Vol. 15 No. 1 Spring/Summer 2009
When Care & Capitalism Collide Why the W.H.O. Model is Wrong
Does Theology Matter? Lessons from the Pulpit www.astheology.ns.ca
magazine Reflections on the Journey to the Promised Land
INSIDE 6 AST Remembers Past Presidents
8 What’s Happening 12 Does Theology Matter? Lessons from the Pulpit 16 Arts & Theology Mixed Blessings 17 Focus - A South African Diary 18 Reinventing the AST Alumni Association 20 When Care and Capitalism Collide 22 BPI: Changing Congregational DNA 23 CCEPA News 24 Reflections on the Journey to the Promised Land 28 People News 30 Donations
Cover photo: © Brent Hathaway | Dreamstime.com
AST Magazine is a publication of Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax, NS. Published on paper twice annually, AST Magazine is mailed under Canada Post Publications Mail Sales Agreement # 40016126. Editor/Graphic Designer: Dawn Robertson Please address correspondence to: The Editor, AST Magazine 660 Francklyn Street Halifax, NS B3H 3B5 ISSN: 1207-7771 email: [email protected]
web address: http://www.astheology.ns.ca
in our community by the Reverend Canon Eric Beresford
n our new mission statement AST commits itself to reach out in new ways to the wider community around us, to build new relationships, and new friendships. In doing this, our hope is to benefit the community we are a part of, and in the longer run to benefit AST itself. A good example of how those efforts are being put into action can be found in the initiatives that we are undertaking under the heading of [email protected]
In the last magazine we showed you something of the exhibitions that have begun to be a part of the life of our library. In addition to art by professional artists, our last exhibition of the year was an exhibition of children’s art drawn from churches across the region. A parallel piece of work is going on in the area of music. AST has established a sacred music concert series with three concerts per semester. Last year saw a concert by the group Sanctuary, by a trio led by Paul Halley, our University Musician, and finally a string quartet, led by Robert Uchida, the concertmaster of Symphony Nova Scotia, that performed the Haydn Quartet on the Seven Last Words of Christ during Holy Week. The concerts have been increasingly well attended and the school is now receiving requests to be a performing venue for other organizations. Clearly we are beginning to build new friendships, but how does this relate to the school’s central mission? To answer that question we need to look at how musical expression is linked to the ways in which human beings relate to the sacred. The worship of any religious community is inconceivable without music. Whether in psalms, or songs, or in instrumental music to accompany ceremonials or dance, music is the medium that effects the connection between ritual words and actions and the hearts of the believers who participate. At the same time, religious communities have deeply shaped the traditions of music of the cultures of which they are a part. Sometimes the connections are explicit, as in the settings of a Mass or in the Cantatas of Bach. More often the connections are linked to the religious views of the composer. In both cases the very structure and character of the music is an expression of the composer’s understanding of God and God’s relationship to the world. Beethoven claimed that, “Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.” Famously, the theologian Karl
Barth claimed of Mozart that his music was a place where it was possible to encounter both God and ourselves in new and renewing ways. What is true of classical traditions can also be found in more popular forms of music, in the music of Leonard Cohen, of Bob Dylan and U2. Some theologians have even used the disciplines of improvisation found in Jazz as a symbol of the character of the Christian life. In exploring these interconnections between music and the spiritual, AST is giving creative expression to our mission. During the concert in Holy week, the movements of Haydn’s quartet were separated not by homilies as Haydn expected, but by poetry (read by Olga Milosovich and myself ) that made articulate the connections and questions that lie at the heart of the relationship of music to theology. The final poem used was by the poet priest, R. S. Thomas. It is called The Musician, and I shall close by quoting it in full. A memory of Kreisler once; At some recital in this same city, The seats all taken, I found myself pushed On to the stage with a few others. So near that I could see the toil Of his face muscles, a pulse like a moth Fluttering under the fine skin, And the indelible veins of his smooth brow. I could see too, the twitching of the fingers, Caught temporarily in art’s neurosis, As we sat there or warmly applauded This player who so beautifully suffered For each of us upon his instrument. So it must have been on Calvary In the fiercer light of the thorns’ halo: The men standing by and that one figure, The hands bleeding, the mind bruised but calm, Making such music as lives still. And no one daring to interrupt Because it was himself that he played And closer than all of them the God listened. AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009 / 3
Wrapping up the
2008/2009 by Dr. David MacLachlan
ello from the academic area, where we have just finished another exciting and interesting year. Final enrolment figures for the year show that 173 students registered and studied with us during the year. At our 38th annual convocation, held at St. Andrew’s United Church in Halifax, we awarded 34 degrees and certificates, including two honorary degrees, and, for the first time, three honors MDiv degrees. Our two honorary degree recipients were the Anglican Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, a previous graduate of AST, and Dr. Donna Geernaert, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Charity. Both provide exemplary leadership in the area of ecumenical relations and work among our churches, and we are proud indeed to recognize their contributions and achievements in this way. We are gearing up for a busy season and are looking forward to six weeks of full campus life this summer. In addition to students from our on-campus population, we are expecting a large contingent of distance students to join us for some intensive warm-weather studies. Clearly, we are experiencing growth in our Summer/Distance MDiv program, and we can now count at least one student from nearly every Canadian province in our numbers.
Contract Extension 4 / AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009
The growth in this program is due in part to the school’s promotional efforts, as well as the good word being spread by our current students. One of the major promoters of AST’s Summer/Distance MDiv option is (and always has been) program director Dr. Tom McIllwraith. Tom is retiring from his position with us at the end of August. Always a faithful and exemplary ambassador for AST, both as an AST faculty member and an administrator, he sets an example of excellence in living out the ecumenical and co-operative spirit to which we all aspire. Both he and his spouse Mary are also exemplary in their support and encouragement of the school’s community life and its well-being. Thankfully, Tom will remain with us for this year’s summer school. We have hired the Rev. Dr. Laurence DeWolfe in the area of Pastoral Theology. Dr. DeWolfe is not a “replacement for Tom,” but he will be fully engaged in the supervised ministry dimension of the Summer Distance MDiv Program. Dr. DeWolfe will also be offering courses in homiletics for both the on-campus and the summer programs. Wishing all of you a very pleasant and refreshing summer.
he Board of Governors of AST is glad to announce that at its recent meeting, it approved a 5-year extension to the Reverend Canon Eric Beresford’s current contract as the President. He has graciously accepted. The board acknowledges with gratitude that during his first term, Canon Beresford has done exemplary work in building external relationships and “putting AST on the map.” He has worked closely and effectively with the three founding partners and denominations (Anglican, Roman Catholic and United Church of Canada) of AST and with Saint Mary’s University. He has laid a solid foundation for the fur-
A word from
the Chair of the Board...
The Reverend E. Jane Clattenburg graduated from AST in 1999 with her M.Div. degree. This year marks the first year in her 3-year term as Chair of the AST Board of Governors.
ince I last wrote, there is much ‘good news’ to share with you from the Board of Governors. As I peruse the activities and actions of this past year, words that come to mind include remodeling, renewing and redirecting.
The board historically had an expansive committee structure of eight standing committees where board members, faculty and staff dedicated many hours to related activities. After an in-depth review, the number of committees was reduced to four standing committees. It is encouraging to know that the time and energies of all involved will be used wisely and productively.
graciously accepted. The board extends felicitations to him and looks forward to his continuing dedicated work with, and on behalf of, the board, AST community and beyond. The extension of the president’s contract will help to maintain stability and sound leadership to the AST community over the coming 5 years.
The Presidential Review Committee’s report and recommendations were received by the board and discussed, refined and acted upon. The board has now approved a 5-year extension to The Reverend Canon Eric Beresford’s current contract, and he has
The AST community and board recently went through a visioning process for the school’s future. A Long Range Planning Committee was created and tasked with interviewing the school’s stakeholders near and far and then developing a set of strategic directions for the future. The committee’s report (a copy of which you may request) was submitted to and approved by the board last December. Plans for implementing those strategic directions are now being developed to help AST grow stronger and fulfill its mission over the coming 5 years. —The Rev. Jane Clattenburg
ther advancement of AST. The board expects that his efforts will bear much fruit in time. He has earned a reputation for being a fine preacher and theological reflector, thoughtfully and faithfully relating the gospel to contemporary life. On campus, he continues his leadership to strengthen and cultivate positive community relations. An advocate of the spiritual and theological connections with art and music, he strongly supports AST’s new ventures with the sacred music concert series and the art show series, as well as the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs which is also of
particular interest to him, since ethics and theology is one of his special fields of study. While there are many challenges for the President in these difficult times, the board is confident that, with the support and encouragement of the AST community, Canon Beresford will rise to meet them. The board extends congratulations to Canon Beresford on this auspicious occasion and looks forward to his continuing work among and on behalf of the AST community. We wish him well for the future with our prayers and blessing.
AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009 / 5
The Reverend Dr. Lloyd Robertson 1927 to 2009 Served as the first President of AST (1971 to 1980)
Not ready for ecumenism yet…
arly in the 1960s, I was asked to speak at an ecumenical gathering at First Baptist Church. I think the topic was Church Governance. At the time, I was a curate at St. Stephen’s Parish. The other curate, Father Tom Purcell, answered the phone one day, to a call from a good Acadian lady who had read that I was going to speak at the Baptist Church. She couldn’t understand how this could be and put a question to Tom. “What’s this I hear about Father Robertson?” Tom told her I was not speaking in the church, but in the hall. “Same thing, same thing,” she said, adding “Surely he’ll sprinkle the hall, or at least himself.” When Tom told her that this might help us come to know one another better and that it could lead to unity, she questioned if he thought that might come. “Maybe not in our time,” he said. She closed the conversation with a heartfelt “Thank God for that, Father.”
e knew from the start that we were putting together three schools, not three churches. Our curriculum and faculty had features which were meant to meet the needs and character of the three churches– some of the courses meant especially for each particular Church group, but open to all. There was one curriculum, one faculty, and one Board of Governors. It was quite an adventure in faith; the oneness being not only an affiliation of separate schools, but actually a oneness in fullness of organization. Some from other parts of North America were surprised that in the Atlantic region, which they considered quite conservative, there could be such a work of faith. And faith it was. I often heard the expression our ‘three faiths.’ I knew what was meant but would point out that there really was oneness of faith. St. Mary’s Basilica has on its facade the words “one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism.” Such was Atlantic School of Theology that responded in faith–a faith in the one true God who reveals Himself in many ways…But with the oneness comes differences in us as Churches and as individuals. We still have on the higher level faith as belief, and in the one God we all accept and adore; but, on a lower level, different responses to doctrines and practices. Hopefully ecumenical action will bring about the oneness for which Christ prayed. AST can be part of that looked-for achievement. —Excerpts from the writings of the Rev. Dr. Lloyd Robertson (edited for clarity)
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The Reverend Dr. Gordon MacDermid 1939 to 2009 Served as President of AST from 1987 to 1994 Served as Interim President from 1995 to 1997
s we leave Mount Allison, we are presented with a world that impresses us by its complexity and its diversity. The plea that comes from every corner of mankind is one that asks those who are able to contribute as they are able, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to seek any reward save the knowledge that we do the will of Him who is our sustaining Power and our sense of Direction in all aspects of life. Therefore I would exhort you, fellow graduates, to be persons of conviction in a world where there is weakness, to have stability of character in a world of instability and to accept your responsibilities fully in a world where the irresponsible perish. Ours is the golden opportunity for contribution and great will be our fall if we fail to exploit this opportunity. —An excerpt from Gordon MacDermid’s valedictorian speech Mount Allison University Convocation 1959 AST is fortunate and grateful to receive the collected writings of Gordon to become a permanent part of our library collection.
Both Gordon and Father Lloyd made enormous contributions to Atlantic School of Theology and helped to make the school a successful and unique ecumenical venture in theological education. They will be missed by all those whose lives they touched and long-remembered for their vision and commitment to the success of AST and its graduates. AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009 / 7
On Campus Book Launch
We've got talent!
