VOL. 10, NO. 3 ■ MAY 2013
HERALDING NEWS FROM NORTHEASTERN SEMINARY
This issue of ResOund honors the career and ministry of retiring faculty member Dr. Paul Livermore. Dr. Livermore has served at Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary for 33 years. He joined the Roberts Wesleyan College faculty in 1976 and was central in the vision, design, and development of Northeastern Seminary.
The son of a preacher, born in St. Luke’s hospital and given the name Paul, is it any wonder that he would grow up to be a servant of the church? Those associated with Northeastern Seminary and Roberts Wesleyan College know well the academic side of Dr. Paul Livermore’s service to the kingdom of God through teaching and scholarly writing. Many are the pulpits throughout 1978 Western New York and beyond that are filled by his students. As a result of his teaching each weekend references are made to the contributions of the Fathers of Christendom and the relevance of historic orthodox Christianity to a contemporary world in need of a soul saving gospel. Parishioners feel the excitement that has been passed down from teacher to student as the truth of new life found in Jesus Christ is proclaimed. However, the role of scholar, professor, and model is only part of the story of the contribution Dr. Livermore has made as he has been a practitioner entering the pulpit himself over many years and in many places. He started the process while still a student at Greenville College joining the Kansas Conference of the Free Methodist Church on probation, as it was then known, in 1962. A small church near Greenville, Ill., in a location now covered by a lake that serves as the county reservoir, was his first church. In 1966 he was ordained and made a full member of the Kansas Conference. During the years that followed he served pastorates in both
the Free Methodist Church and the United Methodist Church in Kentucky, Illinois, and New Jersey. For one year while teaching at Roberts Wesleyan College, he commuted internationally to serve as pastor of a church in Hamilton, Ontario. A four year break in his teaching career found him in the pastorate in Ransomville, N.Y. from 1981-1985. However, his return to the academy did not end his pastoral and preaching ministries. Guest preaching, bible teaching at camps, and pastorates in several churches and communities locally continued as he transitioned from Roberts to Northeastern. Another area of service to the church has been at the denominational level of the Free Methodist Church; Dr. Livermore was a delegate to the General Conference of the Free Methodist Church of North America in 1985 and 1979 1989. Membership on the Board of Ministerial Education and Guidance for the Genesee Conference has also been an area of service. He has been the longest continuous member of the Study Commission on Doctrine of the Free Methodist Church serving since 1979. In that role, he has provided a perspective that is informed by both scholarship and practical ministry. Serving God has been his calling and serving the church has been his vehicle. —Charles Canon, Director of Library Collection Services and Archivist, Golisano Library, Roberts Wesleyan College
Honoring Dr. Paul Livermore Annual Fund Updates Upcoming Events Community News
What comes to mind when you think of Dr. Livermore? Jeff: Paul is a person without guile, like Nathaniel. We see who he is. We don’t have to worry about what he thinks, what’s on his mind, or what’s important to him. He never plays games of any kind. That is refreshing and comforting. Jeff Altman, professor emeritus of psychology, Roberts Wesleyan College, undergraduate student of Dr. Livermore Jonathan Bratt, chaplain, Roberts Wesleyan College, Doctor of Ministry student Scott Caton, founding faculty member of Northeastern Seminary, professor of history, Roberts Wesleyan College Alicia Dixon-Garrard, M.A. in Transformational Leadership student Elizabeth Guckenbiehl, M.Div. ‘09 Judge Roy King, Board of Trustees member, M.A.— Theological Studies ‘04 Wayne McCown, founding faculty member and dean emeritus of Northeastern Seminary
Scott: What came to mind to me was his great heart. His open and Christian heart that has all kinds of ways it applies to 1981 different people in different settings, in a workplace, with students, as a colleague, or just somebody sitting down over coffee with. Wayne: Paul ministers to people as a pastor. He comes out of the scholarly role and engages a person in a very direct and personal fashion to ask their spiritual wellbeing in such a way that the person can hardly avoid the question. They realize that Paul has a sincere and deep interest in them as a person who has spiritual needs. Elizabeth: He has shown scholarship yet has such humility. He points to things that are important: the Church and being a Christ follower—living a life fully devoted to Christ. The book of James says true religion is shown in taking care of orphans and widows. This man does that. He has inspired hope in my heart and also in others to really do whatever the Lord has laid before them to do. Roy: When I think of Paul I think of first a scholar. Also a pastor, compassionate and
understanding individual that is willing to share his life and his knowledge with anyone. Scott: He has this pastoral heart and a kind of understanding of the common man, and a love for plain people, plain-talking people, and people who love the Lord. Jonathan: What I appreciated about Paul Livermore, and what formed me spiritually, was not just somebody who was talking about “here’s what the scripture is about and here is how we can exegesis it and here’s some things we can learn” but there was somebody who was really excited and passionate about the scripture, and saw it as a life transforming thing.
