Archives

This fall, St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute is holding monthly Theology Town Hall meetings. You can view recordings of past town halls on the EI’s YouTube channel. For more information on upcoming Theology Town Halls, please contact Dr. Rebecca Hancock

UPCOMING THEOLOGY TOWN HALLS

“Leading Leaders in a Time of Pandemic”
Wednesday, October 21, 12:00 p.m.
“Outsider Within”
Wednesday, November 18, 12:30 p.m.
The Rt. Rev. Carl Walter Wright
Bishop Suffragan for Armed Forces &
Federal Ministries of the Episcopal ChurchCarl Walter Wright
Rev. Vanessa Lovelace, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean
Lancaster Theological Seminary
Vanessa Lovelace
The Rt. Rev. Carl Wright is Bishop Suffragan for Armed Forces and Federal Ministry for the Episcopal Church. Next semester, he will be one of the presenters for the EI’s Leading Leaders course in the DMin program. His theology town hall focuses on the topic, “Leading Leaders in a Time of Pandemic.” 

Join the Town Hall

Dr. Lovelace is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and Dean and Vice President of Lancaster Theological Seminary, a school with which the EI has a partnership providing a pathway to the MDiv. Her teaching and research interests include interpreting biblical texts using literary criticism and theory of gender and nation through a womanist lens. The November Theology Town Hall will focus on her current research project, a monograph titled Outsider Within: A Womanist Reading of Hebrew Bible Narratives as the Politics of Belonging

Join the Town Hall

PREVIOUS THEOLOGY TOWN HALLS

“Might from the Margins”
Rev. Dennis R. Edwards, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of New Testament, North Park Theological Seminary


Dr. Edwards is professor of New Testament and Biblical Greek at North Park Theological Seminary and also teaches in the EI’s DMin program. He holds an MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a PhD in Biblical Studies from The Catholic University of America. He has been in urban ministry for three decades, and has started churches in Brooklyn, NY and Washington DC. In the September Theology Town Hall, Dr. Edwards discusses one of his newest books, Might from the Margins: The Gospel’s Power to Turn the Tables on Injustice



 

 

 

President-Rector’s Statement on Gov. Hogan’s Consolidated Transportation Program

St. Mary’s Seminary & University Statement on
Governor Larry Hogan’s Draft Consolidated Transportation Program

September 28, 2020

 

Rev. Phillip J. Brown, P.S.S., President-Rector of St. Mary’s Seminary & University, released this statement in response to Governor Larry Hogan’s draft Consolidated Transportation Program:

“As the President Rector of St. Mary’s Seminary & University, the oldest Roman Catholic Seminary in the United States, and an anchor institution in Baltimore City, I ask Gov. Hogan to reconsider the recently proposed cuts to operating and capital funding for the Maryland Transit Administration. These cuts, which include cuts in routes and services, would have a negative impact on the residents of the Greater Baltimore region who are dependent on public transportation. St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute has been educating men and women of the greater Baltimore region since 1968. Many of these students as well as some of our staff members rely on public transportation to get safely to both school and work.”

Read the full letter HERE


Welcome New Seminarians!

Fr. Phillip Brown, P.S.S., President-Rector, the Faculty and St. Mary’s Seminary & University Seminarians welcomed 30 men to formation at America’s first Roman Catholic Seminary on August 21st.  This year’s incoming class is the largest in over a decade. The Introduction to Seminary Life program concluded with a retreat for the entire community and Opening Covenant Liturgy, which was celebrated by Most Rev. William Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore.   

The Mass was live-streamed and can be here.

View the gallery:


Blessing of New Seminarian Life Wing

Fr. Phillip Brown, P.S.S. blessed the new seminarian life wing on Monday, August 31st.  Fr. Brown thanked the team from EwingCole Architects and Lewis Contractors who completed the project this summer in time for the return of all the seminarians.   The Blessing was videoed and can be seen here:


Lament: Prayer of Pain and Hope – Resources from Dr. Rebekah Eklund

The July 1 Theology Town Hall featured Dr. Rebekah Eklund, who teaches in the Ecumenical Institute’s DMin program. A theologian and New Testament scholar with expertise in Christian lament, she is the author of Jesus Wept: the Significance of Jesus’ Laments in the New Testament (T & T Clark). Responding to her presentation was DMin student Sarah Batley, whose ministry context is the Araminta Freedom Initiative, which works to end human trafficking and bring healing to its victims.

