Br. Clark Berge ’84 Presented with Distinguished Alumni Award at Alumni Gathering 2013

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Brother Clark Berge, Class of 1984, received the Distinguished Alumni Award for his inspiring leadership as Minister General of the Society of St. Francis. The award was presented at the Alumni Banquet concluding the two-day Alumni Gathering, November 6 and 7.

Over 60 alums, representing over 60 years of General Theological Seminary history, came home to attend the annual gathering, sharing worship, fellowship, and study. They joined the community for Morning Prayer, Evensong, and a special annual Memorial Eucharist at which Brother Clark preached, and the Rev. Dick Corney, Class of 1957 and Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, read the names of those alumni and alumnae whose deaths had been reported to the Seminary since the last gathering in 2011.

During his sermon, Brother Clark moved the congregation with “this connection between death and our ministry – the spur to evaluate our lives, perhaps.” On our important tradition of reading the names of the departed one more time in the Chapel, he noted, “Thinking back over the lives of the alumni I knew, I think about my life. As I find out about what these people’s lives were like, I am often astounded by the beauty of them all, the faithfulness they showed. I think of all the lives that were touched, sacraments celebrated, sore hearts healed, the work for social justice. A few had brilliant careers, but so many of us don’t – in our own estimation. So, I want to remind us that in the big picture each and every one of us is a kind of miracle.” You can read the full text of his sermon here.

The alumni gathering was joyous and thoughtful, marked by the knowledge that last year’s event had to be cancelled in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. A special feature of the event was the three-part series: The Paddock Lectures. Dr. Elizabeth Drescher, author of the noteworthy Tweet if You [heart] Jesus and arguably the Episcopal Church’s authority on religion and social media, was the dynamic and provocative presenter. Speaking on “Media, Meaning, and Ministry in the Digital Reformation,” her visit drew the largest group of alums, faculty, students, and visitors to Seabury Auditorium in recent memory. Many alumni, led by the Rev. Colin Chapman ’12, tweeted the event just as Drescher would have predicted.

Nominations for the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award are now being accepted through January 1, 2014. The award will be decided by the Alumni Executive Committee at its winter meeting. For complete information on the Call for Nominationsclick here or email gtsalumniae@gts.edu. The award will be presented at next year’s gathering, which is currently scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, November 5 and 6, 2014.