Sept-Oct Teaching Faculty

September 2-6, 2019

Wes Howard-Brook & Sue Ferguson Johnson

Howard-Brook_Wes_and_Ferguson_Johnson_Sue.jpgWes Howard-Brook has been teaching, writing and living at the intersection of church, academy and the world since 1988. After a career as an attorney for the US federal government and Washington state governments, Wes left law practice in 1985 to earn a Master of Divinity degree at Seattle University. He has been teaching Bible and theology at Seattle University since 2003.

He has written, co-written or co-edited seven books, including two on the Gospel of John: Becoming Children of God: John’s Gospel and Radical Discipleship and John’s Gospel and the Renewal of the Church.  He is co-author of Unveiling Empire: Reading Revelation Then and Now. Wes’ recent project is the two-volumes Come Out, My People!: God’s Call Out of Empire In the Bible and Beyond. and Empire Baptized: How “Christianity” Embraced What Jesus Rejected, 2nd-5th Centuries. He has also written for numerous publications, including Sojourners, The Other Side, Tikkun Daily, and several Catholic Worker newspapers.

Sue Ferguson Johnson is a spiritual director of individuals and couples, retreat leader and Scripture teacher of many years’ experience. Formerly a psychologist, Sue left her practice to engage in full-time ministry in 2001. Sue was raised in the United Methodist Church, but with Wes is now at home in the Mennonite Church, where she has been instrumental in reshaping the local church from a committee model to a prayer-Scripture-discernment model.

Together, they share the ministry “Abide in Me,” grounded in the imagery from the Gospel of John that calls disciples to integrate the inner and outer, the mystical and prophetic, the private and public journeys. Every Thursday since  2004 they have hosted a group in their home, in which people join for prayer, Bible study, laughter and communion. They also teach and lead retreats around the Puget Sound area and across the US. Together, they have written lectionary reflections for Pax Christi USA and Radical Discipleship.net.

Sue and Wes together have five children, ages 26-41, and four grandchildren. They live outside Seattle on the edge of Tiger Mountain, where they walk most days. They seek to be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit in all that they do, in proclaiming and embodying Jesus’ Word of passionate purity in love and truth for all creation.

Sessions:
 “And God saw that it was good!”: creation stories in Genesis 1-2
We’ll begin this week exploring the powerful, poetic creation story in Genesis 1 and its more intimate follow-up in Genesis 2, as the vision of God’s intention for life on earth within the loving embrace of the Creator.

The “curse”: the tragic narrative of relationships broken by human willfulness apart from God
Genesis 3 tells a story often associated with terms such as “the Fall” or “original sin.” We’ll look and listen to how this story, heard in its original cultural context, seeks to explain the tragic nature of humanity’s broken relationships with God, each other and the earth. 

“Your love is better than wine”: Song of Songs as imaginative healing of broken relationships among God, people and creation
Centuries after the book of Genesis was written during the Babylonian exile, an anonymous poet penned the beautiful, erotic love story known as “Song of Songs.” We’ll explore this narrative as the poet’s imaginative healing of the relationships broken by “the curse.”

Wine, weddings and demolished temples: John 2 as Jesus’ call to embody abundant joy while calling out those who restrict joy in God’s name
Jesus in the Gospel of John begins his public ministry by providing overflowing wine at a wedding and then confronting the Jerusalem elite for making God’s home a shopping mall. We’ll engage how these twinned stories express the core of both Jesus’ and our own call to live in the realm of God’s abundant gift.

“Woman why are you weeping?”: the garden of resurrection in John 20
We complete our journey “from garden to garden” with the poignant story of the risen Jesus’ encounter Mary Magdalene. We will see and hear how resurrection is the key to our hope of healed relationships among people, the earth and God.

Minnie Chung

Minnie Chung has been a Registered Nurse in various fields, i.e. psychiatry, oncology, surgery, ophthalmology, for 18 years. She came into nursing wanting to help others and found joy in doing so. In the process, nevertheless, she herself experienced and also noticed compassion fatigue in many other healthcare providers. She studied bioethics to explore if she could address this issue through ethics but found the topic lacking. Later she realized that what’s missing in healthcare providers is their connection to themselves and to something Greater. Her goal, in completing the master’s degree at Seattle University, is to facilitate workshops / retreats for healthcare providers in rekindling and reconnecting with their spirituality to address compassion fatigue and their overall sense of being. Minnie Chung was born and raised in South Korea, where the teaching of Taoism and Buddhism is in the fabric of everyday lives. She also has been a devout student of Bodywork, such as Taichi and Yoga. She attended the Energy Healer program in Sedona, Arizona in 2001, received Yoga Teacher Education Certification in India in 2009, and 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher training in Washington in 2012. As a volunteer, she taught English in Vietnam in 2010 and Yoga for Street Yoga in 2015. She taught English as Second Language in Korea from 2003 to 2004 and has been teaching yoga at Two Dog yoga studio since 2013. She is a retreat facilitator for the upcoming spiritual retreat for the Seattle University Divinity Graduate Program.

