in their religious peacebuilding efforts. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present, and future. The Archbishop of Canterbury observed the day by participating in a special worship service and the Anglican Alliance produced a resource packet about International Women’s Day for churches. “We’re pleased that Virginia Seminary marked International Women’s Day,” said Katherine Wood, associate director of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies. “We thank Susan for sharing her insights on faith-based peacebuilding and involving future leaders of the Church in this important discussion.” q
News from the Hill · April 2012
Record Participation for Lenten Nets for Life Fundraiser
VTS Senior, B. Cayce Ramey, has broken the participation record for the annual Lenten Soup & Bread Nets for Life fundraiser. Thanks to his recuritment efforts over 130 community members are fasting on Wednesdays at lunchtime. Instead of the normal meal options, participants simply eat soup and bread. The cost savings from this simple meal are donated by Meriwether Godsey to Episcopal Relief and Development for Nets For Life.
Virginia Seminary Joins with City of Alexandria to Honor Late EMT
On the Holy Hill
Dean’s Cross for Servant Leadership Honors Three
During a special service of Advent Lessons and Carols this past December, Dean Markham and the Right Rev. James J. Shand, D.D., bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Easton and chairman of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees, conferred the Dean’s Cross for Servant Leadership in Church and Society Award to Mr. Rowan LeCompte (in absentia), the Rev. Dr. Joseph W. Lund, and Ms. Sissy Poland. The Dean’s Cross award, established in 2008, recognizes outstanding leaders who embody their baptismal vows to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.” To learn more about the Dean’s Cross Award, visit www.vts.edu. Selected annually by the Dean in consultation with the Chair of the Board, the Honorees receive a handmade silver cross, modeled after the Seminary Chapel cross, and a certificate.
On February 16, VTS joined the community of Alexandria in mourning the tragic death of Joshua Weissman, an EMT who fell off of a bridge near Shirlington during a rescue mission. The funeral service was held at Beth El Hebrew Congregation and the overflow was staged at the Seminary. Over 2,000 people gathered on the campus and several fire trucks lined Seminary Road.
Gordon Lathrop is Guest Trotter Professor During Jan Term
In January, we had the honor of hosting the Rev. Dr. Gordon W. Lathrop as the 2012 Jessie M. Trotter Professor. Lathrop, one of the best known liturgist working in America today, is a Lutheran pastor and has served the Church as a liturgical theologian, working primarily at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While here, Lathrop taught a course called, “The Four Gospels on Sunday,” based on his latest book, The Four Gospels on Sunday: The New Testament and the Reform of Christian Worship (Fortress 2012). It was an opportunity for students to reflect on the place, setting, and purpose of the Gospels in the Sunday morning liturgy.
Dean’s Cross: the Rev. Joseph Lund, top, and Ms. Sissy Poland, receive their awards from Dean Markham.
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Faculty | News
a strong liturgical team that includes the Rev. Lloyd Alexander Lewis, Jr., Ph.D., the Molly Laird Downs Professor of New Testament and Seminary liturgical officer; the Rev. Robert Prichard, Ph.D., the Arthur Lee Kinsolving Professor of Christianity in America and Instructor in Liturgics; and the Rev. William Bradley Roberts, D.M.A., professor of Church Music. Noted Farwell, “As liturgical theologian, I think about liturgy as theology; think theologically about liturgy; and think with liturgy about the culture and context in which the church bears witness in the 21st century.”
he Rev. James W. Farwell, Ph.D. has been named the new Associate Professor of Theology and Liturgy at Virginia Theological Seminary. Farwell, who is currently the Thomas W. Phillips Chair of Religious Studies and Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Bethany College in West Virginia, will step into his new position at the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year. Ordained an Episcopal priest in 1989, Farwell holds a Ph.D. from Emory University, a M.Div. from The General Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America. In addition to his primary appointment at Bethany, he serves as a visiting professor of Liturgics at Bexley Hall and as an affiliate professor of the graduate program in Liturgics at Drew University. “My experience teaching religion and philosophy to undergraduates for the past five years has increased my own sensitivity to the deep challenges the church faces as it moves into the next 50 years of its witness,” said Farwell. “I hope I can bring that sensitivity to the classroom in ways that will enrich the educational experience for students at VTS.” Author of This is the Night: Suffering, Salvation, and the Liturgies of Holy Week (T and T Clark 2005), Farwell has contributed reviews, articles, and essays to several publications and keynoted many continuing education and adult education events
across the church. His current research interests include emerging critical resources for the study of Christian liturgy; the relationship between liturgy, ethics and belief; and comparative theology. He completed an AAR/ Luce Fellowship in Comparative Theology and Theologies of Religious Pluralism in the summer of 2011. “Dr. Farwell is a gifted priest, an exceptional teacher, and a thoughtful scholar,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of the Seminary. “He is active in the North American Academy of Liturgy and has a significant profile as a liturgical theologian across the academy and the church.” Not only does Farwell hope to deepen the range of the seminary's offerings in the field of theology, he will be adding to
Referring to himself as a “comparative theologian,” Farwell tries to articulate faith in a way that is both authentically Christian and hospitable and receptive to cultural and religious traditions other than our own. “I’m hoping to find that both of those skill sets make a real contribution to the educational work of VTS.” Farwell is the proud father of two “delightful daughters” and a two-year old granddaughter. “She calls me Papa,” effuses Farwell, “and she has a special place in my heart.” His extended family lives throughout the deep south and are all active Episcopalians. q
Faculty Publications Coming Soon:
“Episcopal Etiquette & Ethics: Living the Craft of Priesthood in the Episcopal Church” by the Rev. Dr. J. Barney Hawkins IV (Church Publishing Incorporated.) “Ruth” by the Rev. Dr. Judy FentressWilliams (Abingdon Press.)