Dr. Eklund offered this bibliography for persons who want to know more:

Billman, Kathleen D., and Daniel L. Migliore. Rachel’s Cry: Prayer of Lament and Rebirth of Hope. Cleveland, OH: United Church, 1999.   Focus on pastoral theology and the practice of ministry.

Brown, Sally A., and Patrick D. Millers, editors. Lament: Reclaiming Practices in Pulpit, Pew, and Public Square. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2005.  Several good essays in here from different perspectives – NT, Theology, etc.

Ellington, Scott A. Risking Truth: Reshaping the World through Prayers of Lament. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2008.  Great study of lament, especially as it relates to the church today.

Rah, Soong-Chan. Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2015.  Reads Lamentations through the lens of modern-day injustices.

Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Lament for a Son. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987.  Thoughts on grief and faith after the loss of a son to a climbing accident.


Ten Ways to Strengthen Relations with Police and Public Safety Officials

Rev Dr C Anthony HuntThe following was developed by longtime EI faculty member and pastor of Epworth Chapel UMC the Rev. Dr. C. Anthony Hunt and shared as part of his presentation on “Police, Protest & Possibility” for the virtual #TheologyTownHall held Wednesday, June 17, 2020. [Join us at noon on Wednesdays for Theology Town Halls led out by different members of the EI community.]


One key to a church’s vitality is the quality of the relationships it establishes with a broad spectrum of leaders and institutions throughout its community. One of the most important set of relationships a church can develop is with police and other public safety officials. Recent well-publicized police-involved shootings and deaths, and the shootings and deaths of a number of police officers around the nation, have stained police-community relations and resulted in unrest in many areas.

Working proactively rather than reactively to strengthen a church’s relationship with its surrounding community and with police engenders trust. It also helps improve the quality of life for persons living and working in particular communities. It is a part of the theological task of churches to “seek the welfare” (shalom, peace, well-being) of all people in their respective communities (Jeremiah 29:7). Individuals, churches, groups, organizations, institutions, and even governments can promote the wellbeing of communities by making a sincere commitment to strengthen the relationship between the church, the community, and the police.

Here are ten ways that individuals, churches, and other community organizations can work toward strengthening these relationships.

  1. Pray for the police serving your community.
  2. Pray for and publicly affirm the police and other public safety officials who are members of your congregation.
  3. Know your community police officers by name, and keep their contact information readily available. Schedule regular meetings with community police officers to establish and strengthen relationships.
  4. Participate in periodic drive-arounds and community walks with police and community leaders.
  5. Invite police to community events held by the church, such as back-to-school events, community meals, and food giveaways.
  6. Include local police on the distribution lists for the church newsletter and email communications.
  7. Seek to collaborate with community entities like the Chambers of Commerce, NAACP, community associations, PTAs, and other churches in the community across denominations and faith traditions to address common interests and concerns regarding policing and public safety.
  8. Invite community police to speak to youth and young adults in the church.
  9. Educate youth and adults on appropriate conduct if stopped by police. 
  10. Assist police departments in the recruitment of qualified persons in the congregation and community who would serve well as uniformed police officers, especially women and minorities who may be underrepresented.

[DOWNLOAD AS PDF]

SOCIAL JUSTICE READING LIST
(download as PDF)

 

Alexander, Michelle
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Alinsky, Saul
Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals

Baker-Fletcher, Garth
Dirty Hands: Christian Ethics in a Morally Ambiguous World

Beckford, Robert
God of the Rahtid

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich
The Cost of Discipleship

Brown, Claude
Manchild in a Promised Land

Canon, Katie
Katie’s Canon: Womanism and the Soul of the of the Black Community

Coates, Ta-Nehisi
Between the World and Me

Cone, James
A Black Theology of Liberation
God of the Oppressed
The Cross and the Lynching Tree

Davis, Angela
Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement

Diangelo, Robin
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism

Du Bois, W.E.B
The Souls of Black Folk

Dyson, Michael Eric
Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America
The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America

Freire, Paulo
Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Gunning Francis, Leah
Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community

Harding, Vincent
Hope and History: Why We Must Share the Story of the Movement

Hendricks, Obery
The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus’ Teachings and How they have been Corrupted

Hunt, C. Anthony
Blessed are the Peacemakers: A Theological Analysis of the Thought of Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Come Go with Me: Howard Thurman and Gospel of Radical Inclusivity
I’ve Seen the Promised Land: Martin Luther King, Jr, and the 21st Century Quest for the Beloved Community
And Yet the Melody Lingers: Essays, Sermons and Prayers on Religion and Race, vol. 1
My Hope is Built: Essays, Sermons and Prayers on Religion and Race, vol.2
Stones of Hope: Essays, Sermons and Prayers on Religion and Race, vol. 3

Jacobson, Dennis
Doing Justice: Congregations and Community Organizing

 

Johnson, Cedric
Race, Religion and Resilience in the Neoliberal Age

Jones, William R.
Is God a White Racist?

