HERALDING NEWS FROM NORTHEASTERN SEMINARY
Among the 33 students who began their seminary journey this fall it wasn’t surprising to find that some of them are married. What is unique is that six of them are married—to each other. With 33 years of marriage represented among the three couples and professional positions including nurse, mortgage specialist, freelance writer, chiropractor, and former business owner, their scope of experiences is great. What they share is the desire to prepare for ministries that care for congregations—in a variety of contexts, promote social justice, and provide theological education.
VOL. 9, NO. 5 ■ SEPTEMBER 2012
“just enjoy each other,” the loss of “downtime,” and reordering some of their other pre -existing responsibilities. Dion and Jennifer Leonard of Buffalo, N.Y. started the program as they transition through their first couple years of marriage.
Yet they are all engaged in the first Core courses in the program, motivated by aspirations for ordination, ministry to refugees, developing ministry competencies, focusing resources on marginalized people, and ministry to youth through music. David articulates one of the The decision to pursue a benefits of enrolling with his seminary degree is complex wife Karen this way: “We may enough for one person who be able to harness the Back row l. to r.: David and Karen Martin, strengths that each of us must weigh professional, Jennifer and Dion Leonard, front row: Jeff family, and ministry have to do something that and Margaret Cappello. responsibilities—as well as neither of us could do alone.” the financial impact. This is only magnified For Jeff, being able to support each other is so when the decision involves both family leaders. valuable: “My wife and I can share an Margaret Cappello, who shares pastoral intimacy with each other that goes beyond a responsibility for a small Wesleyan church in normal marriage relationship. We know each Waterloo, N.Y with her husband Jeff recalls other’s strengths and weaknesses so we are concerns about balancing her full-time position uniquely suited to partner with each other in overseeing visiting nurses, doubts about this endeavor.” keeping up with the work, and finances with Three couples in one cohort; contributing to a their son already in college. David and Karen rich learning community for not only Martin, church planters in Syracuse, N.Y., themselves, but for other students and the anticipate the impact of having less time to Seminary as well.
Married Couples Start Seminary Birthing a Church Study in the Holy Land Events Distinguished Alumni Nominations Community News
“… with painful labor you will give birth to children” is a familiar admonition from Genesis. But what about birthing a church? Is it painful and costly? What happens when we take a fresh look at what it means to be the church? Three cases presented at the Seminary’s Conference on Ministry in June 2012 offer insight. Community of the Savior, a five-year-old congregation, was conceived in small group meetings in people’s homes over soup suppers. According to one of the founding pastors, and academic dean for Northeastern Seminary Doug Cullum, “this kind of thing started for us sensing that something needs to be fixed—there’s something that’s missing in our current ecclesial life.” Yet, the vision had a long gestation period as founders acknowledged the divisive potential that any “new” community might have as well as the force that can sometimes draw in “malcontents” reacting to the church. There was a season of prayer and discernment, time spent clarifying predominant needs and the core affirmations that grew out of those needs. Commitment to consensus characterized their development as they identified a sponsoring organization that recognized the ordination credentials of leaders and the decision was made to move
from evening scheduling to Sunday morning. The church emerged. Community of the Savior became part of the multi-campus model developed by Edgewood Free Methodist Church in Rochester, N.Y. Central to the mission-driven church is taking responsibility for material possession and allocation of resources. “We’ve committed ourselves to missional parity so that whatever we spend on ourselves in terms of mission and ministry internally we will spend sufficiently to have an equal amount of ministry impact beyond ourselves,” noted Cullum. From pastoral care to social justice ministry to faith formation education, the operations and activities occur as a result of volunteer services.