Dr. Livermore the scholar Jeff: He has done some things that will stir up a good deal of heat in the theological community. He’s a powerful scholar and brings into question some notions in the mainstream evangelical community that really should be looked at. Wayne: He reaches across a large scope of disciplines. Not only as a biblical scholar and theological, but historical and particularly in the systematic patristic area. He is a historical, theological, and quintessential scholar. Jeff: We would talk through some wonderfully interesting theological issues. I would feel I contributed, he contributed, but there was no way he recognized or acknowledged how he had informed my understanding of my own discipline, or influenced my faith theology. 1996
Interacting with students Jeff: He is delighted about Ecclesiology and the theological study of the Christian Church. Beyond that, he is delighted to share and talk about it. He is delighted when students grab hold of the conversation and actively interact with ideas, learning in the process, and sharing their ideas. He will immediately react with “YES!” Alicia: To have him say, “I can see you getting your doctorate,” or “I appreciate your hard work ethic as a student,” that encouragement goes a long way. I appreciate how he, knowing who he is in 2010 Christ, is able to recognize the giftedness in other people and engage the body of Christ in its diversity. Wayne: He speaks with such interest and passion that it catches the student’s attention. They catch it. They sense he’s excited about it so they in turn follow. Scott: I think it’s his great ability to bring to the table and to communicate to students two things: one, his great experience in life, his experience as an academic, his experience as a pastor, his experience as a churchman, his experience as a husband and a father; two, he’s got all that experience, melded with his real knowledge of the Bible, of history, of Christian doctrine. Roy: He was encouraging; he never was one of those instructors that beat up on you so to speak. Encouraged you to learn, always a smooth and even tempered manner, as such, always approachable.
Jonathan: It was through the class with Paul Livermore that I saw this combination of heart and intellect, heart and mind coming together. And he certainly was passionate about things. Kerygma was the word I learned from Paul Livermore. What is the essence of the message of the Gospel, both in Christ and in acts.
This year membership and gifts in the Northeastern Society increased with two new members and two upgraded members. One hundred percent of these funds support scholarships for seminarians enabling them to enter ministry with greater confidence to serve and less burden of debt.
The Babcock Scholarship for Ethnic Diversity expanded with gifts that exceeded $1,200, and then were matched to realize over $2,200 of new funding, for a total scholarship value of over $43,000.
More than $36,000 in endowed scholarships provided by generous donors meant that every student who completed the application process received an award that ranged from $200 to $1,500 in 2012-13.
His Legacy Scott: This Seminary is really the vision of Paul Livermore. In those initial years before the Seminary started, he would share with me this fervent, heartfelt desire to train women and men for the Christian ministry, and to do what the Seminary does. His spiritual legacy is certainly infused in the Seminary; he understands and puts together the idea of the church and churchmanship as a piece of the puzzle of what Christianity is. He is a churchman through and through. Elizabeth: I had no idea about the richness of the history of the early Church. I didn't even know who the early Church fathers and mothers were. And that’s what I’m going to be studying now. I’m passionate about it and I have Dr. Livermore to thank. Alicia: I believe his greatest contribution to the theological world is to engage theology with the rest of our lives, the rest of our beliefs, the rest of our community, and not just kind of isolate it in an ivory tower. He has done what “thus saith the Lord,” and that impacted my life in a very meaningful way and it has to many other students. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
These reflections come from interviews with students and colleagues which were also used to create a video commemorating Dr. Livermore. The video can be viewed here.
hailing from regions around Buffalo, Syracuse, Corning, Albany, Brooklyn and as far west as Texas and Washington.
