Community Announcements – Week of 3/4/15

Community Worship, March 11th at 12:15pm in the Common Room. It is Women’s Health and History day, and Rev. Stacy Edwards-Dunn will be presiding. Community Meal is served immediately after worship, outside the Common Room.

McCormick Fellowship Awards and Prizes applications are due by Monday, March 30th to Alicia Rhine. Pages 56-62 of the 2014-2015 Academic Catalog explain the awards. Direct all questions to Alicia Rhine: 773-947-6317 or

Global Conversations happen most Mondays during the academic year in the Language Resource and Writing Center (LRWC) on the 3rd floor of the east wing of LSTC. Soup and bread are always provided. A collection is taken to help the MTS/LSTC Spouse Group who prepare and serve a meal at the Food for Life program at 1st Presbyterian Church in Woodlawn on the first Tuesday of every month.

Study Break, Tuesday, March 10th, from 4-6pm at the McCormick building. If you have any dietary restrictions, please let Sarah Bennett know ASAP!  To ensure that study breaks are a safe place for all students, the McCormick building study breaks will be alcohol-free.

Do you want Iron Chef to be April 10th  or April 17th? Take this VERY SHORT survey:

Submit announcements to

Scholarship Opportunities

Apollos Scholarship from the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation.

Requirements: 1) member of a PCUSA congregation; 2) under care of a Presbytery as an Inquirer or Candidate; 3) enrolled as a full-time student in the M.Div degree program at a PCUSA Seminary; 4) individual who possesses qualities of excellence for ministry.

Applications are due: April 15, 2015. Scholarship is $1,500 – $3,000 per semester for up to three years of study. For more information, visit their website:

The Barber Scholarship

The Barber Education Trust was established in 1975 in memory of Edwin J. Barber for the purpose of assisting with the cost of tuition and fees for people seeking education in ministry. There is a minimum grant amount of $500 to each recipient.

Preference to applicants who are United Methodist, though all students may apply. Contact the Barber Scholarship Committee for the application: Applications are due May 31st.

William H. Higgins Scholarship

During his lifetime, William H. Higgins gave financial assistance to many students at McCormick Theological Seminary.  At the time of his death, he left a bequest to continue his support of those preparing for professional leadership in the church. This bequest is called the Higgins Scholarship Fund and has been administered by a committee accountable to the Presbytery of Chicago since 1960.

Must be a full or half-time student. Seminary or Ph.D. level with special consideration being given to M.Div. students preparing for the parish ministry.  Priority is given to second year students and beyond.

Grants of up to $5,000 (and at least $2,000) will be made, based on financial need, vocational fitness, plan of study and ecclesiastical connection.

Please note:  Preference will be given to students of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and students under the care of Chicago Presbytery. A small portion of the money will be available for International students studying at McCormick Seminary.

All of those considering applying for a Higgins Scholarship are encouraged to read the Scholarship Guidelines. These guidelines are carefully observed. The Scholarship Guidelines and Application Form are listed on the Chicago Presbytery website: The completed application is due by March 31, 2015.

Please direct all questions to the Higgins Scholarship Coordinator, Presbytery of Chicago, 815 W. Van Buren St, Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60607.


From Brazil to McCormick

claudio with shoe shine

By: Lowell Young

To say that Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes is a very interesting individual with a rich and varied past is a major understatement. As a young boy, he earned money shining shoes in his native Brazil. Today he’s McCormick’s Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship He experienced a very unique journey from Brazil to Chicago and the current position he holds here at McCormick. The following interview details the highlights of that journey.  

Lowell Young (LY): Where did you grow up?

Claudio Carvalhaes (CC): I was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Along with my family, I attended a small Presbyterian church. So I guess it’s accurate to say I was raised in that small Presbyterian church.

LY: While you were growing up in Brazil, what did you do as a young boy and a young adult, besides spending considerable time in church?

