Beyond the Close

Chris Keller ‘09 preaches on ‘Day 1’


The Rev. Dr. Christoph Keller III, Class of 2009 (ThD), a former trustee and currently Dean and Rector of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Little Rock, Ark., is the featured preacher Jan. 18, the King Holiday Sunday, on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program also accessible online at  The radio program is produced by the Alliance for Christian Media.

Keller has served in parish ministry and as Canon Missioner of the Diocese of Arkansas. In 1991 he started St. Margaret’s Church in Little Rock. He is also the founder of SUMMA, a student theological debate society for high school students, now based at the Beecken Center at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.

Keller is a graduate of Amherst College and earned his M.Div. from the Episcopal Divinity School before earning his Th.D. in Anglican studies from General. He is the son of the late Bishop Christoph Keller, Jr., for whom our library is named.

“Water to Wine,” Keller’s sermon for Jan. 20, is based on John 2:1-11, the story of Jesus’ first public miracle at the wedding in Cana. The sermon also draws from Isaiah 62:1, the prophet’s words about not keeping silent. “In Christ we see how right King and Lincoln were. This is a moral universe,” he says. “He taught and lived the law that perfectly aligns with the just purposes of God. In that alignment miracles occurred.”

“Day 1” has been broadcast every week for over 73 years, formerly as “The Protestant Hour.” Featuring outstanding preachers from the mainline denominations, “Day 1” is currently distributed to more than 200 radio stations across America and overseas. The program is produced by the Alliance for Christian Media, based in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, call toll free 888-411-Day-1 or check the program’s website,  

IN MEMORIAM: Harold Hopkins, Jr. ‘55


The Rt. Rev. Harold A. Hopkins Jr., Class of 1955 (D.D. 1980), died age 88, on January 3, 2019, surrounded by his family at the Maine Medical Center after a brief illness.

Harold (Hoppy) Hopkins was born in Germantown, PA, on April 24, 1930, to Harold A. Hopkins Sr. and Ellen Sophia Christianson. Hoppy graduated from Germantown Academy and the University of PA, attended officers training in the Navy for two years, leaving to attend General.

During his second year in Seminary, he met and eventually married the love of his life and partner in all things, Nancy Myer Hopkins who predeceased him in July 2018. After graduation, Hoppy first served for two years as an assistant priest in Pelham Manor, NY. He then moved with his wife to Maine where he served as parish Rector, first in Millinocket for five years and then Bar Harbor for six years. During this time, Nancy and Hoppy started their family, including Andrew C Hopkins (predeceased, 2012), Thomas F Hopkins, Elizabeth E Hopkins, Katherine A Hopkins, Jonathan P Hopkins, and Paul M Hopkins.

In 1969, Hoppy and the family moved to North Yarmouth, Maine where he worked as Archdeacon, assistant to the Episcopal Bishop of Maine in Portland. During this time, he also founded St. Bartholomew's Church in Yarmouth, Maine. He was then called to become the Bishop of the Diocese of North Dakota in 1980, where he worked until 1989. In North Dakota, he grew to love the plains and especially enjoyed his work with the tribal nations there.

When he left North Dakota, he lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota and then moved back to his beloved Maine while working in the Office of Pastoral Development in the national Episcopal Church for The Most Reverend Bishop Edmond Browning (D.D. 1986) until his retirement in 1997.

Hopkins was a strong supporter of and ordained many women Episcopal Priests and Bishops and was proud to be one of the co-consecrators of the first openly gay Bishop in the Episcopal Church. “He was the real pioneer of the Office of Pastoral Development – he and his wife Nancy did so much of the early work on sexual and other abuse by clergy, as well as promoting interventions and wellness.” remembers the Rev. Ellen Tillotson, Class of 1983 and a member of General’s Board of Trustees. “He was my ordaining bishop and a real pillar of my life: an intelligent, caring, perceptive pastor to me and, doubtless to countless others … his was not a ministry that made headlines, but was deeply faithful and quietly important.”

After he retired, Hoppy and Nancy moved to the Piper Shores retirement community in Scarborough, Maine. He enjoyed volunteering for several years, teaching English as a second language to New Mainers and serving on numerous committees at Piper Shores. One good friend from Piper Shores said Hoppy was a "profound man who illuminated, comforted and inspired me and so many". Hoppy was extremely proud of his six grandchildren, Katy and Hillary Morrison, Paul and Anna Hopkins, and Hannah and Elise Piecuch.

A memorial celebration of his life will be held at St. Bartholomew's Church in Yarmouth, Maine, on Saturday, April 6, at 2:00 p.m. Arrangements entrusted to Hobbs Funeral Home, Scarborough. Online condolences may be expressed at

Peter-Ben Smit ’11 Offers Old Catholic Theology in Utrecht


The Rev. Dr. Peter-Ben Smit, Class of 2011, will once again offer his popular summer school in Old Catholic Theology in its Ecumenical Context, from July 7-12. Taught in the beautiful medieval city of Utrecht, Amsterdam, students will study with the faculty of the Old Catholic Seminary based there.