AST student Mel Malton gave a very entertaining public talk/presentation/oneperson show about British theologian C.S. Lewis. Mel was interviewed about her performance for an article in The Atlantic Catholic.
In January, we celebrated the publication of new books Love and Freedom: Systematic and Liberation Theology in a Canadian Context by Rob Fennell and Mark in the Lectionary by Gerald Caron. Congratulations to both of our distinguished authors!
Our students are Congratulations the best! to recent MDiv graduate
Pine Hill Award Winners
Krista Anderson, Peggy Johnson, Rosemary Godin, Wendy Kean, Betty-Jean Friedman, Alison Etter, Bonnie Fraser, Terrie Burry, Cordelia Karpenko, Sally Budge, Christine Johnson
Rosemary Godin, who recently won the 2008 "Preaching the Word" Maritime Prize for Excellence in Preaching. Rosemary just completed her final year of studies and was the first AST student to win this prestigious award. The prize is awarded annually by the Wesley Memorial United Church in Moncton, NB, as part of its Spirit-Talk program, and submissions are accepted from all over the Maritime provinces. Rosemary delivered her sermon, "Journeying into God's Future" and received her award at Wesley Memorial's 117th Anniversary Service in November. She also delivered her award-winning sermon at a regular chapel service on campus. Well done Rosemary!
Giving thanks for Tom Roussell S
o whether I was travelling in Cape Breton, the Annapolis Valley or Prince Edward Island, friends would ask, “How is life at AST?” I would offer a response laced with tones of optimism...and then I would add, “Oh yes, SOHO Kitchen is at AST now!” Everyone to a person, would reply with, “Wow! That is wonderful.” SOHO has a reputation. It is known for its delightful food, its eclectic spirit of hospitality and the broad assortment of people who think of it with fondness. On Friday May 8, a wonderfully diverse assembly of people gathered to give thanks for the man who made it all possible, Tom Roussell. The liturgy, or the work of the people, was Roman Catholic and Buddhist. In the spirit of hospitality, they both created a space where all felt welcome and one that brought out the very best in the other. There 8 / AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009
was a flow to the celebration, and at times, I think the assembly could have broken into dance. One piece of music that brought a smile to my face was Leonard Cohen’s anthem Hallelujah. The song is simultaneously reverent and irreverent, sacred and profane; it is boldly sincere while planting a tongue firmly in the cheek. I doubt that Hallelujah would have made it past the ecclesial censor boards of our various churches. But since the celebration fell graciously between the cracks of two religions, it found a wonderful place in the hearts and imaginations of those who gathered at the AST Chapel. As I contemplate Tom and the liturgy, I was struck by three things—all of which were captured by Hallelujah—the sparkle in his eye, his humour, and his effusive hospitality. —The Rev. Dr. Jody Clarke
AST Welcomes a Familiar Face as its Newest Faculty Member
A warm welcome to the Rev. Dr. Laurence DeWolfe to the position of Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology, effective July 1, 2009. He is familiar to many students, both past and present, as he has served as an adjunct faculty member for the past 9 years. Dr. DeWolfe will be teaching pastoral theology with particular responsibilities in the areas of supervised field education and homiletics. Dr. DeWolfe has a D.Min from McCormick Theological Seminary and brings 26 years of experience in pastoral ministry as an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
Public Appearances Dr. Joan Campbell was the key speaker and facilitator for a workshop held in Summerside, PEI, in June. The participants were women in parish ministry who hailed from different Christian denominations. The lectures focused on the world of biblical women and the contributions of women to emerging Christianity. Participants were invited to reflect on the lectures in the light of their own experience in church ministry. Sister Joan is attending the 72nd International meeting of the Catholic Biblical Association of America to be held August 1 to 4, 2009, at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. She is a member of the task force that meets annually at the CBA. This year’s topic is “The Social Sciences and New Testament Interpretation: 25 Years Overview: what did we learn?” Convener: Bruce J. Malina, Creighton University. The Rev. Dr. Susan Willhauck recently returned from West Palm Beach, Florida, where she participated in a United Methodist Church conference based on a project entitled “Lead Women Pastors Still Pioneers.” Dr. Willhauck was co-researcher for the project with Dr. HiRho Park, Director of Continuing Formation for Ministry at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. They had conducted a study to research the experiences and successes of 94 clergywomen serving as lead (senior) pastors of large membership churches (over 1,000 members) in the U.S. The study consisted of a survey (of those women plus a comparable sample of male clergy) and online research conducted through the use of Blackboard, interviews and virtual chats. One of the results of the project is a coaching program in which some of the 94 clergywomen have been paired with younger clergywomen who have been identified by the bishops as potentially serving a large membership church.
Publications Dr. Susan Willhauck recently had a chapter published in a festschrift for Dr. Bruce Birch, Dean at Wesley. “Memory, Identity and Hope: The Exile and Christian Formation” in Strangers in a Strange Land: Essays in Honor of Bruce C. Birch. Emeth Press, 2009. She also has an article in the July issue of the Wabash journal. “Crossing Pedagogical Borders in the Yucaton Peninsula,” Teaching Theology and Religion journal of the Wasbash Center for Teaching and Learning, July 2009. Her story “Breaking Glass Ceilings at Large Churches” is also posted on Christian Century Magazine’s web site at www.christiancentury.org.
Eric’s Speaking Schedule March 20 Hosted Formal Dinner for AST & King's College Alumni in the Diocese of Fredericton Fredericton, New Brunswick March 22 Preaching Engagement Parish Church Fredericton, New Brunswick April 26 Preaching Engagement Pictou United Church Pictou, Nova Scotia May 28 Anglican Synod Address Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI Halifax, Nova Scotia May 29 UCC Maritime Conference Address Sackville, New Brunswick May 30 UCC Newfoundland and Labrador Conference Address Grand Falls, Newfoundland June 5 Anglican Synod Address Diocese of Fredericton Saint John, New Brunswick November 1 Preaching Engagement Windsor United Church Windsor, Nova Scotia
AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009 / 9
Class of 2009 Adult Education Certificate in Theological Studies
Singing Out for North Dartmouth Food Bank
ive years ago, the first-year class at AST thought it would be a good outreach project to help a North Dartmouth food bank. Little did the students know they had started a tradition that by now, has raised more than $6,000 to help feed hundreds of families in need. On March 8 this year, the annual Sing Out! raised $2,200 when it took place at Stairs Memorial United Church in true ecumenical style, with individuals and choirs from Anglican, United, Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic and Nazarene church traditions. The school’s gospel rock band “Two Cents” was a big hit, with various selections that both rocked and calmed the church. Members of this year’s band are: Nick Phillips; Melissa Drummond; Tammy Hodge; Andrew Morton; Mel Malton; Karie Lynn Maloney; and Dianne Crewe. Helping out on the drums was 3-year-old Christenberry Hodge. The band has played for 4 years at Sing Out!, but this is the end of the road, as all but two of
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the group graduate this year. Rosemary Godin (also a 2009 graduate) arranged for the talent, and second-year student Alison Etter played the piano for the congregational hymns. Robert Tuck welcomed people at the door. Other entertainers included YTV Next Star, 14-year-old singing sensation Dunnery Bond; country artist Gordie Duggan; Dartmouth guitarist and CBC favourite, Art MacAulay, and the marvelous sights of the Presbyterian Kilted Choir from Dartmouth. The food bank operates out of Stairs Memorial United Church on Wednesday mornings and serves over 100 families each month. McKeen says he appreciates the school’s commitment over the years and that a good template has now been set up for the church to take this event and manage it on their own in the future. He also says that if anyone from the school wants to participate in Sing Out! 2010, the food bank will be delighted! —Rosemary Godin AST Class of 2009
Charlene Ann Billard Bryan William Campbell Maureen Elizabeth Ellison Sylvia M. Fitzgerald Gary Robert Giles Susan Lahey Gregor Alan Lambourne Wendy Ann Lowden Faye Elizabeth Wheatley Judi Gayle Wilson
Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies Ann Bradley Wendy Louise Kean Beverley McNamara Herbert Angus Morrison
Master of Theological Studies Regina Coupar Sarah Grondin Susan Margaret King Cynthia Lee O’Connell
Master of Divinity
Maya Valera Bevan Melissa Anne Drummond Rosemary Larmour Godin Peter M. Hoar Tammy Lynn Cress Hodge Christine Johnson Peggy Joan Johnson Cordelia J. Karpenko Christiana Sharon King Andrew George Mortimer Peter Nicholas Phillips Kyle Michael Bradley Wagner Tara-Ann B. Wilson Kees C. T. Zwanenburg
Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa Donna Geernaert Fred J. Hiltz
Convocation 2009 Congratulations to the Class of 2009! A total of 18 graduate degrees, 2 honorary doctorates, and 14 certificates were awarded this year
Fred J. Hiltz and Donna Geernaert both received Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degrees
Connie MacIsaac & Mary Morris Winners of the Lieutenant Governor's Faith in Action Award 2009
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Does Theology Matter?
Lessons from the Pulpit By the Rev. Dr. D. Laurence DeWolfe Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology Atlantic School of Theology
oes theology matter when it comes to speaking from the pulpit? Well, yes, of course it does! Do we preachers always prepare our sermons as if theology matters? Well, no, we don’t. I’m writing this during Holy Week. If holiness and exhaustion go together, this is the holiest week of all for pastor-preachers. It’s a week of services that run the gamut from Sunday’s Hosannas, to Thursday’s fear, to Friday’s slow tears, to Saturday’s deep darkness. The next week begins with Alleluias, and those Alleluias mean more work; liturgies to assemble; prayers to gather; old stories to tell; and new sermons to preach. Who has time for theological reflection? Aha! There it is! One reason preachers so rarely act consciously as theologians! Theology is work. Thinking theologically takes time. And here’s another reason: we’ve been conditioned to maintain a strict separation between the work of theology and the work of ministry. We studied theology so we could get a degree that would allow us to take up the real work of ministry, just as we had to study algebra in order to graduate from high school. As author and columnist Anthony Robinson says, “To many pastors and laity, theology suggests heavy tomes, multiple volumes, dense and abstract language. Theology may have been something a student had to study as a student preparing for ordination, but when that was done, that was it for theology. It just was not the kind of thing that was very useful in parish ministry or in the ongoing life of the church and its members.1”
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Two books sit atop a mountain of paper in my home office. One is the late William Placher’s Narratives of a Vulnerable God.2 The other is The Competent Pastor, by Ronald Sisk.3 Will either book help me meet the challenges of Holy Week? Placher might have helped me with my Wednesday bible study or my Friday sermon if I had gotten back to him about a month ago! Do I have an hour to dip into that good book? Maybe. Do I have another hour to digest what Placher says and pull out the strands that might connect to my sermon or study? Perhaps. Do I have a few minutes to call a colleague and test some ideas, including Placher’s? Not likely. She’s at least as busy as I am. Then the phone rings. An email pops up. Holy Week or not, I’m deep into the needs of a congregation in transition. I may have to run to see someone who asks for my pastoral presence. I may call on Ronald Sisk, or one of his Alban Institute colleagues to help me be a more competent pastor. If I take their suggestions on the fly, without asking why they suggest what they do, I’ll go on to act out of Ronald Sisk’s theology of ministry and the Alban Institute’s working ecclesiology. My theology and ecclesiology might not differ very much from theirs, but I can only respond to what they say with integrity when I have examined both their ideas and mine. Theology matters. Here’s where we busy pastor-preachers so often tell our congregations theology doesn’t matter. We run through our work, holding up the hastily read ideas of others. In our busyness, we default to a repetition of time-worn themes. At Easter, do we go
deep enough to let some awe and wonder rise out of the stories? Do we ever say, and then explain, what we have learned and what we believe about resurrection? Re-treading tried-and-true homilies or stringing together illustrations from lectionary aids may win us thanks and hearty handshakes at the church door. This kind of preaching sounds good and feels even better. It tells people who have very real questions about resurrection, or the reality of Christ’s presence within the church, that their struggles really don’t matter. It leaves those who don’t know the old, old story still wondering what the big day is really about. It reassures folks who are comfortable in their religion that there’s no need to be excited, or upset, about the gospel. Teaching and preaching about the cross is hard, dangerous work. What do we have when we avoid that work? Stories that beg more questions than many people can bear. We take refuge in the piety of the Good Friday hymns and contemporary Gospel songs, the language of prayers and liturgies from a time when substitutionary atonement and supersessionism went unquestioned. Often we don’t preach at all on Good Friday. Preach or not, theology matters. Preaching and liturgy should reflect both what our traditions affirm about the cross, and what we, as leaders, really believe. Theology matters. When we take time to ask why the exciting, confusing, frightening Easter stories are told, we begin to do theology intentionally. If we dare to suggest to our congregations that the Easter Gospel is about something more than sprouting seeds and liberated butterflies, we have no choice but to speak theologically. We end up speaking of transformation, mission, discipleship, and eschatology... If we claim that this transformation, mission, and hope are for us– not just for Mary Magdalene, Peter, and the first disciples– we have no choice but to speak of Christology, pneumatology, ecclesiology, and missiology... Theology matters. Too often we’re too busy to go beyond literal, surface readings of gospel stories, leaving their purpose and claim on us unexplained and unexplored. At this, religious scholar John Crossan sniffs and says, “How nice for Jesus! But what does it have to do with us?”4 Theology matters. Over time in ministry we may lose the vocabulary and, finally, the interest to study and speak theology intentionally. On those rare occasions when parishioners ask questions about fine points of doctrine, our discomfort reinforces the impression that theology
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We’re always looking for the useful, the relevant, and even the exciting, to address the concerns of our congregations. We lose our patience for things that don’t connect with short, straight lines to the needs and wants of our churches.
