Thursday, December 3, 2009
from OC Edwards:
Will you please see that news gets to alumni of the death of Lilian "Flower" Ross on Monday, November 30? She and her husband Charles Winters taught pastoral theology from, I think, 1989 to 1994. She had suffered long from a lung infection, but a little over a week ago that became complicated by acute sciatic pain. When she went to the hospital, it was discovered that she also had penumonia. She went back to Deerfield, the Episcopal retirement community in Asheville, but to the skilled care section rather than their apartment. Next morning the staff called Charlie to tell him that she did not rouse. She was taken to the hospital and was on life support for three days. She died at 10:40 AM on Monday, November 30. The funeral will be at All Souls Cathedral in Asheville, probably on the afternoon of Saturday, December 12. Charlie is very sad, but recognizes that she could not and should not go on the way she was. Jane and I were with them through a lot of this.
Lilian Flower Robinson Ross Obituary:
Passed away peacefully in Asheville, NC on November 30, 2009.Though she suffered the last few years of her life with serious health problems, she remained positive and grateful for the life that she had lived. She was 80 when she died. She leaves behind her loving husband, the Rev. Charles L. Winters, one brother, Murray Robinson, Bloomington, Indiana, four children from a previous marriage; Dr. Rusty Ross, Mobile, Alabama, Susan Shodroski, Frederick, Maryland, and Murray Ross and Frances Ross Nolan, Birmingham, Alabama. She also leaves behind two step-children, Tony Winters, New York, NY and Karen Vaught, Atlanta, Georgia, as well as 9 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Flower lived a remarkable life, having been born in Atlanta, Georgia at the beginning of the Great Depression, the oldest of three children. Flower’s given name was Lilian but she was nicknamed Flower, a reference to Lilly, her name. Her mother was Margaret Mitchell’s typist when she wrote Gone With The Wind. Flower attended Mary Washington College and received her Masters degree from Loyola University in New Orleans. Flower worked for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama while her children were young and later worked for the School of Theology, The University of the South, where she married Charles Winters in 1980. Along with Charlie, she helped create and champion Education for Ministry, an educational program for lay-people in ministry, still widely used throughout the Episcopal Church. Over the years Flower traveled extensively in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America while serving as a trainer of mentors for EfM groups all over the world.
Flower and Charlie joined the faculty of Seabury-Western Seminary in Evanston, Illinois where they both taught until their retirement in 1994. They moved to Asheville, North Carolina to be close to friends and immediately joined All Soul’s Cathedral. Flower remained active in lay ministry until her health prevented her from continuing. Flower and Charlie eventually moved to Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community where she lived at the time of her death. Flower was an excellent ballroom dancer, an avid reader, a cat-lover, a lover of good food, a generous person, a thoughtful friend, a grateful servant, and a devoted spouse. Her presence will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her.
A Celebration of her life and a memorial service will be held at All Soul’s Cathedral, 9 Swan St, Asheville, NC 28803-2674,(828) 274-2681, at 2:00 PM on Saturday, December 12, 2009 with the service of Holy Communion, concluding with the Interment of Ashes in the church garden, followed by a reception in Zabriskie Hall at the Cathedral. For those wishing to commemorate Flower’s life, the Flower Ross Memorial Fund has been established at All Soul’s Cathedral.
Friday, November 20, 2009
- Eight courses
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Monday, November 16, 2009
November 16, 2009
In light of Gary Hall’s appointment as rector of Christ Church Cranbrook, the board’s executive committee met on Friday and again this morning to discuss an interim leadership plan for Seabury-Western. I am delighted to announce that Board Chair Bob Bottoms has agreed to serve as Seabury’s interim dean and president from January 1, 2010 until June 30, 2011.
As you know, Bob retired in July 2008 after 22 years as president of DePauw University. He holds a bachelor degree from Birmingham-Southern College, a bachelor of divinity degree from Emory University, and a doctorate from Vanderbilt University. His career in higher education began when he was appointed chaplain and assistant to the president at Birmingham-Southern College. He was later assistant dean and assistant professor of church and ministry at Vanderbilt Divinity School. In 1978, Bob became vice president for university relations at DePauw; he also held the post of executive vice president there before being named president in 1986.
