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News from the Hill February 04, 2009 | back to index

Alumni E-News: February 4, 2009

Dear Friends and Alumni/ae,


Alumnus Wayne Shireman '57 was reminiscing about my report of our snow plow needing to throw sand for itself while backing up The Hill during a recent storm; The Hill was so slippery.  He writes: “Thanks for the news.  Some of us can remember a storm in the mid-50's when they could not keep the road up The Hill plowed.  The fire department had the students out in shifts all night shoveling!”


The Admissions Office welcomed five new students for the Winter term this year, compared with two last year. One special student flew all the way from Oregon to attend Adjunct Professor Margaret Benefiel's class on "Grounded in God" after having read one of her books! Another EDS student from VT joined us by taking Professor Mark Burrows’ annual "Reading in Retreat" course at Glastonbury Abbey. A "lapsed" DMin student has returned to complete his project on healthy church mergers; and a new, very creative UU student, undaunted by the winter session, began her MDiv degree. Finally, a transplant from NJ with a particular interest in violence in the Bible started coursework by taking "When Home is a War Zone" about domestic violence taught by our Dean of Students, Nancy Nienhuis.  Applications for SPRING and FALL ENROLLMENT are still being accepted.  Please tell prospective students about our OPEN HOUSE on March 6, 8:30-3:30pm.  Please contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.


imageAndover Newton Alum Rev. Claude Black (’43) of San Antonio, TX was honored with the “Testament of Hope Award” for his work to advance civil rights in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Black, 92, could not attend the ceremony, but in a statement, he said he was considered “rebellious against the establishment and trouble for society.”  Former San Antonio mayor, Cisneros called Black the “conscience of the community” in leading the difficult battle against racial injustice in the 1960s, integrating stores and restaurants and, at one point, forcing the removal of water fountains in front of the Alamo labeled “white” and “colored.”  Black was born into a segregated San Antonio in 1916, and after receiving degrees from Morehouse College in Atlanta and Andover Newton, he became pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church.  Over the course of his career, Black was an associate of Martin Luther King Jr., A. Phillip Randolph, Thurgood Marshall and Adam Clayton Powell Jr.  Credit: Gary Martin – Express News


Rev. Marcia Ricketts (’85) writes: “Thank you for ATLAS!!!! The disconnect from intelligent resources after leaving seminary in 1985 has always frustrated me.  Now I feel as though I can continue to learn, and that the seminary wants to help me to continue to learn.  Now, if I can just stop researching and start writing…”   Editor’s note: The Andover Newton Library has purchased a subscription for alumni/ae to have free access to ATLAS, the full-text journal article database produced by the American Theological Library Association. Alumni/ae must register through our website to use ATLAS.

imageHere is more warm news of upcoming events and opportunities for fellowship in the months ahead! Please keep in touch!
Devon Bates, Director of Community Relations 
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
617.964.1100 ext. 201      


February 16 – April 16, 2009
Reception February 26 - Meeting House Photographer Mr. Kwesi Arthur will present an exhibition called: "My America"

A Ghanaian visual artist now living in Boston, Kwesi Arthur has spent the last twenty years exploring his own identity as an American through his camera and the music and art of the western world.  The opening reception will be February 26, 2009 5 - 8 pm.  For more information contact Jennifer Shaw at 617-964-1100, ext. 228 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Sunday,  February 22, 2009  4 pm in Wilson Chapel – a new sacred opera "The Prioress’s Tale"

ANTS is proud to co-sponsor, with the Massachusetts Council of Churches, a performance of The Prioress’s Tale, a radically transformation of Geoffrey Chaucer’s infamous tale of religious violence into a parable about how bigotry can be overcome by the realization of the common human experiences that unite us all.  The 75-minute, one-act English-language work is scored for four singers, piano, and electronic sound.   Following the performance, Jewish and Christian clergy and scholars, the composer, and the librettist will participate in panel discussions about the issues raised in the piece. In a time when the importance of good interfaith relations has never been more important, we believe that the transcendent power of the arts can teach us something about being in relationship with one another. This event is a creative, dynamic way to explore some of the dimensions. A reception will follow.  Suggested donation is $10.  For more information please contact: Jennifer Shaw at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 617.964.1100 ext. 228

