Divinity school

School Notes: Yale Divinity School
July/August 2019

Gregory E. Sterling | http://divinity.yale.edu

Connecting churches and the environment

Before graduating in May from both the Divinity School and the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Nathan Empsall ’19MDiv, ’19MEM, surveyed more than 100 randomly selected Episcopal congregations across the country to gauge their level of engagement with environmental protection and climate change. He has presented his findings at several academic conferences as well as to the Episcopal Church’s Task Force on Care of Creation and Environmental Racism, on which he serves. Among Empsall’skey findings: More than 70 percent of parishes report participating in recycling and other forms of “general stewardship,” but only one-third say the environment is frequently a part of their sermons. 

Dedicated to the flourishing of youth

Newly retired as founding director of the Yale Youth Ministry Institute at YDS, Harold “Skip” Masback ’94MDiv is reflecting on three decades of youth ministry leadership work and taking heart in knowing that the institute he founded three years ago at Yale will continue on firm ground. Under Masback’sleadership, the youth ministry program has helped train youth ministry practitioners by producing and disseminating (for free) 70 lectures and nearly 900 short interview clips, as well as Facebook content on seven different national Facebook pages.

YDS exhibits work by artist with Down syndrome

Through late June, YDS demonstrated its commitment to showcasing diverse artistic expressions by exhibiting the Ten Commandments drawings of Bruce Gillespie, a Connecticut artist with Down syndrome. “It is the unfamiliar depiction of the familiar that draws me to Bruce’s art,” YDS dean Sterling said at a reception held April 18 for the artist and his longtime teacher and mentor, Sam Goldenberg. “Bruce’s art is an invitation for us to use our own imagination—in other words, for us to exercise the imago dei within us.”

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