IN MEMORIAM: The Rev. Denise Mantell (’82)


The Rev. Denise Pariseau Mantell (Class of '82), died July 23, 2013 at the age of 67. She was among the first to volunteer at Ground Zero after 9/11; providing pastoral care and support at St. Paul's Chapel on West Broadway, and the Mobile Morgue. Like many of those she served with, she developed lung cancer from exposure to dust at the site. Denise attended The Mary Louis Academy, then Queens College, where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1978. After earning her M.Div. from General, she was ordained to the priesthood in 1985 and made Associate Rector of St. Paul's Church in Morris Plains, New Jersey. In 1988, she became Rector of The Church of Our Merciful Savior in Penns Grove, New Jersey. In 1999, she became Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Matawan, New Jersey, before retiring to live with her family in Delaware in 2009.

Denise was always an advocate for the neglected and forgotten, a vibrant priest, and an active community member. She gave of her time and talents by serving as chaplain to the Fire Department of Carney's Point, New Jersey, and held the community service chair of the local Rotary Club for five years. She was active in the Diocese of Newark, the Diocese of New Jersey, and the Diocese of New York, serving on committees such as the Peace Commission, Science and Theology Commission, Diaconate Formation Committee, and Commission on Priesthood and the Diaconate.

Denise was recognized for her hard work and service to others by being named Matawan New Jersey's Citizen of the Year in 2003, Paul Harris Fellow of the Matawan Rotary Club in 2002, and a Temple Beth Shalom Woman of Valor in 2002. She was named to the Matawan Regional High School Hall of Fame in 2003.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Kim and Neil Carlson; grandchildren, Alex and Matthew Carlson; former husband, Bob Mantell; brothers and sister, Lawrence and Daniel Pariseau and Andree Monroe, and their children. She was predeceased by her beloved son, Dorian.

Online condolences can be made at

Three Spiritual Directors to Offer Ministry Next Week: Here's How to Make an Appointment


Barbara Crafton, Louise Litke and Westina Matthews, the three spiritual directors who will minister to members of the Seminary community in this Michaelmas 2013 term, will all be on the Close next week and are  available to you for ministry appointments. Any member of the GTS community—student, professor, staff member, or family member—is welcome to meet occasionally or regularly (usually once a month) with a spiritual director. This ministry is a gift from the seminary to you. To schedule an appointment with Louise Litke or Westina Matthews, click here. If you wish to see Barbara Crafton, know that she prefers to run her own schedule. You may reach her by email here.

Spiritual direction is about holy companionship as you grow in authenticity and relationship with God. A spiritual director is someone with whom you can speak confidentially and honestly about your experiences of God, who will accompany you as you explore your spirituality, and to whom you can be accountable in your spiritual practices. A spiritual director will listen as you share your interior life, notice how God is present for you, teach and encourage you to try new ways of praying, and help you discern God’s good purposes for you.

For a downloadable PDF that provides biographies of the spiritual directors, along with guidance for scheduling appointments, click here.

September Ministry Days Location: Spirituality Room, Ground Floor of Moore (across from mailroom) Barbara Crafton, Wednesday afternoons and evenings Louise Litke, Monday through Thursday, September 9-12 Westina Matthews, Saturday morning, September 14; Monday evening, September 17 Nigel Massey is on sabbatical until January 2014

Please keep your appointments! Write them down in every calendar, and pray for the Spirit to guide you there!

GTS Student Reflects on Attending the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington


By Andrew Durbidge, M.Div. '14 The commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was an event that couldn’t be missed. As a 50-year-old seminarian I wanted to be present in Washington D.C. to mark the long struggle for equal rights that has been played out in societies from my native Australia to these United States.

On the journey to Washington D.C., I was accompanied by the Rev. Bradley Dyche (M.Div. ’02), an advocate for justice and peace through his leadership of Theology and Peace ( The day was hot and steamy as we made our way toward the Mall, past the vast buildings that house the machinery of national government, past the museums, and toward the Washington Monument and the reflecting pools. A broken foot helped us bypass the massive crowds at the security checkpoint and soon we found some grass that offered a good view of the Lincoln Memorial.

