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Class of 1996

 

Class Secretary

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Class of '96 Next Reunion

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Class Secretaries List

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Other Class Notes

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  Ms. Carla D. Januska '96 M.Div.

 

 

Class Notes

Welcome to 1996's Class Notes page. Here you will find news from your classmates on what they've been doing since graduation.  Enjoy!

Moved? New job? Retired? Newly married? New grandchildren? Please submit your Class Notes to your Class Secretary or the Alumni Office by August 31, 2008, for publication in the next issue of Spectrum.

     

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Notes from 2007

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Molly Phinney Baskette ’96 M.Div. has two children’s books out this year from the interfaith press SkyLight Paths Publishing.  The books, titled “Remembering My Grandparent” and “Remembering My Pet,” are spiritual workbooks for children ages 7-13 providing honest caring words and activities where kids can write, draw, pray, create and express feelings in hands-on, concrete ways.  Molly is a senior minister of First Congregational of Somerville, United Church of Christ, in Somerville, MA, and has worked with children in crisis in the United States and abroad.

Jacqueline Bussie ’96 M.A.R. graduated from the University of Virginia in 2003 with her Ph.D. and got Bussiemarried to her high school best friend that same year. At present, she is knee-deep into her job as assistant professor of religion at Capital University in Columbus, OH. Though it may be hard to believe, she is up for tenure this year. Her most exciting academic news to report is that her book, The Laughter of the Oppressed, won the Trinity Prize for 2006. This $10,000 prize is given annually to one promising writer in the early stage of their careers for a manuscript offering an out standing new perspective on biblical, cultural, ethical, theological, or religious issues. The book will be published in September, 2007 by Continuum International Publishing. She wishes all the best to her YDS classmates.

Scott Gunn ’92 M.A.R., ’96 M.Div. is serving as priest of Christ Church in Lincoln, RI, in addition to being active on the Board of Governors for Episcopal Life (the newspaper of the Episcopal Church), the Diocesan Council (Diocese of RI) and its Executive Committee, as well as being active with InclusiveChurch, a UK-based group, that found him going to Tanzania in February 2007 to be present during the Anglican Communion Primates’ Meeting.  He and his wife, Sherilyn Pearce ’93 M.Div., are happy with their two dogs and two cats.  You can find more of Scott on his blog at http://inclusivechurch.blogspot.com.

Many may remember Mary Jackson ’96 M.Div. as Bonnie Werbe. At YDS she was beginning her name change from Bonnie to Mary. She is now Mary Azima Jackson, a new name to reflect a new life. She shares, “I am no longer married as of 1998.  Indeed my journey from that point took me on a spiritual quest to India where I learned to play a tamboura and study with a master how to sing sacred North Indian music.” Later, that music became part of her D. Min. from University of Creation Spirituality. Presently, she lives in Guilford, CT.  Her daughter, Elizabeth, lives in NYC working as a gallery program coordinator. She has been ordained as an Interfaith Minister and performs weddings, funerals, etc. She is certified in Psychosynthesis, is a Reiki Master and does counseling. She has also produced a CD of Indian Chants, and co-produced a documentary based on the book, Think and Grow Rich. Her web site will fill in other details (www.ahouselflight.com).

Carla Januska ’96 M.Div. is the creative director at Go East, a brand, design and interactive firm in St. Paul, MN, designing for a wide variety of consumer brands. Since moving to Minneapolis she has made art, served on a non-profit board of directors, learned how to dress for thirty degrees below zero, fallen in love with yoga, traveled to Europe, celebrated 14 years with Jennifer, and realized that the YDS Class Secretary position continues in perpetuity.

Mike Kinman, ’96 M.Div. for the past 18 months has been the executive director of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation (www.e4gr.org), which fuels a grassroots movement in the Episcopal Church for the eradication of extreme poverty around the world, using the Millennium Development Goals as a structure for this work. He has traveled to Ghana, Sudan, Kenya, South Africa and Rwanda building relationships and learning about reconciliation and poverty evaluation. Prior to his work with E4GR, he spent 6 years as the Episcopal campus missioner at Washington University in St. Louis. He and Robin live in St. Louis with their two children, Schroedter (8) and Hayden (5). Robin is teaching fourth grade at a local independent school. Mike blogs sporadically at revmikek.blogspot.com.