CC: Starting at the age of eight, I was a shoe shine boy for three or four years to help earn much needed money for my family. I started working full-time during the day as an office assistant at the age of 13. While I was working full-time during the day, I was studying at a public high school in the evening. After graduating from high school, I started studying theology in the evening at a Presbyterian school, which is something I did for five years.

LY: What were the circumstances that brought you to the United States?

CC: I was invited to come to the U.S. by the Presbytery of Southern New England in 1997. From then until 2001, I was assigned to work among the predominantly Portuguese immigrant community in Fall River, MA, which is located about half way between Providence and Boston. I’m sure that being raised in a Portuguese-speaking country and speaking fluent Portuguese had a lot to do with me being assigned to that particular location.

LY: What did you do while you were in Fall River?

CC: I planted a church called Christ Is Life Presbyterian Church, which was made up of immigrants from many different countries, and from all walks of life, and from numerous denominations. We started the church from scratch in 1997 and, when I left Fall River in 2001, there were about 100 members—70 adults and 30 children.   

LY: Where did you go next?

CC: I went to Union Theological Seminary in New York City to obtain a Ph. D. in Theology and Liturgy. My first day of class at Union was supposed to be on September 11, 2001. But the attacks at the World Trade Center in New York, along with the other attacks at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and the vacant farm field in Pennsylvania, resulted in Union and all other schools around the country postponing classes. At Union, what we did as an incoming freshman class, and as an entire seminary, was talk about what happened on 9/11 and why.

LY: That must have been quite a conversation.

CC: It was indeed! And it’s a conversation I’ll never forget. We not only discussed the reasons the attacks on 9/11 happened, but also how the attacks changed the world from that day forward. Obviously, it took a while for some sort of normalcy to return in New York and around the country. But once a semblance of normalcy returned, Union was able to resume classes. When that happened, I began my six years of study at Union, ultimately resulting in me receiving my Ph. D. in 2007.

LY: What was the subject of your Ph. D. Thesis?

CC: My Ph. D. Thesis and Dissertation was entitled “Eucharist and Globalization”.  Five years after I completed it, that is in 2012, my thesis was published by Pickwick Publications, a publishing company located in Eugene, Oregon.

LY: Where did you go after Union?

CC: During the five years I spent trying to get my thesis published, I worked at the Louisville (KY) Presbyterian Theological Seminary.  In 2012, the same year my thesis was published, I moved on to The Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia. Then, in 2014, the door of opportunity opened up for me to come here to McCormick.  Thanks be to God!

LY: What brought you to McCormick and what do you hope to accomplish while you are here?

CC: The diversity of the seminary, the commitment to social justice, the possibility of further developing my work, the city of Chicago—all these factors drew me to McCormick. My deepest commitment is with the poor in everything I do and to shed light into the shadows of our society where the poor are, and help us thank God from that place of pain, hurt, wisdom and poverty.

The Wilderness & the Borderlands: Week 2

By: Rev. Joanne Lindstrom

Guiding Scriptures: Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-38

The Wilderness we enter during Lent is a choice.  We can choose to mindfully engage in the Lenten Wilderness by fasting from daily satisfactions be that food, behavior or activity.  We can also enter the Lenten Wilderness by taking on practices such as daily journaling, acts of service, or other commitments.  Nonetheless, our engagement with the Lenten Wildness is optional, a choice.  There is no choice, however, for brothers and sisters who permanently live in the margins – margins of race, class, economics, gender, sexual orientation and identity, documentation and the intersections of multiple marginalities.

So what does it mean to enter the Lenten Wilderness for persons like myself – white, heterosexual, educated, employed, middle class, with relative wealth? It means that to follow Jesus, according to today’s gospel text, I have to walk with Jesus and not, like Peter, be ordered to get behind him….that the way of the cross is a way of risking rejection and suffering.  But rejection and suffering at whose hands?? Rejection and suffering that come at the hands that look the most like mine.

