People Notes


“Walking naked down Main Street while playing a harmonica is nothing compared to the personal exposure required to talk about God for 20 minutes to a group of people who have been, all week long, avoiding even the barest mention of God.”  So says William Willimon ’71 M.Div., Jan. 27, 2011, writing on the Christian Century magazine web site, in the column “Voice Lessons: Learning to Preach.”


“It’s an open secret that Santa Barbara’s U.S. Representative Lois Capps is notoriously nice. Four times running, she’s been officially proclaimed the Nicest Member of Congress by Washingtonian Magazine, an award based on annual surveys of Capitol Hill staff. Over the years, Capps’s numerous Republican opponents have seized upon this as if they somehow had discovered her fatal flaw.”  Santa Barbara Independent, Jan. 20, 2011, in a feature article about Lois Capps ’64 M.A.R., “The Power of Nice Lois Capps: From Accidental Representative to 800-Pound Political Gorilla.”

band“Yann Beaullan’s mother is Jewish; his father is Cambodian. He grew up listening to Buddhist chants. On Sunday he was worshiping in Wooster Square—to the strains of alto saxes offering Coltranesque riffs on the Christian hymn “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.” Beaullan has joined what might be called a “happening” new phenomenon in the pews: a weekly jazz-style eucharist that is transforming St. James and St. Paul’s from one of the “frozen chosen” Episcopal churches in town to one of the coolest places to worship in New Haven.”  New Haven (CT) Independent, Jan. 24, 2011, in the article “Jazz Meets Jesus On Chapel Street,” about the Theodicy Jazz Collective that features three YDS and Institute of Sacred Music-related musicians: Andrew Barnett ’12 M.Div., ’11 M.E.M.; Ann Phelps ’09 M.A.R.; and Justin Haaheim ‘’10 M.A.R.

Public radio interview of Collective members:

Barbara Blodgett ’87 M.Div, ’00  Ph.D. will have a new book out in March, Becoming the Pastor You Hope to Be (Alban).  The book urges pastors to develop practices that will help them become more excellent ministers, such as resisting praise and ask for feedback instead and defining themselves as leaders who do not merely take activist stances but risk entering into transformative relationships.  After serving as director of supervised ministries at YDS, Blodgett joined the national staff of the United Church of Christ, where she is minister for vocation and formation.

Frederick J. Streets, ’75 M.Div., associate adjunct professor of pastoral theology at YDS and former University chaplain was presented the Rev. John LaFarge, S.J. Award by the Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx ’80 Ph.D., president of Fairfield University, during Fairfield’s annual Convocation observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Jan. 20, 2011. Streets delivered the keynote address. LaFarge, who died in 1963 at the age of 83, was the author of three books on racism and founder of the Catholic Interracial Review and is perhaps best remembered for having established the Catholic Interracial Council in 1934. He labored virtually single-handedly to make American Catholics aware of the moral dimensions of racism in America.

"Catholics have this wonderful cloud of witnesses that respond to very detailed and complex and messy lives.  Here we have lives of faith that have been lived convincingly and well. There is this sense of the possibility of the faithful who have gone before us interceding for us. So you kind of have friends in powerful places."  Teresa Berger, professor of liturgical studies, Jan. 31, 2011, in the Sense and Sensibility blog, in the column “Saints continue to hold sway in Catholic spirituality”

“Perhaps the very heart of my service as a pastor, professor, and theologian is the ministry of reconciliation...the ministry of reconciliation, for me then, is about helping people learn to live together with mutual respect in the midst of our differences.” Flora Wilson Bridges ’86 M.A.R., Jan. 21, 2011, Brooklyn (NY) Eagle, in the article “‘First Church’ Gets First Female Senior Pastor.”

Episcopal Village will be hosting a Northeast gathering on March 5. Becky Garrison ’92 M.Div., author of Starting from Zero with $0 (Seabury Books) and Jesus Died for This? (Zondervan) will be one of the facilitators.  The event will run from 9am to 5pm at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Boston.  Garrison recommends arriving in Boston on Friday for a chat with Ian Mobsby, Missioner of Moot, a church plant created with the blessing of the bishop of London. To register for either or both events, log on to Garrison's article about a previous event in Baltimore event is posted on Episcopal Life Online. Additional information is available from Garrison at

Burton Allan MacLean  '38 B.A. '42 B.D. died Jan. 12, 2011 at his residence in Pomfret, CT. After graduating from Yale Divinity School, he served as an Industrial Missionary under the Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian Church in Detroit, Michigan, then was a U.S. Army chaplain in WWII, and became assistant dean of the chapel at Princeton University in 1946. In 1949 Yale appointed him associate university pastor while he was also director of undergraduate religious affairs. In 1959 he was appointed Headmaster of the Iolani School, in Honolulu, Hawaii, became headmaster of the American School of Paris in 1970, and in 1977 was appointed headmaster of the Pomfret School in Connecticut, from which he retired in 1979.

Serene Jones '85 M.Div. '91 Ph.D., president of Union Theological Seminary in New York, is the featured preacher Feb. 13 on “Day 1,” the nationally syndicated radio program also accessible by podcast at The program includes a sermon by Jones along with interviews conducted by producer and host Peter Wallace.

Mark Rigg ’91 M.A.R. is the new pastor of Advent Lutheran Church, West Lawn, PA. Rigg has an English degree from Amherst College and, in addition to his YDS degree, a degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.

“In our age of information and distraction, we can benefit from reminders to practice the art of attention.  For me personally, the Benedictine tradition, woodworking and wilderness provide three different vehicles for thinking about what it means to pay attention — to other people, to our work and to our environment.”  Samuel Thomas ’01 M.Div., Jan. 6, 2011, Ventura (CA) Star, in the article “Professor active in social justice, environment.”

Dewitt Farabee '52 B.D. '64 S.T.M. died on Dec. 26, 2010. A Memorial service was held on Dec. 29, 2010 at the 1st United Methodist Church of Deland. Donations can be sent to the church at 115 E. Howry Ave., DeLand, FL 32724