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Blandy Lecture and Alumni Convocation Provides Thoughtful and Timely Connections to Southwest

Blandy Lecture presented at 7pm on Wednesday, November 15 concludes day+ of impactful events designed for Southwest alumni/ae

The Southwest Alumni Association is excited to announce more details for the 55th Annual Blandy Lecture and Alumni Convocation on November 14-15, 2023.  This year, Blandy is presented free of charge by the Southwest Alumni Association, in partnership with the Iona Collaborative at Seminary of the Southwest who is a co-presenter for this event. There will be an in-person and virtual track.
Click here to learn more and register now!
This year’s Blandy lecturer is Naomi Shihab Nye, the Award-winning Palestinian-American Poet, Essayist and Educator. Her presentation will focus on what it means to be Beloved Community, a common theme in her extensive work. “Here at Seminary of the Southwest, we have long hoped to welcome Naomi Shihab Nye to our campus,” said the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge. “We are delighted that she will bring her person and her poetry to us for this year’s Blandy Lecture.”
Naomi Shihab Nye

The author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes, her books of poetry for adults and children include 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (a finalist for the National Book Award), A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, RedSuitcase, Words Under the Words, Fuel, Transfer, You & Yours (a best-selling poetry book of 2006), Mint Snowball, Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners, Come with Me: Poems for a Journey, Honeybee (awarded the 2008 Arab American Book Award in the Children’s/Young Adult category), The Tiny Journalist (Best Poetry Book from both the Texas Institute of Letters and the Writers League of Texas), Cast Away: Poems for Our Time (one of the Washington Post’s best children’s books of 2020), and Everything Comes Next: Collected and New Poems. Her collections of essays include Never in a Hurry, and I’ll Ask You Three Times, Are you Okay? Tales of Driving and Being Driven. She has also edited nine poetry anthologies including I Feel a Little Jumpy Around You, Time You Let Me In, This Same Sky, The Space Between Our Footsteps, and What Have You Lost?. Her fiction books for young people include Habibi, Going Going, There Is No Long Distance Now, and The Turtle of Oman. The Turtle of Oman was chosen a Horn Book Best Book of 2014, a 2015 Notable Children’s Book by the American Library Association, and was awarded the 2015 Middle East Book Award for Youth Literature. Her picture books include Baby Radar, Sitti’s Secrets, and Famous. Her new book is The Turtle of Michigan (Greenwillow Books, March 15, 2022) a sequel to The Turtle of Oman. In 2022 she edited, with David Hassler and Tyler Meier, an anthology of poetry reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine through poetry titled Dear Vaccine: Global Voices Speak to the Pandemic.

The Rev. Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis will preside at the Eucharist, and Ms. Jennifer Cumberbatch will preach. Baldwin-McGinnis, an MDiv graduate from the class of 2007 is the Alumni Association President and previous Harvey Speaker at Southwest. Cumberbatch received a Masters of Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Southwest in 2018, and in 2020 the entire Cumberbatch family (Jennifer and Ashton Cumberbatch, along with children Virginia, Graham, and Elizabeth) were presented the Charles Cook Servant Leadership Award by Seminary of the Southwest.

The Rev. Carissa Baldwin McGinnis has a Master of Divinity from the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX, and was ordained in 2007.  Her earliest formation was in the field of human rights and faith-based community organizing.  Carissa is married to Pam McGinnis and is the proud mother of two adopted children and one adult foster daughter.  She currently serves on the boards of St. Francis Ministries (Kansas) and the Episcopal Foundation of Texas.   

I graduated from Brown University with a BA in psychology in May of 1979 and married my college sweetheart in August the same year. After much prayer, we moved to Austin and invested our lives in the well-being of the people of our fair city. We have been active covenant partners as 2 historic congretion in Ausitn. I was ordained as a pastor by the late Dr. Marvin Dolittle at Agape Word of Faith. I co-founded with my husband Ashton and another couple Banah Full Community Church, where we served for 6 years and now hold my ordination at Agape Chrisitan Ministries under Bishop L.A. Wilkerson at Agape., where I have worshipped and been on pastoral staff from 1996- to 2021.

I have served at our children’s schools, a on non-profit boards (ie: Caritas of Austin; 8 years). I have co-founded and pastored at three Austin congregations, mentoring, coaching, and teaching countless people. I have learned so much about mental health, development, and well-being by raising 4 children, one of whom has transitioned this life.
I have participated extensively in the performing arts, as an actor, producer, filmmaker, playwright, vocalist, and, songwriter. I have done extensive research on the history and rich contributions of Black people in Austin, using this research to produce entertaining, provocative,, transformational performance pieces.

After completing my Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in 2018, I founded Full Measure in March of 2021 to use multiple modalities, and my skills honed over the years to minster well-being and shalom to its constituents. I use Pastoral Counseling, Teaching, Coaching, and, Preaching, and the Arts to engender well-being—-shalom.

The Rev. Maureen Doherty

Also at the midday Eucharist on Wednesday, November 15th, the Rev. Maureen (Mo) Doherty, Class of 2001, will be presented with the Hal Brook Perry Outstanding Alumni Award.  Named for the the late assistant dean, registrar and instructor in church history, the Hal Brook Perry Award is conferred upon a graduate of Seminary of the Southwest who exemplifies exceptional ministry to parishes, dioceses, and/or specific communities or ministries – locally, regional, or worldwide.

Read about the announcement for Rev. Doherty receiving the Hal Brook Perry Award here

The event-packed day will also include:

  • Opportunities to observe current classes by Dr. Scott Bader-Saye, Dr. Steve Bishop, or the Rev. Steven Tomlinson, Ph.D.
  • An in-depth tour of the new Harrison Library and new Learning Complex led by Harrison Library Director Alison Poage, and VP for Communications and Marketing Eric Scott
  • A book discussion with Dr. Gena St. David‘s new book, “The Brain and the Spirit: Unlocking the Transformative Potential of the Story of Christ.”

Created to honor the Very Rev. Gray M. Blandy for his ministry and work as the first dean of the Seminary of the Southwest, this gathering and lecture brings together former and current students each year to reconnect, learn, and grow.

The event is presented free of charge this year. See below for a link to the detailed schedule and a registration form, including more information about selections offered virtually.

Click here for the Blandy Schedule

Theological Degrees

Learn more about a Master of Divinity, a Diploma of Anglican Studies, or other programs that lead to ordination.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Learn about a CACREP accredited Master of Mental Health Counseling Degree.

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