Bethany Theological Seminary held its annual luncheon July 6 during the 2018 Annual Conference. The event provided opportunity to recognize recent graduates of both the seminary and the Brethren Academy, and a time to fellowship with new and old friends. This year president Jeff Carter gave those gathered a preview of the full report he would give to the delegate body of the Conference that afternoon.
One highlight of the Bethany report is a new logo for the seminary, being unveiled at this Annual Conference. The logo’s image of a book opening, with the colors yellow and green added to Bethany blue, point to the unfolding of knowledge, hope, and growth that come from education. The logo is a visual of the new Bethany tag line, “...so that the world flourishes.” The tag line is designed to be the end of a phrase such as, “Practicing conflict transformation... so that the world flourishes,” or “Living a Spirit-filled life... so that the world flourishes.”
Other highlights include a newly designed mission-focused website going live July 6, which uses the new tag line to guide potential students, alumni, donors, or anyone curious visitors to whatever they need to know about Bethany Seminary.
In addition, Carter shared a few details about he new master of divinity curriculum, reduced to 72 hours, and the new Certificate in Theology and Science. He also recognized staff transitions including Tara Hornbacker’s retirement, Amy Gall Ritchie ending her time as director of Student Development, and Musa Mambula finishing his two years as international scholar in residence.
The Brethren Academy recognized Roxanne Aguirre as coordinator of Spanish language programs, and Aguirre recognized the SeBAH students who were in attendance.
The microphone was then given to Tara Hornbaker, now with the title “emerita faculty,” to share her wisdom. With her normal wit and frankness, she took Bethany graduates on a trip down memory lane. The title of her presentation, “Pillars, Pillows--You Choose,” was based on her understanding of a trinity that supports spiritual formation, and the fact that she now has pillows naming her three favorite acronyms: WIGIAT, WIRGOH, and WIMTOD. The graduates in the room readily joined in stating the following phrases:
-- Where Is God In All This (WIGIAT), a phrase that should help us morning and evening as we seek God;
-- What Is Really Going On Here (WIRGOH), a reality check intended to help us get to the bottom of what is happening; and
-- What Is Mine To Do (WIMTOD), the key discernment question as we join God in mission.
Hornbacker also reminded her past students of the importance of thinking, being, and doing, as they minister with head, heart, and hands.
To close her presentation of encouragement, wisdom, and thoughts she has on forbearance, she quoted from a new book she is reading and from Ephesians 4:1-3, leaving the room with a challenge that wisdom is not an action but rather a dimension of one’s character. She encouraged all to remember that forbearance is both bearing with and bearing up.
It was with tears and cheers that the alumni/ae in the room thanked Hormbacker for her faithful 20 years of serving Bethany Theological Seminary.
-- Karen Garrett contributed this report.
For more onsite coverage of Annual Conference go to www.brethren.org/ac/2018/coverage .
The news coverage of Annual Conference 2018 is made possible through the work of communications staff and a volunteer news team: Frank Ramirez, Conference Journal editor; photographers Glenn Riegel, Regina Holmes, Keith Hollenberg, Donna Parcell, Laura Brown; writers Frances Townsend, Karen Garrett, Alyssa Parker; youth team member Allie Dulabaum; web staff Jan Fischer Bachman, Russ Otto; Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services; Wendy McFadden, publisher. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.