News from the Hill · April 2012
Retirements & Departures
The Rev. Judith McDaniel, Ph.D., retired in December 2011. She taught Homiletics and was the first female Episcopal priest to hold a tenured faculty position at VTS. In September 2011, McDaniel launched her book, Grace in Motion: the Intersection of Women’s Ordination and Virginia Theological Seminary.
ROGER FERLO TO HEAD NEW SEMINARY FEDERATION
After 21 years of service, Julia Randle tendered her resignation from Virginia Theological Seminary. She wanted the opportunity to develop her other interests outside the Seminary. With gratitude to her supervisor, Dr. Mitzi Budde, Julia departed at the end of January and is working as the Registrar and Historiographer for the Diocese of Virginia and the Historian for Christ Church, Alexandria.
t historic meetings held in Chicago and Columbus in early March of this year, the boards of Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Chicago and Bexley Hall in Columbus unanimously voted to federate and to elect the Rev. Roger A. Ferlo, Ph.D., D.D. as its first president. Ferlo, who is currently the Associate Dean and Director of the Institute of Christian Formation and Leadership at VTS, will take up his duties on July 1. “Dr. Ferlo has served Virginia Theological Seminary with distinction,” said Dean Markham. “While his gifted teaching, wisdom, and insight will be missed, we are sure that the gifts he has shared with us will be put to good use in building up the Federation. We wish him all the best in this important endeavor.” Since 2007, Bexley and Seabury have worked to assess their compatibility for possible partnership in serving the Episcopal Church in the Midwest and beyond. Early on they recognized that they could become even stronger by deepening their strategic partnership with each other. In 2010, the boards of the two schools began to hold joint meetings. In February 2011, by unanimous vote of both boards, they formed an interim joint partnership agreement. The recent March vote has now brought the Federation into being. "As we searched for a new president, we asked ourselves what kind of leaders the Episcopal Church of the 21st century needs,” stated the Rev. Gwynne Wright, chair of the Seabury Board of Trustees and co-chair of the presidential search committee. “Roger embodies that ideal, and we are eager for him to lead the formation of our next generation of students." Prior to working at Virginia Seminary, Ferlo, who trained for the priesthood at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, spent 19 years in parish ministry, serving in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New York City. He has 14 years of teaching experience at the university and seminary level; 15 years of service on the board of the National Association of Episcopal schools, including a term as President; and nine years of service on the board of trustees of his alma mater, Colgate University (’73, summa cum laude), where in 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate. Ferlo holds a Ph.D. from Yale University (’79) and has authored and edited three books and numerous published essays, sermons, and reflections. q News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Catric joined the Seminary in 2010 and served as Administrative Assistant to Dean Markham. She has accepted a position with the government and left the Seminary in February of this year.
In 2004, Maureen began working at Virginia Seminary. Among other accomplishments, she was instrumental in heading up the Student Management System transition. She retired in December and now resides in Lake Tahoe, CA with her husband.
News from the Hill · April 2012
CHAPEL FOR THE AGES Capital Campaign Launch & Celebration
n February 16, 2012, the Seminary formally launched its Chapel for the Ages capital campaign. During the reception, Dean Markham stunned alumni, supporters, and community members with the announcement that over 85% of the campaign goal of $13 Million for the construction of a new chapel had already been raised. Following the 2010 fire that destroyed the Seminary’s 129-year old Immanuel Chapel, VTS raised $10.9M during the “quiet phase” of the campaign. To date, 100% of the Seminary’s board of trustees and faculty pledged to the campaign along with 97% of the students and 70% of the staff. Early success of the campaign is attributed to the work of the Seminary’s board of trustees, members of the Campaign
Executive Committee, Dean Markham, and the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, vice president of Institutional Advancement. Over the past year, they have cultivated alumni, friends, and outside supporters. Those giving remarks at the Chapel for the Ages launch included the Honorable William D. Euille, mayor of Alexandria; the Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold III, 25th presiding bishop and primate of The Episcopal Church; and Mr. Grant F. Marani, AIA, partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP, designers of the new chapel, Ms. Hartley Hobson Wensing, co-chair, Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill Campaign Division; Ms. Martha W. High, member of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees and co-chair of the Board of Trustees Campaign Division; and Mr. Nicholas Roosevelt (VTS ‘13), co-chair of the Campus Campaign Division. As part of the Seminary’s commitment to service and mission, a 10% tithe of the gifts given to the Chapel for the Ages campaign will be used to help build a cathedral in the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti and a chapel at Msalato Theological College in Dodoma, Tanzania.
