Juanita Craft Humanitarian Awards
The Rev. Yvette Blair-Lavallais (M.T.S. ’13) was honored recently with a Juanita Craft Humanitarian Visionary Award. The awards, given by the State Fair of Texas and the Juanita J. Craft Civil Rights House & Museum Steering Committee, are named for Juanita Craft, who fought for civil rights and played a crucial role in integrating many Dallas establishments, including the State Fair. Recipients were honored on October 16 at the State Fair. Blair-Lavallais, the first female senior pastor at First Christian Methodist Church in the Red Bird area of Dallas, has served in pastoral ministry in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for almost 15 years. She earned a Doctor of Ministry from Memphis Theological Seminary in May 2022. As a womanist public theologian and food justice strategist, she focuses on the intersection of food insecurity, famines, displacement, and gentrification of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous peoples.
Josh Taylor (D.P.M. ’21) is one of 15 contributors to a forthcoming book, A Liturgy For All Bodies: New Words for a New World (Cyclical Press). The book will be released in print and as a digital collection for easy downloading and use in worship. A Liturgy for All Bodies is, according to the publisher, “a resource for communities that want to engage the Bible or the teachings of Jesus but have turned away from visions of God that maintain the status quo.” Pre-order the book here.
Filipe Maia (M.T.S. ‘11) is the author of Trading Futures: A Theological Critique of Financialized Capitalism (Duke University Press.) Maia “offers a theological reflection on hope and the future, calling for escape routes from the debt economy… and provides a critical portrayal of financialization as a death-dealing mechanism that colonizes the future in its own image,” according to the publisher. Maia is Filipe Maia is Assistant Professor of Theology at Boston University. Visit the book’s web page here.
A commentary by the Rev. Dr. Linda A Holbrook (M.Div. ‘05) recently appeared in the Morgan Hill Times. Read the commentary, reflecting on the importance of rituals in our lives, here. Holbrook is pastor of Morgan Hill United Methodist Church in Morgan Hill, Calif.
Obits: The Rev. Rebecca Boggan and the Rev. Dr. William “Kurt” Boggan
The Rev. Rebecca Boggan (M.S.M. ‘80 and Master of Music ‘80) passed away on October 18. Boggan helped shape music ministry across the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Even before becoming a deacon, she started what was then the Little Rock Conference Choir Tour in 1991. She led what became the Arkansas Conference Tour through 2007, bringing together United Methodist teens from across the state for a week of travel and singing across the country. At one point, the tour performed for the Clintons in the White House Rose Garden.
Her husband of 43 years and frequent ministry partner, the Rev. Dr. William “Kurt” Boggan (Th.M. ‘81, D.Min. ‘93) died July 20, also at the age of 67.
The couple met at Perkins, then returned to Kurt’s native Arkansas, where they began raising a family as Kurt took on pastoral appointments in United Methodist churches across the state. Kurt was ordained as an elder in 1983 and was appointed pastor to United Methodist churches in Holly Springs, Magnolia and Mount Ida.
In the 1990s, Rebecca followed her own call to ordained ministry, becoming a deacon in 2000. She served as associate pastor alongside her husband at Highland Valley United Methodist Church in Little Rock. She then served as deacon at Cornerstone in Jonesboro, Bryant First, Little Rock First, Springdale First and finally alongside her husband again at Bentonville First.
Kurt and Rebecca are survived by daughters Emily and her husband, Dr. André Wineland of Little Rock, and Dr. Ashley Boggan D. of Madison, New Jersey, who serves as general secretary of the United Methodist Church’s General Commission on Archives and History.
Services for Kurt were held July 29. Services for Rebecca were held October 22 at Little Rock First United Methodist Church.
Obit: The Rev. Kenneth Wayne Paul
The Rev. Kenneth Wayne Paul (Th.M. ‘60) died October 9 following a brief illness. He was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1966 and served in many positions in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Louisiana. In addition, he served for 27 years as Episcopal Chaplain of The Canterbury House at Centenary College of Louisiana. Celebrations of life took place October 18 at St. James Episcopal Church in Alexandria, La., and October 20 at The Church of the Holy Cross Episcopal in Shreveport, La. Read the full obituary here.
Obit: The Rev. Barbara Pearle Sheldon
The Rev. Barbara Pearle Sheldon, 77, died October 7 at her home. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, the Rev. Tom Sheldon (Th.M. ‘69) a retired clergyman in the Great Plains Annual Conference. Barbara earned a Master of Religious Education degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in 1969 and enjoyed a long career as a Christian educator in United Methodist Churches and in the Kansas West Conference. Barbara also served as a Diaconal Minister, and then as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church, until her retirement in 2012. A memorial service was held October 14. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Trinity’s Tiny Treasures Preschool, in care of Elliott Mortuary, 1219 N. Main, Hutchinson, KS 67501. Read her obituary here.