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September | 2012 | The 'CURE' for your Vocation

Archive for September, 2012


Meet a Professor: Dr. Reggie Williams

Happy Wednesday McReaders!

This week, I’d like to introduce you to  McCormick’s newest professor – Reggie Williams.

Reggie has been with us only a few short weeks, but he has quickly found his place in our community. He was gracious enough to answer a few questions:

Wes: Tell us your name and what you do.
Reggie: My name is Reggie Williams, and I am an assistant professor of Christian Ethics. My wife Stacy and I celebrated 17 years of marriage this summer, on August 26th, and we have two children, Darion (13) and Simone (11). They are both in the 7th grade.

W: How is it you came to McCormick?
R: I was appointed to the faculty of the Religion department at Baylor University in the Spring of 2010. I completed my dissertation that summer, and joined their faculty in the summer of that year. That meant moving my family from Pasadena, California, the place my children will never stop referring to as their real home. We lived in Pasadena for 6 years, which isn’t very long, but it was for them, a significant part of their childhood. Fuller Theological Seminary is there, and that’s were I completed my master’s and Ph.D. degrees. I did not expect to leave Baylor, at least not any time soon. But early in my first semester there, I came across the job description for this position. I had visited Chicago on a number of occasions for scholarly conferences, and already loved the place. I’d heard of McCormick Theological Seminary, and a number of dear friends told me that it would be a great fit. And although Baylor University is a very good school, with a fantastic athletics program (I played basketball in college, and professionally), I really wanted to teach in a seminary. McCormick is a perfect fit. I was thrilled to be offered this position. That’s the extremely abridged version of my journey to McCormick.

W: How has your family adjusted to the big move?
R: My children have had to move to two different towns, and schools to start all over again making friends, twice within one year. That has been very difficult on them. But for now, they seem to be adjusting well. They seem to enjoy their new school. They tell me that they wish they could pick this school up, and plant it in Pasadena, where they could feel at home in a school that they really like. But if they did that, they wouldn’t have the museums that they’ve come to love, or the SkyDeck at the Willis Tower
which my daughter loves, or Navy Pier which we all love, or the lake views with the city skyline, or our house which we’ve recently purchased. I could go on. Stacy and I love it here. She was ready to walk here from Waco, Texas, if we had to. There has been no need to adjustment for us, only a need to reorient ourselves to a different geography. We miss friends in Waco, but we like Chicago, and McCormick, very much.

W: What are your hopes for your first year as a faculty member at McCormick?
R: I hope to learn a lot from students and colleagues here. I am very excited about McCormick’s emphasis on justice and ecumenism. In this first year, I hope to learn how my voice can contribute to the conversation about church and society, going on here. From what I see so far, this institution is one of the most important Christian institutions of higher learning in the country. That can be deceiving because we are so small, but so was Gideon’s army. And in this small, and important institution, I plan to learn at least as much as I teach this year, so that by the end of the year, I have a greater understanding of the expectations of McCormick students, and how my research and teaching corresponds with the call of God on their lives that brings them into my classroom.

W: I had the pleasure in sitting in on a lecture you gave while you were in the interview process and really enjoyed hearing from you. How is it that you became interested in Ethics?
R: I began my studies at a small Christian Liberal Arts school in Santa Barbara California – Westmont College. I was a French major at first. But after my first semester there, I changed my major to theology and church history. I wanted to “see the gospel at work” in society. I led a ministry to the local juvenile hall, in the summers, I lived in a group home for convicted teens who had drug addictions. When I graduated, I married my college sweetheart, and my first job was as a counselor at a juvenile hall. All of this was motivated by my pursuit of living the gospel. Years later, when I was near the end of my masters degree, the only African American professor of religion that I ever had strongly urged me to enter a Ph.D. program “if you don’t, it would be a mistake.” Those words from Pasor J. Alfred Smith of Allen Temple Baptist church in Oakland, Ca. were the push that I needed to go in the direction of a Ph.D., and the desire was still there to “see the gospel at work” rather than accumulating theological knowledge. I saw both endeavors as important, but without the ability to do theology, I didn’t see the value of learning about it.
Near the end of my first year in a Ph.D. program, something brought to mind an encounter that I’d had when I was in the 3rd grade. It’s funny to say, that when I was in the third grade, I was taking my faith very seriously. And that year, I faced violent racism from three classmates. In that encounter, I struggled to know what Jesus wanted me to do in the face of their unmerited anger at me. So, at the end of my first year as a Ph.D.
student, I saw that I’d been on the journey of “how does one live what we believe” for many years.

