Sturdy shoes, for the twelve apostles and for new seminarians alike, are necessary gear. Sturdy shoes help us keep walking when we want to quit and go home.
Will Retherford, Class of 2018, has released his first new single in five years, “HUMAN”. The chorus of “HUMAN” is inspired South African Bishop Desmond Tutu’s quote, “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”
Retherford had moved with his family from their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Harlem, where they found themselves in the white minority, haunted by the discovery of hidden prejudice toward people of color in a low-income neighborhood. Never having considered himself to be prejudiced, this new awakening led Retherford to a strong perspective change and a desire to help others find what’s hidden within them. He believes if we can start with deep internal reflection on ourselves, then we can begin to change the world helping one person at a time.
From Harlem, Retherford came to General to study theology. It was here where his convictions and perspectives shifted and led to a new ideological structure. First raised up in the Word of Faith movement, Retherford was embraced by the inclusive community of the Episcopal Church and his heart grew larger for social justice and peace. In one of his classes, he learned of Desmond Tutu and was deeply inspired by his life and teachings. At General, Will learned to finally put to language what was stirring on the inside of him and now he is on a journey with the Episcopal Church as an artist writing and cultivating creative music and ideas for the church at large. He now is the creative director at Christ Church in Tulsa, OK leading their contemporary mass.
“HUMAN” will be the first of many new releases from Retherford as he dives into a new sound which he describes as “collaborating with the sounds of dance and Anglican mass – aka. Neo Spiritual Pop.” He is looking to build a bridge between “Christian music” and “non-Christian music.” He believes that all music is spiritual, it’s just the topic of focus that changes per song. He is going to be focusing on multiple releases a year centering around faith, social justice, and specifically, liturgical prayers.
“HUMAN” is available on all platforms.
The Rev. Gretchen Ratterree, Class of 2016, is the new Priest-in-Charge at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Newark, New York in the Diocese of Rochester. She had previously been serving as Assistant Priest at The Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, Marietta, Georgia in the Diocese of Atlanta.
Before the call to ordained ministry, Ratterree served parishes, boards, and committees in the Dioceses of Atlanta, East Carolina, and Alabama with an emphasis on education and youth ministry. Before receiving her M.Div. from General, she attended Auburn University at Montgomery, the University of the South School of Theology, and the Institute for Ministry and Theological Education.
“How are the boys?”
It’s a perfectly reasonable question and I hear it all the time from friends and colleagues whom I haven’t seen for a while. When I signed the big book at Matriculation in the fall of 2002 as a member of the Junior MDiv class, I had three children under five: identical twin four-year-old boys and an infant son.
The Rev. Gary Francis McCauley, Class of 1966, died on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Queensway-Carleton Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada at the age of 78. Born April 1, 1940, in Cochrane, Ontario, Canada, he was an Anglican priest, a Member of Parliament, an adjudicator with the Immigration and Refugee Board and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. He was also a novelist and essayist with a quick and inventive sense of humor, a passion for the downtrodden and a compulsive attention to planning meals months in advance.
McCauley has written three novels beginning with Soldier Boys, the story of a young man who goes off to fight Hitler and comes home badly scarred by his war. The novels which follow, Faith Of Our Fathers and Morgan Le Fay tell how the man’s damaged psyche affects his life and the life of his son. He also wrote Fraud and Disability: The SNAFU at Veterans Affairs.
He is survived by his sister Jane Sullivan, his former wife Dianne Archibald, his children Randall, Tim and Heather. His loving partner and friend Maire J. O’Callaghan, and his purrfect pals Daisy, Sadie, and Casey Coal McCauley are all bereft without his loving care and sustenance.
The Rev. Stephen Harding, Class of 1995, has accepted the call as the new rector for Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven, MA. Harding has been the five-year interim rector at our neighbor historic St. Peter’s Church in Chelsea. He also served as the disaster response coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of New York, and as the Protestant chaplain for the New York City Fire Department.
Before joining St. Peter’s, he served as the senior associate priest at the Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy in Manhattan, and is a board-certified chaplain with more than 15 years of hospital and hospice experience.
As a volunteer chaplain with the American Red Cross, he was active in the World Trade Center recovery effort. He is the editor of a disaster response manual for religious leaders in New York City, and the editor and contributing author of a disaster response training course for chaplains.
Harding earned his master of divinity degree from the Union Theological Seminary, a master of sacred theology in spiritual direction from General, and is working on a doctor of ministry from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. His first services will be on Nov. 4 for All Saints’ Day.