“The Holy Land and Its Peoples” 2013: A Pilgrimage for Peace

In 2010, Dr. Melanie Duguid May, the John Price Crozer Professor of Theology, published Jerusalem Testament: Palestinian Christians Speak, 1988-2008.

PALESTINE-GRAFFITTI-1The book introduces the experiences of Palestinian Christians living in the Israeli-occupied territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank through public documents, statements and accounts of Palestinian pastors. Through this work, Dr. Duguid May has become increasingly involved in the work to find a practical resolution to the ongoing violence in that region.

The pilgrims who took part in “The Holy Land and Its Peoples” 2013 pilgrimage are continuing to share insights and thoughts about the Israel/Palestine conflict through a blog. Access it to join the conversation online by visiting www.crcds.edu/category/palestineisrael- 2013/

In early 2012, Dr. Duguid May began working with Dr. Mark Brummitt (Associate Professor
of Old Testament Interpretation), who has first-hand experience of Israel and Palestine, on plans for bringing CRCDS students, alumni/ae and friends directly to the region. The fruit of this work was “The Holy Land and Its Peoples,” an organized pilgrimage to the region to learn more about the conflict and the peoples—Christians, Jews and Muslims—it most impacts. Drs. Duguid May and Brummitt sought to incorporate a series of lectures and opportunities for spiritual reflection at the key Christian pilgrimage sites in the area.

The following two reflections were originally published in the Summer/Fall issue of The CRCDS Bulletin. The first is from Dr. Duguid May and it describes her relationship with the conflict in Israel/Palestine, the reasons she organized the pilgrimage and what she hoped the participants would gain from the experience. The second reflection is by Deborah Allen, a CRCDS student.

Continue reading

"Thoughts on Syria and a US Intervention"

The following is a reflection on the potential use of military force by the United States on the current Syrian government by CRCDS M.Div. student Kathy Thiel.

What comes to my mind when I think about the US becoming forcefully involved in the situation in Syria are the words of Martin Luther King Jr. on non-violence. What comes to my heart is sadness.  If the United States uses violence against Syria, we are ignoring faith of any kind that this situation will resolve itself without our intervention.

Continue reading

Alumna's Art Featured at Rochester Fringe Festival

This message originally appeared as an announcement from the American Baptist Churches of the Rochester/Genesee Region

K-SUDDABY-FRINGE2013This September at the Rochester Fringe Festival, Katie Jo Suddaby will be creating Sand Mandalas in the atrium of Geva Theater! Katie Jo is the Pastor of The Baptist Temple in Brighton. When not pastoring, she can be found creating delicate works of art by arranging thousands of tiny grains of brightly-colored sand.

Using her own designs, but employing Tibetan Buddhist techniques, Katie Jo crafts intricate works of art that are not to be missed. For the Fringe, Pastor Katie Jo will work a back-breaking 50 hours crouched over a rotating glass table. Come see the work take shape any time after 5pm on weekdays and after noon on weekends, September 19th through the 28th at Geva. (The works will be on display at Geva Theatre during the two days of Annual Gathering.)
More information at http://rochesterfringe.com/shows/show/sand-mandalas. Hope to see you there!

2013 Grad Julius D. Jackson Jr. Installed at Historic Western New York Church

This article originally appeared in East Aurora Advertiser on Aug. 12, 2013, and was written by Rich Ohler, Freelance Reporter

The East Aurora Christian Church, located on the northeast corner of Main and North Grove streets, will inaugurate its new pastor, Rev. Julius D. Jackson, Jr., in a worship service on Aug. 25 at 4 p.m.

Rev. Jackson succeeds longtime pastor amos acree (lower case intentional), who retired two years ago, and interim pastor Ken Neal. The public is invited to attend the service and then meet Rev. Jackson at a reception afterward. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Marvin McMickle, president of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, where Jackson received his Master’s of Divinity degree.

jd_jackson2-8-2013Although the inauguration marks the official beginning of Rev. Jackson’s tenure at the church, he has been on the job since May 20. From those first days, he’s been anxious to breathe some new life into the East Aurora Christian Church, especially as the congregation arrives at its 170th anniversary this October.

“First,” he said, “it’s important to understand that, now as before, all are welcome here. All faiths, all denominations, all orientations—regardless of your position in life, you are welcome. We are a Disciples of Christ church, affiliated with the United Church of Christ, but our doors are open to all.”

Read more here.


CRCDS Graduate Rachel McGuire Featured in The Democrat & Chronicle

Rochester's local paper, The Democrat & Chronicle, recently published an interview with Rachel McGuire, who graduated from CRCDS in 2004 with an M.Div. degree.

The below was originally published on August 12, 2013.

As a young girl, Rachel McGuire answered the call to become Roman Catholic. Later, after graduating from Cornell University and launching a successful business, she answered a call to become a Baptist minister. Now, at age 44, she’s the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church on Park Avenue in Rochester and finishing up her Ph.D. at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. Her church reaches out to city neighborhoods in many ways, including the planting and tending of gardens in abandoned spaces. She recently sat down with us to talk
about her faith journey, her church and helping those in need. Here’s an edited version of the discussion:

Q: Was your family religious?

A: Not at all. But I had a very deeply religious experience at the age of 7. Out of the blue, I was dragged off to church by my best Irish Catholic friend and had a really profound encounter walking into this church that honestly continues to shape my life today. I came home and informed my mother that I was going to be Catholic.

Q: How did she react?

A: She was pretty baffled but indulgent, and I was very devotedly Catholic for the next decade of my life, including sending myself to Catholic school, starting in seventh grade. I worked to pay for that.

Q:Did that continue through college?

A: In my senior year of high school, I got a little disillusioned. My mom gave me a copy of the I Ching, an ancient Chinese form of philosophy, and I dragged it off to Cornell. For the next 15 years that became my primary spiritual path.

Q: Then how did you become a Baptist?

A: After college, my former husband and I relocated our (Internet strategy) business to Ithaca, and I started attending First Baptist Church. I had read everything Martin Luther King had written, and I thought if King could believe all that stuff and be Baptist, maybe I could be Baptist.

Then I was sitting in our office in Ithaca in 2001 with our two dogs and just felt this deep pang in the core of my being that it was time to go to seminary. I Googled “Western New York Seminaries” and up pops the face of Martin Luther King on the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School webpage.

Read the rest of the article here.