Commencement week at Eden Seminary includes theses project presentations by soon-to-be graduating students as well as an academic awards ceremony.

Congratulations and a job well done to the Eden students!

Congratulations to:
  • Ashton Paden-Uebinger, Honor Graduate Fellowship Award recipient
  • Adrian Hill & Shelly Adams, Grauer Award recipients
  • Matthew Miller, Senior Preacher Award recipient
  • Kim Hedge, Edith and Robert T. Fauth Book Award recipient
  • Michael Olson, Kenneth M. Cooper Book Award recipient
  • George Graham & Mark Schmitt, Kniker Family Book Award recipients
  • Christie Love, Warren H. Seyfert Memorial Book Award recipient
  • Michael Scott, Robert L. Tiemann Book Award recipient
  • Karen Kilty, Milton and Jesse Hoffman Book Award recipient

Giving thanks! By unanimous vote of the Tenured Faculty and Action of the Board of Trustees, Eden Theological Seminary has appointed Dr. Henry S. Kuo as Associate Professor of Church Histories and Historical Theology. Dr. Kuo received a Ph.D. in systematic and philosophical theology from the Graduate Theological Union/University of California in Berkeley (2019) with a firm grounding in the history of theologies. He also received a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey (2013) and M.A. in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago (2009). Dr. Kuo has served as Associate Professor of Religion, Ethics and Philosophy at Greensboro College in North Carolina and Director of the George Center for Honors Studies. He taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Christian ethics, Christian theology, church history, business ethics, and biblical studies. His primary research focus in on Christian ecclesiology (the theological study of the church). His work draws from historical studies read through the lenses of decoloniality and marginality.

Dr. Kuo is active globally in theological consultations of the World Communion of Reformed Churches. Dr. Kuo values Eden’s long history of excellence. He looks forward to joining this progressive seminary that trains students to be theologically-rooted leaders who can passionately engage their communities critically and thoughtfully while integrating their learning with their religious traditions, vocations, and the call for justice in society.

Dr. Henry Kuo will be moving to St. Louis. He begins at Eden in July 2024. The Eden community is excited to welcome Dr. Henry Kuo and his family.

This morning word began spreading through the Eden faculty, staff, and students that the United Methodist General Conference, meeting in Charlotte, NC, had just voted to eliminate the ban on “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy.  The conference voted to remove penalties against clergy who perform “same-sex marriages.”  Derrek Belase, delegate and Eden D.Min. student, texted, “We’ve removed harmful language and restrictions from the Book of Discipline!”  Matt Miofsky, delegate and member of the Eden Board of Trustees, posted a live video of the celebration outside the business hall showing the impromptu singing of “Draw the Circle Wide” and a brief speech of gratitude by leaders of the Reconciling Ministries Network. They recognized the long journey and the shoulders upon whom we stand in this moment. Throughout this week of meeting, the General Conference has been reversing many longtime restrictions against LGBTQ members. More potential changes are to come.

The reaction at Eden joins the celebration and recognizes this sacred moment.

Eden’s President, Rev. Dr. Deborah Krause:
“Eden Seminary, proud to be authorized by the UMC as school for educating their candidates for ministry, celebrates this important decision of the UMC’s General Conference to step boldly toward God’s justice for LGBTQIA people seeking ordained ministries. With prayers of gratitude for all who have worked and kept this hope alive, especially the directly impacted, we pray for the church and its people to move with joy into the grace filled future this day promises. With this historic decision, Eden is inspired anew for the church’s call always to be reforming toward God’s redemptive love and saving purpose we know in Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God!

Rev. Dr. Kristen Leslie, Eden’s Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care (Harold Peters Schultz Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care) and leader in the United Methodist Church,  invites us to join in her prayer. “Today the United Methodist world community opens its arms to full inclusion by affirming the worth and grace of our LGBTQAI+ members and seekers.  Today I:

  1. Grieve for those who we have harmed with our exclusionary policies
  2. Ask for forgiveness from those we have harmed
  3. Repent for our sin supported by exclusionary policies
  4. Celebrate with open arms my Queer colleagues in ministry who have taught me so much about resilience and refusing to give up on the UMC community.
  5. Look forward to openly celebrating weddings for queer-loving friends seeking to show us that love is love is love.”