W: You’re teaching a course on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr. this semester. Why these two individuals? What do they have to offer seminary students?
R: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King Jr. offer us some insight into what it took for them to be prophetic Christians in a social environment, and cultural/historical context that saw Christians taking sides against what they saw as true Christian witness. Hindsight is 20/20, and today we agree with them, that Christians should have agreed with how they described faithfulness to Jesus, in support of the oppressed and marginalized. But many Christians saw themselves as faithfully following Jesus, in opposition to them. Today we call their opponents wrong, and Bonhoeffer and King
are seen as prophetic Christians, even martyrs by some. What are we opposing today? What are we ignoring? What do we advocate? What does our faith give us to guide our advocacy? King and Bonhoeffer can help us faithfully follow Christ today.

W: What else do you hope to bring to McCormick in terms of classes or
anything else?
R: My academic project is to recalibrate what it means to be human, since modernity. That involves the critical analysis of race, and the mingling of race and religion in modernity. One particularly crucial moment when critical analysis of race and religion occurred is called the Harlem Renaissance. I study the Harlem Renaissance, and the critical analysis of race and religion occurring within it by folks like Du Bois, Zora Neil Hurston, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and a whole host of black intellectuals.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett was not in Harlem at that time, but the time period corresponds with her social justice advocacy, and her work is a part of the womanist cannon of theological ethics that I pay attention to, as well. The project of “recalibration” has in its scope, ecological ethics, biological ethics, as well as social ethics, since the modern construction of humanity sees only some folks as human, and domination as the right relationship between the humans and the “others.” With that in mind, one of the
next classes I hope to teach is a study of the literature and theology of the Harlem Renaissance, or perhaps a detailed exploration of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s experience in the Harlem Renaissance. Those two are the first courses that come to mind for my immediate new course offerings.

W: We’ve heard about some of your academic background. What about Reggie the person? What is it you like to spend your time doing when you’re not at McCormick?
R: I am still somewhat of a jock. I played college and professional basketball, and being in the gym is somewhat like therapy for me. But I’m an old guy now. So I’m looking for a basketball league here in town to play on, that is ok for old has beens. I also really like fishing, camping, hiking, and gardening; but not in that order. In my family, we are outdoors folks, but we haven’t had the opportunity to get out and explore as much, recently. Hopefully now that we’re settling in to our new home town, we will!

W: Food is a big part of life at McCormick – What’s your favorite food, why?
R: I love seafood and Chinese food. I also love to eat breakfast, any time of the day. Those are my food weaknesses! And, after I eat any meal, I’ve gotta have a dessert. I’ve got a very active sweet tooth.

A big thank you to Reggie for taking the time to introduce himself to all the CURE readers! See you on Friday!

Christine’s Corner: 10 Practices for Daily Balance

Every week the Alban Institute, an organization dedicated to fostering healthy clergy and congregations, sends out an on-line newsletter filled with pithy bits about life, church, ministry and leadership.   This week’s focus on healthy practices features an excerpt from David Edman Gray’s book Practicing Balance:  How Congregations Can Support Harmony in Work and Life. Edman offers 10 practices to follow and they represent a reminder of what each of us – clergy and laity – needs to do if we are to make informed and discerning choices about how to balance the myriad competing demands in our lives.

Rather than trying to restate what Edman has already said so well, I have appended the 10 practices– along with his explanations.   He says that they have made a difference in his ability to  achieve balance in his life and work.

1.  Begin each day with a centering phrase. I have found that saying a centering phrase over and over first thing in the morning helps me begin the day with centeredness and balance. Some mornings I wake up feeling stressed and pressed. Maybe I went to bed the night before feeling anxious, or I was awakened by the children several times during the night, or I had a bad dream. But if I say my phrase over in my mind several times before I get out of bed in the morning, my head feels much clearer, and I feel more positive and less anxious.

2.  Pray daily. When you are frustrated with balance issues, pray. When you are upset at your work situation or boss, pray. When you are frustrated with your kids, pray. Prayer is a critical practice when it comes to work-life balance. It is the original, calming practice that Jesus taught and that connects us to God. Prayer calms, refocuses, and provides the spiritual strength we need to find balance in our days.

