News Perspective Online September 2020

Faculty Update

New Book by Recinos

Harold J. Recinos, Professor of Church and Society, has just published a new book, No Room  (2020, Wipf and Stock), a collection of poetry that “makes a connection between the poetic imagination, social criticism, and the meaning of life together in a diverse society,” according to the book’s summary. This is Recinos’s 10th volume of poetry and 16th book published to date. (He has two more collections of poetry forthcoming: Cornered by the Dark (Paraclete Press) and Wading in the River (Wipf and Stock).)  Author Junot Díaz praised his latest book as “Spare, fierce and powerful . . . No Room is a revelation. Open to any page and have your breath taken away by this extraordinary writer.”

Scholz Receives CBA Grant

Susanne Scholz, Professor of Old Testament, was recently named as a recipient of a research grant from the Catholic Biblical Association of America (CBA). The annually invited research grants from CBA “seek to promote biblical scholarship by providing financial assistance for specific projects advancing these goals,” according to the CBA grant guidelines. The CBA grants focus on biblical scholarship, archaeological research, or other research projects in biblical studies. Scholz’s grant will fund a research project, entitled “The Geopolitics of Archeology in the Holy Land: Four Case Studies,” investigating four archaeological sites in Israel/Palestine (Tel Shiloh, the City of David, Tel Rumeida/Hebron, Tel Balata/Shechem). Scholz plans to visit and research the sites with local guides, including a licensed Jewish Israeli tour guide and a licensed Palestinian tour guide living and working on the West Bank. On a previous research trip in 2018, she worked with both of them. Scholz will also spend time conducting research at the École Biblique, the oldest biblical and archaeological research center in the Holy Land. After the trip, Scholz plans to publish a book examining how biblical-archaeological scholarship has contributed to the politics of the region.

Panel Discussion

Four Perkins professors participated in an online panel, “Hope, Justice, and the Pandemic: A Theological Conversation” on August 19.  Karen Baker-Fletcher, Tamara Lewis, Natalia Marandiuc and Alyce McKenzie offered reflections on the current pandemic informed by their academic expertise and clergy experience. Watch the video online here.


News Perspective Online September 2020

Alumni/ae Update

History-Making Appointment

The Rev. Sumesh Jacob (M. Th. ’20) recently became the first elder of Asian Indian descent or origin to serve in a full-time appointment in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Rev. Jacob is an ordained elder in the Church of South India, India’s second-largest denomination and the result of a union of many of the Protestant churches in South India, including the British Methodist Church. After graduating summa cum laude from Perkins in May, Jacob was appointed by Bishop Michael McKee to serve First United Methodist Coppell. The Jacob family has moved just a few miles south of the church – where the local elementary school is 86 percent Asian, with the majority of these students being Indian or from families of South Asian countries. Census numbers reveal that the Asian Indian population doubled in North Texas between 2000 to 2010, and 2020 census numbers are expected to show continued growth. Read the story by clicking here.


Mara LeHew Bailey Honored

The Rev. Mara LeHew Bailey (M. Div. ’10), Chaplain at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, was selected by fellow staff members at the college as the recipient of this year’s Staff Impact award. Bailey is an ordained elder in the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Her husband is also an ordained elder, serving as the lead pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Urbandale, Iowa.  “Hearing the words of those who nominated me brought me to tears and reminded me that the most important thing in this work is, in the words of Bishop Julius C. Trimble, ‘Love the people, love the people, love the people,’” Bailey said. “I’m so honored to do this work.”


An Alumnus We Will Miss: Rev. Gene Wisdom

The Rev. Gene Wisdom (M. Th. ’75), a retired pastor in the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church, passed away on August 20 after a long battle with cancer.  Notes and cards may be sent to Debbie Wisdom, 4710 Dexter Ave., Fort Worth, TX  76107.