Pictured top left: the Rev. Barney Hawkins, Rosa Maria Colina, Grant Marani, and Dean Markham; a rendering of the new chapel as seen from Seminary Road, bottom left; launch guests study the campus renderings, bottom middle; and Alexandria Mayor, William Euille, helps kick of the campaign launch.
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Chapel for the Ages Campaign Launch
“Given the Seminary’s international consciousness and broad reach across the Anglican world,” stated Griswold, “it would be my hope that those giving gifts to the campaign would join me with a tithe to help build in places in need of new structures.” A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the new chapel model and renderings by Marani and his colleague, Rosa Maria Colina. The new chapel, designed to complement the Seminary’s current collection of historic buildings, will be “plain-spoken” with straightforward red-brick forms and detailing reflecting the restrained Virginia traditions of the campus’s earliest buildings. Along with an improved Welcome Center and a new motor court, the new chapel will create a gateway from Seminary Road to the Seminary for its Alexandria neighbors. The chapel will address the proposed entry court with a broad, inviting portico, while it will greet those who approach from the campus with a terrace oriented to the campus grove. A lantern and large arched windows in the gable-ends of each transept will bathe the main sanctuary in diffuse natural light from above. In concert with the pedagogical goals of the Seminary, the architects were careful to design a flexible worship space, one that will serve as an understated backdrop to a range of liturgical purposes from large-scale celebrations to intimate services, all supporting the Seminary’s educational mission. q To make a gift to the Chapel for the Ages Campaign, please visit: Above: two renderings of the new chapel designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the first a birds-eye view of the campus and the second, the view from the Grove. Right: the Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold III (VTS D.D., ‘99), 25th Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, talks about the 10% tithe that VTS has committed to Msalato Theological College and to the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti. News from the Hill · April 2012
Anne Turner Named Recipient of 2012 John Hines Preaching Award
he Rev. Anne M. Turner, assistant to the Rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, Virginia, was named recipient of Virginia Theological Seminary’s 2012 John Hines Preaching Award this past January.
Named in honor of the former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, John Hines (VTS ’33, pictured below), the award celebrates the ministry of preaching and its importance in our Church by recognizing outstanding sermons that are deeply grounded in scripture and focused on the seen and unseen needs of the worshipping community, the nation, and the world. Turner based her award-winning sermon on Micah 3:5-12, comparing Micah’s calling-out of the religious and political elite and their inertia toward justice to today’s society. “They stood by in silence as systems of justice broke down,” Turner wrote. “They didn’t ask hard questions when others’ corruption worked in their favor… quite simply and literally, they had sold out.” Turner continued, “I’m not sure we have all that much on 8th century Israel, if we stop to think about it. Perhaps we didn’t create this unbalanced system. But we are often beneficiaries of it. “Can we let in this voice of challenge to remind us just how urgent economic justice is, and how complicit we are in making or unmaking it? Can we remember that even if it’s normal for people to go hungry or to lose their homes that it’s still not right?” The full text of Turner’s sermon can be found at www.vts.edu. Tuner was called to St. Mary’s in the summer of 2009. Previously, she served as Priest Associate at Grace Church in Amherst, Massachusetts, where her ministry focused on children, youth, and families. Anne also served as Assistant Rector at Grace Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Anne holds degrees from Berkley Divinity School at Yale and the Shakespeare Institute (University of Birmingham), England. Prior to ordination, Anne worked at the Folger Shakespeare Library, coordinating local educational outreach programs. At St. Mary’s, her ministry includes support for Christian formation and families. Anne works part-time at St. Mary’s in order to honor her other vocation as mother of two young children. q
D.C. Parishioner Named Receipient of Lettie Pate Evans Award
irginia Seminary’s 2012 Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans (LPWE) Award was given to Miss Florence E. (Tina) Mallett (pictured above in red) of Washington, D.C. The award is given each year by the Seminary to honor an Episcopal layperson who has given leadership and unique witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ within his or her congregation, community, diocese, and in the world. Mallett, a long-time parishioner of St. Paul’s K Street in Washington, D.C., was nominated by fellow congregant, Sister Lydia, BCSP, in recognition of her 30 years of unbroken service working with homeless men and women in the D.C. Metropolitan area. Wrote Sr. Lydia, “Her ability to love those that, to many, seem unlovable or undeserving, is extraordinary.” The LPWE Committee selected Mallett because of her commitment to providing a nourishing breakfast and a steadfast, loving presence to homeless persons in downtown Washington every weekend of the year, at hours when other service agencies are closed. The vehicle through which this work is carried out is called the Grate Patrol and takes its name from the sidewalk heating grates where homeless persons seek refuge in cold weather. The Grate Patrol began in 1982 and served breakfast and hot coffee to 18 persons. Today Mallett and many others prepare and serve 400 meals each weekend and go directly to the spots where people are sleeping – about 60 distinct locations in northwest DC. As manager of the Grate Patrol, Mallett oversees a completely volunteer operation that is ecumenical in composition. All food preparation takes place at St. Paul’s and is accomplished mainly by parishioners. Meal deliveries are undertaken by volunteers of all ages and faith communities. About 20 volunteers are required each week. Mallett goes out every Saturday and Sunday and is inspired by the cheerfulness and faith of the homeless people she meets. Established in 1999, the award honors the legacy of Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans, an Episcopal laywoman, philanthropist and friend of Virginia Theological Seminary. To nominate someone from your parish or for more information about this award, visit www.vts.edu. q News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Student | Body | President
that we encountered in our first worship space at VTS: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel.” In order to do that, we must leave this place. In the final verse of Carly Simon’s song Anticipation she sings: And tomorrow we might not be together. I'm no prophet and I don't know nature's ways, So I'll try and see into your eyes right now And stay right here 'cause these are the good old days.
