Alumni/ae Notes

1960s

Nicholas Benton (MDiv 1969) is the founder, owner, and editor-in-chief of the Falls Church News-Press in Virginia and recently celebrated the publication of the 1,000th consecutive issue of his weekly newspaper. After leaving PSR, he began a lifetime crusade as an antiwar, anti-poverty, and gay and civil rights activist, motivated in part by the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy. His newspaper reflects his commitment to standing up for the underrepresented.

1970s

Jim Kitchens (MDiv 1979) started a new ministry in May as interim pastor at Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco, having just completed a six-year ministry as pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN. During his pastorate in Nashville, Second became the first More Light congregation in the Presbytery of Middle Tennessee.

1980s

Matthew A. Nelson (MDiv 1985) focuses on educating people about end-of-life choices and presented "The Personal and the Political: End-of-Life Choices" at the July 18 services at Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Appleton, WI. Nelson is on the national board of Compassion and Choices, a nonprofit organization that improves care and expands choice at the end of life. While at PSR, he saw several colleagues go through long and painful deaths from AIDS. Helping people suffering from terminal illness has been part of his ministry.

Stephen W. Ross (MDiv 1985) was featured in the Yamhill Valley News-Register in Oregon on May 28, 2010. Pastor of McMinnville United Methodist Church, he gave the baccalaureate address, “Life Interrupted,” at Linfield College commencement in McMinnville, OR.

John H. Vaughn (MDiv 1985) was appointed executive vice president of Auburn Theological Seminary last June. The announcement praised him for “over 20 years of bold and resilient religious leadership…from his entrepreneurial approach to grant-making for Black community change to his wisdom garnered at the frontlines of fundraising for grassroots organizing; from his spiritually grounded leadership to his bridge-building across religious divides.”

1990s

Junius Boyd Dotson (MDiv 1993), senior pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Wichita, spoke at the Baker University baccalaureate service in Baldwin City, KS on May 23.

Greg Ward (MDiv 1997) was among the more than 30 Unitarian Universalists arrested on July 29 in Phoenix, AZ during a non-violent civil disobedience in response to the passage of the Arizona anti-illegal immigration act.

Christine (Tina) Colcord (MDiv 1998) and Steve Haynes were married in February 2010—finally. They were high school sweethearts in Massachusetts and planned to marry after college. That 5-year plan became a 45-year plan. They married on Valentine's Day, with about 250 people in attendance. Tina’s son Jason was best man; 13-year-old grandson Nate was usher; granddaughter Emy (11) was a bridesmaid; and 9-year-old grandson Jack was Tina’s escort. Steve plays the 12-string guitar and sings lead in a barbershop quartet in Chico, CA.

Mary Jo Johnson (MDiv 1998) was recognized by Cambridge Who's Who for demonstrating dedication, leadership, and excellence in her multi-faceted career. Mary Jo is the owner of Day Springs Communications Group and is a shared cost specialist with a law firm.

2000s

Evelyn Vigil (MDiv 2000) had her sabbatical plans turned into medical leave while her physician established a treatment plan for blood clots. Evelyn notes that her first prayer (that "they figure out what's going on") seems to have been answered.

Jade Benson (MDiv 2001) and Mary M. Ganz (MDiv 2006) were called as co-ministers of First Parish Brewster in MA (one of the few same-sex couples called in co-ministry) at this year’s Unitarian Universalist General Assembly. Their first sermon at First Parish Brewster was on August 15. First Parish is an unusual religious community. Founded in 1700, its meetinghouse was known as the "Church of the Sea Captains" in the 1800s.

Jan Christian (MDiv 2002) was named the 2010 recipient of the Holmes-Weatherly Award at this year’s Unitarian Universalist General Assembly. The award is given to an individual or organization, not necessarily a Unitarian Universalist, whose life-long commitment to faith-based social justice is reflected in societal transformation. Past recipients include Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Planned Parenthood.
 
Julie Stoneberg (MDiv 2003) was elected as president of Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada, the Canadian Chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association at this year’s Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in Minneapolis, MN.

Emily Goldthwaite Fries (MDiv 2004) and her husband Tim Fries went to Israel in June to work at the Tel Rehov excavations for five weeks. Emily was in charge of the dig office, and Tim worked the field assisting with the excavation and supervision of new volunteers. Emily is now working for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) as assistant to the director of the Lutheran schools and will be a missionary through the United Church of Christ, placed with this Lutheran partner organization. 

Stephanie Gameros (MDiv 2009) utilizes her unique gifts of singing and guitar playing in her chaplaincy work. Through music and song, she is able to provide comfort to those who may not wish to or are unable to speak to a chaplain. “In singing chaplaincy I found my own niche to use the gifts God has given me,” says Gameros. 

Masato Kato (MA 2009) had an article, based on his MA thesis at GTU, published in Tenri Journal of Religion in Japan. The article is a critique of the theories of Asian American religions.
  
Megan M. Rohrer (MDiv 2005) and Zander Keig (MTS 2004) edited Letters for my Brothers: Transitional Wisdom in Retrospect. The book features essays from transmen mentors who share the wisdom they wish they would have possessed when beginning their journey into manhood. Twenty percent of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the National Center for Transgender Equality.