In addition to his work at Seabury, Bob also serves on the board of the Joyce Foundation in Chicago and has been a consultant to the Lilly Endowment, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and the Fund for Theological Education. He has written articles and opinion pieces for The New York Times, The Indianapolis Star and the Chicago Tribune. He and his wife, Gwen Vickers Bottoms, are active members of Trinity Episcopal Church in Bloomington, Indiana.
We could not ask for a more dedicated and qualified leader to serve Seabury in this transition. On behalf of the entire executive committee, I am deeply grateful to Bob for his leadership and commitment to Seabury’s vision of being what’s next in theological education.
Anne Lea Tuohy
Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
Thursday, July 16, 2009
EVANSTON, IL - Seabury Western Theological Seminary has reached an agreement with Northwestern University to sell its buildings and land to Northwestern. Included in the agreement that will fund many of its new initiatives after eliminating the debt load is a lease back of office, chapel and class space.
"With this agreement we're doing several important things," said the Very Reverend Gary Hall, President and Dean. "We're positioning ourselves for a new mission as the People's Seminary, meeting the demands of a changing world and church, providing flexible education to all - clergy, church professionals, lay community and congregations. This sale has allowed us to eliminate our debt, balance our 2010 budget and double our endowment so that we will enter our new life with adequate resources to fund our ministries," he explained.
The real estate agreement transfers the seminary's buildings and property to Northwestern ownership while allowing Seabury to lease the space needed for faculty and staff who will develop and deliver new programs. These include the Joint DMin program in Congregational Development with partner Church Divinity School of the Pacific and a Joint DMin in Preaching in partnership with other Chicago area seminaries. Other course work - either in short term residencies or online - will be available to clergy, candidates for ordination and the lay community who seek continued learning but are not interested in degrees, including a certificate in Anglican Studies. For those learners Seabury will offer four-course certificates, diplomas and the ability to audit or take part in continuing education events offered in collaboration with others, including Northwestern's School of Continuing Studies.
"The need Christians have for substantial theological education has never been greater" said Chicago Bishop Jeff Lee. "Seabury is finding new and exciting ways to deliver that education to a wider group than ever before. Seabury now has the potential to respond to the current and future needs of the Church with unparalleled creativity, openness and flexibility. And their forward thinking and courage deserve our support," he added.
Want to learn more? Read the Q & A on our website. Or participate in a free conference call and have your questions answered in person. For the phone number and access code, register with Ron Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alumni/ae telephone conference calls:
July 22 or August 7 at 10:00 am Central Time.
Non alumni/ae telephone conference calls:
July 24 or 31 at 10:00 am Central Time.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The Reverend. Dr. M. Susan Harlow, an experienced theological educator and ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, has been hired as the Director of Congregational Development and Professor of Practical Theology at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston IL. The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees unanimously approved her selection at a meeting on Tuesday at the seminary.
According to the Very Reverend Gary Hall, Dean and President of Seabury, Dr. Harlow was chosen from a field of 12 candidates based on her teaching, administrative and leadership abilities. “Susan Harlow is exactly the right person to lead Seabury’s work in Congregational Development in the years ahead,” he said. “She brings vision, experience, and theological depth to the task of continuing Seabury’s ministry as a leader in the building of effective faith communities in the Episcopal Church and beyond.”
As Director of Congregational Development, Dr. Harlow will oversee the Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Development and Doctor of Ministry in Preaching programs at Seabury. She will also be Professor of Practical Theology.
Seabury-Western has just begun a new joint Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Development with the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley CA. The school also participates in the Association of Chicago Theological Schools Doctor of Ministry in Preaching program.
From the early 1990’s until 2003, Dr. Harlow was Associate Professor of Religious Education and Associate Dean for External Affairs at Meadville/Lombard Theological School in Chicago. She has extensive experience in congregational studies and community organizing.
Most recently, Dr. Harlow has been an adjunct professor at McCormick Seminary in the Ecumenical Doctor of Ministry Program, a collaborative program of McCormick Theological Seminary, the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, and Catholic Theological Union.