The realization that “doing church” and “living life” were far too disconnected from each other helped define and shape Church of the Common Table in Syracuse, N.Y. Through the process of bringing together Bible study, family activity, and discussion
Check out the ever-changing list of job opportunities at the career services website . Positions include pastor, residential staff, associate 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 2
around what it means to be human in light of salvation, Scott Emery (MA, ‘09) said, “we began to look outside ourselves, a little bit, and try to figure out how we jump into different situations and love people who are not ourselves.” Through the process of tracing the continuous story from Genesis to Revelation, practicing spiritual disciplines including lectio divina, and sharing meals together there was evidence of people being discipled. Participants met in each other’s homes on Sunday evenings but continued to worship in other congregations on Sunday mornings. As an experiment families were asked to consider making an initial commitment to Church of the Common Table for a year. This became Sunday morning gatherings that embodied worship, learning, and the outward focus of justice activities. Because Emery works full time in the public school system as his primary source of income he doesn’t need to take a salary from the church and all incoming funds go right back out into the ministry. With about a year in review new pathways have emerged: some families are looking for more extensive programming for their children and some are finding convergence with other like-minded fellowships in the area. All seek a communal mission. “It took six months to deconstruct what I knew about church and one thing I learned was that I wanted to be free from the monetary things.” This was the impetus for Jim Sproull to pursue ministry in what is now Church on Tap in Buffalo, N.Y. The vision to be “where the people already are” and the opportunity provided by the Pearl Street
Grill and Brewery to operate “free and clear” brought two necessary puzzle pieces together. Add to that the requisite marketing and programming and crowds were formed. But, Sproull realized, “We were doing exactly what we had been doing before … creating just a cool place to hang out and hear great music and relevant speaking,” all while the programming and scheduling prohibited engagement in small groups and active outward ministries. By meeting Sunday mornings instead of Monday evenings commitments became more substantive. “We are involved in each other’s lives constantly and we see mission as being a huge component of the community. With no paid staff, Sproull holds a sales position, and no building expenses, 90 percent of the income goes to ministry opportunities outside the church. This model affords relationship building in any context— relationship that, at a closer look, has its underpinnings in Christ. It doesn’t lend itself to becoming a mega church but to continually splintering off into as many factions of culture and society as the people who will embody the love of Christ. For Sproull, “The goal isn’t to get them in here. If you can have church happening out there, don’t think that you have to get them in here on Sunday morning. It’s going to happen out there.” For a DVD of the full Conference on Ministry workshop, Birthing a Church Without Selling Your Soul, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
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 .
Davis College Chapel October 18 Johnson City, N.Y.
success? What are those next steps to take in the midst of the blend and blur of planning strategically and doing strategically—as we strive to gain traction in moving from the articulated vision to reality? Hear from seasoned leaders and pastors, Dan Reiland and Kevin Myers, from 12 Stone Church in Atlanta, Ga. as they share about developing a leadership culture and “executing ministry” that is guided by principle-driven practices. Both are leaders with a pastor’s heart and innovative church thinkers —both are dynamic, inspiring speakers with a passion for encouraging the local church.
WNY Women’s Breakaway October 19-20 Buffalo, N.Y.
Register at www.nes.edu/ Dan-Reiland-Kevin-MyersStrategy .
Come See Us At These Events Faith in Action Network’s Ministry Fair October 4 Rochester, N.Y. American Baptist NY Council of Churches Meeting 2 - October 6 Vestal, N.Y. Meeting 3 - October 13 Albany, N.Y. Meeting 4 - October 20 Syracuse, N.Y.
Follow the footsteps of Jesus, study the Bible from the shores of Galilee, enjoy meals at the Kibbutz, examine archeological evidence and spend time at Petra, Mount Nebo and Jeresh. Take a 14-day trip to the Holy Land June 20 – July 5, 2013 with Northeastern Seminary in association with Jerusalem University College . Alumni, current students, faculty, staff and institutional leadership can earn 2 graduate level credits or audit the course. The cost of $4,700* includes travel, lodging, meals, tips/entrance fees, class materials/maps, and instruction. Credits may be applied to Seminary masters degrees.
Dan Reiland (top) and Kevin Myers present ideas on strategy on October 10.
Houghton College Graduate Recruiting October 22 Houghton, N.Y. Chris Tomlin Concert October 28 North Chili, N.Y.
Watch for details and application at www.nes.edu. *Cost may change based on final airfare; costs based on double occupancy.
Youth Worker’s Breakfast November 5 Williamsville, N.Y.
October 10, 2012 It’s been said that every church and leader is one tough call away from a breakthrough. So how, exactly, do we move from strategies that can sometimes lie dormant to vibrant
October 29, 2012 Au Sable Institute director, Dr. Fred Van Dyke, leads the 2nd annual Barnes Symposium on topics of creation care. From the position that we are, first, children of God and thereby stewards of creation Van Dyke looks at caring for the earth, learning about following Christ from creation, and the constancy of conservation across Christian history. He describes how crafting a theologically informed environmental ethic can serve as a bridge of witness to the conservation community. Register at www.nes.edu/Fred-VanDyke-Creation.
September 26 to December 21 November 13, 2012 With so many needs clamoring for attention, it’s a challenge to be diligent and effective in our response. And when one need, among the many, is silenced it is even easier to ignore. Our uncertainty about how to tackle the unspoken need in restorative ways only exacerbates the issue and those in our communities are left in silence, with deep wounds. This one-day conference is designed to investigate the church’s current response to sexual and domestic violence within the church community—what it is and what it could be. Featured speakers Elizabeth Gerhardt of Northeastern Seminary and Allison O’Malley of Safe Journey serve as guides to understanding the impact of such abuse on its victims and the tactics of perpetrators and effective interventions. Along with testimonials from abuse survivors, local public officials will describe the legal and community service aspects of the issue, while panelists will share various models of response and lessons learned from their own faith traditions. Register at www.nes.edu/addressing-sexualand-domestic-violence .
