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“I’ve never quite been able to find the words for what John Riegel taught me, but I know it’s with me every day in the classroom, whenever I meet with students, when I’m in the chapel, when I’m reading a poem …. This truly is one of the proudest moments of my life." Mark R. Rigg ’99 M.A.R., Oct. 3, 2008, during a ceremony at The Hill School in Pottstown, PA announcing his appointment to the Reverend Dr. John W. Riegel Chair in Religious Studies.

Lester E. Williams ’34 M.Div., 99, of Rockford, IL died Sept. 28, 2008.  He was a longtime pastor, educator and India missionary for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  In 1954, Williams joined the faculty of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA, where he served as dean of students, professor of religion and philosophy, executive assistant, and interim president of the college until he retired in 1974.

“I am blessed to serve Christ in the Presbyterian Church of the Reformed tradition, which welcomes the fact that change is part of God’s good plan.  I pray that the dialogue sparked by this trial will provide another step along the path as we seek to reconcile our church with the fine future for marriage God has in store for us.”  Janet Edwards ’76 M.Div., Oct. 3, 2008, in the Presbyterian News Service article “Presbyterian minister acquitted in same-sex wedding case.”


“How do we celebrate the birthday of a person who did not want to draw attention to himself?  His life and ministry were focused on glorifying God and he had nothing but disdain for any attempt to elevate any human being,”  Setri Nyomi ’81 S.T.M., July 11, 2008, in an Ecumenical News International story about the book Nyomi has edited celebrating the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin.



Robert Nelson Back ’46 DIV, died Sept. 10, 2008 in Concord, NH.  He was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church in Philadelphia in 1950 and served as rector of St. Luke’s Church, Darien, CT from 1960 to 1977, where he founded the Person-to-Person outreach program to the disadvantaged in 1968.

 Clyde Tuggle ’88 M.Div. was elected a senior vice president of the Coca-Cola Company at a Coca-Cola Board of Directors meeting on Oct. 16.  As such, he leads the company’s productivity efforts and oversees Coca-Cola’s Public Affairs and Communications and Strategic Security and Aviation functions.

"Christ-Janer, a renaissance man ... does not believe that art, as beautiful as it is, ends only with 'art for art's sake.' At its best, it inspires other endeavors.”  A comment about Arland Christ-Janer ’49 B.D., Nov. 15, 2008, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, in an article about the death of Christ-Janer, “Educator, Artist, Citizen.”


“Young Kenyan children tell themselves that if a man who shares our birthplace can rise to the highest office in the land, then we too can work to raise our nation to the highest heights. We find the visionary leadership we lack in our own homegrown leaders in our Kenyan son, Barack Obama.” Happy Kinyili ’09 M.A.R., Nov. 14, 2008, Yale Daily News, in an article about the reaction to Obama’s election in her native country of Kenya.

"The real common currency of America is the movies.  When I was growing up, Fellini was God.”  Robert Dance ’80 M.A.R., Nov. 13, 2008, Litchfield (CT) County Times, in the article “Captured Glory of Hollywood,” about Dance’s life as an author and private art dealer.


"I don’t have any concrete evidence that it is (being used), but I believe current executive orders allow it to be used by the CIA at least, and it needs to be stopped.”  Dean Harold Attridge, Nov. 13, 2008, New Haven (CT) Register, in the article “Group seeks ban on torture by U.S.”

"We think Brandon Johnson will be a great asset not only to the United Church of Santa Fe, but also to the whole community," Talitha Arnold ’80 M.Div., Nov. 14, 2008, Santa Fe New Mexican, on the appointment of Brandon Johnson ’08 M.Div. as youth minister at her church in Santa Fe.


“I would not readily concede any suggestions that he deliberately plagiarized this prayer, claiming credit for something that was not his own.” Thomas Ogletree, Frederick Marquand Professor of Theological Ethics, Oct. 8, 2008, Yale Daily News, in an article about the controversy surrounding authorship of the Serenity Prayer, normally attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr.

"I'm not going anywhere.  Lexington is my hometown, and I'm still going to be here."  Nancy Jo Kemper ’67 B.D., Oct. 19, 2008, Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader, in a story about Kemper’s retirement as executive director of the Kentucky Council of Churches.


“Those who profess to be a Christian spend 97.5 percent of our income on ourselves versus a non believer who spends 98 percent.  The difference between those who profess Christ and those who do not is negligible.”  Greg Boyd ’82 M.Div., Oct. 28, 2008, The Whitworthian, Spokane, WA, in the article  “Author addresses 'myth' of a Christian nation.”

“This is all about discrimination.  Someone needs to ask this Christian charity why they’re asking to discriminate.”  Sharon Miller ’08 M.Div.,  Oct. 30, 2008, The New Haven Independent, in an article about the Knights of Columbus’s financial support of ballot initiatives opposing same-sex marriage.

 “It is a classic story of human idolatry. The story does not end with sought-after security. It ends with babbling confusion and the wreckage of human community. Idolatry, whether personal, political, economic or military, may work for a while, but it sows the seed of its own downfall. Is this becoming an American story?”  Paul Hammer ’52 B.D., Oct. 19, 2008, in a letter to the editor in the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, citing the Tower of Babel story.

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