bexley seabury summer 2014

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  • Exploring Anglicanism: art and soul

    Organize the community, energize the church

    Lessons in vitality from the Diocese of London

    Bexley+ SeaBurySummer 2014} Vol. 2: Issue N 1

    Detroit: a ChurCh

    in the StreetS

  • 1 A letter from the president

    2 A curriculum infused with the arts

    6 La Iglesia Detroit: a church beyond walls

    10 Professor Fout explores the lessons of London

    12 Community organizing: politics with soul

    16 Student column: My first year in seminary

    17 A Seabury descendants expansive stewardship

    18 Six new members join Board of Trustees

    20 Our donors

    22 Alumni and faculty notes

    taBle of ContentS

  • 1

    Dear Friends of Bexley Seabury,

    As you will see as you page through this Bexley Seabury magazine, it has been a full and exciting year for us as we live into our vision of a seminary beyond walls.

    In Columbus a few weeks ago, the first six graduates of Bexley Seabury received their MDiv diplomas, joining their Trinity Lutheran colleagues in a spirited and grace-filled ceremony.

    The next day, I traveled to Erie to confer a Doctor of Ministry degree on Dean John Downey at a moving cathe-dral evensong attended by Bishop Sean Rowe and hundreds of parishioners, clergy and friends.

    That same week, in partnership with ChurchNext (, we launched our ground-breaking online series exploring the spirituality of the Prayer Booka series featuring every member of our distinguished faculty and available to parish audiences and lay individuals anywhere in the world.

    As I write, we are in the midst of our fourth annual Leadership Institute, in partnership with the Kellogg School of Managements Center for Nonprofit Management at Northwestern Univer-sity, with almost forty church lead-erslay and ordainedfrom around the country in attendance, including six of our Doctor of Ministry candidates.

    We have just opened registration for Professor Jason Fouts January study tourLearning from Londonwhich will explore at first hand the remarkable growth and vibrancy of the Anglican Church in that ancient diocese.

    And week by week, in both Columbus and Chicago, we have continued to pray for each of our alumni by name, in solidarity with the mission of Christ in the world that all of us share.

    I am convinced that the future of theo-logical education in the Episcopal Church lies in the offering of flexible and accessi-ble programs like these, both face-to-face and online, responsive to the needs of lay and clergy leaders throughout the country and the world. Our future lies equally in the formation of dynamic new ecumenical partnerships. Along with our continuing strong relation-ship with Trinity Lutheran Seminary and our partnership with Wartburg Seminary, we have this year forged new agreements to train Episcopal students from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Louis-ville Presbyterian Seminary, the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, and Cen-tral Baptist Seminary in Kansas. And we continue our full participation in the work of the Association of Chicago Theologi-cal Schools, including the ACTS DMin program in preaching. We are all in this ministry together, seeking to strengthen the mission of God in difficult times and a troubled world. We could not do any of this without the generous support of our Board, our Bexley Hall and Seabury Western alumnae and alumni, and parishes and individuals around the country who share our vision of a 21st century seminary, open to all who seek to deepen their Christian formation in a generous spiritual and intellectual tradition. Our supporters names are listed in these pages, with our deepest thanks. Enjoy the magazine, and keep us in your prayers. Come see us in Columbus or Chicago, or online at Join one of our classes. Spread the word.

    Gods continued blessings,


    { President Roger Ferlo

    {Opposite: A contemporary service at Holy Trinity Brompton in London. Professor Jason Fouts class will visit the parish, which draws 5,000 people to eleven services at four locations each Sunday. Co


    PResIDeNT's leTTeR

  • 2

    aAs a cellist, the Rev. Roger Ferlo, president of the Bexley Seabury Theological Seminary Federa-tion, knows how

    quickly the sense of touch, as he puts bow to strings, is followed by sound. He knows how closely the sound of those first notes is followed by his sense of how those notes are being experienced by the audience and he knows, almost immedi-ately, whether his performance requires adjustment.

    This cycle of intention, creation, response and adjustment is not unique to performing arts, Ferlo says. Indeed, it should be familiar to anyone in a position of pastoral leadership.

