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January - February 2013
Welcome to Alum E-News
United's Alum E-News keeps alums connected with one another and highlights happenings at the seminary. In this issue you'll find links to news about alums, events at United, and alum resources. If you have questions, comments, or news to share, contact Kayla Larson at klarson@unitedseminary.edu.
Distinguished Alum Nominations Now Being Accepted


Do you know an alum who has demonstrated exceptional achievements and has special qualities in her/his ministry in the church and/or society? If so, nominate her/him for the 2013 Distinguished Alum Award!


The Distinguished Alum needs to have graduated at least 10 years ago from United, Yankton, or Mission House Seminary. A committee of the United Alum Council selects the Distinguished Alum Award recipient, who is recognized annually at the Spring Convocation Reception & Dinner. More Information


Nomination Form


Leave a Memory on United's Bigelow Chapel Courtyard
Bigelow Chapel courtyard
United's Milestones & Memories paver project will complete the Bigelow Chapel courtyard, creating a beautiful, expanded space for outdoor gatherings, contemplation, prayer, and more. 

Leave a memory or tribute to a loved one or special person(s) in your life by purchasing and inscribing a paver to be installed in the courtyard. 

Pavers are $150 for an 8" x 8" and $750 for an 8" by 16". The pavers will be installed in the spring/summer of 2013. More Information

Recent Alum News and Events

Kimber Olson and fellow artist Gail Katz-James worked with 500 5th grade students in Eden Prairie this past fall teaching fiber arts and wetland environments in a program funded by the Minnesota State Arts Board. The show is opening January 13 at the Eden Prairie Art Center.

Bryan Olson was installed as pastor of Cottage Grove United Church of Christ on January 27.

Grace Anderson is now a full-time chaplain at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis. She took the position after completing a one-year residency with HealthEast where she worked as a chaplain at Bethesda Hospital.


"Grace," a play written by alum Craig Wright and starring Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington, and Ed Asner recently concluded performances on Broadway. Website

Doug Federhart is leading a two-part series titled, "It's Your Life Calling: Renewing Your Sense of Purpose in the World." February 16 and 23, 9:30-11:30 AM at WomanWell in Saint Paul. More Information


Byron Perrine has edited a new book,The Religion that Shaped America, available at Amazon.com.

In Memory and with Gratitude




Rev. Dr. Meredith J. Sprunger passed away on April 17, 2012. Dr. Sprunger graduated from Mission House Seminary in 1940. Read the obituary.




Carole Lloyd, ordained Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), died January 1, 2013. Carole lived in Cambria, Wis., with her husband, Neal Lloyd, also ordained Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Read the obituary.




Juanita Palmerhall died December 20, 2012. She was both a United graduate and an adjunct professor. Read the obituary.


Friends of United


Harriet Spencer, open-hearted, gracious and generous friend and trustee emerita, died at home peacefully on December 23. A memorial service was held January 14, 11:00 AM, at Wayzata Community Church. Read the obituary.


Alice Strobel, secretary to United's founding dean, Louis Gunnemann, registrar, and director of academic services, died at her home on December 15. Her fondness for United and ours for Alice was a love affair that lasted 50 years. A service in her memory will be held in the spring. Read the obituary.


Paul Schilling, emeritus trustee, passed away on November 20 in Carefree, Ariz. Paul and his wife Mary established the Paul K. and Mary L. Schilling Chair in Leadership and Economic Life of the Church. Read the obituary.

Upcoming Events of Interest

Greta Oglesby
Kirk Whalum
"Readings and Reflections on Love" featuring
Tuesday, February 5, 7:30 PM
Bigelow Chapel

All we need is Love! This annual event of music and readings celebrates the universal themes of all kinds of Love -- from romantic love to love of family, pets, God and nature. This year's musical headliner is acclaimed actress and singer Greta Oglesby, accompanied by Sanford Moore on piano, in a song-filled tribute to the subject of the evening. It promises to be a room full of love with added readings by performer Dennis Spears, architect Joan Soranno (who designed our venue, Bigelow Chapel), and United board member Benjamin Oehler. Learn More 

In concert: Grammy-winning jazz sax composer and musician
Friday, February 8, 7:30 PM
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church

United's multicultural program presents Kirk Whalum's "The Gospel According to Jazz" in a community concert, free and open to the public. Kirk, an ordained minister, has collaborated with such industry giants as Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, Barbra Streisand and the late Whitney Houston. He won a Grammy for Best Gospel Song, "It's What I Do," featuring Lalah Hathaway. Join us at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church for a jazz-filled gathering you don't want to miss. 