3.  Care for your body. God has given you one body for this life. Caring for it allows you to do your work and to care for others. Eating healthfully is important. Especially when we are traveling or working hard, we tend not to eat so well, but our diet contributes greatly to our health. Exercise has great rejuvenating effects. My daily exercise is critical to my well-being. When I am feeling stressed and out of balance, few things can rebalance me like exercise.

4.  Simplify your life. Jesus and his disciples lived simply. Read Mark 6:6-9:

“Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.”     Jesus had access to all the riches of heaven but chose to live simply and called on his disciples to do the same. Figure out what is most important to you in life and hold on to it dearly. Let the rest go.

5. Come to terms with your relationship with money. Our desire to accumulate and spend can spur us to work extreme hours in order to make more money. We must develop a habit of budgeting our money and living within our means. We can easily get caught up in the culture of consumption to the point where we feel we must work as much as possible in order to afford the lifestyle we think we want. If we can appreciate the need for and benefits of money while watching our expenses and not allowing the desire to make money to become our dominant value, then we can more easily make the choice to spend our time on activities other than work.

6.  Designate a quiet space in your home for rest. It is important to have a space in your home to which you can retreat when feeling pressed. This is particularly essential when your family includes young children and the house can become loud. The space doesn’t have to be large, but it does need to be a sanctuary for you.

7.  Invite the Holy Spirit into each activity. We are at our best when we invite God’s Spirit into each activity of our lives. I have a friend who has helped me think of my work and family lives as more integrated with my spiritual life. She has encouraged me to think of parenting as a spiritual time, not as a distraction. That way, each movement of my parenting can be a spiritual experience. Thinking of the routines of life as spiritual practices can make these moments sacred and can allow us to be more fully present with children and spouses, rather than viewing routines like child care as obligations one has to get through.

8.  Go on retreats and vacations. Rest is important enough that we should also set aside significant periods of time dedicated to it. Our bodies, minds, and spirits need to lie fallow, like farmland, in order to be refreshed. Taking a week or two of vacation can help do that. However, 43 percent of Americans do not even take all their vacation days. Those are important opportunities for rest, and we should make the most of them.

9.  Commit to spending regular time with family and friends. Having good times with family and friends can balance our work and caregiving responsibilities. Meals are important times to connect with family. Having dinner with family can be difficult for pastors and other congregational leaders who have evening meetings, so we need to find other times for fun with family and friends. Whenever possible, I try to come home for dinner before returning to church for meetings. I meet monthly with a group of men for fellowship. I participate in a monthly clergy support group. They make a great difference for me. The perspective and support we gain from relationships can make such a difference when we are stressed, overwhelmed, and trying to balance work and life.

10.  Take a break each evening before bed. There is an old saying, “Don’t go to bed angry.” I think we should add, “Don’t go to bed right after doing work.” For many years I worked late into the evening after my family was asleep, sometimes past midnight. However, I got to the point where I knew I needed more sleep. After my twin girls were born, I decided to put a limit on my evening work. My grandfather used to say, “This is enough for today. That’s what the good Lord made tomorrow for.” I have made those words my evening mantra.

I readily admit that I’m far from perfect in following all of these practices with absolute regularity, but I do my best to stick to several without fail.   Erdman quotes author Annie Dillard who said, “How you spend your days is how you spend your life.”

How are you spending the days of your one precious life?

Responses to the Chicago Teacher Strike

As Chicago has had to endure a week long teacher’s strike, many in our community have been affected. Kids have had no place to go during the day,  and friends and colleagues have joined in striking along with other Chicago Public School (CPS) Teachers. No matter where you’re from, this is a difficult issue for everyone. I have invited two people in the McCormick Community, Jamie Wasowski (Recruitment and Admissions Associate) and Katie Hartwell (3rd year M.Div student), to share their perspectives on the strike and CPS in general. Their stories are only part of the larger body of stories, but we felt it was important that they be allowed to have a voice. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below. Please keep the teachers and children of CPS in your prayers, that they may soon find a solution to this issue so that teachers can go back to teaching and kids can go back to learning, and that the school remains a safe environment for all.

_________________________________________________

Jamie: As the wife of a Chicago Public School teacher, I stand in solidarity with my husband and all other teachers.

