by Kate Gould Epperly ’72

“Healing and Wholeness, Peace and Justice”

Kate Gould Epperly ’72

For the past 36 years, I have served as an ordained minister in a variety of settings, including congregational and campus ministry, pastoral counseling, holistic spiritualdirection, and most recently, cross-denominational national ministry with the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). I am very grateful for the excellent foundation given me by my Claremont based education, which included my degree from Scripps and both an MDiv and DMin from Claremont School of Theology (CST).

The religion classes I took from extraordinary faculty at Scripps and CST gave me a rich grounding in Biblical scholarship and Christian origins, which has served me well in my preaching and teaching over the years.

But no single professor was more inspiring to me than Professor James Gould, from whom I learned Gandhi’s path of non-violent resistance.

Thanks to Professor Gould, in whatever context I have ministered, I have always sought to be a positive agent towards “shalom”—healing and wholeness, peace and justice, for all God’s children. This resulted in my co-founding a peace center with a Methodist campus ministry colleague and organizing for SANE/FREEZE (now Peace Action) at Central Michigan University in the early 80s and a chapter of United Campuses to Prevent Nuclear War (UCAM) and participating in the Sojourner’s Peace Pentecost activities when I was Protestant Chaplain at Georgetown University. As a congregational pastor in Washington, D.C., during the 90s, I was trained in grassroots community organizing by the Industrial Areas Foundation and helped organize the start-up of Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) in 1997. While in seminary, I was active in an international advocacy organization called the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) which has been working for peace, justice, and nonviolence since 1915.

Following moving with my husband, Bruce Epperly (PhD, 1980, Claremont Graduate University), to Centerville on Cape Cod a year-and-a-half ago, I was struggling to find like-minded activists until I happened to receive a Facebook note from Rebecca Sparks ’69 informing me that Professor Gould, now 90, is my neighbor in Cotuit! What a joy it has been to reconnect with him socially and be “the young one” helping to revitalize the Cape Cod Chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

The greatest gift Professor Gould has provided my ministry, now, and in the past, is the lifetime example of integrity, undaunted idealism, and lively generativity. What is this activist Quaker history professor doing in his “spare time” these days? Blogging and curating a soon-to-be launched online archive of women grassroots peacemakers!


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