Christopher Martin ’90 B.A., ’96 M.Div. is rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in San Rafael, CA, just north of San Francisco. He has served this community for three years. With the community he’s been developing a three-part adult Christian formation process that fosters small groups, daily prayer and hands-on service of the needy. They also minister to inmates at nearby San Quentin prison, especially its death row population. He and Chloe live in San Anselmo with our two boys, Harper (6) and Simon (4).

 

Since graduating, Lynnea Pruzinsky Mumola ’96 M.A.R. has married her high school sweetheart, Chris, and relocated to Maryland where they are raising two beautiful boys, Joseph (6) and Christopher (4). While she finds parenthood both exhilarating and exhausting, she describes it for herself as “a true vocation.” However, she has also continued to work in the religion field both in full- and part- time capacity. Immediately after YDS she worked at St. Mary's Ryken High School, a Xaverian Brothers-sponsored Catholic High School located in southern Maryland, where she taught religion. Currently she serves as the youth minister for high school students at her family's parish, St. Edward the Confessor in Bowie, MD. Additionally for the past eight years she has written for the Catholic Standard newspaper, the official newspaper for the Archdiocese of Washington. Some of the highlights from her years as a journalist include covering World Youth Day 2000 in Rome, interviewing local and national political leaders, and many well-known speakers. She received a citation from the local press association for a story she researched about eliminating sweatshops. She has also covered the installation of two archbishops for the archdiocese as well as several ordinations, and church-related news.

Peter J. Nagle ’96 M.A.R. started a ministry for peace in his church, The Benedictine Grange, in 2000. It focuses on Bethlehem. He has traveled there 12 times and formed many wonderful relationships. He even produced a film called "Sacred Space Denied," which reveals some of the root causes of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Nagle confesses that this ministry tests him. He has even sometimes felt helpless as it has taken him to the outer reaches of his faith. Having always been a “doer” and “problem solver,” he has realized that this ministry is less about that, and more about being with those who suffer injustice. Their travels to the Holy Land have been spiritual journeys for Joy and Peter. He’s walked where Christ walked; seen the land He saw in His first and His last moments on earth. Spurred on by the knowledge that if things continue on the present path, he won’t be able to do that anymore, Nagle is convinced that we must all do whatever we can to support a genuine path to peace. He has been blessed with a wonderful wife, 4 daughters, and two grandchildren, who remind him of love, fun, and innocence.

The past 11 years of Joe Pankowski, Jr. ’96 M.A.R….OK, here goes.  During Divinity School, he opened up a solo law office in Darien.  Thanks to the "halo effect" of a lawyer getting a YDS degree, his practice exploded.  One client asked, "Can a person really serve God while being a member of Satan's minions?" confirming that lawyers have a lot of PR work still to do. He practiced on his own for six years before being approached by a Stamford law firm to run its Wills, Trusts & Probate practice.  He is now an equity partner with Wofsey, Rosen, and finds that he uses his YDS degree every day.  In numerous situations of clients’ grief and trauma, his pastoral counseling classes have been far more valuable than anything he learned in law school.  He lives with his wife, Annie, and two sons (Ward, 11; Cade, 7) in Darien.  He serves on the CareNet Pastoral Care Committee at the First Congregational Church of Darien, is a member on the local Commission on Aging, and performs wedding ceremonies as a Justice of the Peace. He encourages YDS friends to drop him a line at joepankowski@yahoo.com.

The last eleven years since graduating from YDS have seen a deepening and honing of Rebecca Voelkel’s ’96 M.Div. ministry and a broadening of what she understands her vocation to be.  After serving as pastor of Spirit of the Lakes UCC for 6 1/2 years and Interim National Coordinator for the UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns for two, she is now the Program Director for the Institute for Welcoming Resources of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.  She preaches, writes, does workshops, convenes national meetings and trains folks in faith-based community organizing in order to further expand the numbers of welcoming and affirming congregations across the US.  Her training in liberation theologies, Biblical scholarship and her time as a Coffin-Forsberg Scholar at YDS continue to serve her well. Her personal life has been much transformed as well, as she gave birthvoelkel to Shannon MacKenzie George Voelkel in January of 2007.  Voelkel and her partner, Maggie, delight in every day with their daughter and are learning anew the extravagance of God's love and mercy.  They also feel a renewed call to act for justice so that all parents can watch their children grow and thrive. Her email address is RMMVoelkel@aol.com.