Peter’s rebuke of Jesus is so very understandable!!  Indeed! Who in their right mind wants or seeks out suffering and rejection.  That’s crazy! And while Peter is not crazy, he is not thinking God’s thoughts.  As Reverend Julian DeShazier said during a recent MIN 405 class,  our task as ministers and leaders is to think God’s thought and to talk God’s talk; that is to view our world and our common ministry through a particular set of lens of God-centered  purposes…that of creating the Beloved Community; of leading just and sustainable communities.

The Lenten Wilderness calls me, yes, reminds me of that suffering; reminds me of the refining fire that is necessary for building the Beloved Community.  It is a giving up and rejecting of the privileges and power that destroy rather than build up. It is a willingness to give up rights and privileges to live in authentic relationships with sisters and brothers on the margins.  It is to think God thoughts; to talk God’s talk; to act God’s way. It is not unlike God’s invitation to Abram, Walk with me and be trustworthy. (Gen.17:1)

In Romans 4:13-25, Abraham, even though he was nearly 100 years old, his body nearly dead, (not to mention Sarah’s old body, too) didn’t lose faith in God’s promise.  He didn’t hesitate with a lack of faith in God’s promise, but he grew strong in faith and gave glory to God. He was fully convinced that God was able to do what he promised.

The Lenten Wilderness, the rejection of privilege and power, the solidarity with sisters and brothers at the margins, is a choice; a choice made each day – sometimes a choice made moment by moment.  It is to deny the rebuking Peter part of me and strive for the witness of Abram who didn’t hesitate with a lack of faith in God’s promise. It is to respond to God’s invitation Walk with me and be trustworthy.   May it be so.

Reverend Dr. Joanne Lindstrom is the Jean & Frank Mohr Director of Experiential Education and Field Studies Associate Professor of Ministry.  She also serves as Associate Regional Minister for American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago. For the past 21 years, Joanne has served as Associate Minister of the First Baptist Church of Chicago, an African American congregation located in Hyde Park.

This Lenten Series is originally published on McCormick’s Admissions blog: The Cure.

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

This recipe is diary free, sugar free, vegan, and gluten free! It is a perfect meal for a cold night when paired with quinoa.

Serves: 3-4

Preparation time: 25 min

Cooking time: 25 minutes


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 ½ cups canned chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro for garnish, if desired
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • Lemon-tahini dressing, optional
    • ½ cup tahini
    • ¾ water, as needed
    • 3 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • ¾ tsp sea salt
    • Black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl until cauliflower and chickpeas are evenly coated.
  3. Spread onto a large baking sheet lined with foil and roast about 25 minutes, until tender.
  4. While the cauliflower mixture is roasting, whisk or blend all ingredients together, slowly adding water until you reach a desired consistency. Dressing will keep for 5 days.
  5. Serve as a side dish, or over a warm bed of quinoa as a main dish.


You may substitute broccoli for the cauliflower, if desired.

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe by Christina Bedetta:

Lemon-tahini dressing recipe by Gena Hamshaw:

Get your tickets for “Two Trains Running” NOW!

“There are always only two trains running. There is life and there is death. Each of us rides them both.” – August Wilson (1945-2005).

McCormick is hosting another Evening at the Goodman Theatre on March 13, 2015 to see Two Trains Running by August Wilson, one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed playwrights and winner of a Pulitzer Prize, Rockefeller and Guggenheim fellowships, a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and four New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards.

The evening begins at McCormick at 5:30pm for a reception and conversation in the Common Room. There will be a bus leaving McCormick at 6:30pm for the Goodman Theatre. The roundtrip transportation is included in the cost of each ticket.

Variety Magazine describes Two Trains Running as “perfection…[a] work by a writer at the peak of his powers.”

There are only 6 tickets remaining, so make sure to contact Reverend Nannette Banks as soon as possible to reserve your space! Tickets are $50.

Contact Rev. Banks: 773-947-6322 or