Catch Three’s A Crowd Tonight!

Abraham, Hagar and Sarah costumed as Renaissance English

Louisville, and the Louisville Seminary, may be having a snow day, but “THE SHOW MUST GO ON” — so the performance that caps off the J-Term course “The Art of Presence: The Text, Theology, and Theatre,” taught by J-Term Artist-in-Residence Rev. Cheryl Goodman-Morris and Rev. Dr. Johanna Bos WILL GO ON as planned,

Tonight, Friday, Jan. 21
7:00 p.m.
Gardencourt, Hundley Hall

This will be a unique, probably once-in-a-lifetime, opportunity to experience something of this talked-about class, at “a KID FRIENDLY FREE Night of Monologues and Mayhem” focused on “the exciting adventures of Sarah, Abraham, Hagar and their cohorts in this original theatrical presentation!”

The class hastens to encourage its public that “Regardless of the weather the show will go on!!!”

The “Art of Presence” Players look forward to seeing many members of the Seminary and local community at the performance tonight!

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Events of the Day!

Dr. Claudia Fegan


We hope many will take the opportunity to hear from Dr. Claudia Fegan, Associate Chief Medical Officer of the Ambulatory and Community Health Network, of the Cook County Bureau of Health Services, co-author of “Universal Healthcare: What the United States Can Learn from Canada” (The New Press, 1999), a member of Physicians for a National Health Program, and a recognized expert on national health policy. Dr. Fegan speaks today, at 12:15, in the McAtee Dining Rooms, on the needs and possibilities for health care delivery in the United States. She is brought to the LPTS campus by the Hazardous Health Care group at LPTS. Dr. Fegan will be speaking tomorrow, Saturday, January 15, at the Louisville Urban League, 3:00-5:00 p.m., to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose advocacy of justice in the area of health care should perhaps come as no surprise to us.

an informal celebration

This afternoon, members of the Seminary community are cordially invited to a reception celebrating Rev. Cheryl Goodman-Morris, the Women’s Center 2011 Artist-in-Residence. Rev. Goodman-Morris is co-teaching the J-term course The Art of Presence: the Text, Theology, and Theatre. Please join us in the Women’s Center at 4:00 p.m. to welcome Cheryl to campus, and to share in refreshment, conversation, and celebration!

The Art of Presence Begins

The Art of Presence J-Term 2011Today is the day!

The day for the unveiling of “The Art of Presence: The Text, Theatre, and Theology,” that is, a long-awaited J-term course being taught by Rev. Cheryl Goodman-Morris, Women’s Center J-Term Artist-in-Residence, and Rev. Dr. Johanna Bos, Dora Pierce Professor of Bible and Professor of Old Testament and Women’s Center Faculty and Financial Liaison. The course begins this morning at 9:00 a.m. in Hundley Hall, Gardencourt.

We are particularly happy to welcome Rev. Cheryl Goodman-Morris to campus as this year’s Artist-in-Residence. Goodman-Morris is a distinguished alum of Louisville Seminary (M.Div. ’77 ), a nationally recognized playwrite (“Puah’s Midwife Crisis”), founder and Artistic Director of the Portola Valley Theatre Conservancy, and Minister of Worship and Arts at Valley Presbyterian Church in Portola Valley, California. We are fortunate to have the benefit of Goodman-Morris’s experience and knowledge of theatre and its resonances with textual interpretation and liturgical practice.

We look forward to this term’s exploration of the connections between textuality, interpretation, performance, and the various forms of inhabiting and coming to achieve familiarity with the scriptural text.

The themes addressed in The Art of Presence highlight the mission of the Artist-in-Residence program, which was conceived as a way to celebrate and cultivate “alternative intelligences,” adding to a curriculum that leans heavily on the linear, left-brain, analytical models that prevail in the academy. We are convinced that God’s intention for creation and humanity is diversity, and we observe that the wealth of diversity in our world is a gift we often fail to unwrap and take delight in. The aim of the Artist-in-Residence program is to encourage its participants to embrace that diversity through the medium of the arts, explore the novel insights a different approach to learning makes available, and then share those insights with the community in a relevant way. This year, that sharing will take the form of a final public theatrical performance, Friday, January 21, 8:00 p.m., in Hundley Hall, Gardencourt.

We wish the students and teachers of the Art of Presence well, and look forward to seeing and hearing the fruits of their exploration later this month!

In the meantime, members of the Seminary community are cordially invited to welcome Rev. Cheryl Goodman-Morris to campus at an informal reception in the Women’s Center, Friday, January 14, 4:00 p.m. We look forward to seeing many of our friends and neighbors there, and to sharing a pleasant time with our Artist-in-Residence.

