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

 

(Annual Bracke Public Lecture on Leadership)

Watch the Full Lecture here:

Spiritual Entrepreneurship: Faith Forward Social Innovation
This year
s Bracke Lecture featured a panel of innovative leaders in building communities, strengthening partnerships, and creating new ways to bring equity and human flourishing to the center of mission and ministry. Our three presenters are leaders in the emerging field of spiritual entrepreneurship: Rabbi Elan Babchuck, Melina Higbee, and the Rev. Darnell Fennell. 
 

This panel presentation was more than just a discussion; it was a confluence of shared ideas and experiences from each of their work, offering models of spiritual entrepreneurship that can address the challenges inside and outside the church walls. The panelist shared current practices, insights, and best practices to inspire and sustain efforts to create impactful and enduring solutions to the pressing challenges of our time. 

Speakers:

Rabbi Elan Babchuck is a trailblazer in the realm of spiritual innovation. As the Founding Director of The Glean Network, Rabbi Babchuck has dedicated his career to reshaping how spiritual communities engage with the modern world. He co-authors “Picking Up the Pieces: Leadership after Empire” (Fortress, January 2024). His book engages leadership and community-building dynamics in a post-empire society, offering fresh perspectives rooted in sacred texts and spiritual wisdom with examples from a host of contemporary spiritual entrepreneurs.  

Joining in the conversation is Melina Higbee, Dean of the Adese Fellowship, part of the UCC Church Building & Loan Fund. Dean Higbee’s expertise lies in nurturing entrepreneurial talent within faith communities. Her leadership of the Adese Fellowship is marked by a deep commitment to equipping faith leaders with the tools needed for social innovation and human flourishing at the heart of community transformation. 

The Rev. Darnell Fennell, Director of Social Entrepreneurship at the National Benevolent Association (NBA) of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), is rounding out the panel. Rev. Fennell’s work has been instrumental in integrating entrepreneurial principles into faith-based initiatives, first in Houston and now nationally with the NBA. His approach fosters grassroots community development and encourages new ways for the churches to address issues of equity and access in the spiritual entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Eden’s Press Hall tower witnesses to the presence and mission of the Seminary.  Red, green and black lights mark the celebration of Kwanzaa, December 26 through January 1.

 This 7-night celebration of family and community honors African American and Pan-African cultures and traditions. During Kwanzaa, families and communities gather to learn, share a feast, honor the ancestors, affirm bonds, and celebrate African and African American cultures.  Kwanzaa is a reaffirmation of the dignity of the human person in community and culture, the well-being of family and community, the integrity of the environment of human kinship with it, and the rich resource and meaning of a people’s culture.  Seven principles include umoja (unity), kujichagulia (self-determination), ujima (collective work and responsibility), ujamaa (cooperative economics), nia (purpose), kuumba (creativity), imani (faith).  

 Kwanzaa honors the Black Freedom Movement of the 1960s. The celebration gets its name from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwana and is rooted in first fruits celebrations found in cultures throughout Africa.  

Eden’s Press Hall tower witnesses to the presence and mission of the Seminary.  During this Christian season of Advent, the tower lights shine purple and pink for the candles lit during the four weeks before Christmas. One new light is lit each week. Advent marks the new year for the Church as a period of waiting and preparation. The four lights symbolize Hope, Peace, Joy and Love that are God’s gifts.  The four weeks of Advent lead to Christmas on December 25th with its faith assurance of God-with-us. The light of Christ is fully present. Jesus is born.

Hope, Peace, Joy and Love be with you. 

Eden Seminary’s College Speaker series launches with a great event at Lakeland University, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin on Monday, November 13th. Rev. Rebecca Turner, long-time Eden Contextual Education supervisor, spoke with students, faculty and the Lakeland community.  She sparked imaginations for the role of theological education and of congregations in social transformation for the common good. “Finding your Vocation for Social Justice”

Rev. Turner shared her personal story as leader of congregations and organizations active in addressing situations of immigration justice through sanctuary, reproductive rights, affordable health care, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA+ rights, food sustainability and more. Her role as a supervisor in Eden’s Contextual Education program has enabled her to mentor faith-based leaders who connect with local congregations in many ways. Lakeland student dialogue during the event engaged questions of involvement now and into the future through the variety of vocational paths open to them. Palpable energy filled the room.

Thanks to Lakeland University faculty – Rev. Dr. Karl Kuhn and Rev. Dr. Julie Mavity Maddalena – for your enthusiastic support and coordinating this opportunity to connect.

The Eden Seminary College Speaker Series is part of the Network Model of Theological affirmed by the Lilly Endowment “Pathways for Tomorrow” Initiative.