My husband and I have found it to be very difficult to turn on the news each day and hear some of the negativity portrayed by the media, particularly the propaganda commercials that have portrayed our teachers as heartless and uncompassionate. My husband and his colleagues are not heartless nor uncompassionate.  In fact, they are quite the opposite which is why they are striking.  This is not a “strike of choice” as Mayor Rahm Emanuel claims.  In fact, it is a necessary, last resort took the teachers can use to stand up for better education for all of Chicago’s children.

The Chicago Teachers Union, under the leadership of Karen Lewis, and the Chicago Public School Board led by David Vitale and Jean-Claude Brizzard, have been at the table negotiating since the walk out on September 10th. The teachers, however, have been marching.

To help you understand who is at the negotiation table, let me explain: All leadership in the CTU are elected by CPS union teachers - which constitutes 90% of CPS teachers. Parents in the local school councils (LSC) are also asked for their input when it comes to school matters and considered a teammate by the CTU. And, though the media has portrayed Lewis as a power hungry vicious pit bull, I believe she and her team of negotiators is in full support of parents and kids, not just teachers.

The Board of Education, on the other hand, is appointed by the Mayor and most members do not have backgrounds in the field of Education. Most members of the Board of Education come from the big-business world and their methods, seemingly, do not take into account the poverty and/or special needs of many of students. Their methods involve privatization, or charter schools. Charter schools are public schools, but instead of being operated by the Board they are operated by private corporations that have a contract or ‘charter’ to operate a school within CPS.

The problem breaks down to what our society cares about most: does it care about for-profit schools that are in the pockets of politicians? Or does it care about providing free public education to all of America’s children?

Here’s what’s on the table:
1. More compensation for longer school days (Would you work a longer day without being compensated for the extra work?)

2. Smaller class sizes: Studies have shown for years that smaller class sizes (20-25 students/class max) facilitate learning better than larger class sizes. Currently, classes have ballooned to 35-45 students per classroom.

3. Rehiring teachers that have been laid off: particularly in areas such as art, music, and PE.

4. A more fair way of evaluating teacher performance instead of basing it on standardized test scores. (Tests that do not help the confidence of special needs students or students that do not test well). Basically, if your school has a poor average on the ACT then no raises will be granted and newer non-tenured teachers could be cut. A more fair way of evaluation would provide greater job protection plus increased morale for students and teachers alike.

5. Above everything else the CTU is trying to save a profession that is a calling! Teaching is not something that many who are striking do for no reason or because they failed at some other career.  They teach because they WANT TO!!!! Why else would they have attended so much college, taken out student loans or served in the military to pay for teacher education?

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Katie: I was a teacher in Chicago Public Schools for 4 years before I came to McCormick. In my four years as a CPS teacher I was displaced a total of three times.

The first time I was displaced, it was the last day of the school year.   Over the summer, I was told by my principal that they were working to hire me back. However, after being a sub for nearly three months the following academic year, I was hired back in November.

The second time, I was displaced was a year later, in the following October. School was in session for six weeks before the District decided we did not have enough students to justify the number of teachers in the building. They took all five of my classes and shuffled them into other classes. Some of the classrooms then had 40 students in them and only 35 desks. Students were sitting at the teacher’s desk, sharing desks with other students or writing on their laps. I was able to find a full-time teaching position in November at another school and stayed there for the duration of the school year.

The timing of these layoffs were difficult for me, but it was especially difficult for students. When teachers are moved around, replaced, or simply not there for three months, there is a negative impact upon students and their learning. Many schools are faced with layoffs after the 20th school day and this situation is not unique.

Teachers are on the picket line, right now, advocating for students to be put first by CPS. Yes, you can give students a place to go during the day claiming that you are putting ‘Children First’ but, teachers know there is more to it. If CPS cares about their students they should want stability in their lives. Our students do not always come from safe places. School should be a place where they see the same smiling faces and develop healthy relationships with teachers and staff. Student growth cannot happen when teachers are coming and going the first three months of the academic year. Students will never learn the benefits of trust if their beloved teachers and the arts are taken away from them.

