Glenn UMC and Emory University Collaborate in Historic Worship Service


Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson to preach,
Emory President Claire Sterk to Bring Greetings

Sitting at the entrance to Emory University, Glenn Memorial UMC shares a long history with the institution. Doubling as Emory’s auditorium, Glenn’s sanctuary has housed countless graduation ceremonies, public lectures, and concerts. Campus ministry groups such as Emory’s Wesley Fellowship have a home base in Glenn’s Church School Building. And over the decades, Glenn members have held teaching appointments and administrative roles in the various schools of the university, perhaps most notably James T. Laney, who served as Candler’s dean and later as Emory’s president.

Every year, Glenn and Emory craft a worship service in celebration of their shared connections. It is an opportunity for the two communities to join together in gratitude for the enriching ways they are intertwined and in hope for an ever-growing, ever-strengthening partnership.

Sunday, September 25, marks this year’s Glenn-Emory Day. It will serve as an historical marker in the long history the two institutions have shared.

The first female bishop of the North Georgia Conference, Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, a 1995 graduate of Candler, will preach at the 11 a.m. service, and the first female president of Emory University, Dr. Claire Sterk, will offer greetings on behalf of the university. These newly appointed women will be speaking in a church that is under the leadership of its first female senior pastor, Dr. Alice Rogers, who also holds a teaching appointment at Candler. Dean Jan Love, of Emory’s Candler School of Theology, and the Rev. Bridgette Young Ross, dean of Emory’s Office of Spiritual Life, will participate in the service. At 8:30 a.m. worship, second-year Candler student and Glenn ministry intern Tiffania Willetts will preach.

This convergence of strong female leadership is timely as United Methodism celebrates 60 years of full clergy rights for women. Glenn-Emory Day overwhelmingly affirms the positions of leadership women can assume in ministry and the distinctive gifts women bring to our communities of faith and learning.

The service will also feature musical collaborations between Emory and Glenn and participation from University Worship and Wesley Fellowship students. This service of worship will joyfully reflect and celebrate the wide variety of connections between church and academy.  

All are welcome to join the celebration this Sunday at 11 a.m. and stay for a lunch on the lawn after worship. For more information, visit