People Notes


Featured photoKristen Leslie ’86 M.Div., who taught pastoral care at YDS from 1998-2010 and is now on the faculty at Eden Theological seminary in St. Louis, will deliver the Mendenhall Lecture on Oct. 6 at DePauw University.  The title of Leslie’s lecture is "From Pastoral Care to Conversion: Military Chaplaincy During the Last Decade of War.”  The Mendenhall lectures are intended to bring "persons of high and wide repute, of broad and varied scholarship" to DePauw to address issues related to the academic dialogue concerning Christianity.  DePauw News, Sept. 22, 2011.

PedersenKyle W. Pedersen ’02 M.A.R., a long-time people’s advocate in the fields of mental health and addictions and a director of the Connecticut Mental Health Center Foundation, Inc., in New Haven, has been named to receive the Rev. Canon Clinton R. Jones Award granted by the Friends of Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford.   The annual award recognizes individuals whose life and work exemplify the values, accomplishments and passions of the late Canon Jones during his 40-year ministry at the Cathedral.  The award will be presented at a dinner on Nov. 12.

Dean Harold Attridge and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Emilie Townes are among several dozen high-profile theologians and ethicists who have signed a document called “An Appeal to End the Death Penalty” circulated in the wake of the highly publicized execution of Death Row inmate Troy Davis on Sept. 21, 2011.  The statement concludes, “We call for an immediate end to the death penalty in the United States, we ally ourselves with all those who work toward this long overdue goal, and we challenge our churches and church leaders to join in this public witness.”

“Throughout her career, she has specialized in clinical spiritual care services for pediatrics and geriatrics. Her spiritual program with dementia patients at Morningside House was recently recognized by the New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging with the 2011 Innovation of the Year Award.” (Stamford, CT), Sept. 29, 2011, an article about Debra Slade ’08 M.Div., “Norwalk Hospital appoints new director of spiritual care.”

Gray Southern ’80 M.Div., currently Durham District Superintendent in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, has been selected as a nominee for bishop for the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the church.  The election will be held next summer at a meeting of the Southeastern Jurisdiction.  The Durham (NC) News, Sept. 14, 2011.

“I grew up with a lot of ministry going on around me. I remember going to a jail in Ohio, where I grew up, to help lead a church service. I knew there were good people there. I got to see a side of life that not everybody sees.”  Carolyn Smith ’79 M.A.R., Oct. 1, 2011,, Anderson, SC, in the article “Director retires after 18 years at Sunshine House, changes occur at charity.”

"It was a privilege to be a part of his world.  But, his world was much larger than his family. My dad touched people across the world.  He made people feel more alive. He challenged them, celebrated with them."   Andrea Bucey-Tikkanen, Sept. 14, 2011, speaking about her father, Dick Bucey ’54 B.D., who died on Sept. 7. (OH), in the article “Rev. Bucy remembered as dedicated pastor for more than 50 years.”

“I saw that the real power and promise of the church flourishes when it transcends its preoccupations with personal morality, and lovingly reaches out to those facing their profoundest moments of despair, confusion, and sorrow.”  Jamie Manson ’02 M.Div., Sept. 14, 2011, National Catholic Reporter, writing in the column “Sexual diversity, the Catholic Church, and all that remains unsaid.”

“It’s a giant fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the planet.”  Justin Haaheim ’10 M.A.R., Sept. 16, 2011, Chaska (MN) Herald, in an article about his arrest in front of the White House during a two-week sit-in by Tar Sands Action protesting TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline project.

"I've met some people who have never had any questions as to why they believe the things they believe.  But that seems strange to me when I meet it. But that is why I love students. They are inherently asking questions and making connections."  Janet Fuller ’82 M.Div., Sept. 20, 2011, The Pendulum (NC), in the article “Childhood experiences shape new chaplain’s faith.”

Lynne Holden ’83 M.Div. has a new book out, The Pastor Has Gorgeous Legs, about her 30 years in the ministry.  In the book she writes, "I have simply served Christ, His church and His mission in quite ordinary ways, but the journey has been far from ordinary, and I have met exceptional people along the way.”  Sept. 24, 2011, The Attleboro (MA) Sun, in the article “Born to Preach.”

“This is the first time in a campaign anywhere that they are attempting to tip the scale on the religion thing, that the anti-gay religious right alone does not have the only say in the debate.  I think we will see the left and the right side of religions engaged in this campaign. And I think in this campaign, we need them all, including those who are not religious.”  Javen Swanson ’09 M.Div., Sept. 21, 2011, The Minnesota Independent, in the article “People of faith turn out in droves to

“Jill and I have always shared the view that a few dedicated and informed people really can change the world. Each of us has within us the essential goodness of our better angels. Awakening these angels within is a lifelong drama of expectation, disappointment and fulfillment.”  Peter Cookson ’10 M.A.R. speaking about his new book, Hearts on Fire, co-authored with Jill Iscol. The book tells the stories of twelve visionaries “igniting idealism into action.”

The 21 September release of U.S. hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal from an Iranian prison "affirms the importance of the role of religious dialogue and its end product in this case, public diplomacy, as we seek ways to define common ground between our two countries." Sept. 22, 2011. Episcopal Diocese of Washington Bishop John Chane ’72 M.Div.  Chane and a delegation of Christian and Muslim leaders had traveled to Iran at the invitation of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; one objective was to seek the release of the hikers on humanitarian grounds.  Ecumenical News International, Sept. 22, 2011.