Keep up-to-date on the General Conference through United Methodist News https://www.umnews.org/.

Historic gathering of the United Methodist General Conference has opened in Charlotte, North Carolina. April 23 – May 3, 2024.

Keep up with the latest news from the United Methodist General Conference www. umnews.org 

Eden is in the house! So many Eden alumni. Eden Trustee, Matt Miofsky, pastor of The Gathering and conference delegate reflected after day one, “There is a spirit of genuine cooperation and desire to make the church better. I’m hopeful that this conference we will finally make moves towards being a more just, open, and effective church.”

In the opening sermon, Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, outgoing president of the UMC Council of Bishops added clarity to the Conference theme  “…and Know that I am God” by quoting Eden’s Dr. Clint McCann on Psalm 46.  “Be still” in Ps. 46:10 may be best translated as “Stop it,” the ultimate ceasefire.

 

Bishop Bickerton proclaims that “God is in this place…  “Stop it. Just stop it. Stop the nonsense of a war. Stop the violence of yet another mass shooting. Or even just stop the hamster wheel of the way we’ve been going about this work and realize that God is here, available to calm our fears, focus our priorities and guide us into the promised land of a new day.”

 

Want to go deeper into “Be Still” as “Stop it”?  Check out Dr. McCann’s treatment of Psalm 46 in the “The New Interpreter’s Bible” Vol. 4 or in the “Working Preacher” online journal October 28, 2012 www.workingpreacher.org.

An upcoming book “Reading the Psalms Again for the First Time: A Spirituality for Justice-Seekers and Peacemakers” will include a section on Psalm 46.  Find more Clint McCann books at the Eden Seminary Bookstore 

Camping on the Quad: The Awe and Aesthetics of Nature at Eden Theological Seminary

Register here: eden.edu/events/awe-and-aesthetics-of-nature-festival/

Schedule:

Friday, April 5
2 PM– Registration and Camp Setup

  • Participants arrive and check in.
  • Set up tents and camping gear.

2:30 PM– Camping 101, Tent Building

  • Welcome Briefing
    • Welcome address and safety briefing.
    • Overview of the weekend’s schedule and important information.

4 PM– Opening Ceremony

5:30 PM– USFS- Urban Connections: Black Faces in Green Spaces

6 PM– DJ & Dinner on the Patio

7 PM– Black Liturgies: Cole Arthur Riley with Book Signing andPodcast Pastor: Kristian A. Smith of the Holy Smokes Movement for a Live Podcast

  • Cole Arthur Riley will be at Eden Seminary Friday April 5th and Christ Church Cathedral Saturday, April 6, 2024. Cole is the best-selling author of “This Here Flesh” and “Black Liturgies.” We’ll be talking healing, community, the sacred self, Black power and Black joy.  Kristian A. Smith of the Holy Smokes Movement will be at Eden to do a Live Podcast.

  • Co-Sponsored by:

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Saturday, April 6

8 AM — Registration and Camp Set Up, Welcome to the Day’s Activities, Breakfast Available

8:30 AM– Sunrise Shinrin-Yoku (Nature Therapy & Forest Bathing)

  • Enjoy sunrise nature therapy with gentle tai chi/qi gong movement for a dousing of embodied spirituality with eco-theologian and certified ANFT (Association of Nature and Forest Therapy) guide, Laura Weber, Ph.D.  Nature therapy stimulates the full sensorium, awakens awe, and offers participants restorative breath exercise while sharpening attention and focus. Practicing this traditional Japanese art of mindful immersion in nature offers a wide range of physical benefits and psychological healing, from lowering BP, heart rate, cortisol, stress, anxiety, and anger, to a boosted immune system with an increase in NK (natural killer) cell activity, improved quantity and quality of sleep, less pain, ability to cope with chronic pain, and increased feelings of well-being, gratitude and contentment. It’s a morning soak for the senses.