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isn’t worth the trouble. We also lose the sensitivity to recognize the theology we read and speak unintentionally. Too often preachers read theology selectively, and for a purpose. We seek aid for a sermon on a difficult topic, or an answer to a hard question. We read in digest form, without context or support. Why sit for hours in the library when we can Google a phrase at home? Whose theology will turn up on the web or in that preacher’s digest? Does it matter? Yes it does. “We are not alone.” In nine years of teaching I’ve lost count of the sermons that have included those words from the United Church’s A New Creed. Students love that opening phrase. It can also be made to fit in almost any sermon, if it’s left without exegesis. We Presbyterians love to quote the first question and answer of the Shorter Catechism to the same effect. “We are not alone,” and “Man’s [sic] chief end is to glorify God and enjoy [God] forever...” sound so impressive when said with conviction. But they’re little shreds of theology. If we say, “We are not alone,” and go no further, how will anyone who doesn’t recognize A New Creed tell the difference between it and the George Lucas (original!) Star Wars mythology?5 Theology matters on the pulpit. Without it, how will people who don’t know or remember the spoken shorthand, the code of the initiates, understand the words? Seminary education conditions us to maintain a strict separation between theology and pastoral practice. In our high schools, the math teachers and the physical education staff don’t work together. We have to change our clothes between math and gym classes. We have to “think fast” in both classes; in one, to avoid well-aimed basketballs, and in the other, to distinguish x from y. We have two ways of thinking for two different endeavours. In seminary, Pastoral Theology and Systematic Theology departments may share an office corridor. Do we, teachers and students both, connect and weave together our pastoral theology and systematic theology courses? In Between Athens and Berlin,6 David Kelsey sets out two models of education. Kelsey roots paidea in Athens, in the teaching methods of ancient Greece. Paidea was current in the period of the early church and formed the first Christian assumptions about education. Paidea shaped preparation for ministry through the Reformation, to the nineteenth century. We come close to paidea today when we speak of the component of formation in theological education. The way of Athens is, for one thing, "inherently communal. The learning is in one way ‘individualistic,’ in that each must do it for herself or himself. Yet, by definition it cannot be solitary. Teachers and learners together constitute a community sharing the common goal of personally appropriating revealed wisdom... Some members of the community, presumably the teachers, have been engaged in this common quest longer than others...but it is a shared quest" (Kelsey, 23). The Berlin model of theological education “came to dominate Protestant theological education in North America by the middle of the twentieth century” (Kelsey, 48). From Berlin come both Wissenschaft and professional education for ministry. Kelsey traces this model to Friedrich Schliermacher’s case for a faculty of theology at the University of Berlin. Schliermacher proposed a faculty that would be a worthy partner to any other university department. It would include a department of practical theology, where students would be trained toward expertise in the recognized functions of the office of ministry. Wissenschaftlich theological and biblical education are grounded in the same processes of critical inquiry employed in any other field of academic study. Wissenschaft is essentially an individual 14 / AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009
pursuit. Teachers teach out of their individualized, specialized research, within discrete subject areas. The goal of Wissenschaft is to train inquirers, who will continue to aspire to excellence and originality within focused areas of study. Kelsey calls the “Berlin” model of theological education “bipolar,” “both Wissenschaftlich and aimed at preparing leadership for ‘professional ministry.’” (Kelsey, 90) Kelsey says much more about Athens and Berlin, but this is enough for our purposes here. I received my basic theological degree in Berlin. The parchment says Toronto, but in 1982 Wissenschaft ruled! In the first years of this new century, the model of theological education is in transition. With their emphasis on formation, theological curricula in general have taken steps back toward paidea. Pastoral Theology departments have moved some distance away from Berlin and its emphasis on professional education. Field-based learning is certainly more paidea than Wissenschaft. But does theological education, at least as students perceive it, have a dual personality? Do students today hike into Athens in their Pastoral Theology courses, and take a fast train to Berlin in their Systematic Theology classes? Some students never leave Berlin. They take pastoral courses only in the interest of building competencies. After the initial shock of pastoral foundations, or its equivalent, most students become dual citizens. They shuttle between Athens and Berlin.
© Kk5hy | Dreamstime.com
To which city do we return when we seek resources for ministry? We turn to the wisdom, the shared quest, the relationships of Athens. The mentors we met there. The community we found there. If we think every theological question must lead to Berlin, we conclude that reading theology, like European travel, is a luxury. I have always hoped that a student will find in the preaching classroom not only his or her voice, but also his or her working theology. Because homiletics is a subset of pastoral theology, some students expect their required courses in preaching to train them to perform the task of ministry, a task they know they must perform, though they may not think it is important. Some students are surprised to be asked to think theologically in preaching class, and as they prepare sermons. Most students do good textual work, though some don’t expect to study texts to the extent required in biblical studies. I don’t expect students to write the way they do in theology courses, but I do expect them to think as carefully. I ask students to identify where they stand, for the time being, when they begin to work with a text or topic. Most are comfortable identifying a broad theological stance (liberation, post-liberal, evangelical). Some go on to name their theological worlds.7 The challenge comes when, after their exegetical work (on self, text,
Anthony B. Robinson, What’s theology got to do with it? Convictions, Vitality, and the Church. Alban Institute, 2006. p.18.
William C. Placher, Narratives of a Vulnerable God: Christ, Theology, and Scripture. Westminster - John Knox, 1994.
Ronald D. Sisk, The Competent Pastor: Skills and Self-Knowledge for Serving Well. Alban Institute, 2005.
I cite this as a preacher is inclined to cite a source she or he is sure of, but can’t pin down. Crossan makes this quip in at least one book, and in an episode of the popular Living the Questions video series.
The first (fourth?) Star Wars movie began with the words “We are not alone” in mile-high letters on the screen. Some inside and outside the United Church dubbed “A New Creed,” which dates from 1968, “The Star Wars Creed” when the film appeared a decade later. Like any creed, “A New Creed” invites and deserves serious reflection. So does George Lucas’ theology of The Force, especially now that “Jedi” appears in census reports as a religion in Canada.
David H. Kelsey, Between Athens and Berlin: The Theological Education Debate. Eerdmans, 1993.
See W. Paul Jones, Theological Worlds. Abingdon, 1989 and Worlds Within a Congregation: Dealing With Theological Diversity. Abingdon, 2000. Jones’s work is well-known at AST.
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and context), I call for theological reflection. What core theological questions arise from their reflection? What doctrine or practice of the faith seems relevant to them? This is the foundation to a good, well-prepared, confidently-delivered sermon. Whether or not anything that comes from this reflection is explicit in the sermon, it is there. More often than not, students who are preparing to be overworked interns and preachers are more interested in product than in process once their textual work is done. So I keep pushing and am delighted when students discuss and write of Christology in courses on preaching from the Gospels. Does theology matter on the pulpit? The answer is still yes. How can we change our practices, our priorities, so it matters more? So it matters again? I am hopeful that the way we provide theological education continues to move toward greater integration across subject areas, thus erasing the false distinction between the work of theology and the “real” work of ministry. What hope is there for those of us who are long out of college, long on the pulpit, if not so long in the tooth? That’s a discussion I would love to engage in. Let’s make the time.
A Note from the Editor...
e love to hear from you! Make sure you don't miss an issue of AST Magazine! Keep your contact information current by sending us your address changes, and keep up with all the latest AST news and events via email. Email us at [email protected]
or write to us at: The Editor, AST Magazine, Atlantic School of Theology, 660 Francklyn Street, Halifax, NS B3H 3B5. Does theology matter to you? What does it tell us about poverty, war, racism, social justice, and more? This is your voice...join in the dialogue with topics that relate to the challenges facing the world we live in. We are always looking for submissions that are of interest to our readers.
have a concern about the latest issue of the AST Magazine. The content is informative and the presentation and format pleasing, but I'm questioning the need to go to a glossy magazine and colour (for the cover), especially when there is a continuing request for donations. Perhaps AST has come into special funds which allows for this additional expenditure? —Glenda Redden Thanks for feedback...we always appreciate it when people take the time to let us know their concerns. AST Magazine has traditionally been printed on heavier paper stock, with a full-colour cover and one metallic spot colour throughout. With the new magazine format, we have actually gone with a more budgetconscious paper stock (lower weight means lower printing and mailing costs) and have gone away from using metallic colours in an effort to save on print costs, not increase them. (Metallic colours are much more expensive to print). While the cover is still in full colour, we are working with our printer in an effort to keep costs down. With this issue, we have also made the switch to a more environmentally friendly FSC-certified paper, which does not add to the cost.
AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009 / 15
Arts and Theology
16 / AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009
Tree of Life
n Genesis 32 we read that Jacob wrestles through the night with an angel who wounds him. But Jacob persists in the struggle despite his injury and, in the morning, refuses to let the angel go unless he receives from him a blessing. Jacob receives his blessing: his name is changed to Israel (one who struggles with God) and his sons become the patriarchs of the twelve tribes of Israel. But although Jacob prevailed in his conflict, it was not without cost. He was left scarred, his damaged hip a constant reminder of the struggle. And so it is with the most profound blessings; they are often earned through struggle. It is this tension between blessing and struggle we may feel when viewing the works by Don and Louise Pentz in Mixed Blessings. Don's ancient landscape images document the struggle of their creation. They are developed intuitively, layer upon layer, colour upon colour, until the artist feels a sense of completion. The record of pushing and pulling the textured medium is visible on the painted surface of each finished work. Don's deep connection to the land, nurtured by years of wilderness hiking and canoeing (taking him to places unseen by most) provides the inspiration for his work. But Don does not seek merely to illustrate these sacred places in his paintings. Rather, it is the sense of the holy in the landscape, earned through struggle (the earth's and his own) that he records in his works through the process of painting them. While we may be attracted initially by the surface beauty of his paintings,they remind us, by their underlying texture, of the struggle which helped to create the beauty we so admire. Louise also addresses struggle in her works. Her figurative sculptures represent women who have been beaten down by culture and religion, but remain "strong and nurturing in spite of their difficult experiences." She attributes this tenacity to "the strength of spirit." Potter turned sculptor, Louise shapes and sculpts with the earth itself. After an initial firing, her figures are tinted with natural ochres (dug from earth and ground into pigment by her archaeologist son) and buried in sawdust and leaves. A fire is lit and the pieces are left to simmer. When the figures finally emerge from their sooty grave, they bear the marks and stains of pit-firing, aptly representing the scars from a life hard lived. But there is also beauty in this sooty mixture. Swirls of soft grey tones and subtle earthy colours on the surface of the clay remind us of the beauty we experience in strong women who have survived much. There may be aching from the struggle, but there is victory as well. Don and Louise Pentz have been working and living together for more than three decades. That their works influence each other is to be expected. However, it is a gentle influence, one which respects and nurtures the creativity of the other. Mixed Blessings records the celebrations and struggles of these artists' lives and works. There is a spiritual quality in the works, but it is a spirituality which is not detached from the physical reality of daily living. These works remind us that, despite our struggles, there is beauty to be found by those who look for it. -Regina Coupar Exhibitions Director, AST Art Gallery
A South African Diary by Kyle Wagner (Class of 2009)
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” Desmond Tutu
n 2009, my last year of MDiv studies, I was placed in the South African Diocese of Christ the King on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Theological Students’ International Intern Program. This 3-month program is designed to offer seminary students exposure to the challenges and opportunities within the worldwide Anglican Communion. I arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa, in May 2008 and was greeted by the Rev. Rod Greville, Rector of St. Mary’s Anglican Church; he was my supervisor during my stay. I travelled throughout the Diocese and visited the townships of Alexandra, Sharpville, Orange Farm, and Soweto; there I met many who had suffered greatly under the injustices of apartheid policies and continue to suffer in its aftermath. Shortly after my arrival, violence erupted. Xenophobic fighting, between local South Africans struggling for survival and those from even poorer neighboring countries, marred the city and over fifty people were killed. President Thabo Mbeki mobilized the South African Defense Force, and tanks roamed the streets. I have to admit I was at times very scared. I was offered the opportunity of going back to Canada, but I believed God had called me to South Africa and was glad that I chose to stay.
Listening to the radio, watching television and reading the local papers that described the violence was shocking, especially when I saw pictures of people being burnt alive. This was not an experience I had prepared for. Nonetheless, the experience brought me face-to-face with the Gospel imperative to reach out in love to my fellow human beings, whoever they are, wherever they are. While in the townships of South Africa, I helped parish priests with their visitations and home communions. I visited the sick and needy and played with lots of children along the way. Visiting people who were sick and dying from HIV/AIDS infections was a tragic experience that I will never forget.
My time at the St. Mary’s orphanage was Archbishop Desmond Tutu wonderful. I and Kyle Wagner helped once a week with abandoned children (some of whom had HIV/AIDS). I assisted with feeding and helped with educational work. It was amazing how thoughtful the children were and how strong their faith was. They prayed openly for me during my time with them. Seeing 5- and 6-year olds praying is something that cannot be described, only experienced. Hearing the liturgy and God’s word spoken in Xhosa and other local languages was beautiful. Although I could not understand it, I was still moved. The first time I preached at St. Mary’s was a unique experience, because I had to have an interpreter. It seemed that my sermon was much shorter than the interpreters! Perhaps the interpreter’s version was better than mine; in any event it was well received! I also worked twice a week at the Theological Education by Extension College (TEEC). This distance education program offers over 40 courses to more than 6,000 students in Africa. At TEEC, I helped grade papers, rewrite existing academic courses, and helped create a new youth ministry course. One of my weekends was spent at a diocesan youth event. In that setting, I was able to better understand their culture through interaction with people of my own age. Here in South Africa, youth groups go up to age 35. During my visit to Cape Town, I met one of my heroes, Archbishop Desmond Tutu; it was an unforgettable experience to meet such a powerhouse of spirituality. I asked him if he had any advice for someone going into the priesthood. I assumed he would offer a number of suggestions, but instead he simply and powerfully said “pray!” My South African experience was deeply rewarding and has greatly enriched my present and future ministry. I have always felt strongly about social justice issues in Canada, but now I feel the need to embrace global social justice. Seeing the poverty and heartache in South Africa was something I will never forget. I now tell people not to just send money to those in need overseas, but to take action here in Canada on behalf of struggling humanity. For example, lobby the government for social justice policies on a global level. In our own personal lives, we should consume less and increase our generosity to the afflicted. Make an effort to step outside of your own narrow world and try to understand suffering from the perspective of the oppressed. Could we not ask our MPs, and even our churches, about what they are doing for those who are suffering through no fault of their own? In closing I offer a South African prayer: God bless Africa, guard her people, guide her leaders, and give her peace. Amen AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009 / 17
the AST Alumni Association
he AST alumni association known as ASTA is now retired. Although a lot of good work was done by ASTA, preliminary research showed that it is time to create a new association. A new alumni association is in the works and will be founded on three basic principles: 1. The new configuration will make a conscious and deliberate effort to welcome and work with those who graduated from AST, as well as those who graduated from the antecedent schools. 2. AST will provide the principal funds and personnel to execute events and activities on behalf of the new alumni association. The new association will, of course, help plan and authorize activities for its members, but it is recognized that the organization will be relatively small with limited financial and time resources to plan, and in particular, to carry out activities on behalf of its members. 3. The new association will plan for and execute alumni activities periodically throughout the four Atlantic Canada provinces. A transitional executive has been formed to implement the new alumni association, and an official meeting will be held around the time of Convocation 2010. A new constitution and bylaws will be presented and voted upon, and there will be an election for a slate of officers at that time. In addition to those listed here, the new team also includes Mauritz Erhard and Dawn Robertson from the Advancement Department.
Louis P. Caissie Holy Heart
I am pleased to have been asked to be on the transitional committee set up for the reorganization of the AST Alumni Association, representing Holy Heart Institute. I graduated from Holy Heart Seminary in 1962 and was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Halifax. I feel it is important for me as an alumnus to maintain a supportive relationship to AST. It is vital for our churches to have a place of study and research for our Atlantic provinces to keep alive our various ministries, especially the continuing formation of the laity in the ministry of the church. I encourage all who graduated from the various AST founding institutions to maintain their relationship with the alumni association.
Bob Mills Pine Hill
I am excited about the possibility of a new integrated alumni association for AST and its founding institutions for two reasons. First, such an association is yet another step in the courageous endeavor of ecumenical theological education that began with the establishment of AST in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The other reason for my excitement is that it guarantees the continuance of a theological alumni body that was established on April 26, 1883, by the student body of what eventually became Pine Hill Divinity Hall. The Pine Hill Alumni Association has continued to support AST, and particularly United Church students, since Pine Hill Divinity Hall ceased to exist. This new organization provides a wonderful opportunity for us to continue our support of AST and its students, in association with others who value the training for ministry they received at AST, Holy Heart Seminary, and Kings College.
Arthur Peters King's College
I have become part of the transitional executive because I believe an alumni association that is active and effective can be a useful and beneficial arm of AST. It is also my expectation that a new association will be intentionally inclusive of graduates from the founding schools.
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I accepted this call because I believe in accessible, continuous theological education, and I also believe theological education is in danger of disappearing in an era of post Christendom. We ministers are always whining that not enough parishioners do their bit. This is my bit for my school.
AST with a Master of Divinity in 2000. As I participated in several meetings with Moe Erhard, Eric Beresford, and the other members of the transitional executive, I started to imagine how our alumni association could function more effectively with a greater commitment from former graduates. I became excited about the possibilities. AST provided me with a unique, ecumenical education that has been transformative in my life. The close relationships formed in this small theological college among students, professors and staff were an important part of that experience for me. I am hopeful that our new restructured alumni association would support our reconnection with each other, offering ample opportunities to gather, to share, to discuss, and to learn together, much as we did as students. I am looking forward to the next few months as we move from the realm of possibilities into a concrete plan of action. I also look forward to seeing and hearing from many of you, my friends and colleagues. It has been too long!
Buffy Harper AST Catholic Alumni
Jane Clattenburg— AST Board of Directors
Jane Reid AST Anglican Alumni
My years studying at AST were indisputably life changing—encounters with faculty, staff, and multi-denominational students stretching and enriching me. While I have moved on, in geography and in my work, the school's alumni association remains an invaluable vehicle for me to stay in touch with old friends, and to access resources helpful to my ministry.
Linda Yates AST United Church Alumni
A few months ago I was asked to be part of a group who were looking at restructuring the AST Alumni Association. I have had minimal involvement in ASTA since my graduation from
As a member of this transitional group, I am here to offer my support and my energy to this enterprise. What intrigues me most about working with this group is that it has representatives from all the founding partners, as well as AST.
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When Care and Capitalism Collide By Dr. David Deane Systematic and Historical Theology Atlantic School of Theology
ealth, according to the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or inﬁrmity.” In this definition, the W.H.O. stays true to its realization that we will understand health and well-being differently and that we are free to decide, for ourselves, what it should look like. Sound good? Twenty Chaplains that I interviewed in three different locations agreed that it does. Furthermore, they agreed that this definition of health shaped their understanding of care. For example, all agreed that their care must be reactive rather than active; that is, they must assist the client/patient in achieving the client’s notion of well being, rather than try to foist their own (the Chaplain’s) notion of well-being onto them. As one interviewee remarked, “I’m not here to proselytize, I’m here to help people, and this means helping them get where they want to go, not where I want to take them.” Another summed up a universal opinion among the 20 when he said, “Chaplaincy used to be about speaking but now it’s about listening.” An experienced Chaplain in her late 50s noted, “I can’t say that my idea about how they (those receiving spiritual care) should be imagining well-being is right and theirs is wrong. We can’t put God in a box (a phrase that many interviewees repeated) and so we can’t put what God wants of us in a box either; that’s for every individual to work out for themselves.” The W.H.O. model of health brings with it this corollary model of care, and not a single interviewee was even remotely critical of this; after all, who could be against the individual’s freedom to choose for himself/herself how they will understand well-being? Who could argue that the role of the chaplain is to proselytize? Who could have the arrogance to claim that his/her understanding of well-being is right and other people’s are wrong? Well, to some extent, me. At a recent conference in Orlando (yes, Disney World), I argued in front of 1,800 attendees that the W.H.O’s model of well-being and the concomitant model of health care advanced by my interviewees is wrong. Worse than being wrong, I argued that it actively surrenders to global capitalism the responsibility to creatively imagine what well-being and care could look like. My conference paper (which can be heard online at (http://web.me.com/davidwcdeane/Site_2/Podcast/Podcast.html) was 12,000 words long, and the first section of the book I’m currently writing is now sitting closer to 20,000. I hope, however, in the 1,500 words left to me in this article that I will be able to satisfactorily convey something of that argument. 20 / AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009
Why the W.H.O. model is wrong
The W.H.O. model only makes sense if individuals are free to decide for themselves what well-being looks like. The idea that humans are free is a modern position, in that it occurs infrequently before the philosophical enlightenment in the 18th century. Strange as it may seem to us, very few pre-moderns thought of human persons as “individuals.” Christian pre-moderns, for example, understood us as being made in the image and likeness of a God who, while being one, was not singular. God was a Trinity and the Trinitarian persons flowed through one another. They were who they were only in relationship, not in isolation. The Council of Toledo in 675 makes clear that, “The Father is Father not with respect to himself but to the Son.” The council was clear that God is not Father in God’s self, but rather this designation was descriptive, not of the first person, but, of the relationship between the first person (the “Father”) and Jesus the Christ. So as we are in the image and likeness of this Triune God of relationship, so too we are who we are in relationship. For pre-modern Christians, we were not individuals. There is a downside to this, however, as the pre-moderns were all too aware, in that if we are who we are in relationship then our relational context will shape and even decide who we are. Let me use an example. When I was a doctoral student, I did some work with youth on both sides of the divide in Northern Ireland. We showed Catholic youths and Protestant youths (separately) slides of parades. Parades in Northern Ireland are opportunities for the nationalist and unionist communities to celebrate their identity, the nationalists on March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day)
The most significant point, however, is not simply that such companies are trying to sell us meaning. They are also telling us what “meaning” actually is.
