50 Year Anniversary Header
January-March 2012



United's Alum E-News is a publication to keep alums connected with one another and to highlight happenings at the seminary. Alum E-News is generated from information by alums, so please send any news you would like to share for the next issue to klarson002@unitedseminary.edu by March 15.


Alum Notes


Now accepting Distinguished Alum nominations!

The development/alum relations office is now accepting nominations for the 2012 Distinguished Alum. Past recipients include:


2011 Kimberly Vrudny '95

2010 Susan K. Ebbers '78, Rick Yramategui '87
2009 Howard J. Vogel '78
2008 Peg A. Chemberlin '82, Herbert Zimmerman '46
2007 Paul Olm-Stoelting '46 '74
2006 Christie Cozad Neuger '80
2005 Gene E. Miller '83
2004 Robert H. Tucker '81
2003 Gary Reierson '78 '86
2002 Kathi Austin Mahle '78, Ernest Strandberg '67
2001 Sheila C. Gustafson '77, Helen Wells O'Brien '90
2000 Obid Hofland '68 '88
1999 John Heinl '61
1998 Thomas Townsend '60
1997 Eugene Grau '44
1996 Marva Jean Hutchens '80, Gary Miller '68
1995 Carla Bailey '81 '92, Hobart (Fid) Saylor '69

1994 Martha Ann Baumer '73, Nelda Lockwood '51, Alma Stepanek '51

1993 Vernon Jaberg '47, Fred Schneider '43
1992 Theodore Bader '51, Ralph Ley '39
1991 John Krueger '63


To make a nomination, please click here for the nomination form and more information. If you have questions, please contact Julie Brown at jbrown@unitedseminary.edu or 651.255.6111.


SAVE THE DATE: APRIL 25 & 26, 2012 

Celebrating the Unique Ministries of United: A 50-year Reunion

Join beloved faculty, staff, and classmates for a glimpse of the past, present, and future! Special events include small group sessions, an alum panel: "Voices across the Decades," an alum art exhibit, a reception honoring retired faculty, staff, and anniversary classes, and much more. P.S. Come the night before for a special 'preview' event.

Watch for more information to come soon! 


United Announces Search for New President 

Click here to


Recent Alum News


Rev. Dr. Vincent W. Carroll, Capt., USN, Chaplain Corps, (ret.) has finished his eighth season as pastor of The Little Stone Church, Mackinac Island, Michigan. This seasonal parish (May-October) has and will continue to be his church home. On return to their home in Florida, Rev. Dr. Caroll and his spouse, Molly, celebrated St. Paul's 150th Anniversary by preaching the morning sermon and hosting a luncheon and presentation of the six pastors who emerged from St. Paul's, Wheatland, Iowa. Rev. Dr. Carroll sends greetings to all his classmates of '68.

Tom Degnitz has changed jobs and is now the designated minister at St. Paul's UCC (Urban) in Herndon, Pennsylvania, starting January 2012. It has a membership of 350.

Rev. Dr. Deborah Lind-Schmitz (formerly Kastanek) is currently serving as interim head of staff at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Madison, Wisconsin. She completed three years as moderator of the Association of Presbyterian Interim Ministry Specialists (APIMS) and last spring (2011) she was elected as secretary of the executive committee of the Interim Ministry Network, an interdenominational and multifaith organization that trains transitional ministry specialists. Last fall (2011) Covenant Presbyterian Church hosted the ordination of Scott Anderson by the John Knox Presbytery and PC(USA).

Jean Bareis was ordained to ministry in the UCC on February 27, 2011. She is a chaplain at HospiceCare of Boulder and Broomfield Counties. Jean resides in Denver with her partner Carrie.

Margaret Lovejoy, founder and executive director of The Family Place in Saint Paul, Minn., was recently featured in an article by Minnesota Public Radio News. Click here to read the article.

Rev. Gage Church's congregation, Congregational UCC, Ogden, Utah, was featured as a spotlight church during Mission:1, the UCC's recent food-justice campaign. Click here to read more and see a video. 

In Memory and with Gratitude 

Rev. Gordon Tritchler '43 (Mission House) died November 15, 2011. He served in Portage, Wisc.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Youngstown, Ohio; Elgin, Neb.; Dayton, Wash.; and Wheatland, Wyo. Read obituary here.

Rev. Harry C. Stroessner '55, '84 died January 9, 2012. A celebration of Harry's life will take place from 2:00-4:00 PM on April 15, 2012 at Oak Ridge Hotel & Conference Center in Chaska, Minn. Read obituary here.