Steady rain began as trade union officials, celebrity speakers, and well-known civil rights advocates took to the microphone, each marking the occasion with reminders that the job is yet to be finished, noting continued inequality in all areas of life and the rolling back of the Voting Rights Act. The President, former Presidents, the Martin Luther King family, and Rep. John Lewis all spoke eloquently about the struggle behind us and in front of us.

As I listened to the speeches I found myself reflecting on the short life of Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who died in Alabama in 1965 fighting for equality. He, and the many others that had put their bodies on the line for the sake of advancing the cause, is why we can never rest in standing up for justice peacefully. The President reminded us that the job is yet unfinished when he said, “The test was not and never has been whether the doors of opportunity are cracked a bit wider for a few. It was whether our economic system provides a fair shot for the many—for the black custodian and the white steelworker, the immigrant dishwasher and the Native American veteran. To win that battle, to answer that call, this remains our great unfinished business.”

Being present at this commemoration allowed me to better connect with the long struggle for social justice and equality in this country, which will help me to be more attentive to injustice in the communities in which I hope to serve.

The journey to this memorable event in Washington D.C. bore fruit of a different kind as well when Brad and I began a new phase in our wonderful relationship!

Grace at Meals in the Refectory

A note about the words of the grace that we sing in the Refectory: "The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord: and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand: and fillest all things living with plenteousness. Bless, O Lord, these gifts to our use and us to thy service; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen." 

These words come from the Coverdale Psalter, a 16th century translation of the psalms that was ultimately included in the 1662 Prayer Book and hence, are still the official translation used in the Church of England.

We are not sure exactly from where this grace came to GTS.  Prof. Mullin has done a bit of searching and it appears that under Dean Hoffman (Dean 1879-1902) we were still singing the grace in Latin, but we're not sure it was the same grace we sing today.  We are fairly sure this grace has been sung here at least since the period after WWII and, perhaps much earlier.

Congregational Leadership Training in Management and Finance

Congregational Leadership Training in Management and Finance These four learning events will help pastors and lay leaders improve their administrative and management skills. Each session is on a Saturday morning from  9:00-12:00.  There is no fee, but we ask that attendees notify the office of their intent to come so we can plan for sufficient handouts and seating.  Please email or at to leave word if you plan to attend.

All events will be held at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church 155 E 22nd St., New York, NY

Introduction to Congregational Finance - October 19, 2013 A basic overview on the principles and practice of congregational finances, including non-profit style books and records, managing restricted (or designated) giving, proper organization of the Treasury and Financial Secretary offices, and a synopsis of tax reports  and audits for congregations. This is basic information that every board member should know.  The course is particularly suitable for new congregation officers and council members and anyone that wants to improve their church management skills.

Congregations and Responsible Governance – November 16, 2013 

An introduction to the congregation’s responsibilities to the government, a review of the obligations of the Board of Directors (congregation council) under the state nonprofit law, including  payroll and tax issues.  The session will provide guidance for property and capital issues such as management, maintenance, insurance, risk management, and capital improvements. Particularly suitable for congregational officers.

Planning, Budgeting and Managing – February 22, 2014 An introduction to the planning and budgeting process for congregations, including setting a vision, planning for people, space and financial resources, and constructing and using strategic and tactical budgets.  A critical resource for a congregation is people, so we will also discuss designing an organization for the available skills, staffing a congregation, training of volunteers and lay leaders and related issues. Particularly suitable for congregational leadership.

Congregational Audit - March 22, 2014 Good management requires periodic audits of an organizations activities, of which financial audits are only one example.  This workshop will review the nature and intent of a spectrum of audits, including financial, building, insurance, risk, and program audits.  Sample audit guidelines will be provided for audit procedures that can be done by volunteers.  Attendees should have a basic familiarity with congregational finance and strategic planning.