    At the annual Bexley Seabury Leader-ship Institute, Michelle Buck, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, teaches people how to tango. Its all about leading and following and how quickly those roles can change, Ferlo says. It dissolves the distinction, the bipolarity between leader and follower and you do it with your body, and that translates into how you act as a leader.

    The Episcopal Church is increasingly aware that it can benefit from skills and wisdom cultivated in other disciplines. The insights of the late Rabbi Ed Fried-man, who brought family systems therapy to the parish, are quoted so frequently by Episcopal clergy that he is sometimes jok-

    ing referred to as the fourth person of the Trinity. The distinction between techni-cal and adaptive change articulated by Ron Heifetz of the Harvard Business School has become a staple in the conver-sation about restructuring the Episcopal Church. And Bexley Seabury has been in the forefront of a growing number of seminaries offering courses in community organizing based on the principles of Saul Alinsky. (see pages 12-15)

    Yet the insights gained by creating and experiencing the visual and perform-ing arts do not figure prominently in seminary curricula, and church leaders receive little training in how to guide those for whom the arts are a pathway to the divine.

    What we are up against in theologi-cal education is the Protestant focus on the text, says Ferlo, who has a PhD in English from Yale and has lectured and led workshops on religious elements in the works of Shakespeare. That long-time focus on the written word only has led to a narrowing of experience and a narrow-ing of intelligence. The intelligences that have to do with the arts, creative imagina-tion, sense of embeddedness in cultureboth popular and highare as important to church leadership as the Harvard Busi-ness Schools quantitative way of under-standing leadership.

    The church is at a moment, he adds, when focusing on the creative arts, both as a metaphor for collaborative pastoral leadership and a means to inspiring con-temporary Americans, is more important

    { Faculty trio forms pastors and theologiansby focusing on the senses

    By Jim NaughtoN

    The art of leadershipas taught by artists

    The intelligences

    that have to do

    with the arts are as

    important to church

    leadership as the

    Harvard Business

    Schools way of



    NoT BY TexT ALoNe BexLeY + SeABUrY

  • 3

    than ever. He and other Bexley Seabury faculty want to help the church to claim this moment. They plan both to help stu-dents develop the ability to have and cre-ate artistic experiences and to infuse core Anglican studies courses with insights drawn from creating art.

    I am interested in deepening our sense of what leadership means in a pastoral and post-Christian context where no one knows anything about the church, but people know a lot about the senses, Ferlo says. I am interested in the connec-tion between sensory experience and the experience of God. It seems to me to be a way that the church can renew its place in a culture that is on sensory overload but has no immediate way of really organiz-ing the senses that leads to deeper knowl-edge and deeper wisdom.

    Ferlos initiative has the enthusiastic support of the Rev. John Dally, professor of theology and culture at Bexley Seabury and artist-in-residence at St. Peters Epis-copal Church in Chicago, who has made a specialty of presenting the material of traditional Anglican Studies courses in

    innovative, experiential ways.Im interested in creating access to

    the Christian tradition in the seminary classroom and in the Christian commu-nity, says Dally, who trained as a classical pianist in his youth and later became a playwright and fiction writer. And I have learned that images and sounds create that access in a way a lecture never could.

    In 2011, Dally taught a course in the Anglican ethos for 28 students. Rather than lecturing his way through the history of Christian worship, he created six prac-tica to allow students to experience the development of the liturgical tradition.

    We did a third-century house church Eucharist; a 13th century Latin mass; the Lords Supper according to the second Prayer Book of Edward VI; a Victorian choral Matins and a Eucharist with bread and water in a Nazi concentration camp, Dally says. Each practicum was placed in a sociological context: people chose roles from a hat that covered the spectrum of who might have been present at this liturgy in that time.

    The practica were open to the public

    and as many as fifty people joined us for each of them. The house church Eucha-rist was placed in Asia Minor during the Decian persecution of 251, and a guest to the gathering reports that his own com-munity was broken into during worship and tha

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