and the Unionists on July 12 (the anniversary of the battle of the Boyne when the Protestant King, William of Orange, was victorious). Then we asked each group to describe the faces of the people marching. The Catholic youths described the faces on March 17 as “joyous,” “celebratory,” and “happy,” while the faces on July 12 were described as being “triumphalist” and “threatening.” The Protestant youths described the faces from the July 12th parade as “happy” and “partying” while the faces of the marchers on St Patrick ’s Day were “enraged,” “angry,” and “mad.” What neither group knew was that we had photoshopped the images so that the same faces appeared in each parade. What does this tell us? It tells us that our basic experience of the world, the way we process the sensory data from our eyes is filtered through our contexts. In terms of my argument, it surely will allow me to posit that our understanding of well-being will be shaped, perhaps even determined by our context. Surely we can agree that we are not simply free to decide for ourselves what well-being and health is? Surely our context will shape how we understand it? If so, I would argue, the model of health offered by the W.H.O. and the corollary model of care faithfully observed by our Chaplains is, at best, naïve. In what follows I want to argue that what the W.H.O. is doing, and what our Chaplains are doing, is surrendering to the context the responsibility to imagine what well-being is. Of course, this may not be a bad thing. After all, if our context is good, then we will be shaped by this good context, and Chaplains who acquiesce with this will be acquiescing with a good thing. But what is our context?
What is our context?
While space is not present here to argue this point with the nuance it deserves, I will nonetheless claim that the prevailing shaping context is not good (at least as most of our religions tend to understand good). As Slavok Zizek has recently argued1 our context is shaped by the grammar2 of global capitalism. Global Capitalism, for Zizek, is best understood not, as in traditional economic categories, in terms of modes of production and freedom from state involvement, but in terms of an orienting of desire toward commodities. 1 2
Slavoj Zizek, In defense of lost causes (New York, Verso Publications, 2008) By "grammar," I mean the way our thought tends to be shaped by ideas and concepts we encounter.
Global capitalism, as a late modern development, functions as the directing of our desire toward commodities in the world that we can pay for - “If I have that car/house/computer/painting, then, then I’ll have happiness.” For this desire to be manufactured, the objects must be offered to us as things that bring true meaning, good things such as familial relations or sexual prowess that we see as the epicenter of happiness. Let’s take two very brief examples from advertising. What is MasterCard selling in their “priceless” advertising campaign? They are selling meaning and telling us that for 9.7% (for you), or 19.7% (for me), we can have it. MasterCard is selling us moments of meaning, right relations with our spouse and children, meaningful encounters with art and sport, security in old age; MasterCard is selling us well-being. Priceless? No, in fact these “priceless” moments can be yours for only 19.7% approximately. Again, take anti-cholesterol medication Lipitor; it is advertised not as anti-cholesterol medication but as a gateway to fishing with our grandchildren (and this is depicted in the advertising); it is not selling us an object such as a pill but, rather, familial relations, things of “real” value; it is selling us meaning. The most significant point, however, is not simply that such companies are trying to sell us meaning. They are also telling us what “meaning” actually is. This is where it gets complicated. Take a rap music video. What roles do money and jewelry and big cars and scantily clad women play in such videos? They act as signifiers of “success,” don't they? A signifier connotes something in its absence; there is a space between the thing (success or happiness) and the signifiers of it (money, jewelry, sex) but, in fact, this space doesn’t exist. The signifiers of the success have collapsed the space between the success and themselves. The signifiers are the success. The devotees of such videos cannot imagine success outside of such material things, which do not connote the success, they are success. And this is how capitalism works. Those who are trying to get their message across must first shape how we imagine success (or happiness or meaning) and turn it into a commodity before they turn around and sell it to us. It is obvious with rap videos, but the meaning being bought in MasterCard advertising is doing the exact same thing. It is telling us what the meaning is and then selling it to us.
AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009 / 21
Best Practices Institute
Equipping Transformational, Missional Church Leaders AST’s Best Practices Institute presents Brian McLaren, prominent leader in the emerging, missional church movement.
t is with great excitement that we welcome Brian McLaren, internationally renowned speaker, author, and leadership mentor, to AST’s next Best Practices Institute Changing Congregational DNA this fall. As one of the most encouraging and provocative voices in the emerging church movement, Brian McLaren brings insights and ideas that challenge and equip church leaders to see how cultural and social change can become a pathway to congregational renewal. Author of Everything Must Change, A Generous Orthodoxy, and The Church in Emerging Culture to name but a few, Brian has been recognized by Time Magazine as one of America’s 25 most influential evangelists. In the Best Practices 2-day intensive workshop that takes place September 17-18, Brian will offer insight, encouragement and practical tested strategies for church leadership. Participants can expect invigorating discussions on theology, Christian hope and the scriptures that teach how to share our faith, values and truth-claims with today’s world. For leaders looking for in-depth learning and integration, the BPI Cohort program follows on from the workshop in an 8-month, ecumenical, facilitated learning programme. Cohort
members work together, both on campus and online, to develop and integrate their understanding and practice of missional ministry. We are also pleased to offer a public presentation More Ready than you Realize - Evangelism in the Emerging Culture on Friday, September 18, from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s United Church, Halifax. Brian is known for providing tested strategies for ministries of evangelism and spiritual hospitality. “This is such a critical and timely issue,” notes BPI facilitator Janet Marshall. “We are hoping churches will see this as an opportunity to bring a group of people who, with the ideas and encouragement they hear from Brian, can seed discussion and action in their congregations.” All programs are open to both ordained and lay leaders. Learn more about Brian McLaren and the Best Practices Institute at www.astheology.ns.ca/bpi/ChangingCongregationalDNA.html or contact program facilitator Janet Marshall at [email protected]
astheology.ns.ca. Janet Marshall Facilitator, Best Practices Institute Senior Consultant, Potentials East
When Care and Capitalism Collide Cont'd.... The goods of capitalism and the goods of early Christianity
Comparison with a radically alternative perspective will help, I hope, make the point clearer. We all agree that, for example, early Christianity would not see the “goods” we encounter in rap videos as “goods.” But we should remember that the early Christians were not too big on the goods we encounter in MasterCard ads either. Children, marriage, old age, all these things were never the “goal” or telos of life for early Christians. For early Christians, Christ was a physician, healing us from many of the “goods” we are hardwired to seek. A healthy person, from the early Christian perspective, is not a person physically fit, making money and feeling really good about themselves in a world where their peers are going without medical treatment. This, from the early Christian perspective, is a sickness where the seemingly healthy person is, in fact, blind. If we are in the Mayo Clinic spending our money on treatment while others are without health care, how would early Christians look at this? If we see ourselves as individuals, isolated, not as persons, interwoven, how would early Christians look at this? If we decide for ourselves, shaped by capitalist culture, that we have well-being in a world where our neighbors are in desperate need, what would early Christian chaplains do? My guess is that they would try to help people; allowing them to wallow in their sickness is not helping. What should Muslim chaplains do? My guess is that they would try to help people; allowing them to wallow in their sickness is not helping. 22 / AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009
Yet our goal is something called interfaith chaplaincy, which means, far too often, acquiescent with-capitalism chaplaincy. It means that Muslims, Christians, and others with coherent understandings of well-being that are often alien to prevailing ones in our culture, must leave such perspectives outside the door and, once inside, act like good little liberal secularists. Inside the door, people must be allowed to imagine well-being for themselves, which, if I’m right, means to allow capitalism completely free reign to imagine well-being for them. I am not suggesting that we proselytize dying people. I’m suggesting that Chaplains of all faiths must realize that we are all dying. Chaplains must work with people long before their death beds in order to shape their understanding of well-being. I don’t know how to die. My culture tells me to ignore it and take steps to ensure it will never happen. I don’t know how to die, I am floundering, and well-intentioned chaplains are abandoning me, hiding from their duty under the guise of letting me decide for myself. They can only help the general population if they refuse the tyranny of the same where all perspectives are subsumed by the capitalist grammar that we find in the W.H.O.’s well-intentioned statement. Chaplains must realize the illusion of individual autonomy and be prepared to offer an alternative perspective to prevailing discourses. Only then, amid the torrent of diverse perspectives, can the individual really begin to imagine what real well-being might be like.
f crowds are any indication, people want to talk about God and money. The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs (CCEPA) attracted its largest audiences this year for two Just in Time presentations this past winter. In response to the global economic crisis, CCEPA assembled a panel of financial experts to discuss Ethics in the Financial Markets, and in February hosted a debate entitled Can We Be Good Without God? The financial markets panel, moderated by CCEPA Board Chair Bill Black, explored the ethical components of how we got into financial crisis, who the key players were, what their roles were in the collapse, and what there was to learn about transparency, leadership and accountability. RBC Atlantic Regional President Greg Grice, Saint Mary’s University Finance Professor Greg MacKinnon, and Investment Advisor David Swanson agreed that overall, there are vast differences between Canada and the United States in the factors that led to the experience of crisis in the financial markets. While transparency is a problem, it was also agreed that non-ethical behavior is an outlier, rather than the norm, and that Canada’s system is a model other countries could emulate.
The Atheist bus campaign, and the controversy over Metro Transit’s refusal to allow the slogan There probably is no God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life on local busses, sparked CCEPA’s February debate, moderated by Halifax lawyer Kevin Kindred, about whether religion is foundational to our sense of right and wrong. Atlantic School of Theology (AST) President Eric Beresford took on the Head of the Free Thought Association of
Canada, Justin Trottier, who is also the Executive Director of the Centre for Inquiry Canada. It is difficult to summarize a complex 20-minute argument. In short, Canon Beresford asserted that you can be good without God, but goodness comes from God, whether you believe or not, and he pointed to what he sees as a lack of secular apparatus for dealing with moral failure. Mr. Trottier argued that secular-based foundations for goodness spring from less selfish motivations that benefit society and survival, compared to the threat of burning in hell. The dialogue was eloquent, smart, respectful, and timely. And as Halifax blogger Jon Tattrie concluded, “It’s an ancient, intractable debate…and its solution is as close as the horizon.” CCEPA’s four-part Trust in Education series began in late winter and focused on our level of trust in the education system to produce young people who can go to work, function in society and be critical thinkers. Part 1 featured Paul Cappon, President and CEO of the Canadian Council on Learning, who provided a data-rich presentation on the hard facts about learning in the Canadian school system. In Part 2, Sir John Daniel, President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning, gave us the global picture and talked about successes and failures in the efforts to provide education for all. Halifax high school students from both independent and public schools debated merit pay for teachers in Part 3 of the series. Using the parliamentary model, students explored how merit pay would or would not improve the quality of education that students receive. The series concluded with an address by former Federal Ethics Commissioner, Bernard Shapiro, who drew upon his vast experience as an educator and former role as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University, to answer questions about what we should want when we talk about quality of education and how we go about getting it. This fall, CCEPA takes its show on the road, unrolling its first ever national series in collaboration with the Situating Science Research Cluster, headed up at the University of King’s College in Halifax. This four-part series, with presentations planned for Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, and Edmonton, will examine the ethical questions that emerge as we learn about and examine our Trust in the New Sciences.