Kendi, Ibram
How to Become and Antiracist

Lebacqz, Karen
Justice in an Unjust World

Lebron, Christopher
The Making of Black Lives Matter

Kelsey, George
Racism and the Christian Understanding of Man

King, Jr., Martin Luther
Suffering and Faith” in The Christian Century (April 1960)
Strength to Love
Where do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
Why We Can’t Wait

McMickle, Marvin
Pulpit and Politics: Separation of Church and State in the Black Church
Where have all the Prophets Gone?: Reclaiming Prophetic Preaching in America

Recinos, Harold
Jesus Weeps: Global Encounters on Our Doorstep

Smith, Kenneth and Ira Zepp, Jr.
The Search for Beloved Community: The Thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Stevenson, Bryan
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Stone, Nic
Dear Martin

Tatum, Beverly
Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria

Townes, Emilie
A Troubling in My Soul: Womanist Perspectives on Evil and Suffering

Thomas, Frank
How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon

Thurman, Howard
Jesus and the Disinherited
The Luminous Darkness: A Personal Interpretation of the Anatomy of Segregation and the Ground of Hope

Jim Wallis
America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America

West, Cornel
Prophecy Deliverance
Race Matters

Williams, Chad, et. al., eds.
Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and Racial Violence

Williams, Reggie
Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance

X, Malcom
The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Young, Josiah U.
No Difference in the Fare: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Problem of Racism


Rev. Robert F. Leavitt Awarded First Place

St. Mary’s Seminary & University is pleased to announce that Rev. Robert F. Leavitt, France-Merrick University Professor of Systematic Theology, has been awarded First Place in the category of theology for books published in 2019 by the Association of Catholic Publishers for  The Truth Will Make You Free: The New Evangelization for a Secular Age  (Liturgical Press). As many of you know Fr. Leavitt was President-Rector of St. Mary’s for 28 years prior to his retirement in 2008. St. Mary’s is extremely proud of Fr. Leavitt receiving First Place for this significant and influential contribution to the literature on The New Evangelization in the context of modern secular societies.

Please see the full announcement here:

https://www.catholicpublishers.org/2020-publishing-award-winners#Theology




25th Anniversary of Ecumenical Encyclical, Ut Unum Sint

St. Mary’s Seminary & University has long embraced Pope St. John Paul’s commitment to ecumenism and celebrates the 25th anniversary of his encyclical – Ut Unum Sint. For over a half century, St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute has been a center of theological education, dialogue, deeper understanding and reconciliation among all Christians, in dedication to Jesus’ hope and prayer, “That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us…” (Jn 17:21)

USCCB Chairman for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs on 25th Anniversary of Encyclical on Catholic Church’s Commitment to Ecumenism

 
May 25, 2020

WASHINGTON – On the anniversary of the encyclical. . . on the Catholic Church’s commitment to ecumenism, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton and chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, has issued the following statement:
 
“May 25, 2020, marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the promulgation of Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical on the Catholic Church’s commitment to ecumenism, Ut Unum Sint. . . .This anniversary should serve as a reminder that the way of ecumenism is the way of the Church (7), and that all Catholics are called to espouse a strong commitment to building Christian unity.
 
“Pope St. John Paul II, who worked tirelessly to build ecumenical relationships, described the impulse of working for unity between Christians as ‘a duty of Christian conscience enlightened by faith and guided by love’ (8). We rejoice that Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have continued to advance this singular mission between the Catholic Church and other Christian communities. We celebrate numerous theological convergences that have been discovered in ecumenical dialogues over the course of the past twenty-five years as we seek to grow closer together.
 
“Pope St. John Paul II concluded this encyclical with a profound insight from St. Cyprian’s Commentary on the Lord’s Prayer: ‘God can be appeased only by prayers that make peace. For God, the better offering is peace, brotherly concord, and a people made one by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’ (102). In a time of pandemic, people seek refuge and unity in their faith community. May this anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s call for Christian unity serve as a unique pastoral opportunity to build bridges by continuing to reach out with love to all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. May He heal our wounds of division and help us grow closer in unity, especially in this moment, by witnessing together to the peace of Christ that our world needs so very much.”
 

 
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Pope John Paul II, Saint John Paul II, ecumenism, Ut Unum Sint, encyclical, Christian unity, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis.
 
###

Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200