Trustee John Cooke, President John Martin, Dr. Paul Livermore, Dr. Richard Middleton, and Dean Doug Cullum
Graduates assembling backstage before the ceremony
Dr. Paul Livermore giving the commencement address
The Class of 2013
More than 40 graduates celebrated a completed course of study on May 18 during Northeastern Seminary’s commencement ceremony in the Cultural Life Center at Roberts Wesleyan College. Founding faculty member and professor of biblical and systematic theology, Paul Livermore provided the keynote address, titled “Some Thoughts on Authentic Christianity.” Livermore's earned degrees include: Ph.D., Th.M., Princeton Theological Seminary; M.Div., Asbury Theological Seminary; and A.B., Greenville College. He is an ordained elder in the Free Methodist Church and has served as pastor of eight churches since 1964. He serves as a member of the Study Commission on Doctrine of the Free Methodist Church. In partial fulfillment of his responsibility on the Study Commission, he has written a Catechism for the Free Methodist Church and the first of a twovolume systematic theology (The God of Our Salvation). He has also authored numerous articles on the New Testament, early Judaism, patristic Christianity and Wesley. The Northeastern Seminary graduating class of 2013 included four Doctor of Ministry recipients, 30 master’s degree recipients and 8 certificate recipients. Many of the ministry degree graduates are either ordained or seeking ordination in their respective traditions, including Methodist, Pentecostal, Baptist, Reformed, Church of God in Christ, Wesleyan, and nondenominational. About half of this year’s graduates reside in the Greater Rochester Region, with others
Certificate in Ministry graduates come from El Centro Hispano de Estudios Teológicos/Center for Theological Studies, a Northeastern Seminary program dedicated to providing support and resources to Hispanic ministries in upstate New York, as well as from affiliate certificate program, the Rochester Institute for Christian Education.
April 15 to June 28 Landscapes as metaphors for the inner life— painter Aleta Wynn Yarrow of Elmira, N.Y. has long been drawn to natural elements of transition: autumn, spring, and evening. In human emotional life, transitions are the points of greatest vulnerability, but they also bring a potential for transformation and for deep hope. Inspired by auditory, tactile, or introspective experiences, the exhibit features 26 paintings created in what the artist describes as the shadowland between technique and vision; emotion and intellect; the physical realm and the spiritual one. Wynn’s work has been exhibited in the RePresenting Representation biennial at the Arnot Art Museum, and is represented by West End
Gallery, Corning, N.Y., and the Creative Center, New York, N.Y. View full resume .
Emergence Christianity and over two dozen additional books on religion and spirituality.
The exhibit is open to the public Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Northeastern Seminary, 2265 Westside Drive, Rochester, N.Y. 14624. For information call 585.594.6800 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
Find conference details at www.nes.edu/phyllistickle-emergence-christianity.
June 18, 2013 Getting your bearings in the ever shifting church of the 21st century can be tricky. Final assessments and absolute pronouncements are elusive as we experience constant reconfiguration. Phyllis Tickle, one of the keenest observers of Christianity in America brings clarity to where we currently stand and where we may be going relative to other parts of God’s church. This one-day conference invites us to join the investigation and conversation as open-minded explorers. Tickle leads a discovery of fascinating insights into concerns, organizational patterns, theology, and the most pressing questions facing emergence Christianity. Tickle is founding editor of the Religion Department of Publisher’s Weekly, a frequent resource on religion in America for USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, and New York Times. She is author of The Great Emergence and
Thursday, June 6 Thursday, June 13 Thursday, July 18 Thursday, July 25
6—7:30 p.m. 4:30—6 p.m. 6—7:30 p.m. 6—7:30 p.m.
Hampton University Ministers’ Conference June 2-7 Hampton, Va.
July 11, 2013 President John and Kathryn Martin invite all alumni to come, relax and be part of the College and Seminary Family for a Texas BBQ on the Roberts Wesleyan College campus.
Collyde Summit June 7-8 Princeton, N.J. Sacred Texts and Human Contexts Symposium June 23-25 Rochester N.Y.
Dinner will be served from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Mersereau Green; center of campus near Golisano Library. Register here.
August 4-7, 2013 For the third year the Rock Talk Pavilion at Kingdom Bound Festival will be the home base for youth ministry seminars presented by Northeastern Seminary. Designed to equip pastors and lay leaders serving young people the following seminars will be led by members of the seminary community and are offered daily at 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. ■
What Happens When the Bible Doesn’t Say I Can’t: A Practical Approach Reflecting God’s Image – Nijay Gupta,
Onondaga Community College, Syracuse 2265 Westside Drive, Rochester Onondaga Community College, Syracuse 2265 Westside Drive, Rochester
Christians for Biblical Equality Annual Conference July 25-28 Pittsburgh, Penn.
professor of biblical theology and exegesis Many Christians want a Bible passage to tell them what to do or not to do with their bodies. While we have some general advice like “flee sexual immorality!” that is not the way the Bible works. The Bible tells us about what it means to be human and what it means to reflect God’s image. The Bible tells us to put others first, to honor our family, to trust that God created marriage. So what conclusions can we draw? ■
Mark your calendars now for Nurturing the Soul of Ministry: Intimacy with Self. This seminary-wide gathering will be October 4-5 at Notre Dame Retreat Center in Canandaigua, N.Y. Make this time a real retreat by coming Friday evening for vespers and fellowship overlooking the lake, then stay overnight at the center. Our speaker on Saturday is Dr. Cherith Fee Nordling. Look for more details at www.nes.edu/asr .