Can we be good without God? A Just in Time Debate
Eric Beresford, Kevin Kindred, and Justin Trottier
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t is no secret that there are many congregations worshipping in large, old buildings that are literally falling down and creating financial difficulties that threaten the very viability of the congregation. This is an account of a journey not yet completed by the St. John’s United Church congregation on Willow Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to transform itself into a viable ministry through the redevelopment of its building and property. While the success of this journey for St. John’s, underway for 3 years, is far from being assured, we offer two perspectives that may be of interest to those ministries who are or may be considering a similar journey in the near future. Whether you are a congregational leader or member, you'll gain insight into the ideas, hard work, successes, failures, doubts, and hopes involved in this faith-filled journey. We are extremely grateful to those who have given generously of their time to contribute to this article: Linda Yates Senior Pastor, Martha Martin Faith Formation Minister, Louisa Horne Futuring and Implementation Committees, Brian Jay Futuring and Implementation Committees, and Alyda Faber Professor, Atlantic School of Theology.
on the Journey to the Promised Land The Transformational Process of St. John’s United Church in Halifax
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A Faith-Filled Journey By Louisa Horne
t was the spring of 2006 and there was a buzz around St. John’s about nominations being made for congregation members to participate in a future planning initiative. The request came to me - would I participate in this new project team? It was a “project” so it had a set time frame and should only last about 18 months or so. And it meant release from other church committees; that didn’t sound too bad. It involved strategic planning, which is what I do in my real life so that wouldn’t be too onerous, and there was even some initial training support at Tatamagouche with Alice Mann, an expert in strategic planning for church transformation from the Alban Institute. Although I am comfortable with strategic planning for the business world, I am a lay person, and my confidence in tackling the process within the church was somewhat low; I had no idea what transforming a church would look like. However, it was clear to all that we had to do something. We could not continue to exist in a building that was deteriorating around us; finally, there was a broad view that another fund-raising blitz to provide more bandage maintenance was not a sustainable long-term solution. We needed a new model; church as usual would not suffice; innovative thinking was needed. That was intriguing enough for me to be hooked, and now, 3 years later, I am still on the hook! It has been quite a learning experience, and the end is not yet in sight. Our Futuring Team was born, and we quickly realized that we had taken on a bigger task than we initially
realized. Our leader, Brian Jay, has been an extraordinary navigator along this journey. He has the skills and experience to provide excellent leadership, as well as the time for the research, analysis, and writing that has been critical to our success. He comes to meetings exceptionally well prepared and anticipates what will be needed. If a team member mentions that we might soon need a particular document, we can count on Brian to pull a draft of that document, already prepared in colour, from his briefcase! Brian’s history with St. John’s and his professional skills and knowledge make him the ideal leader for our challenging journey. He has remained cool in the desert, and we would not be where we are without his skillful navigation. As a layperson embarking on this journey, the realization that we would spend so much time looking at a transformational process, for which there was no “best practice” model, was a jolt. Helping a small business engage in a major change of its business model is one thing. Helping a diverse congregation of people known for their active involvement, for their strong opinions, and for their deep commitment to social justice is another story! Images of turning the Titanic came to mind. Where would we begin, and how quickly could we make it all happen? Research was step one. Holy Conversations by Gil Rendle and Alice Mann was the first reading we tackled as a team, and this was followed by a list of other books and articles. We read and summarized, and shared and read some more. The congregation had already engaged in
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a process of holy conversations, which supported the creation of our Futuring Team. Now we had to raise the bar even more and live the process. We studied the literature, and Linda led us through a regular Bible study of Exodus and Acts. What a relief it was to learn that the visioning process of holy conversations looked very similar to strategic planning in the corporate world. The similarity of the steps and tools was comforting, with “God talk” blended into familiar approaches. At Tatamagouche, Alice Mann reinforced the idea that a congregation’s vision actually starts with an interpretation or perception of what is, and then it can move to what might be; otherwise, the vision is just imagination and a disconnected dream that is unlikely to come to pass. We knew we had to engage the congregation in every step of the process, including figuring out the what is and the what might be if we were to make our dreams come to fruition. We started the what is analysis with three questions. Who are we? Who is our neighbour? What is God calling us to do next? The congregation created a pin map of where we live. Over 100 people participated in an appreciative inquiry process of individual interviews about the church. We created a "Wall of Wonder" that celebrated our stories and illustrated our colourful history, and we started a process of lunch-and-learns after church where we presented our progress and sought feedback. People showed up, and they liked it! Approximately 100 people representing all generations came and actively participated in these sessions, which ranged from developmental workshops to world café discussions of key questions. One of these questions involved making a decision about the options we could pursue. We presented the congregation with two options: to pursue amalgamation, or to pursue the “three Rs” (renovate, relocate or redevelop). We received overwhelming support for the latter. We then engaged in further research and more shared learning, and for a variety of practical reasons, we eliminated relocation and renovation of the existing building. We were energized by the support and encouragement of the congregation as we continued the journey. It was clear there were no shortcuts, and we needed the
congregation to be fully engaged. Our initial optimism about how quickly we could complete our task vanished as our thinking evolved, and we embraced the realization that we were in the desert together with no quick exit. We had to move at the speed of the collective learning of our community. The reward, after more than 2 years of this patient process, was unanimous support for our proposal to pursue redevelopment of the site. We still had nothing tangible to show for our work, but we had achieved something very special. The Futuring Team was relieved of its duties, with the exception of two of us who, for continuity, moved on to the new Implementation Team. The new committee, which is made up of a team of equally committed and skilled lay persons, was tasked with drilling down on the redevelopment proposal. The tough part is really just beginning; we have to think about the details of the development and who we will partner with for services to be provided. We are learning about architectural tenders, financial models, best practices for community engagement, municipal development agreements, and more. The vision is becoming clearer but it is by no means a done deal. We have a number of hurdles to get over, and gaining Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) approval is a significant one. There are a number of points at which we could be derailed and sent back to the drawing board. We know that our vision of an active church community engaged in social justice and a wide range of programs does not have a place in the city’s pragmatic discussions of traffic and parking issues. Our dream of a new model for church and community is a different perspective than that held by some neighbours who are suspicious of our motivations and would just like to see the “grand old building” receive some fresh siding. We are learning more as we navigate between the theological and ethical worldview we aspire to and the pragmatic view that we must operate within. The approval process we must follow with HRM is daunting; after 3 years, we have yet to complete the first step. We know how far we have come, and we are in the midst of a journey that continues to be exciting and SPIRIT-filled. This is an exciting journey, and I’m not ready to leave it yet.
Seniors’ residential component Public engagement and community participation Inclusive and welcoming to all (like St. John’s, it will be an Affirming complex) Respect for the Earth and thus will integrate as many green practices as possible Intergenerational interactions Transformational as we create a new model for church and community.
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A Glass Darkly
By the Reverend Linda Yates When I arrived at St. John’s United Church in the Fall of 2005, the Clerk of Session, Jim Sharpe, offered to spend time with me once a week for four weeks, to “get you up to speed.” It was a great gift. During one of these visits, he passed me the latest Stewardship Every Family Visitation Report. As I read through it, my heart sank. These people were facing grim financial times. I called the Chair of the Visitation Committee and author of the report, Brian Jay. I said, “Brian, I am not a real great reader of financial sheets, but by my estimates, it looks like you folks have about 2 or 3 years left.” There was silence on the end of the line. Then, “You think we have that long?” As I worked with governance groups, we realized that St. John’s had to make a decision. We chose to bring some key demographics and the cold, hard financial research to the annual meeting and let the congregation decide. They could vote to systematically and gracefully close the doors, or they could enter some kind of transformational process. I promised to walk with them on whatever path they chose and also assured them that both would be faith-full. They chose transformation. In some ways, this excited me; in other ways, it filled me with a sense of trepidation. These short 6 months preceding the annual meeting involved an incredible amount of literature research, consultation with key church people, and ongoing communication with the congregation. I knew this would lead to an even longer process involving much more of these time consuming stressful activities. Even so, I underestimated. As lead minister, transformational ministry has added, at a minimum, an extra 10 hours onto the usual crazybusy ministry workweek. When denominational oversight and adjudicatory bodies pressure congregations and their ministers to do “transformational ministry” in these post Christian times, there is very little frankness about what that involves in terms of time, commitment, added stress, and the sacrifice made by all concerned. To enter into a process like St. John’s, the ministry personnel, including Faith Formation Minister Martha Martin, have had to do constant research and learning—bible studies that reflect our journey (Exodus, Nehemiah, Acts), congregational dynamics, change processes, conflict management, governance policies, financial strategies, non-profit models, ethics, law, and case histories of other successful church projects. Meanwhile, the regular stuff of ministry, such as worship, pastoral care and the hatching, matching, and
dispatching cycles of life still carry on. Church change consultants advise telling your Ministry and Personnel Committee how much time the transformation process is taking, to allow for reduced workload. However, ministers who function in the real world have to deal with congregants who, when their loved one has died, need pastoral care and a funeral this week. Parishioners have little patience with a clergy response of, “I’m sorry, all my workweek has been used up with transformational ministry.” Having said this, the other reality is that the minister does only a small part of the transformational work. St. John’s has a number of incredibly gifted, skilled and energetic people who do the bulk of the work. Lay people are the movers and the drivers of the process. Ministers guide the project, assist in research, lead, encourage, support, pray, and help congregants move through the minefields of the adjudicatory bodies. If a congregation does not possess people with initiative and a wide range of skill sets, success will be limited and disappointment inevitable. This is another unspoken truth: having a cadre of lay people who are engaged in this large, difficult, and complex process functionally creates a double layer of governance within church life. This sometimes creates a lay labour and talent vacuum in other parts of church life that are important. This too has to be worked through carefully and conscientiously. When skilled lay people get to work on transformation, change is inevitable and, as we all know, brings the need to carefully manage communication and conflict. The process becomes cyclical— learning, change, planning, change, response, change, more learning… Despite the huge changes we have already been through on this journey, we realize we are only just beginning. There are many things out of our control, such as city approvals, etc. It is entirely possible that we may never get to the promised land. Or we might arrive in a kind of land to which we never intended to travel. I wonder if that matters. Increasingly, I hear parishioners tell me how much they love the journey itself. There is something miraculous about this project. It has a life of its own, which carries the whiff of left-behind grave clothes. Had I known all of the above, would I have agreed to embark on this adventure with St. John’s? Absolutely. Because we are not alone. And that is the only thing I am sure of.
Ministry Personnel Perspective
During the transition, AST will be temporarily housing an exquisite tapestry that was commissioned for St. John's United Church about 10 years ago.
AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009 / 27
People News AST is grateful to the Rev. Roland Hutchinson (MDiv’74, MTh’84) for compiling Friends Far and Near.
Named Sept. 1/08 as Interim Chaplain at Rothesay Netherwood School was the Rev. Canon Albert Snelgrove, AC Parish of Rothesay. The Rev. Terence Chandra began a 2-year appointment as half-time priest-in-charge of the AC Parish of Simonds, NB, Oct. 1. On Nov. 1, the Rev. Chris McMullin (AST) began a 3-year appointment as Dean of Lancaster region, NB. Elected by acclamation to a vacancy on the AC Diocese of Fredericton’s Executive Committee in Dec. was the Ven. Vicars Hodge, Archdeacon of St. Andrew’s, NB, and rector of the Nerepis & Saint John parish. AC Regional Dean of Fredericton for 3 years beginning Jan. 1/09 is the Rev. Bruce McKenna. The Rev. Colonel John Fletcher, Canon Pastor to the Anglican Ordinariate of Canada & Can. Forces Dir. of Chaplaincy Services, is now on the Executive of the Military Chaplain Branch.
To Bishop Claude Miller (AST’88), AC Diocese of Fredericton, as he recovers from knee surgery in early Nov. Sister Rita Chaisson (Filles de Jesus), Moncton, continues to recover from post-cancer treatment and severe pulmonary complications. To Bill & the Rev. Sandra Riddel, Parrsboro, NS, UC Pastoral Charge, spared serious injury from an accident on Apr. 12 in which their car was totalled. To the Rev. Tony Maunder (AST’73), Winnipeg, as he undergoes chemo treatments for a recurrence of cancer.