10 AM– Do Trees Tell a Story?
With Rebecca Hankin, Moreleaf.org

11 AM– Tree Wrapping Ceremony

AFTERNOON – Homecoming and Tailgating

12 – 1:30 PM– Lunch (Food, Relaxation at the Campsite, Games)
1:30 – 3 PM– Workshops, Demonstrations, Tabling

  • Youth Corner – Art in Nature
  • Follow Along Painting
  • Live Alumni Podcast
  • Games

3 PM– Free Time and Exploration
3:30 PM– Gather on the Quad
4 PM– Hush Harbors and Sacred Groves: A Conversation about Historical Resources for African American Congregations Outdoors

  • As part of Eden’s “Awe and the Aesthetics of Nature” event, you are invited to join Eden professor Christopher Grundy and Gabrielle Kennedy, Eden alum, pastor of Buren Chapel AME Church, and Interim Director of Faith HEALS, for a wisdom-sharing conversation about hush harbors, historical connections with African sacred groves, and the spirituality of congregations reclaiming the outdoors.

5 PM– Music, Road to Freedom Land
with Dr. Drew Hines, Missouri Department of Conservation “Relational Value”
6 PM– Dinner and Campfire Gathering

6:30 PM– The Movement ft Candice Hogue concert

8 PM– Dreaming Salon, InPower

Sunday, April 7

9 AM– Break Down Camp

10 AM–  Peace United Church of Christ Worship Service

The Seminary will illuminate the tower of the Samuel D. Press Educational Building in honor of the month of Ramadan. Muslims around the country and world will spend this most holy month in their calendar (that began with the March 10 sighting of the crescent moon in Saudi Arabia) fasting, praying, in acts of philanthropy and kindness, and reflection. The month celebrates the revelation of the Quran to Muhammed in Islam, and the observance of Ramadan stands in Islam as one of the five pillars of the practice of the religion. The tower lights will be lit from the evening of March 11 (after the first day of fasting) and will remain illuminated through April 9.

The Eden tower will shine with these colors to remember the observance of the Ramadan much of this month. For the period of the Western Christian observance of Holy Week and Easter, the Seminary will illuminate the tower in purple (for Holy Week) with the tower being dark Friday and Saturday PM, and illuminated in white Light on Easter Sunday. Following March 31, the tower will again be lit in green, turquois, purple, and gold through April 9, the conclusion of Ramadan.

While there are not fixed colors that represent the observance of Ramadan worldwide, traditional colors associated with the holiday season are greens, turquois, purples, and golds.

Eden Theological Seminary, as a school of the progressive Christian movement, affiliated with the United Church of Christ, is committed to forming leaders with capacity for interfaith collegiality in the practice of their religious faith, and is an institution committed to fostering interfaith collegial relationships toward pursuing justice and peace and the common good in the community and the world.

This was an Eden Amplify event, a series of free seminars covering a broad range of ministry topics for clergy, congregation members and the general public. Eden Amplify is about empowering today for impact tomorrow.

This seminar focused on the importance of community gardening as a faithful way to respond to community needs, discussing both why it’s so necessary, and how to start a garden at your church or organization.

Watch full seminar here:

Eden Seminary is giving thanks for invitations from area congregations to host faculty and staff preachers for UCC Seminary Sunday, February 25th. We celebrate these congregations – and so many others – that support theological education.  It was a day to celebrate the impactful ministries of these congregations. Eden says, thank you!

–Rev. Dr. Deborah Krause, Eden President:
“Honored and delighted to worship with St. Peter’s UCC Ferguson as we observed “Seminary Sunday” and shared fellowship and conversation following worship. The texts (narrative lectionary) challenged us to be “on the way with Jesus” (Mark 10: 32-52). I was encouraged to re-engage with the myriad community ministries of this congregation as it lives the gospel out in the world. Grateful for the congregation’s longstanding support of the Seminary and their serving as a Contextual Education site for so many students over the years – a true partner in theological education. In the legacy of Rev. Louis E. Nollau to the leadership of Rev. Patrick Chandler, Rev.
Josh Privitt, and Rev. Donna Smith-Pupillo(Parish Nurse) and the members today, this is a church that walks its talk and is on the way with Jesus.”

