Alumni/ae Notes

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1970s

Harold Schulweis (ThD 1972) has a new book, Conscience: The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2008), which examines the idea of conscience and the role conscience plays in our relationships to law, ethics, religion, human nature, and God—and to each other.

Sandy Gess (MDiv 1976) was elected to the board of the California Christmas Revels, a not-for-profit arts organization in Oakland. As their new director of outreach, Sandy coordinates the annual free performance for hundreds of SF Bay Area non-profits and their clients.

1980s 

Paul Jeffrey (MDiv 1980), a United Methodist missionary photojournalist, is co-author of a new book, Where Mercy Fails: Darfur’s Struggle to Survive (Seabury Books, 2009). 

Ruth Broeski (CTS 1981) is one of about 40 women in North America ordained as a Roman Catholic priest as part of the historic Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement, in which male bishops in Apostolic Succession began secretly ordaining some women as priests and bishops. The women bishops now publicly ordain women as Roman Catholic priests.

Jason Eberhart-Phillips (MDiv 1984) has accepted the position of health director and Kansas State health officer for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. He had been serving as the county health officer of El Dorado County, CA since 2006.

John Sam Jones (MDiv 1984) published an autobiography, Crawling Through Thorns (Parthian Books, 2008), about growing up gay in North Wales in the 1960s and 1970s, including his experience of “aversion therapy” in the North Wales Hospital in Denbigh, and his time at PSR. 

Susan (MDiv 1986) and Matthew (MDiv 1988) Schneider-Adams are both in their eighth year of ministry at separate UCC churches in Wisconsin.

Anne Dilenschneider (MDiv 1987) received the 2008 Executive Director’s Outstanding Leadership Award from Caminar, the mental health advocacy agency she works for as director of Eucalyptus House. In addition, Eucalyptus House received the 2008 Outstanding Program Award.

Lynne Hinton (MDiv 1988) announced the publication of her tenth novel, The Order of Things (St. Martin’s Press, 2009). Kirkus Reviews calls it “an oddly satisfying little novel. The emotional journey these two strangers make offers a spiritual truth about the power of confession and forgiveness.” Hinton is the pastor of St. Paul’s UCC in Albuquerque, NM.

1990s 

Lea Brown (MDiv 1990) fasts on the 25th of every month and will do so until the vast majority of troops are brought home from Iraq and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is ended in the United States. Each month she writes to members of Congress about her fast. Her most recent letter can be found at www.sfqlive.com/iraq.html.

Kittredge Cherry (MDiv 1990) wrote Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More (AndroGyne Press, 2007). While art that dares to show Jesus as gay or female has been censored or destroyed, Cherry gathered images from 11 contemporary artists from the U.S. and Europe into a book of beautiful, liberating, sometimes shocking art.  She also operates JesusInLove.org, an online resource for GLBT spirituality and the arts. 

Sharon Delgado (MDiv 1991, MA 1996) is a United Methodist clergywoman in the California-Nevada Annual Conference and founder and executive director of Earth Justice Ministries. She preaches, leads seminars and workshops, and speaks on peace, justice, caring for creation, and economic globalization. She is author of Shaking the Gates of Hell: Faith-Led Resistance to Corporate Globalization (Fortress Press, 2007).

Sally Hindman’s (MDiv/MA 1991) work as director of Youth Spirit Artworks was honored last December at the New Way Media Festival, sponsored by GTU’s Center for the Arts, Religion, and Education (CARE).

Jim Mitulski (MDiv 1991) participated as the field expert on religion, sociology, and homosexuality at the Engaged Scholars Conference, sponsored by Hartford Seminary and the Lilly Endowment.

Ronald Ferris (DMin 1995), a recently retired bishop of the northern Ontario diocese of Algoma, has left the Anglican Church of Canada to become one of the leaders of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), a group of breakaway parishes opposed to such issues as the blessing of same-sex unions.  

Laura (Smith) Gentry (MA/MDiv 1997) was named a Laughter Ambassador by Laughter Club International for her creative contributions to world laughter. In addition to being pastor of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lansing, IA, she opened the Iowa School of Laughter Yoga, produced a laughter workout video for children, a laughter workout CD for commuters, and has just released her debut album. Laura and her husband William (MDiv 1996) live in McGregor, IA.

2000s

Sharon L. Brandon (MDiv 2000) launched Heart to Heart Ministries, a performing arts program for youth, which works to give children a sense of confidence and help them realize that God has given them something of value. Their 2008 Christmas program included elementary, middle, and high school students, joined by the Cosumnes River Contemporary Gospel Choir as well as local soloists and gospel rappers, in a production of The Spirit of the Holiday: A Christmas Story.  

Joe McMurray (MDiv 2001) was installed as pastor at MCC Key West, FL on March 1, 2009.

James Latimer (MDiv 2002) is the new pastor at Community United Church of Christ in Reading, PA. He is participating in a pioneering church revitalization program of the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the UCC (PSEC) called Covenant Churches.

Mike Ellard (MDiv 2003) was elected president of the Council of Churches of Santa Clara County. He was also recently featured on a video by the AIDS Coalition of Silicon Valley to promote HIV testing.

Emily Goldthwaite Fries (MDiv 2004)   is now assistant director of Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) in Aurora,   one of the largest homeless shelters in  Illinois. She was interviewed for the book, Taking Back God: American Women Rising Up for Religious Equality, by Leora Tanenbaum (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008).

Roland Stringfellow (MDiv 2006) was a guest on a call-in program “Your Call” on KALW -FM in November, along with Jim Garlow, one of the key leaders of the “Yes on Proposition 8” campaign. Roland told listeners that the main way to change people’s opinions about LGBT people is to have the courage to “come out.”

Leanna Hamilton (MDiv 2007) is the newly elected pastor of MCC Santa Rosa, CA.

M. Judith Vandergrift (MDiv 2007) and Catherine Lauber (MDiv 2008) were both ordained as Swedenborgian ministers in Cambridge, MA in July 2008. Lauber is now serving in Derby, England; Vandergrift is ministering in Mesa, CA.

Tim Agar (MDiv 2008) was ordained on May 24, 2008 in San Mateo, CA. He has since relocated to the East Coast to serve as associate pastor of MCC of Northern Virginia in Fairfax, and transitional pastor of New Covenant MCC in Laurel, MD. His mother passed away in October at the Browns Valley Health Center in Browns Valley, MN.

Tim Hamilton (MDiv 2008) is the first clinic chaplain and the first gay chaplain at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. For the third year he is organizing the worship service, Tribal Revival, at the Southwest Leather Conference.