Friday, March 6, 2009  - 8:30 am - 3:30 pm    Spring Open House

Alumni/ae are one of our greatest sources of new student referrals.  Is there someone who you think might be called to Andover Newton?  Send them to our Spring Open House to explore and discern their Ministry.  Visitors will experience what it’s like to be an Andover Newton student during this complimentary, day-long event, including meals. Attend sample classes, meet with professors and alumni/ae, worship together, converse with current students, and explore financial aid and housing options. Plans for an evening event TBD.

Monday, March 16, 2009 – 3 pm - 4 pm,  The New Media Center
Ribbon Cutting and Open House Celebration

Through a generous grant from the Massachusetts Bible Society (MBS) a “ribbon-cutting” ceremony will mark the opening of the new state-of-the-art media center and television studio in the lower level of Wilson Chapel on campus.  According to Bob Craigue, inaugural director of the Media Center, "Our goal is to build on Andover Newton’s tradition of leadership in theological education by introducing innovative technologies and offer students, ministers, and congregations new ways to experience worship and community life through new media.” 

The Media Center has full audio/visual recording, production, and broadcast capabilities.  It enables programs to be recorded in Wilson Chapel, and is able to generate CD, DVD, streaming video and cable programs. Already students have produced High Definition videos of events ranging from a performance by Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul and Mary) and documenting a groundbreaking conference of National Baptist and Muslim scholars and religious leaders.

MBS Executive Director Rev. Anne Robertson said: “The task of increasing biblical literacy is too large for one organization. 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.”  For more information contact Bob Craigue at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 617.964.1100 x 321.

Monday, March 16, 2009 – 7 pm - Wilson Chapel - Spectrum Singers Concert

The Spectrum Singers, one of Boston’s most adventurous choral groups, will perform choral music from the pre-Renaissance through the 20th century, emphasizing seldom-heard works by master composers.  For more information on tickets, please contact The Arts at Andover Newton at 617-964-1100, ext. 201 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

SAVE THE DATE     May 14, 2009 - Alumni/ae Day & Convocation

Return to campus and reconnect with fellow classmates and professors.  We are preparing luncheons by class, brunches by denominations, and dinners by interest groups, with a field trip before Baccalaureate on Friday, May 15, and Commencement on May 16, 2009.  STAY TUNED and RESERVE these dates!

African American Alumi/ae

Anyone interested in helping to locate and connect African American alums for gatherings of support for new clergy and new graduates, please contact Lewis Mitchell at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and Alumni News at 617-964-1100, ext. 210 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  Thank you!


Thursday, February 5, 7:30 pm – Westminster, MD
Andover Newton Coffee & Conversation, an informal information session in the DC area

Please join the Reverend Martin Kuchma as he hosts Margaret Carroll and Alison McCarty of the Andover Newton admissions staff and Andover Newton alumni in the Washington, DC area.  Come to learn about the seminary experience in general, and about Andover Newton in particular.  Come explore the possibilities.  Join staff and alumni of Andover Newton Theological School to learn about our full time and part time MDiv, MA, STM and DMin programs. This session will be helpful to those applying for entry in Fall 2009 (priority deadline April 20) as well as to those considering studies in the future.  Come prepared to listen, engage and reflect. Coffee and dessert will be served, casual attire expected.  This is a non-denominational event appropriate for all faiths.    Saint Paul's UCC Church, Parish House, Conference Room, 17 Bond St. (at Green Street), Westminster, MD    Please RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) [].     For directions visit


Alumna Toni DiPina, February 8th, 2009 – 4 PM - Congdon Street Baptist Church, Providence, RI
After three and a half years of seminary and another year of discernment, let the dancing begin!
For more information: 401-421-4032

Alumna Napua McShane Burke, Ordination and Installation, Saturday, February 14, 2009, 10:30 am. Ola'a First Hawaiian Church, Kurtistown, Hawaii.  Luau following service.  All are welcome to attend.  RSVP at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 808-226-4376.

