How do you live out PSR's Tradition of Boldness?

PSR is known for its “Tradition of Boldness,” and recently the Alumni/ae Office asked some alums for their reflections on how they have lived up to this tradition in their various ministries. We now invite all members of the PSR community to post their own reflections.

Betty's Bench, PSR's online forum, is named for Betty Rumford, PSR receptionist from 1969 to 1999. Betty considered hospitality to be her ministry--making each visitor feel respected and valued. We dedicate this Web feature to her and invite you to contribute in her spirit. Postings that do not uphold this spirit will be deleted (as will anything commercial). Please identify yourself.

Pictured on front: Hilary F. Marckx


I tell Evangelical Christians that I am a Christian, too...

One way that I live out how I interpret PSR’s Tradition of Boldness, is that I am boldly a Christian. I am pastor of the Geyserville Christian Church in Geyserville, CA, and I am also a musician who spends a lot of my time playing in bars. I have ample opportunity to tell those who are anti-Christian that I am a Christian who follows in Christ’s bold tradition of affirming humans and loving them regardless of their life-style preferences—-straight, gay, liars, thieves, murderers, drug addicts, sexual offenders, even so-called “nice” people. I tell Evangelical Christians that I am a Christian, too, and that Jesus has loved me for all time, and that if there is a hell I would rather go there than spend eternity with the psychopath who invented it—-we are saved from fear, the judgment of others and of ourselves, and grace is for all, not just a select few.
--Rev. Hilary F. Marckx, PhD

Boldly living

Every day I am blessed with the knowledge that living is bold in and of itself for you see I am a paramedic who happens to believe that my ministry is on the streets of Los Angeles. I live with all people in Los Angeles and believe as we in our church believe that all folks should be respected and loved. If Jesus loved all who came to him, then I need to do the same; therefore, I will honor that Christian committment at all times.

My boldness shines when I am with a patient dying. My boldness shines when I'm working with Red Cross and the poorest of the poor in New Orleans or other places across America. My boldness shines as I live the word, as I try to be the best Bible people could read. My boldness shines as I pray for all of those who need my prayers and myself. I chose to live in love and not in fear and that too is bold beyond measure.

I noticed you said this is

I noticed you said this is "not verified"...well, Yes, this is verified...I said it

I'm now living in Santa Cruz at 2445 Harper Street,

Have a most blessed and extravagent New Year!!!!

Sondra Ziegler


PSR taught me to live boldly. As a gay man I had often been less than bold, but my years on Holy Hill nurtured my spirit and I left Berkeley in 1984 with the confidence and the knowledge that I was destined to be dealt with. Over 25 years, in the church, in the National Health Service and in the Education Service here in Wales I have honoured PSR's Tradition of Boldness. For four years at the beginning of this decade I was the chair of the LGBT advisory body to the Welsh Assembly Government in Cardiff... boldly challenging the misunderstandings, the misconceptions and the prejudices often so fervently held by politicians, policy makers and public servants.
John Sam Jones Class of 1984

re: Boldness on the 'Hill and beyond

As surely as our professors (and I lived in the day of Otwell, Foster, Leslie, Lebacqz, Rood, Steward, Napier, Wuellner, VonRohr, Smith, Adams, Brown, McCoy,Hogue, Conklin, Burdick, and the like) the ministries, guidance, caring and friendship of Betty Rumford, Connie Gilmore, Georgiana Moe, and some other very special people really nurtured and empowered many of us to be and do ministry. In that same yet quiet manner of caring and ministry I continue my work today, undaunted by the ghost of being asked to leave the church that nurtured and I served strongly and faithfully for almost 30 yrs. Being barbecued for NOT renouncing a long-time and legal marriage and abandoning my family in the name of "family values," the church jettisoned me, but PSR did not. I continue to pray daily for PSR in its quest and mission to be and remain in that Tradition of Boldness for the faith community and for the world in the name and spirit of faith. Deanna W. Smitha, Class of '79

A view from a Dinosaur in PSR's past

What do you mean my last comment is not verified? :) I believe that Archie Smith is the last person at PSR who was there when I was..and he was a newbie (he came aboard AFTER I became a student). The people of PSR MAKE A DIFFERENCE in the faith and lives of people. What happens beyond that is not usually ours to decide, being in the hands of God and the people to whom that ministry is shared. Be bold and be brave--and don't forget to duck! Boldness and bravery are not without their perils, so please don't be stupid and take a hit unless it's really worth dying for. Deanna W. Smitha/Deanna "Dee" Wendy Smitha, Class of '79.

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