Beyond the Close

Will Retherford ’18 Releases New Song Inspired by Desmond Tutu


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.

Spotify: Music:

Press Release:
“Human” by Will Retherford
Contact: Will Retherford

A New Call for Gretchen Ratterree ‘16


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? by the Rev. Kate Malin, ‘06

How Are The Boys? by the Rev. Kate Malin, ‘06

“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.

IN MEMORIAM: Gary McCauley ‘66


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.

Click here to read the reflections of his friends and colleagues.

A New Call for Stephen Harding ‘95


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.

A New Call for David Lemburg ‘04

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The Rev. David Wesley Lemburg, Class of 2004, has been called to serve as Priest in Charge of St. George's, Savannah announces beginning September 17. Lemburg has been an active member in the Episcopal church since he was three years old. He served St. Paul's, Fayetteville as a choir member, acolyte, verger, altar guild, Eucharistic visitor, lector, and Eucharistic minister, before receiving ordination to the diaconate in 2004 and priesthood in 2005.

Lemburg was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He is a U.S. Navy Veteran, serving the USS BOXER LHD-4 in the mid-90's, doing Intelligence work. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville before receiving his Master's in Divinity from General. Lemburg comes to St. George's from St. Patrick's in Pooler, Georgia, where he served for a year as the Priest in Charge.

 Previously, Lemburg served as Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Mediator-Redeemer in Magnolia, Mississippi. He has also served as a Chaplain for retired military, and served churches in New York, Western Louisiana and Hawai'i. He is married to the Rev. Melanie Lemburg, the Rector of St. Thomas Isle of Hope in Savannah, also alumna Class of 2004. They have two children - Mary Margaret and Jack.

The Episcopal Handbook Revised by Tobias Haller ’97 Still a Best Seller

The Rev. Tobias Haller BSG, Class of 1997, has revised The Episcopal Handbook for Church Publishing. Still providing helpful and insightful information about the Episcopal ethos with a certain amount of whimsy and complete accessibility, this revision adds an update and an expansion on the church today.

In addition to updating references, the revision highlights Episcopal diversity. There are new sections on church governance, the origins of religious belief, and a capsule summary of church history. The goal is to provide a book suitable for a wide range of uses and settings: for Sunday schools, confirmations, inquirer classes – and for everyone from visitors to vestries.

Haller has also recently worked on two other books for Church Publishing: Preparing for a Wedding in the Episcopal Church  and What About Sex? – A Little Book of Guidance.

All of the titles are available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. His previous books also include Reasonable and Holy: Engaging Same Sexuality.

Haller is a parish priest and life professed member of the Brotherhood of Saint Gregory, where he was recently named as Director of Postulants and Novices.

A New Call for David Sellery ‘92


The Rev. David Foster Sellery, Class of 1992, has been appointed to the position of Canon for Congregational Mission by the Rt. Rev. Sam Rodman, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. This is a new position that will be centered on providing support and resources of the congregations of the Diocese of North Carolina and working closely with the bishops, canons (regional and office-based), staff, local leadership, and diocesan ministries.

Sellery will report to Bishop Rodman, and in addition to developing diocesan and ecumenical collaborations, he will be instrumental in recruiting, developing and training teams to provide direct support and consultation to vulnerable congregations, working with the bishop and communications department to integrate further this work’s mission focus into the overall diocesan communication plan, and expanding and deepening global mission partnerships, especially with companion dioceses in Costa Rica and Botswana.

Sellery brings to this work an interesting combination of leadership experience, having served a variety of parishes in Tennessee, New York, and Connecticut in addition to holding senior nonprofit and fundraising positions. He has a deep spirituality and life of prayer that anchors his innovative approach to ministry in the 21st century, and he has a proven track record in using partnerships and creative outreach to build relationships within communities. He has most recently served at St. John’s in Salisbury, Connecticut, where he developed a ministry to those hiking on the nearby Appalachian Trail, and was also a weekly contributor to local NPR radio and television programming.