On the January Calendar

image of auspicious dates in Chinese calendrical format

Mark your calendar with Auspicious Dates

Here is what the Women’s Center has on its calendar for January, 2011:

January 10 we welcome Rev. Cheryl Goodman-Morris as the 2011 Women’s Center Artist-in-Residence with the commencement of the J-Term course The Art of Presence: The Text, Theology and Theatre at 9:00 a.m. in Hundley Hall. The course, which will be co-taught by Rev. Dr. Johanna Bos, focuses on the profound connections between textual and performative practice. The course runs through January 21.

January 14 we join the Hazardous Healthcare task force of LPTS in welcoming Dr. Claudia Fegan to campus. Dr. Fegan, Associate Chief Medical Officer for the Ambulatory and Community Health Network for the Cook County Bureau of Health Services, and a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, speaks at 12:15 in McAtee Dining Rooms A&B on the diagnosis and prognosis for the contemporary US healthcare environment.

Also January 14, members of the Seminary community are cordially invited to a reception welcoming Rev. Cheryl Goodman-Morris, Women’s Center 2011 Artist-in-Residence, at 5:00 p.m. in the Women’s Center.

January 15 we will be attending a talk by Dr. Claudia Fegan celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 3-5 p.m., Urban League, 1535 W. Broadway, Louisville; her talk is sponsored by Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care and Physicians for National Health Care – Kentucky

January 19, Theatre of the Oppressed, presented by the WENCH Selfcare Education Collective and facilitated by Lindsay Gargotto, is part of a series of Louisville events commemorating the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which ruled the denial of safe, legal abortion options to women unconstitutional. 6-8 p.m., McAtee Dining Rooms A&B.

January 21 we look forward to a public theatre performance which concludes The Art of Presence, 8 p.m., Gardencourt (Hundley Hall).

We look forward to seeing many friends and supporters at these events!

On the December Calendar

Cats Observe Advent Calendar Candle

Keep an eye on what's coming up in December


Here’s what the Women’s Center has on its calendar for the month of December:

December 1, World AIDS Day, supporting More Light’s dedicated worship service and information tabling event focused on that event.

We will be enthusiastically and gratefully accepting items for the Fall Arts and Crafts Sale through December 8 (or 9th, if you come to the pricing party and help us price them!)

December 2, attending Lisa Larges’ talk, “Humor, Hospitality, & the Politics of Prefigurement,” 7:30 p.m. in Caldwell Chapel. Lisa Larges is Minister Coordinator of That All May Freely Serve, an organization dedicated to an inclusive church for all who are disenfranchised, a goal that includes the welcome of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people into full membership, including eligibility for ordination to all church functions.

December 3, Lunch with Lisa Larges and informal conversation in the Women’s Center, 12:30 p.m. All are invited to share — in the conversation, and the lunch!

December 9, Pricing party for the Fall Arts and Crafts Sale, 12:00 p.m. until all the items are priced, in the Women’s Center. This will be the last chance to donate items for the Sale, so we hope all crafters and artists will come by the Center. If past experience is any guide, this will be a wild and wooly time of roll-up-your-sleeves fun with a purpose, not to be missed!

December 10, The Women’s Center’s Annual Fall Arts and Crafts Sale, always featuring an amazing variety of treasures from the hands of students, faculty, staff, and friends of the Women’s Center. (Years past have seen everything from watercolor portraits to fresh eggs, with batik, jewelry, glassware, knits, and legendary spaghetti sauce in between.)

The sale takes place in the Winn Center Commons, from 9:00 a.m. until approximately 2:00 p.m. All interested members of the community are invited to help clean up the area after the sale and transport arts, crafts and display materials back to the Women’s Center at that time, for post-sale bargains and festivities.

December 13-17, we wish the students of LPTS well with Research, Study, and Finals!

December 15, Heather Thiessen, Part-time Director of the Women’s Center, will pick up her diploma at the University of Louisville’s Graduate Student Hooding and Award Ceremony, 4:00 p.m. in the Kentucky Yum Center.

December 25, Merry Christmas!

December 31, and a Very Happy New Year! We are especially looking forward to January and this J-term’s Art of Presence with Artist-in-Residence Rev. Cheryl Goodman-Morris and Dr. Johanna Bos.

Oh, and one more thing . . .
The Women’s Center is now happy to be able to serve as the regular Tuesday evening meeting space for a local Engaging Spirituality group, a program of JustFaith Ministries. [updated 12/1/10 18:04]

New News News

drift of white crocus blossoms

signs of new life

by Johanna Bos

Hard to believe that V-week is already more than a month behind us! We cleared around $2,500 in ticket sales for the two performances. Karina Barillas of Casa Latina was thrilled with the news that they are receiving more than $2,000. During the first week of March I visited a performance of the Monologues at Bellarmine University and was part of a panel responding to questions afterwards. It was entertaining and moving to see what other educational institutions do and I hope that we can work in some cooperation with Bellarmine next year or at least plan to visit each other’s events.