y the time this article is printed and in your hands, this day that it is written will be done, over and a part of our history. Today is Leap Day, February 29th and the words to Carly Simon’s song Anticipation keep popping up in my thoughts. The chorus: Anticipation, anticipation Is makin' me late Is keepin' me waitin' We, as a body of students, have begun to live into the season of anticipation, which seems an appropriate echo to the liturgical season of Lent we entered into this spring. Between searching, finding, and waiting to hear about Field Education sites, Clinical Pastoral Education sites, summer internships, trips abroad, and of course, the first call after graduation, we are a community of anticipation. You can see it on our faces, in the quickness of our steps, a hurried to and fro from class to chapel to lunch to the rest of our to do list that make up our daily routine. These are days we must fight against isolation, the days we must linger in the company of our friends and remember that there is strength and comfort to be found in our community. Individually we are in our desert spaces, out in the wilderness turning over stones and rocks, listening to and for God. We are searching for a clue as to what happens next and at the same time, we come together to talk about our day, to share in one another’s frustration and joy, to celebrate whatever discovery was made that day and to continue to hold one another in prayer and in friendship.
Even in our wilderness we are not alone. Even in our search and discernment about future days and plans we are not alone. Even in the quiet moments of doubt that bubble up from time to time, we are not alone. God is present. God is present in the worship. God is present in the quiet spaces of our day. God is present in the friendships we have made and in the laughter that we share. God is present in that annoying little feeling that hangs around our hearts and souls and minds when we feel like giving up, giving in- God is present in that still small voice that whispers, “keep going.” Somehow, some way, there is a strength present that stirs us to keep going. Even in our understanding that the cost to keep going ultimately means leaving in May, we are moving in a direction to fulfill the call
We can’t stay here- no matter how good the days have been. We must move on. We must answer the call that God placed in our hearts that brought us to VTS. In order to do that, we must go. I write the word “go” with a sense of sadness, joy and yes, anticipation. We can’t do the work we have been called to do and stay here. However, we can draw upon our experiences, our relationships, our learning, our formation, and our gifts that have been nurtured while in seminary and we can and will go into the world and preach the Gospel. q Note: Since this article was written, Ginny has accepted a call to serve as Associate Rector at Trinity Episcopal Parish in Wilmington, Delaware where she will be serving with the Rev. Patricia Downing and the Rev. Juan George.
Seniors, Jo Belser (left) and Steve McGehee meet in Scott Lounge to study for GOEs.
News from the Hill · April 2012
Make a Joyful Noise: Students in the VTS Handbell Choir include (from left to right): Audrey O’Brien (‘12), Cameron Soulis (‘14), Shelagh Casey Brown (VTS staff), Nick Roosevelt (‘13), Lara Shine (‘12), Sarah Colvin (‘14), and Chana Winger (‘13.)
