From the President
The Great Uncovering
In the early 1970s, the National Gallery in London had just purchased a small, exquisite portrait attributed to Rogier van der Weyden, the great 15th century Flemish artist.
It's a picture of a scholar, dressed in furs against the cold. He is hunched over at an odd angle in three quarter profile, as if he were just about to tumble out of the picture frame. He holds a parchment manuscript in his hands. He has beautiful hands, long-fingered and elegant, a triumph of the artist's draughtsmanship and painterly skill.
The artist has positioned the document so that we viewers can see what the scholar sees, lettering so finely detailed and focused that it's almost legible. But it's not, any more than the man's own quizzical expression. The document rivets his attention. His eyes are large, deep, hooded. He stares with a gaze so intense that you can see the veins throbbing at his temple. At the corner of his mouth, you can see a small crowfoot wrinkle, almost like a scar. We can see him, but he won't see us. He is oblivious to us as our puzzled gaze invades his private space. It feels uncomfortable to look so closely at him, almost an invasion. He is at once fully exposed, and impassively removed.
Who do you think you are? Episcopalians often face that question, posed either as a rebuke or as an honest inquiry into our faith.
In a January 7-11 Seabury course and open-to-the-public presentation, the Rev. Dr. Dwight Zscheile, author of People of the Way: Renewing Episcopal Identity and a member of the Episcopal Church's newly appointed Task Force for Church Structural Reform, will explore the question of Episcopal identify and mission, looking at who we are, who we were, and who we are called to be.
When referring to the Episcopal Church, it's safe to say, You're not who you used to be. With a membership of less than one percent of adults in the United States, the denomination's position has changed since its heyday of power, prestige and privilege.
"The Episcopal Church saw itself for many years as the church of the establishment," Zscheile says, "but we are now living in an era when the church is rapidly losing its privilege in American society."
Read the entire story and register online for Professor Zscheile's course.
On January 9, Professor Zscheile will hold a public evening program, Meeting God in the Neighborhood. Register online.
Luce Grant Awarded for April Gathering
Restoring the Biblical Imagination: April 26-27
The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded the Bexley Seabury Federation a grant to support "Restoring the Biblical Imagination," a public event at Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) in Indianapolis on Friday, April 26.
"Many Christians find themselves unable to use scripture to ground discussions with people from other faiths, no faith, or different Christian perspectives," said Bexley Seabury Federation President Roger Ferlo. "'Restoring the Biblical Imagination' will explore how the growing number of Americans who identify with no religious group--the "nones"--are changing the way we understand ourselves as Christians and our scriptural traditions, and how we can form responsible Christians in this increasingly secularized world by reflecting on sacred texts with interfaith partners."
The afternoon seminar will be open to all and will include an address by Ferlo followed by workshops and discussion on the Biblical imagination in the secular world, the emergent church and across the Abrahamic traditions. Registration details and a full program will be announced in January.
The event will be followed on the morning of Saturday, April 27 with a Festal Eucharist to celebrate the inauguration of the Bexley Seabury Federation and the installation of President Roger Ferlo.
Learn more and read reflections from 2012 participants, and apply online now.
Kellogg School Summer Institute
"The Kellogg professors challenged me to think in different terms about church and ministry. We learned from the business world, which is where many Christians work every day."--The Rev. Amity Carrubba, executive director, Episcopal Service Corps
Our popular Kellogg Summer Institute returns as a three-day program tailored to meet the distinctive needs of lay and clergy leaders. Join us for lectures, interactive exercises and dialog with faculty at the Center for Nonprofit Management, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University that will:
Enhance skills for effective church leadership
Create and articulate a vision that values strong, dynamic Christian communities
Gain a deeper understanding of complex cultural change
Explore branding, marketing and funding
Develop concrete plans to further the vitality of your congregation
Register by December 26 to spend a week with us in Chicago
This course with Professor John Dally will explore the nature and practice of Anglicanism as it is expressed in works of art, particularly novels, plays, poetry and music spanning the 15th to 21st Centuries. Taking its cue from Evelyn Underwood's 1911 book Mysticism, "Embodied Grace" will apply her hallmarks of mysticism to Anglicanism itself: it is practical, spiritual, rooted in love, and experiential. Learn more and register online.
Visit our Events page to learn more about participating in some or all of this course for enrichment.
Nonprofit Management and Community Development: January 21-25
Money matters, and people want their money to make a difference. This course in nonprofit management and community development with Professor Susan Harlow will explore how mission focused fundraising and greater neighborhood involvement can breathe new life into congregations at a time when many are struggling with shoe-string budgets and the exploding social needs of their communities. Learn more and register online.
Anglican Theology and Ethics:
With some 85 million members in more than 160 countries, the Anglican Communion is defined by a diversity that sometimes causes headline-making conflict. Join Ellen Wondra, Seabury's academic dean, to get beyond the headlines and explore the rich theological and ethical debates that flourish in the Communion. By examining Anglican theologians from the 16th century through today, this intensive, hybrid course will discern how classic theologians continue to influence contemporary Anglican thought, particularly on issues including authority, the use of Scripture, conscience, and the Incarnation. Learn more and register online.
Join Professor John Dally for an experiential workshop with clergy, musicians, educators and anyone interested in a thoughtful exploration of the shape of Lent and Easter in Lectionary Year C.
Entering the Lukan Lent and Easter
Professor Dally in Cleveland and Chicago
What is constant, and what is particular to Year C? How do Lukan themes speak to our parishes, our local communities, our nation and the world? Participants will gain a deeper theological understanding of the Lukan Lent & Easter season that will help inform choices for preaching, music, liturgy and adult education and enrich the entire parish's Easter celebration. The Cleveland program will focus on Lent and Easter; the Chicago program will focus on Holy Week and Easter.
Friday, February 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm and Saturday, February 23 from 9 am to 2:30 pm
Anglican Liturgy and Music
Spring 2013 at Seabury
Why do Episcopalians worship as they do? Find out by getting inside, under and behind the history and theology of the Anglican/Episcopal liturgical tradition.
This course--a substantial part of which is offered online--is a required, core component of Seabury's Anglican Studies program, but it also will appeal to anyone interested in the principles and practices that shape communal Anglican/Episcopal worship.
Instructors: Therese DeLisio and Milner Seifert
Dates: Online work beginning February 4 with on-site weekend intensives from on February 15-16; March 15-16 and April 19-20. Classes meet Friday 1-9 pm and Saturday 8:15 am-4 pm.
Do you have news to share with your fellow Bexley and Seabury alums? Email Debbie Franz at Bexley or Ron Fox at Seabury.