Student Pulpit Supply Available for Massachusetts Area

There are current students available for pulpit supply at local churches in the Massachusetts area.  Invite one of our dynamic students (soon to be one of your fellow alums!) to your church when you’re away or just need a break.  Students from the Baptist, UCC, UU and other traditions are ready and willing to help.  Contact the Admissions and Recruitment Office to schedule a student preacher or for more information.  Phone Ned Allyn Parker, Assistant Director of Recruitment at 617.964.1100 ext. 289 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Sunday, March 15, 2009, 2:00-8:30pm  -- The Interreligious Center on Public Life
Building Relationships Between Interreligious Organizations: An Opportunity for Dialogue and Networking

The greater Boston community can take pride in the work of numerous groups, both official and unofficial, that have been outspoken in their commitment to the furtherance of interreligious understanding between the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yet there have been few opportunities for the leadership of these groups, many unknown to one another, to come together. To bridge that gap, the ICPL has arranged a gathering for an exchange of views on the perils and promises of interreligious dialogue and what participating groups should anticipate as they go forward. Suggested donation: $20 includes supper and materials. Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center-Roxbury For more information:

Grants & Scholarships

UCC Scholarships for Ecumenical Advocacy Days, March 13-16 in Washington, DC

A weekend of inspirational worship, insightful workshops, plenaries, and networking with ecumenical people of faith around justice issues is followed by a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill (after training sessions during the weekend). This is a very popular event, typically attended by some 1000 participants. The UCC makes available full scholarships (to cover registration, travel, and housing) to young adults, 18 to 35 years of age. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship or need more information, contact Jessie Palatucci in UCC's Washington, DC office at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) More information about EAD is available at 
Thanks to Edith Rasell, Ph.D., Minister for Workplace Justice for passing this along.

Upcoming Faculty Presentations

Alumni/ae and Prospective Students’ Gatherings may be arranged at upcoming OFF THE HILL faculty presentations.  If you would like an opportunity to attend or host a conversation with our esteemed faculty, fellow alumni/ae, and prospective students when we are in your vicinity, or care to plan an event, please contact Institutional Advancement’s Devon Bates: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 617.964.1100 ext. 201.  We look forward to seeing you!

Professor S. Mark Heim, Samuel Abbot Professor of Christian Theology

March 18-22 Chicago for the Faith and Order commission meetings of the NCCC
March 27-29 New Orleans at the Southern Baptist seminary at a conference on religious pluralism
April 25 Kalamzoo, MI for another nonviolent atonement seminar

Study Trip to Hong Kong    January 7-17, 2010 (approximate dates)  
We are in the beginning stages of planning a study trip to Hong Kong for current students, faculty, and alumni/ae focusing on The Church in China and Interfaith Traditions.  If you think you might be interested, please contact Institutional Advancement’s Devon Bates: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 617.964.1100 ext. 201. 
Stay tuned!  More news to follow Professor Heim’s trip to Hong Kong!


Alumna Marjorie Scott (MDiv ’79) died on Jan. 29, 2009.  Her memorial service will be held Sat. Feb. 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm at The Church of The Covent, 67 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116.  We understand her death notice may appear in the Boston Globe on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009.

Alumnus Rev. Floyd LaBombard died on Monday, January 19, 2009 at his home in Bennington, VT at the age of 87 following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's.   Classmate Rev. Dr. Christopher L. Drew, (DMin '91) sent us this news.

