Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wally Osterholz 1942-2014

(From remarks made at the New School on March 30, 2015, at Wally's memorial service)

As a child, Wally for me was neutral ground: she knew both my parents, who were divorced but both taught at the New School, Unlike others who knew them both, Wally was not on one side or the other; her relationship with both my parents was a professional one. Precisely for this reason, when I saw how she interacted with both I gained a perspective on their peculiarities and learned better how to situate myself between both of them. This was a skill I think Wally had to exercise many times working as an omni-administrator at the New School for over four decades: interacting with people of various dispositions and enabling the institution to negotiate among and around their various quirks. She was warm yet competent, caring yet efficient; and this humanistic demeanor helped her work well with the other unusual and resourceful thinkers—Reuben Abel, Allen Austill, and Al Landa, who epitomized the New School of the 1960s and 1970.s. Academic traits that are buzzwords today---interdisciplinarity and, yes, public engagement--were unarticulated then, but Wally’s work, in the most ingrained way possible, was fostering these tendencies. Just the fact that she worked both with my father, a political scientist, and my mother, a literary scholar, showed me that thinking across disciplines was possible. Wally helped the New School show this to many through her four decades of service and through many institutional permutations and redefinitions.

      Often, one or the other of my parents would leave me in the fishbowl room to read while they taught. Wally was there to ultimately watch over me but never interfered, just letting me read and adventure amid real and imagined worlds. Meanwhile, I would hear Wally typing—one still typed back then—and talking on the phone, laughing, improvising, reacting, arranging, and above all receiving the Hogarthian parade of humanity that processed through the third floor. To me she was the New School. I was not far off.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Episcopal Bishop Sauls to preach at Interim Shared Eucharist with United Methodists

Episcopal Bishop Sauls to preach at Interim Shared Eucharist with United Methodists

Sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of New York

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Bishop Stacy Sauls, Chief Operating Officer of The Episcopal Church, will preach at an Interim Shared Eucharist with the United Methodist Church on March 3 at 5:30 pm at John Street United Methodist Church in New York City. United Methodist New York Annual Conference Resident Bishop Jane Allen Middleton will preside.
Sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of New York, the historic Eucharist between The Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church will follow The Episcopal Church-United Methodist Church Common Guidelines for Interim Eucharist Sharing.
“The growing unity between United Methodists and Episcopalians is a source of great joy for me as someone who was formed in the Methodist Church as a child,” commented Bishop Sauls. “I continue to value the depth of Methodist spirituality and appreciate the Methodist gift for piety in the best possible sense, and I am filled with hope at the missional opportunities we might pursue together.”
Nicholas Birns, chairman of the Diocese of New York Episcopal – Methodist Dialogue, noted that this service marks the second Interim Shared Eucharist. The first, he said, occurred at St. Paul’s Chapel, New York City, in May 2012. “At that time, the Episcopalians hosted, United Methodist Bishop Jeremiah Park co-presided, and the preacher was Bishop Robert Rimbo of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA),” Birns said.
March 3 is significant as it is the day The Episcopal Church celebrates the lives of John and Charles Wesley.
For the past ten years, the United Methodist Church and The Episcopal Church have been in discussion and discernment moving forward to “full communion” which involves a relationship between church organizations that mutually recognize sharing basic doctrines. This relationship involves: mutual recognition of members, joint celebration of Holy Communion/Eucharist, mutual recognition of ordained clergy, mutual recognition of the sacraments and a common commitment to mission. Both the United Methodist Church and The Episcopal Church share full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but not with each other. The Episcopal Church also shares full communion with the Moravian Church.
The John Street parish started as a prayer circle of Methodists who also attended formal services at Trinity Church, Wall Street.  After American independence, and the consequent formal break between Methodists and Episcopalians, these ties were severed.
Recently, an Interim Shared Eucharist between The Episcopal Church and the United Methodist Church was celebrated at the Episcopal Church’s National Cathedral in Washington DC