Many Episcopal theologians already benefited from the course, which offers a concise introduction to the theology, history, and spirituality of the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht. The course includes excursions to an Old Catholic parish, to the Catharijneconvent, the main Dutch museum of religious art, and through the city of Utrecht itself. For more information, go to the Utrecht Summer School website here,  or contact the course director, Smit directly at ( University and permanent education credits can be earned through this course.

Smit is Professor of Contextual Biblical Interpretation at Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam), Professor by special appointment of Ancient Catholic Church Structures at Utrecht University, Professor (ao.) for Systematic and Ecumenical Theology faculty of Theology University of Bern and a research associate in the Department of Theology of the University of Pretoria. His scholarly work includes the recently published Parrhesia: Ancient and Modern Perspectives on Freedom of Speech with Eva van Urk.

Click here for a pdf with all the course information.

IN MEMORIAM: Robert B. Doing ‘54

The Rev. Robert Burns Doing Jr., Class of 1954, a priest of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, died early Jan. 2, 2019 in Wisconsin.

Doing was born December 14, 1929 in Brooklyn, and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, before attending General. He married his wife Susan Shaw Doing in 1954. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he was ordained a deacon and a priest in the Diocese of Long Island under Bishop James Pernette DeWolfe.

He was a curate at Trinity Episcopal Church in Roslyn, N.Y., and vicar of St. John's Episcopal Church in Bristol, Conn. From 1962 to 1982, he was the rector of St. James' Episcopal Church in Winsted, Conn. While in Connecticut, he became involved with the Faith Alive movement, associated with the Episcopal Church in Darien, Conn., according to his son, James Russell Doing.

His son said that his grandfather, Robert Burns Doing Sr., was an atheist who later came to Christ. The elder Doing served in the lay leadership of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, where he traveled on evangelistic missions with Dutch writer and Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom.

He served at St. Anselm's, Lehigh Acres from 1982-1994, where he retired from active ministry. At the time, Bishop Rogers Harris wrote him that he would "no doubt be looking for ways to serve the Lord." In his retirement from active ministry, he assisted at All Souls, North Ft. Myers; St. Michael and All Angels, Sanibel; Holy Spirit, Osprey; and St. Paul's, Naples, among others. He moved to Wisconsin to be with his son in August, 2018.

He is survived by sons Mark Howard Doing, James Russell Doing, daughter Elizabeth Crissy Doing Tammaru, and 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. His wife of 61 years, Susan Doing, predeceased him in 2015.

"He was a much loved part of the community," said the Rev. Dr. David Jackson, who served as vicar at Good Shepherd, Labelle and All Souls in North Ft. Myers. "He will be greatly missed."

Services are planned for Friday, Jan. 11 at 5 p.m. at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Madison, Wisc.

IN MEMORIAM: Frederic Alling ‘55


The Rev. Dr. Frederic A. Alling, Class of 1955, died on October 22, 2018 at the age of 88.

Born in Newark, NJ on May 8, 1930, Alling graduated with honors from Princeton University in 1952 with majors in Philosophy and Religion, before completing his studies at General. After his ordination in 1955, he served as Curate at Christ Church, Teaneck, NJ until 1956, and then as supply clergy in the Diocese of Newark until 1961.

Alling then entered Columbia University, from which he received his Physicians and Surgeons, MD and MS degree in Social Psychiatry in 1969. He served as an Attending Psychiatrist at Harlem Hospital (1969-72), Medical Director of the Institutes of Religion and Health (1972-77) and a Senior Attending Psychiatrist at St. Lukes Hospital, NYC and became Director of Substance Abuse in-patient services (1977-95), as well as maintaining a private practice of psychiatry for many years. He published many journal articles and wrote the book Brief Flights: Transcendent Experiences.

After retiring to Marblehead, Alling volunteered at a psychiatric clinic in Lynn, where he worked primarily with Cambodian refugees. His ministry in life was to treat patients with substance abuse, volunteer with the homeless and provide service to patients in his private practice. He always enjoyed sailing from his youth into his eighties.

Alling is survived by Martha, his wife of 62 years; three daughters and sons-in-law, Wendy and John Judy, Helen and Stuart Westland and Frances and Chris Tully; and eight grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Stearly Holt and five nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister Susan Miller, brother Wilson Alling and niece Heidi Willis.

A Memorial Service was held at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Marblehead MA on November 10, 2018.

A New Call for Jason Poling ‘15


The Rev. Dr. Jason Poling, Class of 2015, has been called as Priest-in-Charge of St. Andrew's, Pasadena and All Saints', Reisterstown, in the Diocese of Maryland. He had previously been serving as Vicar of Saint Hilda’s Episcopal Church in Catonsville, MD.

Before being received into the Episcopal Church by Bishop Eugene Sutton, Poling was the Pastor of the independent New Hope Community Church in Catonsville, where he is now Pastor Emeritus.

