Eden’s Press Hall tower witnesses to the presence and mission of the Seminary. Colors of the Deaconess Foundation shine from the Eden tower this week as the 2023 CDC Freedom School® concludes its final sessions of the summer.
The tower of the Press Hall at Eden Theological Seminary is a recognizable presence on the Webster Groves campus. Local neighbors as well as alumni and the community around the world often identify Eden’s campus with the iconic tower.
Lights in the tower also now witness to the mission of Eden Seminary through occasional displays that share particular stories. In June, lights on the tower expressed solidarity with members of the LGBTQIA+ community through a celebration of PRIDE. This week, the tower lights bear witness to partnerships that make possible a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School® for young scholars in Webster Groves.
Children and their leaders and families have filled the buildings and fields of Eden Seminary this summer with laughter, joy, curiosity, and learning. “The Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® are intergenerational, culturally competent summer programs, built on literacy, leadership and social advocacy. The curriculum is rooted in the Civil Rights Movement’s Freedom Summer.” It is an inquiry-based, multi-cultural, hands-on curriculum that celebrates African cultural concepts of the intergenerational village and “Harambe” and enables literacy building and critical reflection. Learn More here.
Peace UCC of Webster Groves leases space on the campus of Eden Seminary for congregational life, worship and programming, including the hosting of Freedom School® for 6 weeks in the summer. The Deaconess Foundation sponsors this network of CDF Freedom Schools® in the St. Louis area, joining Freedom Schools throughout the United States. “CDF Freedom Schools® provide meaningful engagement opportunities for congregations by placing them in proximity to the needs of children in order to inform faith-based advocacy.” Since 2016, Peace UCC has served as one of those St. Louis congregational hosts. Other host sites in the St. Louis area include Christ the King UCC and Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being.
With gratitude for the children and their leaders and families, for Peace UCC and for the Deaconess Foundation, the lighted tower at Eden Seminary bears witness.