Alumna Earline Carol Faulkingham (MDiv ’78), 69, died peacefully on January 12, in a hospice near her home in Rotonda West, FL after a long courageous battle with COPD.  She worked as a senior editor for Time Warner-AOL before retiring in 2000.  An avid knitter and talented seamstress, she blessed many friends and family members with her stunningly beautiful and exquisitely-made creations.

Wish List - Amply Endowed Chairs???

The chairs that Dean Herzog uses for conferences in his office are wearing out - the back of one has been broken, and of the remaining three, none really retains the support in the seat center necessary for comfortable seating. They look like dining-room side-chairs, probably a 1920's interpretation of the Sheraton style.  We would be overjoyed if someone wanted to give the Dean’s Office a set of four or six side-chairs; new ones are not necessary - if someone is refurbishing their dining-room, and gives us the old set of chairs, we would be delighted!  Contact: David Ames, Dean Herzog’s assistant at 617-964-1100, ext. 214 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Massachusetts Bible Society

Wednesday, February 11, 2009, 12:00 - 1:15 p.m.

The Soul of a Leader: The Bible and Leadership in America, a luncheon with Dr. Margaret Benefiel
First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury, MA (19 Church Road, Shrewsbury, MA 01545, 508/845-7286)

Part Two of "Bible in America" a 2009 Luncheon Series to celebrate the MBS Bicentennial, Suggested donation: $15, includes lunch (those wishing to bring their own lunch are invited to contribute a lesser amount toward speaker and location costs) Call 617/969-9404 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by noon on Friday, February 6, for reservations.

PAUL, JUDAISM and THE ROMAN EMPIRE -- Amherst College Pauline Symposium
Featuring Paula Frederikson (February 10), Dominic Crossan (February 24), Richard Ascough (March 10), and Karl Donfried (March 24). Sponsored by the Willis D. Wood Fund and the Religion Department at Amherst College.

Tuesday, February 10, 8:00pm  "Gods and Their Humans in Mediterranean Antiquity: The Sacred Surround of Paul's Journey" by Paula Fredrikson, Aurelio Professor of Scripture, Boston University, Pruyne Lecture Hall, Amherst College Free and open to the public, followed by a reception.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009, 12:00 - 1:15pm
The Study of the Bible in American Catholic Life, a luncheon with Celia Sirois, Adjunct Professor of Sacred Scripture, St. John's Seminary, Brighton Episcopal Diocese, Sproat Hall, 138 Tremont Street, Boston, Part Three of "Bible in America" a 2009 Luncheon Series to celebrate the MBS Bicentennial.  Suggested donation: $15, Call 617/969-9404 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by noon on Friday, February 27, for reservations.

Become the next Young Scholar of the Massachusetts Bible Society! Are you age 17-21? Living in Massachusetts?  With an interest in the Bible? (Or know someone who fits this description?)  Contact for more information.

Friday, March 20 at 10:00am to Saturday March 21 Old South Church (Gordon Chapel)
"MBS Bible & Book Fair and 200th Anniversary Event  -  All Bibles Discounted 20%"

In celebration of our bicentennial, the Massachusetts Bible Society is working with Liz Walker Journey Productions to create a documentary on the Bible called "One Book, Many Voices."  The film is being structured around a single question and we are soliciting responses to that question from clergy and scholars of all Christian traditions (we also have some Jewish responses).  Responses will be collected and categorized with the final film built to illustrate those categories. Every responder will be listed in the film credits. If you would like to participate, please visit and

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Andover Newton is the nation's oldest graduate institution of theological education, founded in 1807. Based in Newton Centre, MA, the school is known for its commitment to the pastoral ministry and the pioneering accomplishments of its graduates in the fields of mission and local church leadership. Historically covenanted with the United Church of Christ and the American Baptist Churches USA, Andover Newton now celebrates a student body comprised of more than 30 denominations, including one of the largest concentrations of Unitarian Universalist students in the US.