Sessions:
I-Thou in relating with myself
We live in a world where we are taught to divide between good and bad, thus fail to become a whole human being (It-It). Through this session, we learn to explore, learn and accept who we are, both light and darkness. We gain insight of becoming who we are meant to be, to be of service.

I-Thou in relating with others
When we encounter others, how we relate to others as either It or You forms not only the relationships with others but also who we are as beings. Through this session, we learn how to turn our encounter with others as spiritual practice, therefore finding meaning in everyday life.

I-Thou in relating with environment

We are facing more consequences from global warming every day around the world. Through this session, we will acknowledge all of us, i.e., human beings, animals, nature, as one community and learn to stand together as such in a meaningful way.

Bernie Asher

Guest Village Musician
Bernhard “Bernie” Asher followed a call to become a cantor after a lifetime as a percussionist, and a career in Information Technology.  Bernie earned a Master of Sacred Music degree in Choral Conducting from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN.  A cooperative program between Luther Seminary and St. Olaf College, Bernie studied with Paul Westermeyer, Anton Armstrong, Christopher Aspaas, and James Bobb. 

 

Bernie studies leading “paperless song” with Music that Makes Community, and has led congregations in many song styles since 2012. Bernie has been Choir Director and cantor at Christ’s Community Moravian Church in Maple Grove, MN, since 2012, and has led and played worship music throughout the Twin Cities.  Bernie believes that anyone can sing when given the opportunity and encouragement. He embraces Martin Luther’s belief that “next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise,” and St. Augustine’s observation that “whoever sings [to God in worship] prays twice.”   Bernie has experienced the transformative power of music in everything from Renaissance motets to Hip-Hop settings of the Psalms.  Bernie lives in Minneapolis, MN, with his wife, and enjoys singing hymns and telling “Dad” jokes with his 22 year-old daughter and 17-year old son.

September 9-13, 2019

Bernie Asher

Guest Village Musician
Bernhard “Bernie” Asher followed a call to become a cantor after a lifetime as a percussionist, and a career in Information Technology.  Bernie earned a Master of Sacred Music degree in Choral Conducting from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN.  A cooperative program between Luther Seminary and St. Olaf College, Bernie studied with Paul Westermeyer, Anton Armstrong, Christopher Aspaas, and James Bobb. 

 

Bernie studies leading “paperless song” with Music that Makes Community, and has led congregations in many song styles since 2012. Bernie has been Choir Director and cantor at Christ’s Community Moravian Church in Maple Grove, MN, since 2012, and has led and played worship music throughout the Twin Cities.  Bernie believes that anyone can sing when given the opportunity and encouragement. He embraces Martin Luther’s belief that “next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise,” and St. Augustine’s observation that “whoever sings [to God in worship] prays twice.”   Bernie has experienced the transformative power of music in everything from Renaissance motets to Hip-Hop settings of the Psalms.  Bernie lives in Minneapolis, MN, with his wife, and enjoys singing hymns and telling “Dad” jokes with his 22 year-old daughter and 17-year old son.

September 16-20, 2019

Allison Leonhart

Leonhart_Allison.jpgAlison Leonhart is a budding theologian with an interest in a career teaching feminist theology. Born and raised in Iowa, Alison went to Wartburg College where she double majored in History and Religion. In 2016, she started her Masters of Divinity at Candler School of Theology – Emory University and she will graduate this upcoming May 2019. After graduation she plans to go into the workforce for a couple years before returning back to school for a PhD in order to teach at a college or university. Academics aside, for three summers Alison has worked with A Christian Ministry in the National Parks where she has developed a passion for the outdoors and creation care. Her passion for the outdoors and interest in feminist theology will be reflected in her course titled Basics in Eco-feminist Theology.
Sessions:
Basics of Eco-feminist Theology
This class will explain the founding ideas of eco-feminist theology. First, there will be an examination of how and why the field of study emerged. Next, eco-feminist theology will be broken down into its three parts of ecology, feminism, and theology and shown how each part contributes to the whole. Lastly, different theologian’s takes on eco-feminist theology will be studied as well as ways in which participants can implement the theology they have learned in their real lives.

