Editor’s note: The dramatic crisis in the nation’s financial system came to a head just days before the opening of Convocation and Reunions 2008. Marina Hayman ’09 M.A.R. sought out reaction during the outdoor reception on Sterling Divinity Quadrangle held the first day of the Oct. 13-16 gathering. This is what she found.
Mitch Lindeman '83 M.Div., Episcopal priest from Portola Valley, CA. "This economic crisis reminds us we are a hopeful people and are there to provide hope, transformation and change in Jesus' name.”
John Sowers '02 M.Div., pastor of a Disciples of Christ church in Rushville, Ill. "We need to look at the poor-wealthy gap. The hurricane in New Orleans (Katrina) has been followed by a social hurricane, this financial crisis. We don't know who will survive and who will be inconvenienced . . . Christian leaders are called to focus on what are their real priorities . . . After a crisis, sanctuaries fill up. People question what happened. Clergy can help prioritize what nations should be doing".
Virginia Smanik '05 M.Div., Presbyterian minister, Brooklyn, CT. "Hopefully people will start to think about other crises in our culture. The one that's getting all the press is the economic crisis and there are so many other issues.”
Cornelia Gunn Dinnean ' 85 M.Div., Hamden, CT, who has worked in university, parish and hospital chaplaincy. "I've worked in Greenwich (CT) and am not surprised by any of this. The amorality of the economy is both dangerous, and we now know, limited. There's a floor to crash through. It's immoral to take people's retirements and gamble to the ends of those who invest. At the upper echelons they knew it could crash.
There were enough signs of something emergent. To think that the Republican administration would encourage to put our health care on the market!"
Kate Smanik-Moyes '05 M.Div., Presbyterian minister, Chambersburg, PA. "The community becomes really important. People turn to the community for support and you have to convince the community to turn outward and maybe some good can come out of it.”
Catherine Dixon '83 M.Div., Memphis, TN, UCC layperson who has worked in drug and alcohol rehabilitation and is now a licensed counselor. “How important it is that leaders be trusted servants. They have been less than trusted servants. The moral problem is that we are a country of individualists and are yet to understand the idea of community, the true meaning of community. We don't commit enough to community-building.”
Guy Pry ’53 B.D., College Station, TX, retired United Methodist pastor. “We haven't been good stewards with what we had.”
Kent Logan '75 M.Div., Atlanta, GA, a Methodist and consulting teacher. "I feel that we have watched unregulated greed get out of hand—not just Wall Street. So many want more than they can afford. A Wall Street issue is making money without regard to social responsibilities. We're impatient and want everything now. The crisis has left behind people who are poor and didn't have much to begin with. The economic tumult hurt those who didn't have much . . . People who need help aren't getting it in the current crisis.”