Episcopal Divinity School Holds Annual Alumni/ae Celebrations and the Kellogg Lectures

Alumni/ae Days

Episcopal Divinity School held its 2016 Alumni/ae Days and Kellogg Lectures on May 5 and 6 on its Cambridge, MA campus. Highlights from the two days included an alumni/ae panel discussion, the Alumni/ae Awards Dinner, and the Kellogg Lectures on the theme of sacrifice given by the Very Rev. Dr. Andrew McGowan. Following is a round up of events from the two days.

Panel Discussion on Sacrifice

“Justice Too Long Delayed: Speaking Responsibly about Sacrifice in Public Discourse” featured panelists Marie Alford-Harkey (EDS ’10), president and CEO of the Religious Institute; the Rt. Rev. Dr. Carol Gallagher (EDS ’89), bishop for Native American Ministries, and assistant bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Montana; the Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge, adjunct faculty at EDS; and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Selby (ETS ’66), retired bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Worcester.

The panel was moderated by Karen Meridith (EDS ’06), executive director of Education for Ministry, and associate director of the Beecken Center at the School of Theology of the University of the South. The panelists approached the idea of sacrifice from their own life and ministerial perspectives, with the aim of defining the meaning of sacrifice in today’s church and world. (View a recording of the panel discussion.)

Speaking about the “the gross inequalities that disfigure our world and our societies,” Bishop Selby summed up that the “doctrine of sacrifice has to be reimagined if we’re going to take seriously the extent to which we are asking other people to make sacrifices without ever speaking crassly as to ask for it in words, but by every breath we take and every dollar we earn and every life we live.”

The Alumni/ae Awards

The Alumni/ae Awards Dinner hosted by the Alumni/ae Executive Committee (AEC) featured an address by Interim President and Dean Francis Fornaro (EDS ’96), in addition to the annual alumni/ae awards and recognitions. “All of you are evidence of the school’s support,” Dean Fornaro said, addressing those in the room. “Your loyalty and commitment to EDS and its mission is not only humbling, but it is what keeps us going day to day, and is what allows us look to the future with hope and assurance.”

Dean Fornaro recognized classes celebrating milestone reunion years and acknowledged the Episcopal Theological School (predecessor institution of EDS) class of 1966, who celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. He also acknowledged that Jonathan Daniels, an ETS seminarian who was shot and killed in 1965 while working for civil rights in Alabama, would have graduated with the class.

Later in the program, AEC Co-President James Shannon (PDS ’73) thanked outgoing members AEC members the Rev. Susan Ackley (EDS ’99), the Rev. David Ferner (ETS ’72), and the Rev. Richard W. Smith (ETS ’65), before presenting the alumni/ae awards.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Selby (ETS ’66), retired bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Worcester, as well as bishop to prisons, was honored with the Distinguished Alumni/ae Award for his “long and extraordinary vocation in ministry.” Beginning with his transformational experience at ETS that led him to pursue Clinical Pastoral Education at San Quentin Prison, Bishop Selby was honored for a lifetime of  “confronting fear with faith, standing steadfastly for the Gospel, thinking theologically, and moving critically with change.”

The Rev. Elsa Walberg (ETS ’62) was honored with the Distinguished Alumni/ae Award in absentia by the Rev. Cn. Dr. Katharine Black (EDS ’86). Among several milestones, Walberg was one of the first women to attend ETS, the first woman to be ordained in the Diocese of Massachusetts (as a deacon, in 1972), the first woman to be rector of a parish in Massachusetts, and the first woman to serve as a Massachusetts clergy deputy to General Convention. “Tonight we celebrate Elsa for her pioneering leadership for women’s ordination,” Black said. “We celebrate her constant justice-making, her parish and pastoral work, and her loyalty to EDS.”

The Rev. Amity Carrubba (EDS ’06) was awarded the Suzanne R. Hiatt Award, in recognition of work done by a recent graduate that is reflective of EDS professor Sue Hiatt’s pioneering, prophetic, and pastoral ministry. Having most recently served as the executive director of the Episcopal Service Corps, Carrubba was cited for “nurturing new leaders, and sparking a new vision for young adults and The Episcopal Church.”

The Kellogg Lectures

The Very Rev. Dr. Andrew McGowan delivered the Kellogg Lectures on the theme of sacrifice on Friday, May 6. Dr. McGowan, a scholar of ancient Christianity and contemporary Anglicanism, is a former EDS faculty member, and present dean and president of Berkeley Divinity School and McFaddin Professor of Anglican Studies and Pastoral Theology.

Drawing on his work on the early Church and the history of ritual, food, and meals, Dr. McGowan’s lectures, equal parts stimulating and challenging, explored the idea of sacrifice, including its contemporary ideologies, as well as the theology that surrounds gifts and giving. “Essentially, we should be looking for a Eucharistic theology of sacrifice,” he said, “And not sacrificial theology of Eucharist.” (View a recording of the Kellogg Lectures.)

About Episcopal Divinity School

Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) is a progressive seminary and theological graduate school for lay and ordained leaders of all denominations. Committed to a mission of social justice and inclusive education and grounded in the Anglican tradition, EDS awards Masters’ degrees in Divinity and Theological Studies, Doctoral degrees in Ministry, and Certificates in Anglican Formation; Justice, Reconciliation, and Mission; and Christian Spiritualities for the Contemporary World.

EDS offers unparalleled flexibility in its programs. Students may complete their course of study as Traditional Learning students, in residence at the school’s historic Cambridge campus, or as Distributive Learning students, taking blended online classes and completing four weeks of intensive campus residency per year.

EDS graduates serve as lay and ordained ministers of the Episcopal Church as well as in other Christian denominations. They are also leaders in a variety of professions and industries, including non-profit executives, mental health professionals, social workers, community organizers, academics, artists, and writers, often in addition to their work as clergy or church leaders.

EDS is a member of the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of theological schools, seminaries, and departments of religion in the Boston area.

A seminary for The Episcopal Church, Episcopal Divinity School is grounded in the Anglican tradition and committed to growing in relationship with other Christian and faith traditions. Episcopal Divinity School is an academic community of biblical, historical, and theological inquiry that respects students as responsible learners with valuable experience, supports spiritual and ministerial formation, and provides tools for the life-long work of social and personal transformation.

Pictured above, clockwise from top left: The Rev. Amity Carrubba (EDS ’06) preaches at Friday’s Eucharist; panelists from the “Justice Too Long Delayed” panel; the Very Rev. Dr. Andrew McGowan delivers the Kellogg Lectures; members of the ETS class of 1966.