Arch and the Rev. Karen (MacLennan) Mitchell (AST’72), Carrot River, SK, are very proud grandparents of their first grandchild, James Sidney, born to their son Matthew & daughter-in-law Suzanne, Buffalo, NY, on Apr. 26/08.
The Rev. John Cook (PH’57), on Mar. 6/08, 75, Deep Brook, NS, who served UC congregations in AB, ON, NS, and also for 20 yrs. as a chaplain in the Armed Forces. / At age 62, the Rev. Albert Layden (AST’07), Harbour Grace, NL, died Apr. 24; served as a student supply of UC congregations in NL before ordination in 2007 and since at Campbellton, NL. / On May 4 at age 77, the Rev. George Southall, Sharbot Lake, ON; 35 yrs a UC minister in ON and the Maritimes. / The Rev. Fred Hickman (PH’67), Pouch Cove, NL, May 13, age 86; 20 yrs UC ministry in NL. / In Woodstock, ON, July 29/08, the Rev. John R. (Bob) Williams (PH’48), 87; 40 yrs serving UC congregations in ON and the Maritimes. / The Rev. Donald MacGuire, Big Bras d’Or, NS, died Sep. 16, age 85; served 45 yrs throughout the Maritime Conference of the UCC. / The Rev. Cecil Hobbs (PH’54), Carbonear, NL, died at age 87 on Sept. 26; he served 32 yrs in NL Conference of the UCC. / Died on Sept. 27, age 76, the Rev. John “Jack” 28 / AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009
Meahan (HH), Riverview, NB; of Newcastle, ordained 1957, he served RC parishes in Chatham, Fredericton, Saint John and Montreal until 1971 and then with the Province of NB as an Administrator among the less fortunate, forming Community Volunteer Actions Groups; retiring in 1994, he provided counselling for Riverview High School students; survived by wife Penny, 3 sisters and 1 brother. / The Rev. Robert Bartlett, UC minister in ON & the Maritimes for 22 years and Can. Forces chaplain for 35 years, died Sept. 29, age 89, Toronto. / The Rev. Arthur Gallant, Dieppe, NB, 84, died on Oct. 11; ordained in 1951, he served RC parishes in Bouctouche, Ste-Marie de Kent, Richibouctou, Pointe-duChene, St-Louis de Kent, St-Anselme, the Cathedral in Moncton, and Scoudouc; as well, he had served as chaplain of “Catholic Action,” as Vicar General of the diocese, and in retirement assisted various parishes. / Shirley Streatch, Point de Bute, NB, who died Oct. 16, served on the support staff at Maritime Conference UC Office, Sackville, NB, for 22 years; former school teacher. / In Brighton, ON, Oct. 18, the Rev. Clyde Taylor (PH’60) died at age 75; he had served UC congregations in NL, AB and ON. / Frances Bishop, widow of the Rev. Boyd Bishop (PH’43), died at age 90 in Halifax in Nov. after a brief illness. She served faithfully alongside her husband in 4 NS and 3 NB UC congregations, and was an inspiration to many of faith and long-suffering during sorrow and physical recovery from serious injuries sustained in the 1980 car accident that caused her husband’s death. / At age 91, the Rev. Edgar Cowan, St. Catharine’s, ON, died Nov. 17. He served UC congregations over a 40 year period in SK, ON, and the Maritimes. / The Rev. Gordon/Gordie MacLean (AST’81), Truro, died Dec. 11, age 55. Since ordination, he served UCs in Waverley & Rawden, NS, Arcola, SK, LaHave & Kingston, NS, Charlottetown, PE, Pictou & Margaree, NS, & First United in Truro for the past 6 ½ yrs. A fine guitarist who had done band work, he was a valued and faithful member of the music leadership team of Youth Forum at Mar. Conf. Annual meetings. Survived by wife Heather, daughter Donna, and sons Shane & Mike. Sister Eugenie Doucet, 101, died Jan. 14/09 in Moncton; a Fille de Jesus who served 78 years in teaching (Arichat, NS; Rogersville, NB, Dalhousie, NB), as local and provincial superior in Moncton, and in the archives of the Order’s Vice-Provincial Home, Moncton. / The Rev. Dr. Canon Rhodes Cooper (KC’48; AST AC Formation Director 1988-90) died in St. John’s, NL, on Jan. 22. Ordained as a priest in 1949, he served 61 years in NS, NL, Cathedral Dean in Fredericton, and at AST, as well as on 3 Diocesan Executives and as delegate to 8 General Synods. / Commissioned minister and well-known Truro resident Mary MacDougall, 94, died Jan. 23; she had served in Angola (1947-75) as a medical missionary in many capacities, including training numerous nursing students and mid-wives, and designing a hospital, and in the UC hospital in Baie Verte, NL (1976-81) as a home mission nurse practitioner. / On Jan. 28, in Truro, of ALS, the Rev. Lloyd Burrows (AST’73, ’90). Since ordination in 1973, Lloyd served United Churches in New Carlisle, QC; Great Village, NS; First UC, Truro; Montague, PE; and Harmony-Camden, NS; chaired 2 Presbyteries, wrote several Christian Education resources, led workshops around the Maritimes, and served on a lay training committee, all the while pursuing a woodworking shop hobby that produced much furniture and the building of his own house. / The Rev. Betty GriffithsLing (AST’73), Victoria, BC, died on Jan. 31 at age 90. With operatic voice, she sang in many venues in her native England,
including gospel music, which she loved. Married to the Rev. Ken Griffith, she served beside him on 3 ON UC Pastoral Charges and in Louisbourg, NS. When he died, she was asked to take his pulpit work during which time she decided to study for ordination, and then served at Lake Echo, NS, and Shediac, NB. Married Bill Ling, former World Cup & Olympic Soccer referee, who died while in Shediac. Retired in Victoria, she continued choir and Bible study until shortly before her death. Survived by son David Griffiths, Halifax. / The Rev. Maurice Leger, Shediac, died at age 70 of heart attack in Quito International Airport, Ecuador, on Jan. 30. Ordained in 1963, he served 13 RC parishes in greater Moncton area, taught ‘Church in Acadie’ and ‘Major Christian churches in Canada’ courses at the U. de Moncton and Mount Allison, and held responsibility for the diocesan matrimonial tribunal. With history as a passion, he was member of 8 historical societies, assisted with the preservation of several historic buildings, served for 5 years as editor of the Cahiers de la Societe acadienne, published an essay and a book, co-authored another, and had served on the National Film Board of Canada. The Rev. Msgr. George W. Martin (HH’49), age 84, died in Saint John on Mar. 2. Born in Chatham; after ordination, he taught at St. Thomas College, served in administration (Registrar, V-P), and then was President of St. Thomas U. (1975-90). Through these years, he pursued weekend ministry where needed, was Vicar General of Saint John Diocese 1984-2006 during three bishops, honoured as Vicar General Emeritus, elected Administrator of the Diocese (1997-99), and assisted with parish work. Awarded an honorary DD by St. FX U. in 1980; named a Prelate of Honour (Msgr.) in 1985. / The Rev. Richard French (PH’40), Belleville, ON, died Apr. 9, age 97, the last member of his PH class. / On Apr. 12, the Rev. Dr. George Leach died at age 71 in Toronto; raised in Halifax; 51 yrs a Jesuit; 40 yrs a priest. He served as pastor, St. Andrew’s RC, Thunder Bay; Director of Can. Jesuit Mission Office; and of N-ON Missions; Dir. of Anishinabe Spiritual Ctr., Espanola, ON; Dir. of Lay Formation in Archdiocese of Hfx; Superior of Jesuits & Dir. of their Ctr. of Spirituality, Hfx; in Jan., became Rector & Superior of Jesuits at Regis College, Toronto; preacher for many parish missions & Director of Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius; named to Saint Mary’s U. Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006 in recognition of student athleticism./On Dec. 3, Allen R. Wayte died suddenly at home; Mr. Wayte served as AST's University Musician, as well as a sessional faculty member in Speech and Music Arts in Worship 2006-2007./After a prolonged illness, Doris Close, wife of former AST President Bill Close, passed away in February.
Anglican: Dick Black, Michael Caines, Kevin Cross, and Jasmine Chandra were ordained as priests at Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton on Mar. 28/09. Maya Bevan, Melissa Frankland (Drummond), Norma Mitchell, Andrew Mortimer, Kyle Wagner, and Kees Zwanenburg were ordained as deacons, and Judy Cross and Kevin Frankland were ordained as priests at All Saints Cathedral in Halifax on Jun. 11/09. United Church: Rosemary Godin, Christine Johnson, Wendy Kean, and Tara-Ann Wilson were ordained in the UCC at the recent Maritime Conference. Cordelia Karpenko was ordained at the Toronto Conference, and Nick Phillips was ordained at the Montreal/Ottawa Conference. In addition, Annika Sangster was commissioned at the Maritime Conference.
Pine Hill Class of 1958 The Pine Hill Class of 1958 gathered to celebrate their 50th anniversary in June 2008 in Cornwall, P.E.I.
Back Row: (left to right) John Touchie, Jim MacIntosh, Bob Crooks, David MacNaughton, Gordon Cann, Glen Mattinson, Dewis Rector Front Row: Jack Hicks, Vince Ihasz, Ron Mahabir, Malcolm Cogswell
Missing: Bill Pope, Bill Reynolds, Bob Hussey, T.J. Snelgrove, Ken Bagnell, Wilfred Dindial, Aubrey Tizzard (deceased), Ben Zinck (deceased) R.N. Jackson (deceased) Several anniversaries were mentioned in the last issue of AST Magazine. However, the list was not complete, and we apologize for the inadvertent exclusion of those we missed. To submit items for this column: e-mail the compiler at [email protected]
, post to 24 Mill St., Hillsborough, NB E4H 2Z8 or e-mail [email protected]
astheology.ns.ca at AST.
AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009 / 29
April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009
Thank you all for your generosity! Total giving from all sectors: $215,783 $109,089
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30 / AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009
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Andover-Kincardine Pastoral Charge Anonymous Donors Katherine M. Tait Joan Berge Bluteau Devenney and Company Gloria E. Churchill Jane Clattenburg Cornwall Pastoral Charge Morley Hodder F.E. Alex (Sandy) MacPherson Mountain View United Church Nashwaaksis Pastoral Charge Pine Hill Board of Governors Port Hawkesbury Pastoral Charge Rexton Pastoral Charge Sydney River Pastoral Charge Three Harbours Pastoral Charge Trinity United Pastoral Charge Visitation Province/ Congregation of Notre Dame Wesley United Church – St. John’s
$100 to $499
Anonymous Donors Joan E. Aitken Reginald Allen Pauline Allsop Donald Amirault Howard Anningson Donald E. Appleby Gwenneth Archibald Dorothy R. Barnard Shirley Beal Muriel Blake Frances Elizabeth Boutilier Margaret Bowering Paul and Lorraine Campbell Robert Campbell Sheila A. Cardone Allison Carroll Stuart Carscadden Dorothy Carter Neville Cheeseman F.W. (Rick) Chenhall Angus Chisholm Jody Clarke R. Stewart Clarke William J. Close John Clulee Wayne Cole Allan Conrod Larry Corrigan Bessie Dalrymple Greg Davis Theo de Bruyn Colin Dodds Regis Duffy Peter Duggan David Eagles Andrew Eisenhauer
Polly Ervin Susan Lee Estabrooks Ronald E. Feltmate Mary Ann Fickes Ian F. Flemming Steve and Lynda Foran James A. Forbes Amy France Ray A. Francis Betty Jean Friedman Wallace N.C. Fry W. Brian Gee Diana Ginn Rosemary Godin Trudy Gosse Joan Griffin Daniel H. Gunn Geoffrey M. Hall Doane Hallett J. Robert Hankinson Linton and Jean Harrison Gordon J. Hayes Roy and Alma Hayward David Heckerl J. Alvin Hingley Flemming Holm Christopher Hubley Lorna J. Huestis David and Jean Inkpen Philip and Ruth Jefferson Helen Johnson Mark H. Johnstone Michael Jones John G. Keith Paul A. Kent Mary Kirby Fred Krieger Morley Langille AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009 / 31
G. Earl Leard Barbara Anne LeBlanc Nancy LeBlanc Lorraine MacAskill C. Eldon MacCara Gordon MacDermid John MacDougall Milton E. MacInnis Donna MacKinnon Farquhar MacKinnon David MacLachlan Alexander F. MacLean Roderick J. MacLennan Angus J. MacLeod Carolyn V. MacLeod Elizabeth MacLeod Jessie C. MacLeod Victor A. MacLeod Donald C. MacMahon Joseph A. MacNeil Alec and Phyllis Madryga Norman C. Marple Ronald I. Maund M. Garth Maxwell Freda McCormick Bruce McDonald Shannon McDonald Thomas and Mary McIllwraith Muriel V. McLellan Donald R. McLennan David Melanson Robert and Helga Mills Thomas Mitchell Clifford R. Moase E. Victor Moriarty Daphne Moser George A. Mossman Susan E. Moxley Garth Mundle L. Jean Murray Dave Myatt Ethel Nelson Bruce S. Oland Isabel M. O’Neill Laurie Omstead Hortense M. Padmore Dianne Parker Leroy Peach James R. C. Perkin Arthur Peters Jane E. Reid Betty Robbins John E. Rudolph 32 / AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009
Martin Rumscheidt Helen Ryding Judith Sapp Mary Schaefer Peter Secord Clarence R. Sellars Merrill L. Slipp Theodore J. Snelgrove Dorothy Snodgrass Jack R. Spencer Kathleen L. Stay Grant Stuckless John H. Swain Marilyn Sweet Anna P. Taylor Harold Toole Bruce Towler Randy and Debbie Townsend Henry Tye Donald V. Waldon Lyn Waller R.D. Wilson Ross G. Wiseman Eunice D. Wonnacott Michael Wood John H. Young Shirlene Young AST/VON/CDHA Grief Project Canterbury-Richmond Pastoral Charge Centenary-Queen Square Pastoral Charge Clifton Pastoral Charge Dalhousie Pastoral Charge Donkin-Morien-Birch Grove Pastoral Charge Douglastown Pastoral Charge Elmsdale Pastoral Charge Escuminac United Church First United Church – Corner Brook First United Church Men’s Club – Corner Brook First United Church Women – Corner Brook Glen View United Church
Grace United Church – Dartmouth Grace United Church – Springdale Hantsport Pastoral Charge Kensington Pastoral Charge Kings United Pastoral Charge Kingston Pastoral Charge Middleton Pastoral Charge Miramichi Presbytery UCC Norman’s Cove Pastoral Charge Northumberland Pastoral Charge Oromocto Pastoral Charge Parish of Millidgeville Parish of New London Parish of St. James – Halifax Parish of St. Margaret of Scotland Port Mouton Pastoral Charge South Shore Pastoral Charge St. Andrew’s Pastoral Charge – Miramichi St. Matthew’s United Church St. Monica’s Christ Church ACW – Amherst St. Philips United Church Women The Anglican Parish of Holy Trinity Twillingate Pastoral Charge Two Rivers Pastoral Charge Waterview Pastoral Charge Waverley Pastoral Charge
Up to $99
Anonymous Donors Vera Abbott F. John Adams
Doreen Allison Marilyn Archibald Kenneth Bagnell Wallace Baker Steve Ball C. Lind Barbour Ronald H. Barkhouse Doug Barrie Dorothy J. Bell Morley Bentley Dawna Berkshire Louise Bernard William Bishop Florence Blanchard Chesley A. Boutilier Donovan L. Brown Charles Burke Carman G. Burns G. Boyd Butt Pix Butt Jack Butters Louis P. Caissie Marjorie Caldwell Katherine Cameron Gordon Cann E. Frank Carey Kathleen Chivers Joseph and Diana Clarke Roberta Clarke Margaret Clattenburg Marie Cluney Charlotte Cochran Ervin Cochrane Malcolm T. Cogswell Lori Collins Judith Colson Lewis E. Crewe M.J. Doreen Cripps Robert A. Crooks Myrtle Demings A. George Demmons Brent and Ruth Denham Elizabeth DeWolf Craig S. Dickson Evleyn Dixon Arthur Donahoe Mary K. Duggan Olive F. Dunbar Verna Dunlop Carolyn Earle Helen M. Edgar Margaret Embree Alison Etter Ann Etter
Aidan Evans Russell Ewing Alyda Faber Hugh A. Farquhar Doris I. Feltham Alice Field Ralph and Claire Fiske Geraldine Fitzpatrick Donna Forest-Robertson Laura Francheville John M. Franey Janet Freda Eric G. Fullerton Paula Michelle Gale Mary E. Gamblin Douglas Glawson Edgar G. Goss William C. Gould Helen Grant Edna M. Greenwood Gwyneth Griffith Betty Griffiths-Ling T. Campbell Gunn Russell L. Harding Elizabeth Mary Harper Emery G. Harris Shirley Hatcher Eldon R. Hay Doug and Faye Hergett Loreta J. Heron David W. Hewitt John Hibbitts Clyde Hill N. Thompson Howie Arena G. Howatt Roland H. Hutchinson David L. Jacobs Shirley James Glenn G. Jarvis Tamara Jennex Robert Jones Patricia Kaiser Walter Karpenko Bruce Kearley Teresa A. Keddy Nancy E. Kempton Joyce Deveau Kennedy Ike J. Kent Lindsay G. King Dorothy Kingman Harold D. Kingston Ross Langley Robert S. Latimer Erna Leadbeater
Marjorie Linton Mary Lonergan Eldridge A. David Luker Rod MacAulay Sandra MacBean Donald J. MacDonald Linda L. MacDonald Mary C. MacDonald Neil F. MacDonald W. Grant MacDonald Margaret Macdougall Douglas MacEachern Neil MacGregor Jean MacInnes Ferguson MacKay Earl and Nancy MacKintosh Isabel MacLaggan David L. MacLean Donna MacLean George H. MacLean Norma MacKenzie MacLean Lois MacKnight Helen MacLeod Mary MacLeod Reginald G. MacNeil Keith MacPherson Joseph Manchester Joy Mann Norman C. Marple Rachel Martin Sidney and Carol McCabe J. Allan McIntosh David McLeod Dianne Mclure Ivy Margaret Mellaney Margot Metcalfe Peter Miller Jean E. Millett Edith Mills Leopold Nathaniel Mills Stephen R. Mills Barbara F. Minard John Montgomerie Reginald G. Moore Mildred N. Moran Carol Edith Mullin Brenda Munro Verna Munroe Donald F. Murray Margaret Murray Walter A. Murray
Arthur L. Nash Ambrose Newbury John and Carole Newell John R. Nicholson Susan O’Handley Kevin O’Neil George Parker Cordell S. Parsons Frances Patterson Catherine Pharo Laura Pidgeon Susan L. Proude Bill and Jill Rafuse Evelyn Rafuse Richard L. Rankin Gordon Redden Pamela Reidpath James F. Richards Rosemary Rippon Margot Roach Catherine Robar A. John Roberts D. Loyd Robertson K. Dawn Robertson Neil Robertson Lawrence Roche Henry Roper Charlotte Ross George and Shirley Routledge Vic Saxon Linda Scherzinger Marjorie Serafinus James and Carol Shaffner H.W. Shephard Alfreda E. Smith Anne Marie Smith Arthur M. Smith Minnie Snow C. Anne Sommerville D. Allister Spencer Matthew Sponagle William E. Stanford Elizabeth Anne Stevenson D. Alan Stewart R. Laird Stirling Leo H. Supple Mary J. Swetnam Shirley E. Taylor Olive Terris Geraldine Thomas Joyce Thomson Dorothy E. Thorne Karen Toole
John H. Van Omme Sandra van der Made Lisa Vaughn Marie Vaughan Charles and Barbara Wagner Linda Wallace Jane M. Walls Michael Walsh Nancy Warder Carrie Weaver F. Barbara Wicks Jane Wilkins Doris Williams Elsie Wilson Douglas Wiseman Margaret E. Withrow Alfred F. Woodworth Pamela Dickey Young Vicky A. Young Boiestown Pastoral Charge Bridgedale Pastoral Charge Christ Church ACW – Cherry Valley Collingwood Wyvern Unit #1, UCW Keswick Ridge Pastoral Charge Memorial United Church Bonavista Parish of Sackville Parish of St. John’s – Fairview Price Waterhouse Coopers Tide Head UCW Trinity United Church UCW
AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009 / 33
In Memoriam Gifts (included in listed donations) Gifts were received in memory of:
• Doris Close • Alex Farquhar • Margaret Flahiff • Hazel Fraser • Carol Gore • Leni Groeneveld • Gordon MacDermid • John Slater • David E. Walden
Bursaries and Miscellaneous Gifts
Best Practices Institute
Counselling Foundation of Canada
Joan Campbell Roderick J. MacLennan Charlotte MacQuarrie
Arthur Fordham David Lyttle and Helen Ryding
AST Legacy Circle
We honour those that have remembered AST in their wills: • Joan E. Aitken • Joan L. Berge • Brian DeLong • Mauritz and Nancie Erhard • Philip and Ruth Jefferson
For information on planned giving, please consult the AST web site www.astheology.ns.ca or contact Mauritz Erhard, Director of Advancement, via email [email protected]
or telephone (902) 496-7940.
34 / AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009
Best Practices Institute 2009-10
Friday, September 18, 2009 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. St. Andrew’s United Church Coburg Road & Robie Street Halifax More ready than you realize Evangelism in the emerging culture Bring a group from your congregation Plan to attend! Cost: $20 per person
AGAPE AST is holding its annual Matriculation-Agape service Friday, September 4, 2009 St. Columba Chapel 6:30 p.m. All Alumni, Board and Senate members, as well as friends of AST, are cordially invited to join us in welcoming new members of the school community.
SOHO Kitchen Located in the AST Cafeteria Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks New Term Hours, starting in September 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday Great food at great prices!
Starting again in September! Monthly jazz nights featuring the Chalmers Doane Trio Dates TBA Reservations strongly recommended 423-8846 AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009 / 35
home & auto insurance
Let’s face it; insurance is all about having peace of mind. And that’s what you get with a home and auto insurance policy through Johnson Inc. We offer excellent products and services that are tailored for groups and associations. • Special savings and discounts • Identity Theft coverage
• 24-hour customer service • Earn AIR MILES® reward miles
Contact us today and put your mind at ease.
www.johnson.ca/ast_alumni | 1.800.563.0677 (Please provide your Group ID Code: AJ)
Home and auto insurance is available through Johnson Inc., a licensed insurance intermediary. Policies are primarily underwritten by Unifund Assurance Company. Unifund and Johnson Inc. share common ownership. Only home insurance is available in BC, SK and MB. An alternate plan is available in QC. Certain conditions may apply. AIR MILES® reward miles awarded on regular home and auto insurance policies underwritten by Unifund Assurance Company. At the time premium is paid, one AIR MILES reward mile is awarded for each $20 in premium (including taxes). AIR MILES reward miles not available in SK, MB or QC. ®™Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license by LoyaltyOne, Inc. and Johnson Inc. (for Unifund Assurance Company). MVM.MAC.May09
Please return undeliverable copies to: Atlantic School of Theology 660 Francklyn Street Halifax, NS B3H 3B5
36 / AST MAGAZINE Spring/Summer 2009
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