Andover Newton Theological School

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Friday, February 29, 2008

ANTS Student E-News - Friday, February 29, 2008

In this message:

- Open letter concerning UCC and IRS
- Support the UCC's legal defense against the IRS
- Online Room Reservation System
- Chapel News (March 2-8)
- SA Town Meeting
- Labyrinth Walk
- WANTED: Items for Lounge in Farwell Hall
12:30 PM
- UU Thursday worship schedule
- Message from the writing tutor
- Call for Candidates
- Considering a UCC Pastorate in Vermont?

Open letter concerning UCC and IRS
An open letter of concern to the Andover Newton community:

On February 20th, the Internal Revenue Service notified the United
Church of Christ's national offices in Cleveland, Ohio, that the IRS
opened an investigation into U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's address at the
UCC's 2007 General Synod saying the church engaging in "political

The IRS letter (attached) said it was initiating a church tax inquiry
"because reasonable belief exists that the United Church of Christ has
engaged in political activities that could jeopardize its tax-exempt
status." The IRS fails to note that Mr. Obama is a member of the United
Church of Christ who was speaking to a gathering of his own faith
tradition, that he was invited to do so prior to his announcement to run
for President, and that the UCC paid careful attention to the standards
that were followed in Obama's appearance.
As we are a covenanted seminary of the United Church of Christ and as
we were active participants in the General Synod in Hartford, CT, we
will be formally protesting this harassment of the UCC and, in effect,
all churches and church bodies.

In recent years the IRS has launched an unrestrained assault on
churches and religious leaders that has repeatedly threatened our
constitutional guarantees of the freedom of religion and the freedom of
speech. This action is the latest in a sad chapter of American history
that has seen our rights and freedoms regularly eroded and abused. In
the name of preserving our freedom and security our government robs us
of those rights. These actions have only served to transform us into a
nation whose defining motivations are fear and its dangerous offspring -
suspicion. The City set on a Hill is being abandoned. Daily our beacon

As people of faith we believe that we have a prophetic obligation and a
moral right to engage the world around us in dialogue, debate and
witness. A faith that is cut off from the world and the critical issues
of its time is a faith that is doomed to irrelevance and forsakes its
calling to justice and righteousness.

On behalf of our entire community I applaud Rev. John Thomas and the
United Church of Christ for their unwavering witness and refusal to be
intimidated by the IRS. With equal passion we condemn this agency of
the government for its dangerous bullying of the UCC and its abuse of
some of the most cherished rights we have as American citizens.

I call upon the Andover Newton community to join me in this protest. In
coming days we will communicate with all of you in regard to ways in
which we may find a common voice to speak to this challenge.

Nick Carter

Read more online about the IRS investigation in United Church News

Support the UCC's legal defense against the IRS
Dear members and friends:

The United Church of Christ needs your help by taking a stand
for freedom of speech.

As you no doubt have heard through media reports, the Internal
Revenue Service has launched an investigation of the United
Church of Christ, based on our invitation to U.S. Sen. Barack
Obama - a longtime member of the UCC - to speak at our 50th
Anniversary General Synod in Hartford, Connecticut this past

The UCC took great care to ensure that Senator Obama's
appearance met appropriate legal and moral standards. We are
confident that, in the end, the IRS investigation will confirm
that no laws were violated.

However, in order to adequately defend ourselves as well as
protect the broader principle of the freedom of religious
communities to entertain questions of faith and public life, we
will need to secure expert legal counsel, and the cost of this
defense, we are told, could approach or exceed six figures. This
is troubling news. That's why we are turning to you - our
members and supporters - to ask for your financial support to
help offset these unforeseen legal expenses.

Each year, generous UCC members contribute faithfully to "Our
Church's Wider Mission," our shared fund for mission and
ministry in our conferences, nationally, and globally. We seek
your contributions to ensure that money given for mission will
not be needed to pay legal bills, instead of ministry needs.
Thus the reason we've created a new UCC Legal Fund to help keep
to a minimum the impact of this investigation on OCWM funds.