I am in solidarity with the teachers in Chicago Public Schools as a former teacher, but also as a Christian. Our responsibility as faithful disciples of Christ is to care for the least in our society. The children of Chicago need our support, not only during a strike, but everyday they enter the classroom doors. Students need the love and compassion of teachers who will guide them to their destiny. By standing in solidarity with the teachers, I believe I am serving the risen Lord. Alleluia. Amen.

Well hello friends,

Norae Pitts-Whittington here! Wes has allowed me temporary use of the CURE blog for my very own special interviews.

This year I’ll bring you a monthly look at some of the really amazing four-legged folks at McCormick. I am usually due for my monthly spotlight on the second Friday of the month, but this interview is so great I just couldn’t wait! I got to sit down with one of the coolest dogs at McCormick – Albus Labuschagne-Rhodes!

Albus hanging out at home, being awesome

Tell us your name and breed.
My name is Albus, which means “white” in Latin.  It would be a fitting name, since I’m a Havanese breed of Bichon and have white hair, but, actually, I’m named after the fictional wizard Albus Dumbledore (yeah, my owners are those kind of Harry Potter fans).
Who are your humans?
Dirk Labuschagne (A 2nd year M.Div student at McCormick) and Amy Rhodes.
How did you come to get them?
Dirk and Amy adopted me from the shelter PAWS in north Chicago.  My previous owners were an older couple who had to give me up for medical reasons, and Dirk and Amy played with me for less than two minutes before they decided I was theirs.  What can I say, I’m charming!
How do you like your living arrangements?
I pretty much have the run of the place.  Except for the couch.  And Dirk and Amy’s bed.  My paws make an awesome “pitter-patter” sound as I run on the hardwood floors, so I run around a lot.  Love it!
What’s your favorite place in your apartment?
You can usually find me in one of three places:
1. curled up in the corner where the couch meets the wall. Sounds kinda crazy, I know, but my brain power isn’t really up to explaining why I like that corner so much.
2. My bed next to Dirk’s desk.  It’s base when we’re playing tag, it hides my raw hides when I’m feeling especially ‘dog-like,’ and I can push it around with my nose. Great place.
3.  My crate.  It’s my den, it’s my dog cave, it’s pretty much amazing.  You can find me there, listening to NPR, when Dirk and Amy aren’t home.
Where is your favorite place outside of your apartment?
Anywhere there are other dogs.  Or Parker’s, where I get a bath, because they give me treats constantly.  Constantly.
What are your favorite treats?
Peanut butter and raw hides.  The best is when there’s peanut butter on a raw hide!
How many toys do you have? Which ones are your favorite?
I chew through basically everything, and in an impressively short amount of time, if I do say so myself.  Unfortunately, this means Dirk and Amy stopped trying to find toys that could withstand my powerful jaw and raw determination awhile ago.  Now they only trust me with two rope toys, and I can’t choose between them.
What is your favorite way to pass time?
I love to hang out with other dogs, I love to sit outside Starbucks with Amy while Dirk gets them coffee so I can listen to strangers talk about how cute I am, and I love to play hide and seek.  So far, I’m only good at seeking, but if the day comes when I figure out how to hide, watch out!  Otherwise, I sleep.  Sleep is so great.  Except when Dirk and Amy want to sleep late, then it’s not so great.
What is one thing you think everyone should know about you?
I love attention!  From dogs, from kids, from adults, from whatever – I love it.  I will be super sweet to you and shower you with kisses (whether you want them or not) when you show me attention!  If you don’t give me the attention I want, however, I will find your sock (or shoe) and carry it around it my mouth.  Just to let you know you’re not paying attention to me.  You’ve been warned.
Any words of wisdom you want to share with everyone?
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” J/k, I didn’t really say that, my namesake did!  But it’s pretty true, right?  So I’ll go with that.

So that’s Albus. Pretty cool, huh? Check back in another month to meet another McCormick Furry Friend. Wes will be back on Friday with more neat stuff!

Neighborhood Spotlight: Hyde Park

Happy Friday McCormick!

The First Friday of every month CURE will bring you another neighborhood spotlight. This month – our very own Hyde Park.

Located on the South Side of Chicago, Hyde Park’s northern boundary is 51st streed (East Hyde Park Blvd), Washington Park to the west, Lake Michigan to the east, and the Midway Plaisance to the south.

The 1893 Worlds Fair was held in Jackson Park (beginning in the southeast corner of Hyde Park) and the Midway Plaisance. Today, Hyde Park is primarily known as the home of the University of Chicago as well as President Barack Obama.