Dear Eden Students, Alumni, Congregations and Community Partners,

God’s heart breaks. We join this heartbreak.

The past weeks since the Hamas terror attacks and hostage-taking in Israel on October 7th and subsequent war on Hamas by Israel with widespread killing in Gaza have been times in the Eden Seminary community of deep grief and renewed actions for solidarity with traumatized and oppressed people.  We have seen this activated in our community and congregational networks, among alumni, and in our classes, worship life and faculty resources. We continue to pray and act for peace with justice- Just Peace.

The context of violence in Israel and Palestine is emerging as we speak. We see this not as a situation for unilateral statements that make a proclamation and move on, but for engaging in long-term deep relationships of solidarity and action. Here we share resources of the various ways and in various voices the Eden community is about that work.

With many people of Jewish, Muslim and Christian faith traditions, Eden Seminary reads our sacred texts to hold that the Sovereign God of all creation intends peace for the world. Just Peace – that comprehensive condition of economy, society, and culture in which the earth’s ample provision of resources is sufficient for the thriving of all people and creation. We grieve that the world God has made for peace, we have refashioned for war. It is in this context that we recommit to the work of Just Peace.

As a school of contextual teaching and learning, this moment matters. You, in Eden’s networks, classes, worship life are reflecting, preaching, praying, studying, and organizing.  Eden’s curriculum goal to support commitments and build skills for interfaith collegiality seems particularly urgent in resisting the religious nationalism and extremism undergirding this violence.

Eden students are thinking theologically about the Israel-Gaza crisis in classes.  In Professor Raquel Lettsome’s course Introduction to Bible,  students are engaging how Christians misinterpret and interpret the stories of  Israel’s Exodus and return from Babylon in ways that perpetuate violence and work for peace. Professor Sonja B. William’s Social Ethics students are examining their ethical positions and exploring how they put them into action.

In addition to teaching courses, Eden faculty are offering resources from the experience of various academic fields in the context of worship, teaching, and ministry.

Additionally, Eden alumni, church and community partners are active.

  • The Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza City attacked on October 19th is a partner of Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church Disciples of Christ and to other churches in Eden’s community and to the World Council of Churches. Attacks on other partners, including the St. Pophyrios Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza spark grief and condemnation. News and Resources here
  • Leaders in many denominations of which Eden alumni, students and communities are part have signed a letter led by prominent Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Arab-American groups. The statement condemns all violence against civilians by Hamas and the Israeli military. Read Full Letter Here 
    The letter urges U.S. policy makers to:

    • Publicly call for a ceasefire to prevent the further loss of life;
    • Prioritize the protection of all civilians, including by urgently securing the entrance of humanitarian aid into Gaza and working to secure the release of hostages; and
    • Urge all parties to fully respect international humanitarian law.
  • An interfaith text study group with St. Louis Christian and Jewish leaders met this week and is gathering monthly on the Eden campus.
  • “Just Peace” principles frame responses with the potential to make holistic and long-term change through the Just Peace hallmarks of (a) Friendship (b) Justice (c) Common security from Violence. Eden alum, Rev. Chip Jahn, emphasizes the efficacy of “non-traditional actors” including churches for Just Peace. His experience in war in Sri Lanka offers action steps in the current situation of conflict. Just Peace Principles and Story here.
  • U.S. Congresswoman, Corie Bush (MO 1st District) who received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Eden Seminary in 2022, introduced a resolution to the House of Representatives calling for an immediate de-escalation and cease-fire in Israel and occupied Palestine. Resolution Here 

We pray:
“Holy and Merciful One,
In the face of evil
In the midst of terror
In the wake of trauma
In the shadow of unspeakable violence
We pray to you for the capacity to pray for peace.

Peace for people in Israel
Peace for people in Gaza
Peace for people all round this violent and shaken world.
In your sovereign, creative, and restoring purpose- Holy One- may it be so”
-Rev. Dr. Deborah Krause, President, Eden Theological Seminary, October 13, 2023-

Cultivating a Culture of Safety in a Digital World
Nov 2, 2023, from 1-2pm CT

Pastors always need to be mindful of appropriate boundaries when engaging in electronic communications and social media interactions with youth.  This informative presentation will offer guidance and resources for pastors that can help protect their most vulnerable congregants as well as themselves. Presenters Beth Boyer Kollas, Risk Consultant with Praesidium, and Elizabeth Vance, Senior Loss Control Representative with Insurance Board will be online for this event.  This zoom event is free and open to anyone. Please register here.

This is the first event in a new series called Eden Amplify.  Amplify events are 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.