Student | Reflection
didn’t sleep last night. Neither did the other guy working with me. We stayed up all night watching bad t.v. and chatting about life and the absurdities of commercials at 4a.m. It was a simple job. We simply sat through the night at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church so that others could have a place to sleep. St. Clement’s is an overflow shelter for the Carpenter’s Shelter in Alexandria, Virginia. The church allows the men to sleep amongst the Bibles, hymnals, and pews. There are cushioned mats, sheets, and blankets for them. St. Clement’s does this six nights a week from January 2 through March 15, and every other Tuesday, students from VTS volunteer their time to staff the shelter overnight. There are enough seminary volunteers for two shifts: 7:15p.m. – 1:30a.m. and 1:30a.m. – 6:30a.m. We work in pairs, and I was on the 1:30-6:30a.m. shift. I’m a little jealous of the early shift because they actually got to hang out with the gentlemen a little bit. Watch t.v., talk
by Dorian Del Priore (VTS ‘14)
“Blessed are the Poor in Spirit...”
about the State of the Union, and stuff like that. We were told the guys asked for a pretty early lights out though, and so the job for second shift was to just be a presence to allow the guys quiet for sleep. And so for hours, we sat in a hallway, watched horrible late-night t.v., and talked about life. It was a pretty easy job as volunteer jobs go. Occasionally, someone would wake up and stumble to the bathroom, and a couple guys came in the hallway to check the time. But in the morning, reality dawned before the sun, and it was time to wake the fellas. A couple guys woke up around 5:30a.m. to watch t.v. and grab an early cup of coffee, while others stayed hidden under the covers as long as they possibly could. A couple of the guys engaged in light conversation, but most were quiet and kept their eyes averted. The one time I asked how someone slept, I was rebuffed grumpily, “Terribly, life on the streets is rough, man…” I apologized. There were a couple of guys who seemed like regulars. They knew the drill and helped guide the other guys. About half to two-thirds were older gentlemen, but there were a couple of younger guys as well. The older guys seemed seasoned, almost like they had grown accustomed to the hurdles, struggles, and systems
that they were living amongst. They were resolute, but almost accepting of their lot. The younger guys carried more pain on their faces. You could see the anger, disappoint, and hurt. It was tangible and heart-breaking. One younger guy, tall and physically intimidating, even seemed on the verge of tears as he got into the van to head back to the Carpenter’s Shelter. I’m not sure how many of the 13 guys are among the working poor, and how many are jobless. A couple may have had some mental-illness issues, but most seemed like regular Joes and reasonably educated. They were well-spoken and polite, but mostly quiet. I was happy to have given up my sleep so that they could sleep. For a few hours, I was part of a community that helped provide shelter and sleep. It was humbling. As we saw them off, as they loaded into the Carpenter’s Shelter van, I felt helpless and sad. I have had more interaction with the homeless here in DC and Alexandria than I have ever had in my life. I think every politician, teacher, student, and professional… every person in our country should take time to volunteer with the homeless and impoverished. It gives a whole new perspective on life… a whole continued on next page...
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
... Student Reflection, continued. new perspective on the Gospel and on Jesus’ words and teachings. Our systems and culture marginalized the poor and homeless. The rhetoric and language in our political arenas, especially in the south where I am from, almost demonizes the impoverished. But they are just people. People who have fallen on hard times. Sick people. People looking for a chance. People clinging and grasping onto the faintest glimmer of hope… but I also am sure that many times hope seems like an impossible dream long forgotten. Hope might seem like a former friend who turned their back or quit coming around… Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…
A season of joy: we celebrated with many of
our graduates at their recent ordainations. The Rev. Ramelle McCall (VTS ‘11), from the Diocese of Maryland, was ordained to the priesthood in December at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis, Maryland, top photo; the Rev. Andrew D’Angio-White (VTS ‘11), with his wife Sarah (VTS ‘12), was ordained at Grace Church, Alexandria, Virginia, middle photo; and surrounded by a host of VTS graduates, the Rev. David Romanik (VTS ‘11) was ordained to the priesthood at The Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest in Abilene, Texas.
I struggle with what this means. I could definitely write a sermon or a good exegesis on it. It’s been a good Sunday school lesson many times over or a part of a Wednesday night Bible study. But the reality of it is that it is hard to grasp when you’ve seen hard times and brokenness, even if for a moment, on the faces of 13 men who slept amongst pews where we kneel in worship to God. So, my question is this… How can we bring about blessings to the poor in spirit? How can we bless those that society marginalizes? How can speak hope and blessings into the lives of the homeless and working poor? q VTS Junior, Dorian Del Priore, is from the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. His writings can be found on his blog “The Awkward Anglican” (theawkwardanglican. wordpress.com.)