–Rev. Dr. Raquel S. Lettsome, Professor of New Testament and Womanist Biblical Interpretation
February 25th preacher at Howard University, Rankin Chapel | Black History Month  #faithservicejustice
Sermon “Keep Your Vineyard” from Song of Solomon 1: 5-6

–Rev. Dr. Mary Schaller Blaufuss, VP for Advancement & Communication
Loved worshipping with Columbia UCC, Columbia, MO.
Sermon  “Called for a Purpose”

–Rev. Dr. Clint McCann, Evangelical Professor of Biblical Interpretation
at Parkway UCC, St. Louis

–Dana McNamara, Interim Director of Admissions
at St. Lucas UCC, St. Louis and Ebenezer UCC, Augusta, MO

 

Seminex alum Darell Golnitz presents a collection of letters and documents for placement in Eden Archives to Deb Krause on Feb. 19, 2024.

Feb. 19 was the 50th anniversary of the walk out of faculty and students from the Concordia Seminary campus leading to the creation of Concordia Seminary in Exile. Eden provided space and support after the walkout so that Seminex could continue its educational program. Additional support was provided by St. Louis University. Christ Seminary—Seminex, as it was later known, was located in St. Louis until 1983. After disbursing its faculty to other Lutheran seminaries, it dissolved in 1987 upon the merger that created the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1987.

In the background of the photo is a print depicting St. Matthew by St. Louis artist Siegried Reinhardt that is displayed on the second floor of the S.D. Press Education Center. The print was given to Eden in 1976 by the Seminex faculty in appreciation for Eden’s support and hospitality after the walkout.

Seminex president John Tietjen, who was at the time president of Concordia Seminary, was presented with an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by Eden in May 1973.

2024 Spring Convocation April 4-5

 

Presentations, Reunions, Small Groups, Meals and More!

“Confronting Christian Nationalism: Creating Communities of Resistance and Hope”

Register here: eden.edu/events/2024-spring-convocation/

Schedule:

Thursday, April 4

  • 3:00 – 6:30 PM: Herbster Event (Alumni Classes 2019 – 2023) on Campus
    • “Conversation on Ministry In These Days” with Rev. Dr. Cassandra Gould and Rev. Dr. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr.
  • 4:30 – 6:30 PM: 50th Anniversary Reunion (Class of 1974) on Campus
  • 4:30 – 6:30 PM: Mixer Hosted by Student Cabinet Committee, Common Ground on Campus; All are Invited
    • Common Ground is a student cabinet organization for the Queer community and straight allies
    • 5:45 – 6:30 PM: Gateway Mens’ Chorus Performance
  • 7:00 PM: Opening Worship & Presentation on Campus and Online
    • Presenter: Rev. Dr. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., Adjunct Professor, Departments of Religion and African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University
    • Presentation: “Confronting Christian Nationalism: Creating Communities of Resistance and Hope” (Brueggemann – Kuhlenkamp – Schmiechen Lectureships)
  • 8:30 PM: Reception & Book Signing For All on Campus

Friday, April 5

  • 7:30 AM: Eden Black Alumni Association Breakfast & Worship; All Are Invited (Separate registration & payment required)
    • Preacher: Rev. Dr. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., Adjunct Professor, Departments of Religion and African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University
    • Sermon: “Resistance: From Rhetoric to Prophetic Action”
  • 9:00 AM: Worship (With Senior Preacher) on Campus and Online
  • 10:00 AM – 12:15 PM: Presentation & Panel Discussion on Campus and Online
    • Presenter: Rebeccah Bennett, Founder and Principal of Emerging Wisdom LLC
    • Presentation: “Seeding Healed Futures” (Brueggemann – Kuhlenkamp – Schmiechen Lectureships)
    • Panel: “The Awe of What Can Be”
    • Panelists: Rev. Dr. Cassandra Gould, Rev. Dr. Sonja B. Williams, Rev. Nikotemo Sopepa, Rev. Brian Kirk
  • 12:30 PM: Lunch & Conversation on Campus