The Episcopal Church at Yale is one of the oldest university Chaplaincies in the country (established on October 23, 1869). ECY is a ministry of the Episcopal Church to students, staff and faculty at Yale University. We seek to encourage and nurture members of the Yale community in the faith of Jesus Christ and to communicate in the academy of higher learning that the religious quest is relevant and essential to the educated mind. We do this by exploring both ancient and contemporary forms of prayer and common worship, facilitating stimulating discussions of the scriptures, and fostering a common life of fellowship and service.
A Message From Our Chaplain, The Rev. Bruce Shipman: Spring Break Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Spring break saw me and three ECY students–Michael Nestler, Joshua Bruner, and Isabelle Erb–in Israel and the Occupied Territories along with a number of Yale and Harvard Divinity students taking part in a Tree of Life Journey. The visit might almost be called transformative as we visited places of devotional and biblical moment alongside the living stones of modern day Israel/Palestine. The term living stones came up in the conversation we had with our own Bishop Laura Ahrens at St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem where she had just completed a two week course on the Palestine of Jesus. Over lunch we talked about living stones, the term favored by Palestinian Christians to describe their continuing but diminished presence in the Holy Land. Their lives in East Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories are extremely difficult, and for them the future looks exceedingly bleak. Solidarity can be shown through gifts to the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, www.afedj.org.
We led Morning Prayer at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. George on the morning of March 13, our first full day in Jerusalem. It was a wonderful way to start the visit, and from our base in Bethlehem we toured the land from the Golan Heights to Jericho and the Dead Sea. At the Jordan River a short distance from its entrance into the Dead Sea members were invited to renew our Baptismal vows, which all of the ECY group did after removing shoes and wading in the muddy water. A half day was devoted to the West Bank city of Jenin, where we attended the “Freedom Theatre” and saw actors depicting the emotions aroused by memories of recent conflict and the ongoing Occupation.
At the end of the academic year, we said goodbye to several individuals who have been a big part of ECY. We want to thank Paul Thomas for his superb leadership as organist and choir director over the past three years. He and his wife Meredith will be much missed. We want to thank Cody Maynus for his excellent work as sacristan. Cody returns to his native Minnesota to begin the discernment process for holy orders. We want to thank Joshua Bruner for serving ECY this year as a semi- nary volunteer. His faithful and competent service have been a very big blessing to the entire chaplaincy, and we shall miss him.
With thanks for the moral and material support which so many of you have offered to me and the ECY chaplaincy I am,
Read the full ECY Easter Newsletter (including testimonies from graduating seniors and ECY Music Director Paul Thomas!)
The Episcopal Church at Yale is a gem has been entrusted to us, and it is within our power to make it shine ever brighter. Read the testimonies of our six seniors in this Newsletter and know that what we have been doing is good. Faithfully yours, Bruce+