Flowers blooming in Hyde Park - Picture by Megan Cochran

Academia:

Being home to one of the most prestigious universities in the world is quite impressive. But Hyde Park not only about the University of Chicago. Also located in Hyde Park are 5 Theological Schools – Catholic Theological Union, Chicago Theological Seminary, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Meadville-Lombard Theological Seminary, and yes, our very own McCormick Theological Seminary. That’s half of the ACTS Consortium schools! In one neighborhood!!

Need a book? Hyde Park has you covered. Not only do the Theological Schools have libraries, but the University of Chicago has five of them. Five! Including Regenstein Library, which houses 4.5 million books.

Attractions:

Hyde Park is home to many world class museums, including the Museum of Science and Industry, The Oriental Institute Museum, Smart Museum of Art and the DuSable Museum of African American History. In addition to museums, Hyde Park is home to the Robie House, one of Frank Lloyn Wright’s most famous designs.

If museums and architecture aren’t your thing, don’t fret! Hyde Park is also home to fourteen parks and a beach!

A view of the Museum of Science and Industry from Promontory Point - Picture by Sergio Centeno

Food and Drink:

Living in Hyde Park, I have had the great chance to frequent several of the neighborhood’s food and beverage offerings. Among McCormick Students favorites are: Salonica, Medici, Noodles, etc., Z&H, Giordano’s, Ribs ‘N Bibs, The Sit Down, Seoul Corea, and the list could go on and on.

Need caffeine? We’ve got 2 Starbucks locations, a Dunkin Donuts, plus a plethora a small coffee shops, including student favorite 57th Street Cafe, where they make a mean latte.

Not enough? Need a cold beer after class? Hyde Park isn’t known for it’s bar life, but the few we have are pretty great. Jimmy’s Woodlawn Tap is a favorite for students and other neighborhood residents. Where else can you talk biblical exegesis or Koine Greek with a bar tender?

Spiritual Life:

Being the home of 5 Seminaries and the U of C Divinity School, you might think there are a lot of church offerings in the neighborhood. You’d be right! Whether your’re Unitarian, Presbyterian, Baptist, Catholic, Quaker, Jewish or Muslim – a house of worship is never too far off.

How to get here???:

Hyde Park isn’t known for it’s ease of access to the rest of the city, but we have a few tried and true methods to get downtown and further. Served by Metra, Hyde Park has two stations – 55th/56th/57th and 53rd. Using Metra it’s a quick 15 minute trip downtown. Trains not your thing? Try taking the X28, 6, 10, or 2 buses. For those with cars, Hyde Park is right on Lake Shore Drive, so driving in is quick and easy.

See you next week!

Exciting Beginnings to Another Year

Well Folks,

Another wonderful new year has begun and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Along with the new year, you’ll notice a fresh look to CURE. We’re not quite finished with its redesign, so pardon our dust, we should be finished within the next couple weeks. With the redesign we hope to be more user friendly, and make it easier to share your feedback with us. If you’d like to comment on new posts, you’re welcome to do so. You can also reach us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mccormick.recruit) and twitter (@MTSRecruit). Feel free to share any posts that you like with your friends on Facebook, your followers on twitter, or anyone else via email. Each new post also has buttons on the bottom of the page for easy social media sharing.

With the new year comes a new schedule of posts. We’ll have new and exciting content each week on Wednesday and Friday at noon, so check back often!

The CURE isn’t the only thing undergoing changes here at McCormick! McCormick has a new professor – Dr. Reggie Williams, professor of ethics, whom you’ll all meet in a few short weeks in a blog post. We also have a new class of wonderful students – 35 in all, from all walks of life. Our new class includes great people from Egypt and Korea, Chicago and Texas. From the Presbyterian church to the Catholic church, fresh out of college and those beginning a second or third career. Our new class of students is small, but full of really wonderful people excited to bring their diversity to McCormick.

Last week we oriented the new group of students to life at McCormick. Included this year was service together with Habitat for Humanity. Three groups of students worked at two construction sites and one ReStore in service to the Chicagoland community.

We’re so blessed to be graced by this new class and cannot wait for the future months and years in ministry with them. Check back Friday for a new Neighborhood Spotlight on our very own Hyde Park!

Peace.

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