Will you make a contribution to the UCC Legal Fund today?

News of this IRS investigation is disturbing, because it has a
chilling effect on every religious community when an invitation
to an elected public official to speak to the national meeting
of his own church family is called into question.

The Rev. John H. Thomas
General Minister and President
United Church of Christ

P.S. Read more online about the IRS investigation in United
Church News.

State of the art media center to be created in Wilson Chapel

President Nick Carter announced today that the Massachusetts Bible
Society (MBS) is donating $500,000 to Andover Newton in support of the
Wilson Chapel and the creation of a state of the art media center in the
Chapel. The two historic religious organizations also announced a
covenant partnership in media arts and education that will provide a
foundation for the production of a wide range of innovative resources
for progressive Biblical literacy.

The largest portion of the gift will fund the creation of the
"Massachusetts Bible Society Media Center" in Wilson Chapel,
which will have full audio/visual recording, production, and broadcast
capabilities. Not only will the center be able to record programs that
take place in Wilson Chapel, but it will be able to generate CD, DVD,
streaming video and cable programs. President Carter hailed the gift
saying, "This is a wonderful opportunity to prepare our students for
ministry in an increasingly media savvy world. It also enables us to
provide greater access to our outstanding faculty and to serve our
supporting churches more fully. I am thrilled with the vision and strong
leadership the Massachusetts Bible Society is offering. Our histories
are complementary, and now our future endeavors will be also."

The new Executive Director of MBS, Rev. Anne Robertson, said "The
task of increasing biblical literacy is too large for one organization.
We need partners." She went on to note that "our two institutions
share a progressive theological outlook, a commitment to the local
church, and a passion for introducing others to the all-inclusive love
of God. When we heard of Andover Newton's vision for bringing the
mainline churches into the theological conversation happening in and
through the media, it was clear that we could do more together than

Andover Newton is the nation's oldest graduate school of theology.
Founded in 1807, amid its controversial withdrawal from Harvard College,
it established the model for preparing ministers upon which nearly every
seminary in America now follows. Originally two schools, the
Congregational Andover Theological Seminary and the Baptist Newton
Theological Institute, they joined forces in the 1930's and officially
merged in 1965. Andover Newton has been a pioneer in many areas, notably
missions, field education and pastoral care. Recently, its programs in
'Border Crossings' and its unique partnership with neighboring
Hebrew College have drawn national and international attention for
creating new approaches to overcoming religious difference. For more
information contact Nick Carter 617-964-1100 x211.

The Massachusetts Bible Society was founded in 1809 and has maintained
its offices in Boston ever since. It was the third Bible society in the
US, and has a long history in the dissemination of Bibles, Biblical
literature and education. Its mission is: To further biblical and
theological study and reflection through a variety of means -
educational programs, grants, and book services - so that the ecumenical
church is empowered to be faithful; that individuals might have faith
strengthened for service; and that the broad outlines of a biblical
vision of reality be lifted up in the larger world. For more information
go to or call (617) 542-2230.

Online Room Reservation System
As you may have heard, we have installed a new room reservation system
that allows people to check events and reserve rooms online. We have
finally put in place all of the back end systems and stopped using the
"big paper book". Now we are ready to release the system to you
and have you make your reservations through the website system instead
of sending forms via email. We have already started using the web
system. Everyone that makes room reservations needs to get an account so
that they can log onto the system and be trained on that system. Evn
Tomeny is handling the account creation and training, so you need to
contact him at x314 or to schedule a 30 minute
appointment. You will need to come to the IT office during that 30
minute period and get your account information and personal training on
the system. Starting on March 1st, facilities will no longer take paper
forms. Please help us make this system successful by scheduling your
appointment soon.


