“Start Close in” – Kenton Derstine

& Chapel Gathering in the Seminary, Faculty/Staff Speakers, Seminary.

Dr. Kenton Derstine, Associate Professor of Supervised Ministry Director of Clinical Pastoral Education and Mentored Ministry, engages Chapel Gathering at EMS with a poetic context for conversation and journey with God.

“Who do you say that I am? Healer.” – Lana Miller

& Faculty/Staff Speakers, University Chapels, Who do you say that I am?.

Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?”. This compelling and relevant question is being offered by campus ministries this year. Undergraduate Campus Pastor Lana Miller preaches on this text walking us all into consider our response to Jesus asking Who do you say that I am?

Lana Miller serves as Undergraduate Campus Pastor. She was raised Mennonite and continues to worship with a congregation that is part of Mennonite Church USA. She began her career in the field of education as a high school biology and chemistry teacher and since then has been a youth pastor, curriculum writer, teacher in spiritual formation and youth ministry, convention planner for Mennonite Church USA, and regional representative for Mennonite Central Committee in Southeast Asia. Her journey has led her to encounter many experiences, people and places, but her heart remains in Christian spiritual formation, being a nurturing pastoral presence for those discerning how to embody their faith.

“Last Lecture” – Laura Yoder

& Other Speaking Events.

In this event sponsored by Residence Life, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Laura Yoder, delivers her hypothetical “Last Lecture.”

“Sex, Seven, Sass: The Negotiation of Racial Identity in Fresh Air Rural Housing Programs, 1939-1979” – Tobin Miller Shearer

& University Colloquium Series.

Tobin Miller Shearer, Director of the African-American Studies Program at University of Montana, presents the monthly University Colloquium Lecture.   He is a historian who has done extensive research on the history of race relations in American Mennonite communities.  The title of his lecture is “Sex, Seven, Sass: The Negotiation of Racial Identity in Fresh Air Rural Housing Programs, 1939-1979.”

“Kid’s Club: Jesus in the neighborhood?” – Seth Crissman

& University Chapels, Who do you say that I am?.

Several EMU students have gotten involved with Kid’s Club, a ministry of sharing God’s love in the neighborhood led by Seth & Theresa Crissman, currently through Virginia Mennonite Missions. Come find out what’s up in the neighborhood and consider joining the fun!

SLT opening worship and keynote: “Seasons of Longing” – Liz and Matt Myer Boulton

& School for Leadership Training, Seminary.

Liz and Matt Myer Boulton open the 2016 School for Leadership Training with their first keynote addressing the conference’s overall theme of Oasis.

The ancient poetry of the Christian tradition in Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 understands and recognizes seasons of longing and fulfillment, repentance and mercy, violence and love, death and life, wilderness and oasis. Using scripture, song, worship, photography, and short films, Rev. Elizabeth Myer Boulton and Rev. Dr. Matthew Myer Boulton explore how the ancient rhythms of the Christian year can provide us distinctive opportunities to name and mourn the barren places in our lives, in our churches, and in the world – all the while searching, creating, and proclaiming the manifold ways God provides experiences of oasis: peace, reconciliation, and genuine joy.

Rev. Elizabeth Myer Boulton is the President and Creative Director of the SALT Project, a not-for-profit project dedicated to reclaiming and sharing the beauty of Christian life through film, photography, music, poetry, and ideas.

Ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Rev. Myer holds degrees from Trent University and the University of Chicago Divinity School, is a two-time Emmy Award Winner, and the proud mama of Jonah Myer Boulton and Margaret Beatrice Boulton.

Rev. Matthew Myer Boulton, named the sixth president of Christian Theological Seminary, was most recently Associate Professor of Ministry Studies at Harvard Divinity School. He is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

In his teaching and research, Boulton has explored ways in which Christian worship founds and forms Christian life. This exploration draws together his interests in the history and practices of Christian liturgy; theology and public life; biblical interpretation and proclamation; and the performing arts, including theater, music, and film.