Rowan Williams to Lead General Seminary Paddock Lectures in February; Michael B. Curry to Preach

Rowan Williams to Lead General Seminary Paddock Lectures in February;  Michael B. Curry to Preach

Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, will lead “45 Years of ‘Being Christian’: Rowan Williams at General Seminary” in the seminary’s annual Paddock Lectures. The presentation will feature his bestselling catechetical work, Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer in addition to his reflections on a life of ministry, academia, and ecclesiastical leadership.

IN MEMORIAM: David Charles Walker ’73, composer of “General Seminary”


The Rev. David Charles Walker, Class of 1973, — priest, chaplain, organist and composer — died Dec. 3, 2018. He served as chaplain and director of pastoral care at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles from 1991 – 2003 and previously served congregations in San Diego, Beverly Hills, and Brooklyn New York.

Walker also served General as Organist and Director of Music. He composed two hymn tunes included in Hymnal 1982: “General Seminary,” with the text “King of Glory, King of Peace” by George Herbert (Hymn 382), and “Point Loma,” with the text “Baptized in water” (Hymn 294).

After serving three years on the General’s faculty, he moved to parish life, becoming rector of St. Philip’s, Dyker Heights-Brooklyn for the next four years. In 1980 he moved to San Diego to become associate rector at All Souls’ Church. Five years later, he began his ministry in the Diocese of Los Angeles as associate for worship and pastoral care at All Saints, Beverly Hills.Walker became interim priest-in-charge at St. Luke’s, Monrovia, in 1990 before moving to Good Samaritan Hospital, by then a century-old diocesan institution, where he served as chaplain and director of pastoral care until his retirement.

Survivors include Walker’s husband, Nam Nguyen; a sister, a niece, and other family members. Walker was predeceased by his previous life partner, David John Falconer, who in 1994 died at the scene of an armed robbery in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles. Falconer had served with distinction as organist-choirmaster of St. James’ Church and School, Los Angeles, where the historic 1911 Murray Harris Organ was thereafter renovated and named in his memory in 1995. He and Nguyen moved to Las Vegas, returning some years later to live in Long Beach. They were married on Feb. 11, 2015.

 “It was all just part of my personal journey, to serve in a variety of facets of ministry and I enjoyed all of it,” Walker told The Episcopal News after his 2003 retirement from Good Sam. Of his time at General, he said, “Every day became an adventure. That was around the time the new prayer book was coming out. There was no music for the new texts. The psalms were hard to set to music. I’d set a chant and everyone would break up laughing because some texts read well but don’t sing well. I had to invent nearly everything we used.”

 Walker was born in Washington, D.C. on March 17, 1938. He majored in organ and harpsichord at Illinois’ Wesleyan College and earned his bachelor’s degree in music in 1960. He attended the Union Theological Seminary in New York, earning a master of sacred music degree in 1965. After earning his master of divinity degree from General, he was ordained to the diaconate in June 1973 by Bishop Paul Moore, and to the priesthood in May 1974 by Bishop Ned Cole

 Funeral service will be Saturday, January 5, 2019, 12 noon, at St. James’ Church, 3903 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.


IN MEMORIAM, Karen Noble Hanson ‘06


Dr. Karen Noble Hanson, Doctor of Divinity Honoris Causa 2006, died peacefully on November 7, 2018 at the age of 75. Born in Rochester, NY, she was the daughter of the late Joseph L. and Kathryn C. Noble and wife of the late Rev. Dr. Thomas L Hanson, Jr. She is survived by her children, Tammy Tobin, Scott Tobin, Robert Tobin and Timothy Hanson along with their spouses and partners; 12 grandchildren; and siblings, Scott Noble and Penny Tobey. She was predeceased by her sister, Barbara Noble.

Karen loved the fine arts, higher education, civil rights and a caring government. She never backed away from a challenge. A graduate of Brighton High School and a member of its Hall of Fame, she completed her bachelor's degree, cum laude, from the University of Rochester in 1970 and received a Doctor of Humane Letters from St. Augustine's College in 1986. She also served on and chaired the Board of Trustees for the University of Rochester and for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Karen's accomplishments made the world a better place. She began her professional career helping migrant farmworkers and the rural poor as Executive Director of Program Funding, Inc. (now PathStone Corporation) before accepting President Jimmy Carter's nomination to head Farmer's Home Administration for New York State, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She received the Special Service Award from the National Association of Farm Workers for her efforts. She then turned her attention to urban renovation in her hometown of Rochester, NY, serving as Vice President of Genesee Management, Inc. (a management holding company for Wilmorite, Inc.). Two of her proudest accomplishments were the development of Olde Rochesterville and helping to bring the Hyatt to downtown Rochester. She was awarded the Athena Award by the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Karen spent the final years of her professional career as a Canon and the Chief Financial Officer for the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester.

Always up for a new challenge, Karen ran in two marathons with her husband, Tom, traveled extensively, and wrote a Jazz Mass that was performed at the Rochester International Jazz Festival.

A Memorial Service to celebrate Karen's life will be announced later this year. Donations in her memory may be sent to the Karen Noble Hanson Scholarship Fund at the Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St., Rochester 14604.