Evn Tomeny
Help Desk Manager &
Application Support Specialist
Andover Newton Theological School
(617)964-1100 x314

Chapel News (March 2-8)
Reflections at MORNING PRAYER for this week (Feb. 3-7) will
be offered by:
Monday: Ned Allyn Parker
Tuesday: Sean Porter
Wednesday: Bill Gural
Thursday: Ned Allyn Parker
Friday: Sherry Thomas

EVENING PRAYER (COMPLINE) in the Episcopal tradition:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays - 9:00-9:15 p.m.
Prayer Room, downstairs in the Wilson Chapel
Hosted by the Episcopal Student Fellowship

As part of the Great Preaching Series, Rev. Heidi Neumark will be
sharing the message at WEDNESDAY COMMUNITY CHAPEL, which gathers
every Wednesday of the academic year @ 1:00pm.

Wednesday Choir Practice will be held at 12:40pm in the sanctuary.

Worship in the UU tradition will be hosted by Julianna Donofrio on
Thursday at 1:00pm.

The Korean Evangelical meets twice weekly in the lower sanctuary in
the Wilson Chapel. Bible study is at 7:30 pm on Wednesdays and
worship is Sunday mornings at 11:30am.

Take advantage of the community forum at Morning Prayer and think
about offering a short reflection to your friends and family here on
campus. It's been a beautiful and uplifting experience. With
questions regarding worship in the Wilson Chapel, and upcoming
events, please contact Ned Parker at

SA Town Meeting
There will be an Student Association Town Meeting with the Deans in
Upper Noyes
Wednesday March 5th, 2008 from 5-6pm.

All are welcome to attend.

Labyrinth Walk
Open Labyrinth Walk
Wednesday, March 5
4:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Wilson Chapel

Come take a break in the middle of your busy week to center yourself by
walking the labyrinth. Even if you have never walked a labyrinth
before, we will be glad to get you started. All are welcome.

Questions? Contact Martha Bays,

Smart Market Cart in The student Lounge
Good morning to everyone. I would like to bring to peoples attention,
that the cafeteria is open for breakfast and beverages from 7:30am -
10:30am Tuesday through Thursday.
The Smart Market Cart in the student lounge is available Monday Through
Thursday 1:30-4:30. In between lunch and dinner.
The cart is open on Friday 8:30am -5:00pm to accommodate the students
on campus who are taking classes,and anyone else that would like to
have: fresh coffee, muffins, bagels, yogurt, sandwiches,fresh salads,
whole fruit, pudding, pie, cake, and cookies.
Please stop by and say hello to Jim Leavitt, he will greet you with the
biggest smile and a warm hello. And welcome him to the community, as he
is a brand new student.

Thank you and hope to see you in the student lounge

Elizabeth Bostwick
Food Service Director
Andover Newton Theological School
210 Herrick Rd
Newton, MA 02459
617 964-1100 x303

I need your help! If you have had an experience as a member of a
Search Committee (either for an interim or settled pastor or any other
church position), I'd like to interview you for about 20 minutes by
I am collecting confidential data for my research paper for my MA in
Theological Studies. I am especially interested in hearing about
when the Search Committee (and the congregation) were disappointed
maybe even surprised) that the candidate did not actually turn out as
Committee hoped after she/he was hired. I also need to hear about

I will call you when you are available. Please send me an email with
phone number and the best times to call during the next couple of
weeks. Or
call me at 978 346-1116. Thanks so much! Julia Steer

12:30 PM
On March 13, Dr. William F. Schulz, a past president of the Unitarian
Universalist Association and former executive director of Amnesty
International USA will be the featured speaker during the 12:30pm
worship service in Wilson Chapel. The title of his presentation is
"Bread Of Course, But Why Roses?" The Unitarian Universalist
Community of Andover Newton Students and the Black Student Fellowship
are hosting this chapel event to which the public is invited. Following
the service Dr. Schulz, along with exhibiting artists, will participate
in a feedback session with the audience to talk about the complexities
of war and the challenges of peacemaking in today's world.