Something They Never Knew They Needed: A Practical Approach to Spiritual Formation in Teens – Doug Milne (M.Div. ‘10), adjunct professor at Roberts Wesleyan College What does spiritual formation look like for adolescents and for those who provide leadership for them? What are they ready to receive and engage in and how do you cultivate that allows formation to flourish? A Clothing Store for Everyone: A Practical Approach Toward Authenticity and Breaking Stereotypes Whether it’s the kids or the leaders, there is not a one-size-fits-all image that we need to adhere to, to be accepted and to be effective. How can we look beyond the stereotypes we impose on ourselves and each other to live a life of faith and celebrate all that we are in God’s image? Where can we find the courage to pursue authenticity and accept it in others?
Later at the pavilion youth workers can receive counsel and resources from festival artists. As an event sponsor the Seminary enables several underprivileged and special needs children and families to attend the festival. Register for the festival, including seminars, online at: www.kingdombound.org .
Alumni News: Traci Birge (C17) was awarded the 2013 Association of Christian Librarians Research Award for Roberts Wesleyan College for her research project, The Open Vocation of Humanity as Established in the Genesis Cosmogonies and Its Implication on Scripture. She has also been accepted as a PhD student at McMaster University for Fall 2013. Glen Dornsife (C23) wrote a blog article titled “Top 3 Things I Learned at Seminary” for the NES blog. Read the article here. Wilfredo Irizarry (C14) was named senior pastor at Adonai Assembly of God in Rochester, N.Y. last fall. He also serves on the chaplaincy team for Millwood Corporation, a packaging systems, materials and services company based in Ohio. Bridgit Marable (C20) is president and founder of Daughters of Zion House of Restoring Lives, a Christian-based transitional home assisting residents in transitioning back into society from a correctional facility, homelessness, or drug rehabilitation. The house will open June 15. Starting in June Suzanne Pearson (C18) will be affiliated with the Mercy Prayer Center and will serve as a prayer guide for retreatants desiring to practice the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola at the Mercy Prayer Center. Bill Rabjohn (C10) will be ordained on June 1 at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Check out the ever-changing list of job opportunities at the career services website . Positions include worship leader, residential staff, youth pastor, and more. Also view a list of recent postings around upstate N.Y. here . See if they are a good fit for you. PAGE 6
Student News: Josh Czyz (C30) was promoted to Coordinator of Spiritual Care at St. Joseph’s Hospital H.C. in Syracuse, N.Y.
Faculty/Staff News: Brian Babcock, former assistant dean and director of the D.Min. program, co-authored a book entitled God in Story, the third volume in The Gathering Place Series from Resource Publications. He also co-authored Radical: A Discipling Journey with Jesus, which will be produced out of the Orlando Fellowship this fall.
Different Lens” for A Day Apart, a series offered at Lima Presbyterian Church on April 20. Tim Dwyer, professor of Christian scriptures, served as keynote speaker for the Minister’s Institute of the Northeast for pastors and leaders of the Northeast conferences of the Free Methodist Church. The theme of the conference was The Christian Message and Ministry in the Book of Acts. Peter Englert, director of admissions, will be preaching at Batavia Assembly of God in Batavia, N.Y. on June 9.
David Basinger, professor of philosophy and dean of the School of Professional Studies, has an essay on Open Theism included in a new book entitled Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities (Springer, 2013). The volume compares and contrasts how God is envisioned in a number of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim traditions.
http://blog.nes.edu Another voice in the marketplace of ideas. See what is being tossed around by Seminary faculty, students, alumni and staff to equip and inspire, reflect and inform. Want to be a guest blogger? Let us know at email@example.com .
Donald Bastian, one of the Seminary’s Core lecturers and bishop emeritus of the Free Methodist Church of North America, has released a book entitled “The Pastor’s First Love and Other Essays on a High and Holy Calling.” Lisa Bennett, associate vice president for communication and enrollment, presented a lecture on marketing and engaging members of the media, using social networking, and building relationships through websites, epublications and activities for the Amherst Chamber of Commerce At-Home Business “U.” Doug Cullum, vice president and dean, led a workshop on “Biblical Interpretation through a
Northeastern Seminary 2265 Westside Drive Rochester, N.Y. 14624 585.594.6800 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nes.edu