Christie Neuger
Sam King
Eunjoo Mary Kim
Institute for the Support of Pastoral Ministries
Narrative Resources in Pastoral Care and Counseling
Tuesday, February 12 
9:00 AM-3:30 PM
Strobel Room, United

Led by Christie Cozad Neuger, this course focuses on Narrative Counseling theory and the resources it offers to pastoral caregivers. Narrative Counseling is deeply respectful, relies on a consultative rather than an expert model, and is elegant in its simplicity and thoroughness. Particularly well-suited to parish pastors and pastoral care specialists, but open to the public.


Writing and Mindfulness
Tuesdays, February 19, 26; March 5, 12, 26
1:30-3:00 PM
Art Studio, United

Take time during Lent to delve into writing as a spiritual practice. Popular author and writer Sam King will help you sharpen your attention and gain new insights. Then watch as your writing becomes a form of prayer and meditation that's carried into your daily life and work. Learn More

Susan Draper White Lectures in Women's Studies featuring
Eunjoo Mary Kim

This year's lectures feature Eunjoo Mary Kim, professor of homiletics and director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Iliff School of Theology in Denver.

Monday, March 4
7:30 PM
"Women Preaching: Seeking a New Paradigm"

Tuesday, March 5
11:00 AM
"Preaching between the Global and the Local"

Global Travel with United

Phillipines boat ride
Global Justice trip to the
June 10-24, 2013

This trip offers participants an opportunity to broaden their understanding of our global realities as well as deepen their commitment to greater well-being in the context of our highly globalized world. In particular, participants will be offered the privilege to live with the Filipino people, listen to their stories, learn about people's movements, share their faith and hopes, engage in dialogue about global issues, and explore ways of global solidarity. Moreover, participants will be exposed to the life and ministry of churches in the Philippines, and they will have the opportunity to explore or strengthen church partnerships.
Informational Meeting
Monday, February 4
12:00-1:30 PM
United Theological Seminary 

For more information, click here, or contact trip leader Eleazar Fernandez at efernandez@unitedseminary.edu or 651.255.6131.

Pilgrimage to
Scotland (including Iona)
October 4-12, 2013

For centuries, pilgrims have made their way to the Isle of Iona, in the Inner Hebrides and off the coast of Western Scotland.  Here, they have listened to the heartbeat of God in the wild wind, foaming sea and rugged landscape while walking in the footsteps of St. Columba and each other.   Journey to Edinburgh, Melrose Abby, Lindisfarne, Iona and other sacred and holy places.


Rev. Martha Postlethwaite, chaplain and associate professor of spiritual formation at United and Ramona Scarpace, seminarian at United and teacher of Celtic spirituality, will lead the pilgrimage. Pilgrimage arrangements are through CrossingBorders, a company that specializes in pilgrimage travel. 


For more information, contact Martha at mpostlethwaite@unitedseminary.edu.


Current Travel in South Africa

A dozen United students, alums and friends recently arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, for a theological reflection on AIDS, apartheid, and the arts of resistance. They are led by professor Chris Smith along with Kim Vrudny, a United graduate and faculty member at the University of St. Thomas. You can follow their journey on their blog: utsglobaltrips.com. We hope you will post comments and questions as you follow their journey.


Resources and Opportunities for Alums

Make a Gift
The Annual Fund and Scholarship Fund are vitally important to United's work. Make a gift today to support theological education at United.

Alum Resources
United has many resources available to alums, including a job opportunities page, information on auditing a class, D.Min. program information, the Academy for Vital Christianity, etc.

Update Your Information
At United, we do our best to stay in touch with our alums. That means we need your help in keeping our records up to date. Please let us know if you have a new address, phone number, name, etc.

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