UU Thursday worship schedule
Dear friends,

The ANTS UU student worship services are held each Thursday at 1:00pm
in Wilson Chapel. Everyone is welcome. Come and join with your
colleagues for a peaceful hour, to feed your spirit and refresh your
mind! This week's service will be titled "Time to consider time, or
if not now, when?" and will be led by Duffy Peet, with Tim House
co-leading. Here is the current schedule for the Spring semester:

March 6 : Julianna Donofrio
March 13 : BSF / UUCANS (William Schultz preaching)
April 3 : Mark Richards
April 10 : BSF
April 17 : Tim House
April 24 : Leslie Becknell-Marx
May 1 : April Spencer
May 8 : BSF

Blessings from the UU worship coordinators,
Bruce Taylor (
Cathy French (

Message from the writing tutor
Just a reminder: I'm happy to work with you on anything you might be

I'm on campus (Worcester 302) most Tuesdays 10 to 3, and occasional
Thursdays 12 to 3 (hours are flexible). I will also be here Wednesday
Feb. 27 and Monday March 3.

Drop in if you like, but it's much better to email me for an
appointment. And yes, we can work by phone and email, once we've met
in person.

I look forward to working with you!

Helen Snively
ANTS Writing Tutor
617-964-1100 x 282

Students who will be attending Andover Newton in the Fall must reapply
for financial aid. You must complete a new FAFSA on line at

You must also complete the Andover Newton Financial
Aid Application which is available on our website. In order for your
application to be complete you must also submit a copy of you 2007
Federal Tax Return. The priority date for Andover Newton aid is April
15, 2008. Applications received after April 15th will not receive
Andover Newton aid unless additional aid becomes available.

Journeys on the Hill, Interfaith Student Group ANTS & Hebrew College,
invite you to Screening of CONSTANTINE'S SWORD,a documentary film
exploring intolerance and violence in religion.

Wednesday March 5
6:15pm bus to Boston University Morse Auditorium
(leaves from Hebrew College parking lot)
7:00 pm film + Q&A by James Carroll, author of book inspiring the film
Return bus followed by dialogue with ANTS and HC students

If you would like to join us PLEASE RSVP so we know how big a bus to
get -

Synopsis of film:

Constantine's Sword is the story of James Carroll; a former Catholic
on a journey to confront his past and uncover the roots of religiously
inspired violence and war. His search also reveals a growing scandal
involving religious infiltration of the U.S. military and the terrible
consequences of religion's influence on America's foreign policy.

Carroll focuses on Christian antisemitism as the model for all
hatred, exposing the cross as a symbol of a long history of violence
Jews (and, most recently, Moslems). The film brings the history of
intolerance to life, tracing it as a source of the fanaticism that
the world today. At its core, Constantine's Sword is a compelling
narrative - a kind of detective story - as one man uncovers the dark
of his own past, searching for a better future.

Call for Candidates
The ANTS Student Association is placing a call for candidates for the
office of Student Association Treasurer. An election to fill the
position will be held as soon as possible; SA is currently setting up
the date and mechanism, and this will be announced shortly. Any persons
wishing to run for the position, the term of which will last through the
end of this academic year, should contact me as soon as possible

Jason Boyd
SA Vice President

Considering a UCC Pastorate in Vermont?
Rev. Pam Lucas, Associate Minister of the Vermont United Church of
Christ, will be on campus on March 5 and is interested in speaking to
any students who may be planning to pursue pastoral ministry in Vermont.
If you would like to meet with Rev. Lucas, please email her directly to
set up a time. Rev. Lucas is at She will be meeting
with students in the Greene Room, from 2:30 on during the afternoon of
Wednesday, March 5 and she will also be available in the Small Sanctuary
of the Wilson Chapel on the morning of March 6. If you have any
questions please don't hesitate to contact Rev. Lucas.