CRCDS Students Sara Campbell and Brae Adams provide pastoral leadership at Open Arms Metropolitan Community Church

Sara Campbell and Brae Adams, Masters of Divinity students at CRCDS, were recently highlighted in the November 2014 edition of The Empty Closet, a monthly publication of the Gay Alliance. Both say they are thrilled with the opportunity to talk about the church, their mission and their goals.
Sara, who will obtain her M.Div. in May 2015, says, “We at Open Arms are trying to talk openly about these issues and how we are called to act on them. Not just LGBTQ issues but gun violence, systemic poverty, homelessness, racial issues, the school to prison pipeline, border issues . . . these are the issues the gospel wants us to talk about and create change around.”

Brae, who is on track to receive her M.Div. in May 2016, works in other types of community outreach and also has a holistic view of ministry. In addition to starting a limited food cupboard, Brae helps people access community resources such as housing.

Both students say the diversity of their skills is the best thing for making connections in the community. Brae says, "Sara does outreach to college-age through 30's people, who maybe aren't that interested in a traditional service. The service has a modern feel to it, encouraging participants to interact with the preacher, both through their smart phones and direct questions.  I lead the Sunday morning service and hold the monthly Agape Potluck on Sunday evenings."

Above all, they say, Open Arms Metropolitan Community Church is completely inclusive and not just 'affirming'. Sara says, "OAMCC has gotten beyond what people think of us and is focusing on how to serve others . . . it doesn't matter what our opinions are, only that we are serving others.  That's 'Radical Hospitality'.  We show our hospitality to all."

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Kairos Students Experience Gaza Cooking

Dr. Melanie Duguid-May's students had a literal hands-on learning experience this week.

Students enrolled in her new course, Cry For Repentance, Cry for Hope, part of the CRCDS Kairos Master's track program (offered again in the Fall of 2016) prepared and shared an authentic Palestinian meal based on the book, "The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey."kairos meal

The book is based on two women who traveled to Gaza in 2010 to collect and compile traditional Palestinian recipes from the historic Gaza district, using food as a narrative device to explore both the impact of the Palestinian exodus of 1948, and the stories of those erased towns and villages. They also wanted to investigate the current situation: the conflicts, being in the "largest open air prison in the world," agricultural policies, restrictions on fishing zones, and access to farms.

Most importantly, the women wanted to profile other women, to put a human face to the Palestinian story. In a place where women can control so little about their lives, the one place they exercise authority is their kitchen.

Students prepared recipes from the cookbook including hummus, soup, bread and dessert, while contemplating the plight and strength of the Palestinian women.

Pictured, left to right, are students John Bowens, Debbie Allen, Sara Campbell, Nicole Iaquinto, Andrea Abbott, Ray Allen, Jamal Young, Pat Wheelhouse, Robert Hoggard and Professor Duguid-May.

Thanks to Dr. Stephanie Sauve, Vice President for Academic Life, and to Nicole Iaquninto, Student Cabinet President, who shared these photos. kairos class