Dr. Harlow received her bachelor’s degree from Hollins College and a Master in Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School. She was awarded the Th.M. (Master of Theology) degree from Harvard Divinity School and an Ed.D. from Columbia University Teachers College in conjunction with Union Theological Seminary. She was a member of the Steering Committee of the Committee on Curriculum Research and Theory of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and of the Constructive Theology Working Group of the American Academy of Religion. She has also represented the United Church of Christ on various councils and committees
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Change is a daily event at Seabury. As we move forward with ambitious and exciting plans to reform what seminary means to us, to our faculty and staff, our students and the Church, many pieces are coming together to form a new whole. The Joint DMin program with our partner Church Divinity School of the Pacific is a reality. The announcement has been made to the Church and the world at large, and we are in the process of reviewing our first applications. We’ll welcome our first students in June 2009. Partnerships and strategic alliances with academic leaders such as Northwestern and Garrett are in final stages, with completed agreements just weeks away. And our first lecture for the spiritually and intellectually curious – both clergy and lay – was a gratifying success. More info about the event and a link to the video lecture is included in this month's Seabury Update email.
As the definition of our mission shifts, so does the shape of the faculty that will deliver on that mission. A traditional faculty with academic and theological leaders will evolve into a team of full and part time faculty. The concept of tenure will become long term contracts. Faculty will comprise an alliance of academic professionals – some from Seabury, others from CDSP or Northwestern University or Garrett as well as expert field practitioners– each respected for his or her accomplishments in an area particularly suited to our new offerings.
With change comes not just eager anticipation but sorrow. Many of the academic and theological leaders who have built Seabury’s reputation for excellence will be taking the next step in their outstanding careers. Ruth Meyers will join the faculty of CDSP in one of the Church’s and the nation’s most prestigious appointments – the Hodges-Haynes Professor of Liturgics. John Dally will move to a faculty position at Garrett as Visiting Associate Professor of Preaching and Missional Leadership – a role shaped specifically for John that will allow Garrett to take advantage his considerable gifts. Letters from John and Ruth and Gary's response. As we continue to develop creative and collaborative partnerships, we will remain in relationship with both Ruth and John as well as their new colleagues and communities.
But balancing our sorrow is the knowledge that the team that has guided much of our transition remains in place. Academic Dean Ellen Wondra has worked beyond tirelessly to mold the curriculum for the Joint DMin program with our partners at CDSP. Elizabeth Butler has driven the process of creating and realizing our vision for the new seminary. And Mark Miliotto has ensured that we stand on firm financial ground as we develop our plans. We all owe thanks to those who move on and those who will remain.
Dean and President
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
what can you and I do? what can places like Seabury and other communities of faith and learning do?
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
The impetus to blog in the first place is emerging out of the transformative work we are doing at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. Having done the very difficult work this spring of deciding to sunset, over the next two years, one of our signature programs, the residential Master of Divinity, we are engaged in the creative work of shaping a new future in theological education. That future is informed in no small part by the work of Phyllis Tickle and others around the Great Emergence that this time in history is a hinge moment, a time of monumental shifts that are political, social, religious, economic, and cultural, affecting all of us whether we're aware of the larger movement or not. Some characteristics of this brave new world include a deep hunger for learning balanced with a profound respect for and integration of the heart, the belief that truth is discovered in community, through conversation and the integration of many voices rather than passed down through a hierarchy and also a deeply incarnational understanding that belonging and community holds more value than believing certain things and behaving in certain ways. Traditional seminary structures were designed in a different age and time, responding to very different needs than we experience today. One might say they were created to hold at bay the reality of the Great Emergence. That doesn't mean there isn't great value in the traditional seminary experience, and yet there is also a great deal to be gained by freeing ourselves of the 'givens' and finding new ways to live faithfully God's call to us. As a result, we at Seabury are opening ourselves to a new way of being present in the world and the church. We are working together with others to meet the deep hunger for the creative, beautiful, unending narrative of God's love for us.
My desire to blog, as it turns out, stems not from the conviction that I have much to say that is worth hearing but that forging our new path isn't possible without the participation of others. The Seabury Blog provides a more fluid and real time way to invite the voices of others interested in the questions of theological education in the Great Emergence. I am eager to join together with others who are asking questions and exploring new ways of being faithful, to build together effective ways of meeting the vast needs. I will be posting more about the ongoing work we are doing and always invite the dialogue with the larger community to help shape and form where we going and how we journey.
I dedicate this opening blog to all those finishing their exams (hooray!) today, and to the creative work engaging us all.....bird by bird.