News from the Hill · April 2012
Patricia put their gloves on and off as needed.) Clergy were asked to wear a red stole over their regular winter clothing. Members of the Common Cathedral community served as oblation and vestment bearers. The Pollyphonics, a group of guitarists who play at Common Cathedral each week, accompanied all songs, strumming their guitars with bare fingers throughout the service. Marc preached and Bishop O’Neill gave his greeting to the gathering. The chalice and paten were from Patricia’s new church, All Saints Episcopal in Cayce, Diocese of Upper South Carolina, where she has been called as rector. The ordination was meaningful on so many levels: for the homeless community of Common Cathedral, it was an honor and a pleasure to host the bishop; for the bishop, this unique ceremony provided an opportunity for him to affirm that we were on holy ground there, in the park; for Patricia and Marc, it was an affirmation of this loving community that exists despite having no building, no address, and no funding; for the un-churched, according to several who spoke with Patricia, it was an experience of the sacred. q
Rubrics in the Park: A Unique Ordination
by the Rev. Patricia Sexton & the Rev. Deacon Marc Genty
ith a clear, bright, and cold full moon on the evening of December 9, 2011, Patricia Sexton (VTS ‘11) was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests at the Common Cathedral in Longmont, Colorado (Diocese of Colorado) where she had served during her diacontate. Common Cathedral, in existence for almost four years, is a special congregation. The parishioners are comprised of mainly homeless people. The Cathedral’s most visible aspect is the ecumenical worship service that occurs each Friday night in a park near downtown Longmont. In early autumn, Patricia and Marc Genty (both pictured above) approached the Rt. Rev. Robert J. O’Neill, bishop of Colorado, with the request that Patricia’s ordination to the Sacred Order of Priests take place at Common Cathedral at the end of her Transitional Diaconate period. Bishop O’Neill agreed and the date was set. In the weeks leading up to the ordination, Marc worked with the congregation to prepare them for the service. The congregation studied relevant Biblical passages about calling, gifts, and the four orders of
laity, deacon, priest, and bishop. During this time there were also guest visitors from each of these orders that allowed for additional discussions and teachings. As the day drew closer, the sense of anticipation, excitement, and ownership continued to grow. The music was planned and practiced; the liturgy was designed; the meal was prepared; the greeters and liturgical ministers were trained; and the decorations were laid out. Everyone felt a part of the service and had a role to play. On the evening of December 9, 2011 with snow on the ground, a full moon in the sky, and a 23-degree reading on the thermometer, about 100 people came to the ordination, including contingents from surrounding parishes, many clergy, friends, family, and the Common Cathedral community. The path to the park shelter was lined with luminaria, and the tables were full of candles. The bishop’s staff had decorated his capa negra (black cape) with silver snowflakes. Everyone was bundled up in winter clothing except for Bishop O’Neill, Canon Andrews, Patricia, and Marc, who wore albs and vestments (with layers underneath!). At various times during the evening, Bishop O’Neill traded his mitre for a ski cap, and he and
Going to General Convention this summer?
Be sure to stop by the VTS Booth in sections 314 and 316. You’ll also want to save Tuesday, July 10 for the VTS Dinner which will be held at the The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis. Stay tuned for more information.
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Office of Alumni Affairs
Alumni | Director’s | Note
response from alumni. These regional networks of alumni will complement our Class Stewards’ structure and give us a more comprehensive way to be of service to and with our alumni, their congregations, and the larger church. Please mark your calendars for the following key alumni and friends events: • • Spring Phonathon: April 17-20, 2012 VTS Dinner at General Convention: Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis. Class Reunions: Monday, October 1, 2012, Virginia Theological Seminary 2012 Alumni Convocation: Tuesday, October 2 – Wednesday, October 3, 2012, Virginia Theological Seminary
aster blessings from the Holy Hill! As we move into the final months of the academic year, I’m pleased to share an update on activities in the Alumni Office and reminders about future programs and events. The Alumni Association Executive Committee (AAEC) met in early March, their second meeting of the academic year. A priority of the meeting included the formation of a slate of nominees for the next class of AAEC members, as well as the alumni representative to the Seminary Board of Trustees. Alumni should have received their ballots by now and we urge you to return them as soon as possible. Next year’s officers were elected at the meeting and we’re pleased to announce them: • • • President: The Rev. Andrew Merrow (’81) Vice President: The Rev. Grant Ambrose (’11) Secretary: The Rev. Blake Rider (’04)
convocations; a briefing about the Chapel for the Ages Campaign and plans for the new chapel from Dean Markham and Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Barney Hawkins; updates from several faculty and staff on new program initiatives and activities; and an evening with the Class of 2012, soon to be joining the ranks of VTS alumni. It was a very full day-and-a-half and we give thanks to those members who gave so generously of their time to be in conversation with Seminary leadership, faculty, and staff. The AAEC meets for a final time this academic year by conference call in early May. We are grateful to those who serve the alumni and the Seminary through their service on the AAEC! Planning around the formation of VTS Regional Chapters continues and we expect to start up the initial chapters in the coming fall. The concept of regional chapters is hardly unique to academic institutions but it is something new to VTS, and we’ve been delighted with the positive
Please remember that we love hearing about what is going on with you – new ministries, new publications, new contact information …and any suggestions or comments you have for us. With blessings and grateful thanks for your prayers and support! Shelagh Casey Brown Director, Alumni, Annual Fund, and Church Relations 703.461.1711 or firstname.lastname@example.org Pictured below: outgoing AAEC President, Day Dodson, with Senior, Sarah D’Angio White.
