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Entering PSR student Jamie Michaels is due to complete a two-year mission for the United Methodist Church this August. During the mission, Michaels has helped establish a missions warehouse in Salt Lake City.
Roland Stringfellow comments on interfaith service, organized in part by CLGS's Bay Area Coalition of Welcoming Congregations, at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on the night before the California Supreme Court's decision on Proposition 8.
PSR Old Testament professor Jeffrey Kuan was one of four PSR faculty and staff among the 175 arrested after the California Supreme Court's decision upholding Proposition 8. He explains his participation in the civil disobedience here.
The California-Nevada Conference recently published a list of all Georgia Harkness scholarship award winners, including California-Nevada Conference pastor, Edna Andres. Georgia Harkness was the first woman theologian to teach in a Protestant seminary in the United States at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, and became PSR's first tenured female professor in 1950.
Rev. Roland Stringfellow, PSR alumnus and coordinator of the Bay Area Coalition of Welcoming Congregations for CLGS, commented that the huge participation in the service revealed the extent to which different communities wanted to stand by same-sex couples and support their cause. It was really overwhelming to hear that the participants were ready to get arrested if they were held guilty for civil disobedience if the court did not overturn the ban.
"What has been emerging for the last several years is becoming even clearer now: We're on a trajectory toward the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people," said the Rev. Jay Johnson, from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, and director of academic research at its Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry.
Johnson added: "It may mean, when there are breakthroughs in these churches, we see more breakaways."
PSR President and Professor of American Religion Bill McKinney said it's easy to cooperate with “modern” religions having similar views on issues like torture, the death penalty, and the rights of children, women, and minorities. “We know that we have common company in persons whose religion may be different, but whose attitude toward the modern world is somewhat like our own,” he said.
PSR's administrative assistant for field education and contextual learning, Maura Tucker, her partner, Patty Contaxis, and their now 13-year-old daughter, Brianna, tell the story of facing Brianna's brain tumor and surgery at age 3.
Paul Extrum-Fernandez, vice president for institutional advancement at PSR, writes about "Generous Leadership" in the May/June issue of the United Methodist Church's Interpreter Magazine.