By Philippa R Mpunzwana
Andrew Tripp believes in the power of stories, and his favorites tackle questions about Christianity, morality, and humanity. The Book of Job is one. Spider-Man is another.
“Peter Parker is finding out what it means to be a good person and how to use your talents for the common good,” says Tripp (STH’09,’16), a doctoral candidate in the School of Theology’s Center for Practical Theology, of the teenager behind Spider-Man’s mask. “There’s a huge segment of our culture that’s not religious, but has its moral cultivation met through that story.”
read more here.
Six seminary students involved in a scholarship and mentoring program for racial-ethnic students who plan to be ordained as deacons or elders in The United Methodist Church are receiving their M.Div. degree this year. That brings the total of graduates who took part in the Journey Toward Ordained Ministry program to 19 since it began in 2004.
The Journey Toward Ordained Ministry program, sponsored by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, combines much-needed scholarship support with ongoing mentoring by committed United Methodist clergy. Additionally, scholars, mentors, and Board staff spend time in retreat together for reflection and discernment.
Read more here.
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung announced today his intention to appoint Rev. Grace Cajiuat, at the request of the General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), to the General Commission on Religion and Race as Training and Development Specialist, beginning August 1, 2013. Rev. Cajiuat has been serving the Wisconsin Conference UMC as Coordinator of Multicultural Ministries. She and husband Chris Herigstad will be moving to the Washington, D.C. area where GCORR is based.
Rev. Cajiuat will be filling a new position for the agency and the denomination. In her new role, she will be seeking to respond to the needs and issues of The United Methodist Church to ensure racial equity, diversity and intercultural competency at every level of the Church. As the Training and Development Specialist, she will develop and implement a comprehensive training program that will effectively increase knowledge within the Church of intercultural differences and competencies. Rev. Cajiuat will be responsible for leading the efforts of the agency in partnership with Annual Conferences, local churches, and denominational entities to function in multicultural environments, and developing action plans for implementing knowledge, awareness and skills at the individual and denominational level.
By creating the Coordinator of Multicultural Ministries position, Wisconsin has been at the forefront of this movement toward equity through cultural competency. Rev. Cajiuat’s new appointment continues the ministry she started in the Wisconsin Conference, only now including all U.S. Annual Conferences and all Central Conferences in the Philippines, Europe, and Africa.
Perfomed at the Boston University Marsh Chapel
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
GOOD AFTERNOON! What a privilege it is to be with all of you in this beautiful space. We are surrounded not only by our professors, family members, and friends—but also by the saints, by our ancestors, by our loved ones who cannot be here in person yet certainly are close in spirit. Truly, Love is present.
In November 1956— only seventeen months after obtaining his PhD from Boston University’s School of Theology—Martin Luther King, Jr. preached a sermon in Montgomery, Alabama, that sounded like a valedictory address. Discussing life’s ultimate meaning, King said, “The end [purpose] of life is not to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. The end of life is to do the will of God, come what may . . . I think I have discovered the [universe’s] highest good. It is love. This principle stands at the center of the cosmos. As [the Gospel of] John says, ‘God is love.’ He who loves is a participant in the being of God. He who hates does not know God.”1
But what, exactly, is the love that King referenced? What is this love that “stands at the center of the cosmos”? Surely, it is more than a syrupy version of love that denies the world’s conflict and pain. Surely, it is more than the saccharine sentimentality that has spawned countless pop songs and platitudes. MORE
Most of us probably have a family member or friend who is the source of all of our favorite proverbial wisdom. If you didn’t have one coming into the School of Theology, hopefully you found one here. If not, I know there are some professors here who have quite a social media following that you can check out! For me, that source is my great-grandmother. She was one of those people who had such a deep and abiding faith in God’s infinite goodness that I and others just wanted to be around her.
As I began to think about my message for this commencement, the latest offering of the School of the Prophets, a truly inspiring group of folks – one of my great-grandmother’s nuggets came to mind. She said to my grandmother just after my mother was born, “Dear One, Life is a continual cutting of the cord. Let each cut be painless.” Like truly great proverbial expressions, this can take on many different meanings and, as I am sure this group appreciates, theological significance. MORE
The final worship service of 2013 was titled:
The Boston University School of Theology welcomes Peter J. Paris as the Visiting Walter G. Muelder Professor of Social Ethics for the academic year, 2013-2014. Dr. Paris is a world renowned scholar, honored most recently by a collection in his honor, Ethics That Matters: African, Caribbean, and African American Sources. Indeed, he is known for his teaching and research in “ethics that matters.” He is the Elmer G. Homrighausen Professor Emeritus of Christian Social Ethics, of Princeton Theological Seminary, having worked closely also with the Princeton University African American Studies Program. He has also been Fellow at Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University, in 2008-2009, and has been Visiting Professor in Harvard University Divinity School, Union Theological Seminary (New York), and Trinity Theological College (Legon, Ghana). Formerly, Dr. Paris taught on the faculties of Vanderbilt University Divinity School and Howard University School of Divinity.
Dr. Paris is widely published, and his books include Religion and Poverty: Pan-African Perspectives; Virtues and Values:The African and African American Experience; The Spirituality of African Peoples: The Search for a Common Moral Discourse, and Black Religious Leaders: Conflict in Unity. In other publications, he has focused on: ethical formation; preaching and social justice; globalization; public theology; Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy; and the interaction of race, gender, and religion. He is currently the General Editor of the series on Religion, Race, and Ethnicity with the New York University Press, and he continues to lecture and teach widely throughout the United States, Canada, Jamaica, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, India and Brazil.