Tuesday, October 9 Monday, October 15 Thursday, October 18 Wednesday, October 31 Monday, November 19
6—7:30 p.m. 4:30—6 p.m. 4:30—6 p.m. 12—1 p.m. 6—7:30 p.m.
This exhibit by featured artist Scot Bennett was created to engender dialogue between the artist and the work, between the viewer and the work, between the viewer and artist, and, most importantly for him, “between all of us and our creator.” Among the 29 works that employ silverpoint, graphite and transfer techniques are 11 scrolls, one of which is 16 feet long. According to Bennett, professor of visual art at Roberts Wesleyan College, both the creative process and intention of the exhibit is based on the practice of lectio divina, an approach to active, contemplative reading of scripture. Of his time in the studio Bennett says, “I let the materials, the images surrounding me, the metaphors, pictures in my head, become a sort of ongoing process-oriented dialogue; a conversation if you will between me and the work; a lectio of materials, process, concept, and final outcome.” Most of the images have been left purposefully unfinished so viewers can contribute to the work. They are asked to actively “read” the images and suggest ideas, thoughts, and reflections as to how the pieces be completed. As suggestions about colors, lines, words, poetry, materials, and imagery mount Bennett will incorporate them into the pieces. 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.
2265 Westside Drive, Rochester, N.Y. 6500 Sheridan Drive, Williamsville, N.Y. 800 4th Street, Liverpool, N.Y. Online webinar 6500 Sheridan Drive, Williamsville, N.Y.
Detail of one of the unfinished and as of yet unnamed scrolls by Scot Bennett.
Faculty News: Dr. Doug Cullum served as guest speaker for Perinton Community Church’s men’s retreat on September 29 on the theme “A Passion for Godliness.” He also spoke on August 19 at Avon Wesleyan Church. Dr. Tim Dwyer spent a spring 2012 semester sabbatical at Yale Divinity school studying the life and thought of Heinrich Bullinger. Dr. Beth Gerhardt served as a panel speaker at “The Bridge: A Forum on Poverty,” a discussion on the faith and volunteer community’s response to local poverty at Artisan Church on August 29. As part of honoring Dr. Paul Livermore for his years of service and his upcoming retirement at the end of the 2012-13 academic year, he and his wife Alice were featured in the Roberts Wesleyan College homecoming parade in September.
Dr. Barry Hamilton spent his 2011-2012 sabbatical researching Richard Watson’s Theological Institutes and its relationship to Anglicanism and Methodism. Dr. Rebecca Letterman served as guest speaker for the RWC Chapel on September 24. She spoke on “Prayer: Receiving Renewal from God (Psalm 4:1). She is also nearing completion of a textbook on Van Kaamian spirituality which she is authoring with two colleagues. She also finished a manuscript of poetry on the women of Genesis and presented at a linguistics/translation conference at Houghton College. Dr. Richard Middleton is in the final stages of a new book, A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology, which will be forthcoming in the spring from Baker Publishing. On September 15 he spoke on “How Abraham Lost His Son: Faithful Interpretation of Genesis
Northeastern Seminary 2265 Westside Drive Rochester, N.Y. 14624 585.594.6800 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nes.edu
22:1-19” for the inaugural Zenas Gerig Memorial Lecture at Jamaica Theological Seminary and the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology.
Student News: The Seminary welcomed 33 students to Cohort 30 this fall, the first to utilize video conferencing technology in Syracuse. The cohort is 55% male and 45% female, ranging in age from 22 to 66 with backgrounds in more than six denominations. Jae Newman (C30) was featured on antler, an online Christian writers forum. Read his article, “Revision and Interior Design: Thoughts on Creating, Writing, & Practice” here . Pastor Wally Fleming (D9) spoke at Roberts Wesleyan College’s chapel on September 19 on “Taking Renewal Seriously.”
Alumni News: Frank Burgos (C6) celebrated the 12th anniversary of House of Prayer and Restoration, where he serves as assistant pastor, and the grand opening of its new campus in Rochester, N.Y. on September 15. Wilfredo Irizarry (C14) was installed as the new pastor of First Assembly of God Church in Rochester, N.Y. on September 8. Lida Merrill (C12) wrote an article, “Strategies for Supporting the Spiritual Lives of Individuals with Disabilities,” for TASH’s most recent publication addressing the spiritual and religious supports for people with developmental disabilities. Michael Traylor (C23) served as a panel speaker at “The Bridge: A Forum on Poverty,” a discussion on the faith and volunteer community’s response to local poverty at Artisan Church on August 29.
The award recognizes those who exemplify faithful service in ministry and demonstrate such qualities as: innovative approaches to ministry, engagement of cultural context, perseverance through challenge, excellence in preaching and worship, equipping others to serve, and transformation of self and others through spiritual formation. Nomination form. Submit nominations by December 30, 2012.