MLK, Jr. Celebration Service – “Make This Day Count” – Rev. Derrick Parson

& University Chapels.

Join the celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through praise and worship featuring the Reverend Derrick Parson and the Eastern Mennonite University Gospel Choir.

Reverend Derrick Parson is presently the Pastor of Providence United Methodist Church in Richmond, Virginia. He is a full Elder in the United Methodist Church. He also serves as Director of Ministries with Young People for the United Methodist Virginia Conference.

Reverend Parson earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theology from Saint Peter’s College, Jersey City, New Jersey, a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Education from Union Theological Seminary, Richmond Virginia.
Prior to becoming Senior Pastor of Providence United Methodist Church, Reverend Parson served Ramsey Memorial United Methodist Church as an Associate Pastor with outreach responsibilities for 7 years, served as the Director for the Wesley Foundation at James Madison University for 5 years, served as the Associate Pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in Harrisonburg for 2 years and most recently served as the Pastor of Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church in Chesterfield for 5 years.

When Reverend Parson was six years old one of the senior women of the church shared with him and his mother that he had the mark of a preacher. This was his Outer Call on his life. He joined the United States Marine Corps at age twenty one and that part of his journey was tough, instructional yet it gave him a wonderful time to hone his leadership and people skills. He served 2ndBattalion 6th Marines in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Two years later, he had the privilege of serving Embassy duty — American Embassy, Bonn Germany for 18 months and Bamako Mali, West Africa for 18 months. Shortly thereafter, his unit geared up for the war. His unit (2nd Battalion 6th Marines) went in for the after math of the Gulf War. Iraq of all places is where he received the Inner Call. This is where God spoke to him and he heard for himself. God told him that he would not re-enlist. However, he would preach and teach His Word and draw His people to Him. He said, yes Lord!

Reverend Parson is married to Natalia Bradshaw (Bahama Momma) and after seven years of marriage, God blessed them with a beautiful boy, Joshua Evan Chandler Parson. He is indeed an answer to his seven year prayer. Joshua turned eleven years old on August 27, 2015. During those wonderful years of being newly married and a brand new dad, he went through the complete process of the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Virginia Conference. This has been one of the greatest decisions He has made and only looks back fondly on his process in the United Methodist Church and embraces it as a good and necessary part of his journey!

“Visual Theology” – Kathryn Fenton

& Chapel Gathering in the Seminary, Seminary.

Artist Kathryn Fenton is a 2015 Eastern Mennonite Seminary graduate in the Master of Arts in Religion with a concentration in Art. She studied studio art at Messiah College for two years, transferring to EMU to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art.

Kathryn’s exhibit “Icons for the Mennonite Church” is currently on display on the Art Gallery wall, first floor of the Seminary building, just beyond the Main Office.  You are invited to take some time for reflection and prayer with this visual theology.

Opening Convocation: “For Just Such a Time as This” – President Loren Swartzendruber

& Faculty/Staff Speakers, University Chapels.

President Loren Swartzendruber addresses the campus community for his final Opening Convocation service on the theme: For Just Such a Time as This. Chapel includes a time of prayerful sending for the Cross-Cultural Seminar groups departing for the Middle East and Guatemala-Cuba.

Scripture: Esther 4:12-14 (The Message):

When Hathach told Mordecai what Esther had said, Mordecai sent her this message: “Don’t think that just because you live in the king’s house you’re the one Jew who will get out of this alive. If you persist in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive for the Jews from someplace else; but you and your family will be wiped out. Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this.”

“On The Way” – Dr. Lonnie Yoder

& Chapel Gathering in the Seminary, Faculty/Staff Speakers, Seminary.

In his Spring 2016 opening convocation address, Dr. Lonnie Yoder, EMS Associate Dean and Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, engages our awareness of ministry that happens “On the Way” !