Hobart "Fid" Sailor '69 died at his home in Waunakee, Wisc., on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2011, just two days shy of celebrating his 56th wedding anniversary with his wife, Leah. Read obituary here.

Rev. Dee Dunn '85 passed away on December 29, 2011, at the Good Samaritan Society rest home in Albert Lea, Minn. Her daughter, Lisa Dunn, expresses that she touched a lot of lives in many ways and valued her time at United.
Read obituary here. 

Upcoming Events

Multicultural Lectures
Bishop Yvette Flunder
Monday, February 13, 7:30 PM
Tuesday, February 14, 11:00 AM
"Church as Usual or Church Unusual? Answering the Prophetic Call"
Yvette Flunder, preacher, educator, singer and author, founded San Francisco's City of Refuge United Church of Christ to unite a gospel ministry with a social ministry. She is also the presiding bishop of The Fellowship, a multi-denominational fellowship of 110 primarily African-American Christian leaders and laity. In these lectures, Flunder will bring her perspective of "radical inclusion" to United. Read more.

What's Next?
Do you know someone who is interested in attending seminary or discerning their call? Tell them about What's Next!

Thursday, March 1, 3:00-8:00 PM or 11:30 AM-8:00 PM 

or Saturday, March 10, 9:00 AM-3:00 PM

United's admissions staff welcomes you into conversation with other inquirers, current students, faculty, and staff to explore the possibilities open to you at United. What's Next? includes worship, stories, feasting, conversation, questions, and answers. Read more.

Susan Draper White Lectures in Women's Studies
Dr. Beverly Roberts Gaventa

Monday, March 12, 7:30 PM
"Listening to Phoebe Read Romans"

Tuesday, March 13, 11:30 AM
"Listening to Romans with Junia and Her Sisters"

Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Princeton Theological Seminary's Helen H.P. Manson professor of New Testament literature and exegesis, specializes in the interpretation of the Pauline epistles and Luke-Acts. In her lectures, Gaventa will bring her feminist theological scholarship to the reading of Romans. Read more.

"The Passion According to St. John"
The Bach Society & United Theological Seminary  


March 15, 7:30 PM 
Bigelow Chapel, United Theological Seminary 
An Evening of Reflection, Inspiration, and Music 

March 24, 5:30-7:00 PM 
Binz Center, St. Thomas University 
Dinner and a short program on the Passion performance with Clyde Steckel. 

March 24, 7:30 PM 
St. Mary's Chapel, St. Paul Seminary 
Experience one of Bach's greatest works in a context that plumbs the depths of its emotion and meaning.

Gustafson Lectures in Biblical Studies
Dr. William P. Brown
Monday, April 16, 7:30 PM
Tuesday, April 17, 11:00 AM
Dr. William P. Brown, professor of old testament language, literature, and exegesis at Columbia Theological Seminary,

has abiding interests in the use of scripture in the life of the church and contemporary theological discourse, as well as in the ancient cultural contexts out of which scripture emerged. Read more.  


Westminster Town Hall Forum

Parker Palmer

Thursday, April 19, noon-1:00 PM

Co-sponsored by United Theological Seminary 

Parker Palmer is founder and senior partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal. A writer, speaker, and activist, his nine books include, among others, Let Your Life Speak, A Hidden Wholeness, The Courage to Teach, and his newest, Healing the Heart of Democracy. In the fall of 2011, Utne Reader named Palmer one of 25 Visionaries "Who Are Changing Your World." Read more. 


Educational Opportunities


Academy for Vital Christianity
"The Church's Bible" with Marilyn Salmon
Saturdays, February 11 and March 10, 9:30 AM-3:30 PM
First United Church UCC UMC, Little Falls, Minn. 
In this class, we will learn how the Bible came to be and when. Participants will consider what it means for Christians to have sacred, or authoritative, texts. Read more.

The Institute for the Support of Pastoral Ministries
"Issues in End-of-Life Care" with Christie Neuger
Tuesday, March 27, 9:00 AM-3:30 PM

Caring for people at the end of life and helping congregants prepare for end-of-life concerns are key elements of pastoral ministry. In this course we will look at how to help people in the congregation have appropriate conversations about end-of-life issues, explore the role of advance directives, ethical wills, and intergenerational conversations about end-of-life preferences and preparation, and look at theological and spiritual issues associated with end-of-life meaning-making. Finally, we will discuss grief dynamics and grief care. Read more. 


In This Issue
Alum Notes
Recent Alum News
Upcoming Events
Educational Opportunities
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