Nick & Elizabeth Turman-Bryant

Nick is a PhD candidate in Systems Science at Portland State University. As one of the primary data analysts for the Sustainable Water, Energy, and Environmental Technologies Lab (SWEET Lab), Nick uses machine learning to derive actionable insights from sensors that are installed on cookstoves, latrines, borehole pumps, and handpumps in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. The near-time data from these sensors are used to improve maintenance and operation of these devices, to evaluate outcomes and impacts from energy, water, and sanitation interventions, and to enable novel financing mechanisms through carbon and health credit markets. Before moving to Portland, Nick worked with the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) at Humboldt State University, focusing on market support and quality assurance mechanisms for solar lanterns in Kenya. Nick is particularly passionate about how we use energy as a society and the impacts on climate and ecosystems. As a person of faith, Nick is committed to translating and disseminating information from the scientific community about climate change, energy use, and development so that it can be understood and acted upon by religious communities.

As a child of missionaries, Elizabeth spent her first 18 years outside the US and intimately knows what it feels like to be an outsider. After graduating from Regent College with a masters in theology, she worked for eight years at Tierra Nueva Ministry in Burlington, WA as a community organizer/jail chaplain/pastoral advocate for marginalized women. Since leaving full time ministry, she has channeled her energy into writing on hospitality and bridge building within the broader and polarized church and raising two energetic children. Elizabeth and her husband Nick are a part of Springwater, a Christian intentional community, in Portland, Oregon. Elizabeth is currently serving on the leadership team for the Nurturing Communities Network which is a support network for Christian intentional communities around North America.

Sessions:
Redefining Development: A Critical Look at International Development Past, Present, and Future
Traditional categories of first- and third-world countries are out-dated, and the concept of development itself is difficult to define with inequality within countries often out-pacing inequality between countries. Using key insights from Hans Rosling's book, Factfulness, this short session will take a look at how the field of development studies is evolving and how our perceptions of global development can be informed--or impeded!--by our assumptions about poverty, change, and societal progress.

Sustainable Water, Sanitation, and Energy Services in a Complex World
One billion people still lack access to clean water. Two billion people do not have access to a decent toilet, and three billion people use biomass for cooking and heating. The world has made a lot of progress since 2000 when the Millennium Development Goals were first announced, yet there are inequalities that persist for the most basic household services. In this session we'll discuss the current state of water, energy, and sanitation services worldwide, the difficulties associated with monitoring progress, and the importance of systems thinking in achieving sustainable services.

Radical Hospitality for the Rest of Us
For the New Testament church, hospitality was a central part of following Jesus. Deeply shaped by scriptures like Matthew 25, early disciples lived with a responsibility toward the stranger that played a transformative role in their personal discipleship, community life, and society. Today hospitality for the poor and the stranger has largely been relegated to sodalic (missionally oriented) expressions of the church—monastic orders, para-church organizations, and even new monastic communities. While these prophetic examples are challenging and inspiring, they often feel out of reach for the average Christian participating in a local church with the constraints of work and family. However, there are many congregational churches in North America that are quietly practicing radical hospitality each week, welcoming the stranger in the form of the poor, prisoners, refugees, and orphans. Elizabeth researched five of these congregations and through that process gleaned seven common characteristics of hospitable congregations.  This session will cover the historical roots of Christian hospitality and the practicalities of creating a welcoming congregation in a world of increasing hostility towards the stranger.

Roy & Nancy Carroll

Guest Village Musicians
As teacher and musician, Roy W. Carroll has been involved in church music since his grade school days.  Among his first musical memories is that of singing hymns at home and church with his parents and brother.  Piano study began early as well, which eventually lead him to accompanying choirs  at church and school, and the study of organ by his junior year in high school.  Blessed to have been encouraged and inspired by excellent teachers during those years and then in college and university as well, Roy earned his Bachelor of Music in choral music education and piano/organ from Muskingum University (OH), Master of Music in organ performance and sacred music from Kent State University, and his Ph.D. doctoral degree in music history, organ and sacred music from the University of Iowa. He has served congregations in a diversity of denominations in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa.  His school teaching experience includes grades 7-12, undergraduate.