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Opening Convocation of the 159th Spring Semester: a Recap

by Ashley Schaffner | Feb 12, 2013

"It Is the Worst of Times; It Is the Best of Times." Such was the theme of the address by Dr. Kathryn Johnson at the Opening Convocation of the 159th Spring Semester at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary on Thursday, February 7. The day marked the beginning of classes for Seminary students.

“We can rejoice to see the Church in many places around the world living with a visible strength and joy that we cannot always see so easily in our own situations,” Johnson said. “But it does not help us enough, I think, to say that the Church is doing well someplace oceans away if we cannot also point to reasons for joy and hope in our own contexts as well.  And it is our task – and our opportunity – in theological education to nurture and lift up such occasions and promises.”

Seminarian Rebecca Gresham-Kesner was awarded The Allen T. and Wilma L. Christy Memorial Scholarship. This award is given to a student who demonstrates academic excellence in his or her studies while also demonstrating commitment and perseverance in preparation for pastoral ministry.

Dr. Scott Williamson charged the congregation to stay strong in their faith and ‘hold the line,’ even in uncertain and complicated times. “My hope for the Church and for this seminary is that 25 years from now we will look back at these days and claim them as special.  Not because they are difficult but because we found joy in rising together with skill and moxie to meet the needs of our communities and our congregations,” Williamson said. “I hope that we will claim these days as special because they occasioned for us new ways of experiencing the grace of our baptism by the spirit.”

Click here for photos of Opening Convocation.

About Dr. Kathryn Johnson
Kathryn Johnson joined the Louisville Seminary faculty in 1984. She returned last spring after spending four years in Geneva, Switzerland where she served as Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Affairs and Interim Director for Theology and Studies for the Lutheran World Federation, the global body that includes the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  Now back to her teaching at Louisville Seminary, Johnson continues to learn about world Christianity. In January, she traveled to Kerala, India, with a group from the Master of Arts in Spirituality program, a joint effort with Bellarmine University. She has a deepened commitment to faithful life in the Church - to honoring its diversities and seeking to heal its divisions.

About Dr. Scott Williamson
Scott Williamson accepted the call to the Louisville Seminary faculty in 1997. Williamson works in the field of narrative ethics, through which he seeks to contribute a new and critical appreciation of narrative as a source for moral reflection. Nineteenth-century African-American moral thought, stories, and sermons are a particular specialty. He and colleague Clifton Kirkpatrick are presently co-authoring a book on Christian ethics and foreign policy.

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