The Annual Alumni/ae Banquet and J. Arthur Heck Lectures on October 15-16, 2013 were the best attended reunion events and lectures in the past five years with 145 alumni/ae and guest registrations. Alumni/ae co-hosts were instrumental to inviting classmates from the decade reunions years 1953, 1963, 1973, 1983, 1993 and 2003.
Reunion events included: a Decades Reunion luncheon on October 15 with a presentation on the DaytonView Community and tour of the former First UMC facility; the annual Alumni/ae Banquet with presentation of the Eckels Society and Alumni/ae Awards; and the Heck Lectures on October 16 with Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean.
Dr. Dean provided powerful presentations on the subject, “What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church.” Lectures included; “In Search of a Younger Church: Ministry After the National Study of Youth and Religion” and “Rethinking Theological Education for a Younger Church: How Teenagers and the Makers of Prozac Are Changing Christian Leadership Formation.” A panel discussion followed between Dr. Dean, Dr. Felicia LaBoy and Rev. Rosario Picardo.
Academic Dean Dr. David Watson (left) presents the 2013 Effective Ministry Award to Chaplain Bernard H. Lieving Jr. ’63
On Aug. 11, 2013, Bob Buckhorn, the Mayor of Tampa, FL, proclaimed the day as “The Rev. Bernard H. Lieving Jr. Day” in Tampa as Hyde Park UMC and the community celebrated Chaplain Lieving’s 50 years of ordained ministry. Following worship services, members honored Chaplain Lieving with a farewell reception including memorabilia from his ministry. Chaplain Lieving and his wife Martha were also featured that day in the Tampa Tribune that eloquently told the story of their struggle with Dorothy’s Alzheimer’s disease and Bernie’s retirement to fulfill his new role as full-time caregiver.
Rev. Curtis Hurley (left) ‘78, presents the 2013 Distinguished Alumna Award to Ms. Martha Dalby Mullen, LPCC ‘02
The uproar by some Americans protesting the burial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Tamerlain Tsarnaev, seemed to Ms. Martha Dalby Mullen the most bigoted kind of discrimination; to malign and hate someone even after they are dead. Witnessing these protests at the funeral home in Worcester, MA, left Ms. Mullen angry and ashamed; she had to do something. She gathered an interfaith coalition, all of whom valued the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, and worked with Tsarnaev’s uncle, local police and the Worcester medical examiner to successfully find a burial plot for his body. The media circus that followed Ms. Mullen for many months inspired her to continue interfaith efforts to build relationships and a mutual appreciation of a shared heritage and faith in the Divine.
Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies, Rev. Dr. Harold Hudson, (right) presents the 2013 Outstanding D.Min. Alumna Award to Rev. Dr. Teresa Sires McIlwain ’03
Dr. McIlwain was one of four Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) fellows. Her doctoral focus at United was “Sexuality and Spirituality in the African American Church.” Dr. McIlwain started her own pastoral counseling business in April 2004 — Inner Healing Pastoral Counseling Service. In July 2010, she incorporated her nonprofit, CHOPP Inc., to address issues of sexuality and spirituality in the African American Church and community. In the city of Charlotte, this ministry dispels many of the myths, prejudices and stigmas attached to the disease of HIV/AIDS. The ministry endeavors to minister to the whole person — mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Rev. Dr. Hudson (right) presents the 2013 Outstanding D.Min. Alumnus Award to Rev. Dr. Stephen Lowell Swisher ’94 and ‘00
Dr. Swisher is a dynamic speaker, anointed leader and pastor to churches ranging in size from under 100 members to over 6,000 members. He currently serves as Senior Pastor of Centerville UMC and President of the Swisher Evangelistic Association, Inc. Honored as one of the foremost Christian leaders under 40 in America today, he produced, directed and hosted his own television program called Positive Living from 2001-2006, and on syndicated radio from 1998-2008. He is a Founding Member of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, and has opened the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives in prayer, serving as a frequent Chaplain for the U.S. Congress and other Legislative bodies. He is the director of Believers Stand United, a 30,000 member Christian political action organization with the purpose to stand up for people who express their faith publicly.
Rev. Brice Thomas ‘04 (right), Director of Alumni/ae Relations, inducts class of 1973 alumnus Rev. Timothy Heaton into the Eckels Society
The Eckels Society identifies and honors United Theological Seminary graduates of 40 or more years who have given dedicated service to Christ. The Society is named for the Rev. Dr. Harry L. Eckels who earned a diploma and five degrees from United over the years from 1941 to 1989. Rev. Dr. Eckels exemplified dedication to the church, faithful service in ministry, deep pastoral care for all he met, a sincere life-long commitment to continuing education and the best that the United alumni/ae represent. The Society, named in his honor, is our way of recognizing those who, like Rev. Dr. Eckels, honor God, Christ, the Church and United Theological Seminary by their lives.
HECK LECTURES 2014: SAVE THE DATE
October 14, 2014: Alumni/ae Reunions (classes of 1954, 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994, 2004), Annual Awards Banquet and Class of 1974 inducted into the Eckels Society. 2014 Nomination Form for Alumni/ae Awards
October 15, 2014: J. Arthur Heck Lectures featuring Dr. Randy L. Maddox, “A Wesleyan Theology for Holistic Health and Healing.” For more information about Dr. Maddox, visit http://bit.ly/randymaddox.