University, Claremont, Calif.
Bert Baetz D’05 , assistant rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas, who builds custom fly rods for his business, Trinity Rods, was featured in the December 2009 edition of Texas Episcopalian and in the YouTube video “In Search of Thin Places.”
Lisa M. Bowens D’04, D’05 , a Ph.D. candidate in New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, won the 2009-2010 Word and World Essay Prize, which includes a $1,000 award and publication in the summer edition.
Laura Autry Dunlap D’05 and her husband, T. Judson Dunlap D’01 , both United Methodist pastors in Nashville, N.C., announce the Nov. 22, 2009, arrival of Grace Elizabeth.
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove D’06 has published The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture (Paraclete, 2010).
Deborah Knott Forger D’07 served as a Lilly Endowment resident- in-ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, Mich., where she lives with her husband, Daniel. She is a Ph.D. student in Second Temple–period Judaism at the University of Michigan.
Franklin C. Golden Jr. D’07 and his wife, Martha, are the guardians of Thein Nei Mawi, 14, a refugee from Burma, who has joined siblings Davis and Lily. Franklin is the pastor at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Durham, N.C.
Beverly Markham D’07 was ordained on Palm Sunday, March 28, 2010, at Southminster Presbyterian Church (PC-USA), in Garland, Texas. She has served as pastor there since the end of January.
Arthur Jones D’09 published “Institution vs. Innovation: Can Edgy Churches Grow and Thrive within the UMC” in Circuit Rider magazine. He is interim director of church relations for ZOE Ministry.
Emily Dueitt Kincaid D’09 is the associate minister at First United Methodist Church in Wetumpka, Ala., overseeing children’s ministry and Christian education. She and Brian Kincaid were married Nov. 21, 2009.
By Enuma Okoro
“Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone.”
These words from the Gospel of John, etched boldly across the mirrored rear wall inside Carole Baker’s installation “The Confessional,” confronted visitors to the artist’s Lenten exhibit at Golden Belt Art Studios in downtown Durham, N.C.
Once inside the 10-by-12-foot room of mirrors, gallery visitors encountered not just the text but a pile of large, heavy stones placed in the middle of the room.
Baker says she hoped the installation, exhibited Feb. 16–March 25, would provide “a context where people could be confronted with the radical nature of forgiveness and the role that confession plays in that.
“I chose to create a room of mirrors because I envisioned a space big enough for people to catch their multiple reflections simultaneously,” she says. “There is an interconnectedness of sin and confession. The act of confession is one that has to be practiced to be at peace with ourselves and with others.”
What has always interested Baker most about the narrative of Jesus and the adulterous woman is the radical nature of his response.
“Jesus knows the law and that the leaders are testing him to see if he will contradict it,” Baker says. “But he neither condemns nor condones the woman, or her accusers. His response opens up this space where all are given the opportunity to reflect and, hopefully, repent.
“I wanted to prompt the question, ‘If I were to pick up a stone, at whom would I be throwing it?’ Confession is choosing not to pick up a stone and throw it at the mirror.”
Baker recognizes that the installation can be interpreted literally, as the cautionary maxim “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” But that’s part of the point. She aimed for “a degree to which the work had to be accessible to the general public, while providing enough complexity to prompt people to think, reflect, and question themselves in new ways.”
Baker holds a B.A. in religious studies from Trevecca Nazarene University and earned her M.T.S. at Duke in 2004. The pivotal point in her decision to become an artist came in an icon theology class with Geoffrey Wainwright, Cushman professor of Christian theology.
“It affirmed my intuition that theology can be, and has been, expressed through material means in the history of the church. I enjoy the challenge of pushing thoughts to a concrete place where others can encounter, and join in, the conversation. If theology is a communal task, then art is another means of participation in that task.”
“The Confessional” was made possible by grants and donations from Duke Divinity’s Center for Reconciliation, Duke Chapel, and individuals