AAEC members whose terms conclude this spring were acknowledged and thanked for their service over the last three years. They include: Day Dodson (’99), AAEC President; The Rt. Rev. Herbert A. Donovan (’57), AAEC Vice President; the Rev. Troy Mendez, AAEC Secretary; the Rev. Linda J. Kramer (’87); the Rev. Keith Johnson (’01); and the Rev. Thomas Kryder-Reid (’86). The AAEC meeting agenda also included discussion about the upcoming and future
News from the Hill · April 2012
Office of Alumni Affairs
Please share your news with us! Write: Office of Alumni Affairs, 3737 Seminary Rd., Alexandria, VA 22304 E-mail: email@example.com Call: 703-461-1736 Fax: 703-370-0138 Email Address Changes to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The “Why I Hate Religion” Phenom: A Religious Response
by the Rev. Matthew Kozlowski
n January 10, 2012, a young man named Jeff Bethke posted a four-minute YouTube video entitled “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.” Since then, it has generated over 19 million views. That is not just a fad; that’s YouTube royalty. Why was it so popular? Bethke himself claims that he had no idea the video would catch on so quickly. And yet, the appeal is obvious. An extremely well produced piece, with eye-catching camera work, engaging poetry, and a provocative topic – what’s not to like? Both Christians and non-Christians were fascinated. I must admit that I was more offended than fascinated. In the span of 30 seconds or so, the video describes religious persons as “blind,” and “whores.” Religion, according to the video, is hopelessly judgmental and legalistic. Although, the poet—a Christian himself, as it turns out—is quick to add, “I ain’t judging.” Right… When a popular video like this appears, responses are quick to follow. Mine happened to be one of the first video responses posted on YouTube. Wearing my clerical collar and standing in front of St. Mary’s in Stuart, Florida, I worked through a few rhymes about the transformational power of the Gospel, ending with “You don’t have to give up on religion, because Jesus isn’t giving up on you.” My title was “Jesus IS my Religion.” It was not a direct refutation of Bethke’s argument, but hopefully a faithful statement of what the Church, at its best, can be. While my video did not end up having widespread appeal (896 views), I was proud to be the first clergy person (as far as I know) to post a response. Many other responses came soon after, more eloquent and better produced than mine. I was especially impressed by several Roman Catholic seminarians who offered crisp analysis and strong defenses of organized religion, even managing to give their entire message in rhymed verse. YouTube is a whole new world of discourse. It might not always offer the level of discourse that we desire, but it is an opportunity to speak, listen, meet people where they are, and engage. I cannot go so far as to say that Bethke’s original video was a good thing. In my opinion, it gives credence to a rather harmful strain of antireligious sentiment. The responses, however, were heartening. Religion will have its defenders, and hopefully we can be thoughtful, humble, and even tech-savvy. q The Rev. Matthew Kozlowski (VTS ‘11) is the assistant rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Stuart, Florida. News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
The Journal The Seminary’s magazine for alumni and friends. Once per year, in the fall. News from the Hill The Seminary’s newsletter for supporters of VTS. Three times per year, in January, April, and July.. The eNews Email updates about happenings at VTS. The first day of each month. The Dean’s Commentary Daily Seminary updates from Dean Markham and other guest contributors. Daily, Monday-Friday. Alumni Convocation 2012 Annual conference for graduates of the Seminary. October 2 & 3. You can also find us on:
The Rev. Herbert K. Lodder, named a member of Maryland’s Commission on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders by Governor Martin O’Malley.
The Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade, interim dean, Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
The Rev. Canon Mary C. Sulerud, interim rector, Immanuel Churchon-the-Hill, Alexandria, VA.
The Rev. Dr. David T. Anderson, priest-in-charge, St. James-theLess, Ashland, VA.
The Rev. Mary Jayne Ledgerwood , priest-in-charge, Grace Episcopal Church, The Plains, VA.
The Rev. The Rev. Carla B. McCook, assistant for Christian Formation, Diocese of Milwaukee, WI.
The Rev. Eric Liles, rector, St. Paul’s, Ivy, VA.
The Rev. Patrick Crerar, rector, St. Clement’s by-the-Sea, San Clemente, CA.
Presenting the Spectrum: Both Sides of the Conversation
before us. He made me think. He made me questions many of my own assumptions. And he pointed out obvious contradictions that had never occurred to me before. “Believing what Spong says or not agreeing with what he says is not the point. He still leaves all of us better off for having challenged us to think beyond our own assumptions and clarify our own theology. For that alone, and perhaps for many other reasons, he serves a valuable purpose in our church.” “I think it is essential for an Episcopal seminary to provide opportunities for its community to hear and experience as much about the greater church as possible,” said VTS senior, David Lynch. “I appreciated the opportunity to hear him, and believe such an opportunity helps me put my own faith system in perspective.” q Pictured clockwise from top left corner: Bishop Mark Lawrence; students listening intently; middler, Jabriel Ballentine, asking a question; and Bishop John Shelby Spong.
