News and Info



February 6, 2014

Dear Friends:

In seminary life, we are called to gather communities of the finest minds and hearts in the church, study and pray together for a time, and then send those we have come to love back out into the world to continue their service to God. Usually, those we send out are our students, but not always.

Today it is my job to tell you that our own Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski will leave us at the end of this academic year to become associate professor of church history at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. All of you who know Dan can understand that I make this announcement with sadness, but also with hope for the opportunity that Dan, Jennifer and their family have been given.

Low-residence Master of Divinity, online Master of Theological Studies in 2014

BERKELEY—Church Divinity School of the Pacific, the only Episcopal Church seminary west of the Rocky Mountains, will offer the master of divinity (MDiv) in a low-residence format and the master of theological studies (MTS) and certificate of theological studies (CTS) online. The new programs will begin in the fall of 2014.

Students in the low-residence MDiv program will study online during the fall and spring semesters and visit Berkeley each January and June for intensive academic work and Christian formation programs. The low-residence MDiv can be completed in as few as four years or as many as six years. CDSP will also continue to offer both degrees and the certificate in their existing on-campus format.

O Dayspring

O Dayspring, splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death.

What strikes me about the O Antiphons is as christological praise hymns they name Christ with different metaphors of phenomena that impact us.

O Root of Jesse

O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign to the people;
before whom kings shall shut their mouths,
and whom the nations shall seek:
Come and deliver us, and do not delay.

In my childhood home, we celebrated Advent in fine form, hand-dipping Advent candles from paraffin and old crayons and gathering nightly for family liturgy. From Creation through the Holy Family, small symbols of our Christian story were gradually placed on a felt Jesse Tree. As I was quite convinced that this tree was mine, I took special care to learn each story well. Fundamentally, this tradition gave me my roots in faith and taught me reverence for scripture, for holy story, and for the actions we take stemming from it.

O Clavis David

O Key of David, and sceptre of the house of Israel,
who opens and no one can shut, who shuts and no one can open:
Come and bring the prisoners from the prison house,
who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

O Lord: December 18

O Adonai, and leader of the house of Israel
Who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.

Burning bushes are dangerous.

The State of Racism Webinar at CDSP

News alerts from the New York Times arrive in my email, sometimes several times a day, depending on what is going on in the world. Last Friday, November 15, during the Episcopal Church's State of Racism webinar, one of these alerts was about charges being filed against Theodore Paul Wafer in Detroit for shooting Renisha McBride in the face as she knocked on his door, looking for help. McBride, the victim, is Black. Wafer, the accused, is White. This is the quote that caught my attention: "Asked if race was an issue, the Wayne County prosecutor, Kym L. Worthy, at a news conference Friday morning, said, "Race is not relevant."