A native of Nova Scotia, Dr. Paris completed two degrees in Acadia University, where he was named Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2012. He completed his MA and PhD degrees in the University of Chicago, and was named Alumnus of the Year by the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1995. He has also received honorary doctoral degrees from Lafayette College and Lehigh University, both in Pennsylvania, and from Acadia and McGill Universities, both in Canada. Dr. Paris has been an outstanding academic leader in religion, society, and ethics, having served as President of the American Theological Society, the Society for the Study of Black Religion, the American Academy of Religion, and the Society of Christian Ethics. In an interesting connection with Boston University, he was awarded the Ray Hart Distinguished Service Award from the American Academy of Religion. In addition, Dr. Paris has been a church leader, having been ordained in the African United Baptist Association of the Atlantic Baptist Convention of Canada, and having served churches in various roles in addition to his present role on the Freedom and Justice Advisory Committee of the Baptist World Alliance.
Bob Neville received the prestigious Founder’s Award of the Metaphysics Society of America this spring, heralding the Society’s recognition of his lifetime of distinguished scholarship. The award presentation began with noting the formalities of Bob’s accomplishments, including the 22 monographs; 11 edited books; 85 books published in his two SUNY series; and over 300 articles, chapters, and reviews. This is an amazing portfolio, but the presentation emphasized the quality of Bob’s work and the enormity of his contribution. The presenter described Bob as “one of the most important living practitioners of what may be called ‘systematic’ philosophy, that is, philosophy which seeks to address each area of philosophical debate in a consistent language with a set of related concepts nevertheless open to continual revision ….”
The presenter also noted Bob’s human qualities, saying: “Our honoree takes mentoring seriously, collegiality seriously, in short, people seriously. It is difficult to find someone more simultaneously devoted to philosophical argument and the civil recognition of the humanity of his interlocutors.” He adds a quip: “The point is the combination of Output, Service to Institution and Profession, and the Personality, cannot be explained by science.”
Rarely are we present to hear such honorific words spoken to a colleague in a professional society, so I happily share these words about Robert Cummings Neville at the time of his receiving this very distinguished award from a very distinguished society.
Mary Elizabeth Moore, Dean and Professor of Theology and Education
Feasting and Feeding: Meditation for Eastertide on the occasion of the
Boston Marathon bombings
In the quiet aftermath of bombings, shootings, and death,
Noises rattle our heads, stealing our breath.
Amid this loud internal strife,
We stretch our arms toward “normal life,”
But normal is very far away,
And churning seas are rough today.
Tossed on seas, with noise still ringing,
Hope arises, but not with singing
Hope appears in the form of a man
Cooking for friends – nothing grand,
But grandness is faintly glimpsed through the prism
Of the God-man, Jesus, who died and is risen –
Yet the man is preparing an ordinary breakfast
To nourish his friends with food and steadfastness.
His friends are distraught, burdened with cares,
Seeking their way through loss and despair.
They might hope to forget and run to the past
But today hope comes with breaking the fast –
The fragrant hope in food for the bones
Cooked by their friend who won’t leave them alone.
In these Boston days of tragic soundings
We cannot expect brilliant rebounding,
But hope comes boldly on the shore of a lake
In the common treasures that awake
Our senses to Life abounding –
In the sharing of food and laughter resounding.
The feast is large and very filling
And deep inside, it stirs our willing
For a new world freed from violence and hate
A world we glimpse as we stand at the gate … …
Watching and listening to the call that is beckoning
Asking all people to do hard reckoning –
But to pause on the shore with those who feed us,
Then feed God’s sheep – the ones who need us.
—Mary Elizabeth Moore
Based on John 21:1-19
April 26, 2013
“For all those we have harmed, knowingly or unknowingly,
We are truly sorry. Forgive us and set us free.
For all those who have harmed us,
Knowingly or unknowingly, we forgive them
And we set them free.
And for the harm we have done to ourselves,
knowingly or unknowingly,
We are truly sorry. We forgive ourselves
And we set ourselves free.
Peace in my heart brings peace to my family.
Peace in my family brings peace to my community.
Peace in my community brings peace to my nation.
Peace in my nation brings peace to my world.
Let there be peace on Earth,
And let it begin with me.”
(As Spoken at the Sacred Center- Manhattan, NY)
“Always here – the lake, the hills, the sky…
Sweet smell of pine cones, roasting in the sun…
Always here – the lone loon’s aching cry…
Twin stars, above, below, when day is done…
Always here – the peepers’ symphony,
The circling gulls, the eagles’ swooping flight…
Always here – the lilies’ mystery,
Up from black mud come blooms of purest white…
When far away amid the city’s din,
With suffering, sin, and sorrow ever near,
I shall be glad, remembering again,
The lake, the hills, the sky are always here.”
by Dr. Clarine Coffin Grenfell
Long Pond, Maine, 1937
“Through this tragedy of great loss, I ask the universe for the strenght, kinship and love of humanity to only grow through education, empathy and kindness. Love is the answer, I pray we remember this lesson.”
Thank you for this opportunity to reach out to this blessed community.
All my best,
As we continue to heal after the Marathon tragedy, members of the community respond with words of hope, love and resilience.
Muelder Chapel is always open.
Come as you are to sign a banner for BU PD first responders.
Color a mandala, knit a row on the prayer shawl, sign cards for those injured, pray, and be.