n February 10, 2012, Virginia Seminary welcomed the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence (pictured above), bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina and a thoughtful, strong conservative voice in The Episcopal Church, who spoke to students about the issues surrounding his diocese. “For those who might disagree with Bishop Lawrence on a particular question,” stated the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of the Seminary, “we should always welcome his emphasis on the right methodology. We must start with Scripture; we must start with God; we must always be in the business of humbly discerning what God wants in any particular moment.” VTS Junior, Harvey Bale, stated, “I believe that some of Lawrence’s analysis about the ill-effects of non-consensual, centralized
decision-making point to needed reform; and he defended his own record, fairly well, of past efforts to reach out to people at the margin.” A month later, on March 9, the Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong (below), retired bishop of the Diocese of Newark, spoke to the VTS Community about “The Christ – Shifting the Paradigm from Salvation to Wholeness.” Spong, a prolific author and pioneering voice in the Church, is known for his passionate commitment to progressive causes. Many Episcopalians have found his writing the vehicle that has kept them in the Church as they coped with their doubt about the traditional narrative. Noted middler, Elizabeth Tomlinson, “While my own theology is too conservative to allow me to buy into everything Spong said, I did, nevertheless, find myself musing over many of the ideas he set
News from the Hill · April 2012
Office of Institutional Advancement
Institutional | Advancement
What the Chapel Means To Me
by Hartley Hobson Wensing
As a member of Immanuel Church-onthe-Hill, a parish that my grandparents helped found in 1941, I worshipped in Immanuel Chapel here on campus every Sunday with our Seminary friends.
Our Plain Spoken, Neo-Classical Core
by the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D.
As I have reflected on Mr. Marani’s phase, “plain spoken,” I realize that he is describing the ministry we do and have always done at Virginia Theological Seminary. Our ministry is to form faithful leaders for God’s Church and God’s world, leaders who know the “basics” of scripture, theology and Church History. VTS has never been into “fads.” We have sought “to seek the truth, come whence it may, cost what it will.” Our curriculum and core being is “neo-classical and traditional.” VTS came out of a congregation and the first academic class was Greek. Still we encourage the study of Biblical languages as we form, by God’s grace, women and men who believe that the Bible is God’s Word; recite with conviction the Creeds; and who seek through prayer and practice to meet Christ in the sacraments and in the world which God loves. We are a “plain spoken” Seminary. If you have given a gift to help us build this “plain spoken” chapel, we are very grateful. If you have not yet given, please consider joining us in this historic moment in building a new Immanuel Chapel for our work now and for all those who will come after us—all those in the future who will speak plainly of God’s love in Jesus Christ.
any gifted people are working day and night to design the Welcome and Worship Quadrangle which will include the 1881 Memorial Garden on the site of our beloved Chapel, lost to fire on October 22, 2010; the new Immanuel Chapel to the East of a renovated Welcome Center; and a safer and more appropriate Seminary Road entrance. At the Launch of the Chapel for the Ages Campaign on February 16, 2012, we heard about some of this creative work from Grant Marani, the partner at Robert A. M. Stern Architects, who is leading the team to design our new Immanuel Chapel. He said that the new chapel would be “plain spoken.” What does he mean? The new chapel will honor the village of buildings it will join. The 1881 Chapel was muscular Gothic, and memories of it will always be cherished. The Italianate splendor of Aspinwall Hall still makes a statement loud and clear. The new chapel will be neo-classical and traditional. There will be no “nods” to the latest fads. The exterior facades will be brick, brick like we see on all our buildings. The roof will be slate and so forth. Basic materials will allow us to honor the past and respect the future.
My husband Kevin and I have a threeyear old daughter, Grace Hartley. She was just shy of two when the chapel burned down in 2010. In the short span of her life she had worshipped there with us maybe ten times, at several Sunday services, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. In fact, at only two months old she performed the role of baby Jesus there in the Christmas pageant. I didn’t think the loss of the chapel would mean that much to her with her being so young, but I could not have been more wrong. Grace asks weekly to go see the church ruins which she now calls ”sad church.” She talks about hugging “sad church” and kissing it, she prays for “sad church.” She says the church will always be in her heart. In a commercial crossover, she even asked Santa this year to bring it five new windows. She says she is going to get a hammer and build it back up. How did this happen in such a short time to such a small person?? I expect the same way it happened to all of us and others- through music, prayer, ritual, light, and people knowing her there. Through God moving in all these things. It became her church, her place, a special place. That is just what happens to all of us, in our own ways. Now we have a chance to give back to this place - to create a new space that will honor the old and lead us to the future. I hope you will join us in helping to build that same sense of connection to God that my three-year old daughter has and that so many of us have across the country and the world thanks to the work of the Seminary. q
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
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This two-day event is for Christian leaders to expand their knowledge of and confidence in technology to nurture spiritual formation, learning to engage a world in continual change. For more information, visit www.vts.edu/icfl or call 703-461-1752.
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