Katie Geneva Cannon Lecture in the Works
We have begun preliminary planning for the next BIG EVENT, the Katie Geneva Cannon Lecture and conference A Woman’s Voice – Women Speaking With Authority in Religious Community. We are expecting three scholars from different faith contexts. Dr. Gay Byron from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, New York, will be our Katie Geneva Cannon Lecturer; Dr. Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia will be our resource person for the Jewish context, and Ms.Suendam Birinci from Hartford Seminary in Connecticut will represent the Muslim community. We have begun a planning group on the campus, which we will seek to expand by inviting members from the different faith groups to meet with us occasionally.

SAVE THE DATE: SEPT.12 – 13, 2010. THERE IS A PAGE ON THE WOMEN’S CENTER FACEBOOK WHICH PROVIDES INFORMATION AND WHICH WILL HAVE UPDATES.

Cheers for Kate Davidson
Other good news is that our field-ed student, Kate Davidson, who is taking a leave from her studies at the Seminary, is continuing to work with us at least through May. Kate is keeping the Center open most afternoons. She is also helping to plan the Breakfast at the Women’s Center during the Festival of Theology and Reunion at the end of April. We are expecting upwards of 15 guests on Tuesday, April 27.

Rev. Cheryl Goodman Morris to be 2011 Artist-in-Residence
Conversation has begun with next year’s Artist-in-Residence, the Rev. Cheryl Goodman Morris, who is the Executive and Artistic Director of the Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory in Portola, CA. Cheryl is an alum of LPTS with impressive theatrical credentials. She wrote the script for “Puah’s Midwife Crisis,” and directed the musical, which was performed last summer here at Actor’s Theatre in connection with the Presbyterian Women’s Triennial Gathering. She will teach a course in January 2011 on the theology of theatre. We are naturally elated about the prospect of having Cheryl in our midst.

Good News!
The very good news of this month was that one of our alums announced to me that he plans to give $25,000 to the Women’s Center at the beginning of next calendar year, in honor of his wife. What a marvelous way to honor her memory and how lucky we are to have such a generous donor come our way, just at this time.

Most of the spring will be taken up with planning both for upcoming events and for our further financial development. We are gathering a wonderful group of dedicated people to help us shape materials for fundraising. Without such dedication we would not be here and we could not continue!

Thank You, Ann Laird Jones!

Restorative Table Justice

A sample of finished pottery from Clay Forms: Restorative Table Justice

J-term is over, the Spring semester is about to begin (weather permitting . . . ), and we hope a few thoughts are turning to V is for Venite and Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. But first, words of thanks are in order for the Women’s Center’s 2009 Artist-in-Residence, Rev. Dr. Ann Laird Jones, and the marvelous and inspiring program she brought us over this past month.

We watched in awe as the Fellowship Hall in the lower level of Caldwell Chapel became a working ceramics studio. The class burgeoned, even more community members visited on open studio hours, and the creative energies flowed. All the while, people were thinking about the presence of God in the sacramental life of the church, and how that is made manifest, tangible, relatable in the implements of that sacramental life, the table and font or bowl, the chalice and pitcher . . . and why those things, how these tangible things speak to us and to our embodied selves.

The artist and her students reached out into the community, conducting three different workshops with three different local community groups served by three Louisville area congregations. A lot of pottery was being made, and with each cup and bowl, new insights into the nature of theology, creation, and the various ways God and human connect.

The official program finished out with a lecture, last Monday, “Arts and Theology Integrated,” an artist’s statement on the meanings encoded in the work of the past weeks. But the creative work went on as students finished up studio work, crafted papers . . . and as the weather did its best to hold Ann here in Louisville just a little longer! In the end, the task of finishing some of the pottery had to be left to others, as Rev. Dr. Ann Laird Jones’ inimitable presence was required elsewhere. She made arrangements before she traveled back to Mississippi to display the works of the class Clay Forms: Restorative Table Justice in the cafeteria during the next two weeks, so that the entire community would be able to see what the class accomplished.

We look forward to Ann’s time with us in March, for the workshop “How Then Shall We Thrive?”, March 19, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., in the Women’s Center, as a continuation of the work begun during J-term. In the meantime, we will treasure what we’ve learned, and seen, of the fruits of arts and theology integrated.

Thank you, Ann, for your immense generosity of time and talent, your willingness to share these many gifts with us and our community throughout this time, and the many insights this gave us throughout this past month!