A New Call for Bishop Jelinek ('70)


The Rt. Rev. James L. Jelinek (Class of ‘70), retired Bishop of Minnesota and a former GTS Trustee, has been called as Interim Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, K Street, Washington, D.C. He will lead the parish during the transition until its tenth rector is called in approximately 15 months. “I am very excited to join this wonderful parish and look forward to walking with the people of St. Paul’s during this time of transition,” said Bishop Jelinek. “St. Paul’s is an extraordinary parish known for its beautiful liturgy, nationally recognized music program, and commitment to mission.”

Prior to his 17 years as Bishop in the Diocese of Minnesota, Jelinek served as Rector of St. Aidan’s Church in San Francisco, California, and St. Michael and All Angels in Cincinnati, Ohio.

A New Call for the Rev. Canon Beverly Gibson, '05


The Rev. Canon Beverly F. Gibson, Class of 2005, succeeded the Very Rev. Johnny W. Cook as rector of Christ Church Cathedral in Mobile, Alabama on September 1, 2013 and was installed as Dean on October 12. GTS Dean, the Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle (’04), preached at the Installation, and was a guest at a breakfast for area alums hosted by the Rt. Rev. Philip Menzie Duncan (’70), Bishop of the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast, before the ceremony. Upon returning to General Dean Dunkle remarked, "it is not surprising that yet another beloved daughter of General has been called to a prominent leadership position in our Church. No doubt, the formation Beverly received at General has been significant in her ordained leadership, and I look forward, on behalf of all of us, to seeing its further fruits."

Gibson, a native of Andalusia, began her work at Christ Church in 2005, and had been its Sub-Dean. She, her husband, Mike, and their two children reside in Mobile. For 18 years, she was an English professor at Troy University.

Evangelism for the 21st Century Grant Applications due September 23

Have you been inspired to proclaim the Gospel in a new and different way? How has your seminary experience shown you where the church needs to be? EES awards Evangelism for the 21st Century grants to Episcopalians in seminary communities: students, faculty, staff and their spouses/partners, for innovative ministry projects.  Grants are $500 - $5,000 and are intended to help define, encourage and support the emerging forms of lay and ordained ministries that the new century demands.  Grant work may be domestic or international, and eligible expenses include transportation, room and board and expenses related to program delivery.  
Learn more about EES and download the E-21 grant application at or contact Ms. Day Smith Pritchartt, Executive Director, at (703) 807-1862 or  Read about recent grant work in the latest newsletter and on Facebook. Applicants are encouraged to share their ideas with Ms. Pritchartt before submitting a proposal. Applications for the Spring grants cycle will be due February 3, 2014.

Dean Dunkle Tends a Seminary Garden


On Labor Day, Dean Kurt Dunkle surprised the General Seminary community by doing some gardening on the Close to spruce things up for the first day of Michaelmas 2013 classes. The labor of love included planting a newly acquired fig tree for the beginnings of a Biblical garden.

"I was quietly reading when I heard the sound of scraping outside my window," said Joanne Izzo, M.Div.'13 and S.T.M.'14. "I looked up expecting to see the general maintenance crew. Who do I see? Kurt, rake in hand, weeding and cleaning. How thoughtful and pastoral!"

Clearing away in front of Dehon, the Dean discovered several herbs. "A sprite came along and planted basil, lemon-thyme, and rosemary," explained Deirdre Good, Academic Dean, also spending the holiday on the Close.

Together, the three began to imagine an intentional GTS herb garden. Then, inspired, the Dean thought of the fig tree and brought it over, removed a bush that had failed to thrive, and planted the beginning of a Biblical garden.

A New Space for the GTS Children's Garden Preschool

Prof. Joshua Davis and his wife, Chaplain Danielle Thompson, play with their son after the blessing.

On August 28, Dean Kurt Dunkle, along with many of the staff, students, and faculty, offered a blessing of the new space for the GTS Children’s Garden Preschool. The newly renovated space in the "422" building across the street, which officially opened on August 21, provides a much-needed learning and activity space for the Preschool. Throughout its various programs, the Garden has 37 children, many of whom are members of the GTS community.

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