By Charis Bhagianathan
This issue (and our previous one) celebrate the incredible leadership and ministry from ECF Fellows. Since 1964, the Episcopal Church Foundation has supported over 200 scholars and ministry leaders throughout The Episcopal Church, fostering innovation in theological formation and ministerial leadership in challenging times.
By Sally Benton
ECF is in the process of reimagining our historic Fellowship Partner’s Program and particularly the academic Fellows track, which is currently on pause. In The Role of Scholarship in the Episcopal Church, Sally Benton tells us about the process of listening and learning as ECF staff prepare recommendations and plan for the academic track’s relaunch.
By Jesse Zink
In Flight Adjustments in a Changing Church, Jesse Zink describes his vocation in theological education and his work at as principal of Montreal Diocesan Theological College, sharing how this challenging, exhausting and yet delightful calling is akin to flying the Millennium Falcon through the world of theological education today.
By Stewart Clem
Is lying wrong? In Truth, Lies, and Ethics: A Theological Journey, Stewart Clem, a theological ethicist by training, presents his studies and thinking on Thomas Aquinas’s writing on truthfulness, truth as a moral virtue and what understanding truthfulness through this lens implies for our life as Christians.
By Thomas Ni
In Center for Chinese Congregations in LA and Beyond, Thomas Ni shares the work of Li Tim-Oi Center, where he serves as Executive Director, which explores creative ways to develop and invigorate Chinese ministry. The center specializes in lay leadership training courses to raise up lay and ordained leaders for Chinese congregations in the Episcopal Church.
By Adriane Bilous
The Fellowship Partners Program has been in existence since 1964 and supported the work of over 200 creative and future-focused Episcopalians. In this month’s edition of Vestry Papers, we celebrate the work of several of these incredible individuals. These stories highlight the current projects, interests and programs ECF Fellows are engaged in and delighted to share with the ECF community. As part of our continued efforts to share more about our ECF Fellows, we are featuring Fellows’ work in both the July and August issues of Vestry Papers, in addition to a blog series focusing on the role of scholarship in the future of The Episcopal Church.
By ECFVP editorial team
In Lucinda Mosher and Building Bridges, the ECFVP editorial team describes ECF Fellow Lucinda Mosher’s (ThD, General Theological Seminary) journey that begins during her dissertation work which addressed fostering dialogue between Muslim and Christians through the lens of comparative theology. Dr. Mosher is a prolific writer on Christian-Muslim work, exemplified in the annual Building Bridges seminary which brings together Christian and Muslim scholars at Georgetown University. While Dr. Mosher’s extensive publications speak to her skills as a researcher and scholar, her ECF Fellowship made those early scholar days easier. Dr Mosher says, “According to recent research, during the many decades that General Seminary offered a Doctor of Theology degree, the overwhelming majority of those who earned it were men; only eight women completed that program. I am one of those eight. Having the support of the ECF was such an important part of attaining that goal!”
By Daniel Vélez Rivera
In Alianza de Mujeres con Amor, Daniel Vélez Rivera shares the story of how the first multigenerational spirituality, support and co-mentoring group for Latinas raising children was born in Salem, Massachusetts. It has been fifteen years since the first Alianza group was formed, and they are still going strong. Read how the Alianza brings together women supporting other women in their roles as mothers, abuelas and caregivers (raising their own or mothering another mother’s children). Each group honors the wisdom these women embody and supports their shared lived experiences as caregivers who have felt isolated as immigrants or as women raising children in another country. La Alianza affirms these women’s gifts and welcomes them into God’s community.
By Albert R. Rodriguez
In A New Paradigm for Reaching U.S. Latinos, Albert Rodriguez discusses the multi-layered identity created and fostered by both his Mexican and American identities. Rodriguez highlights that lived experience as one of liminality as he and many other American-born, U.S.-acculturated, and English-prone Latinos work to find their place in the Episcopal Church. Albert writes about his work on Transcultural Latino Ministry, an expanded and more inclusive evangelization practice that celebrates these multi-layered identities and works to include the lived experience of many generations of Latinos in the Episcopal Church.
By Derek Minno-Bloom
In Charity and Solidarity Must Come Together, Derek Minno-Bloom’s original Fellow’s work sought to develop an intersectional Food Justice ministry and transform the charitable soup kitchen and pantry at Trinity Church Asbury Park, New Jersey, into a social justice mission enmeshed in the local community. Derek tells the story of how this project successfully developed Trinity’s mission into one that exposes the intersectional relationship between homophobia, racism, and poverty and how they want to dismantle these institutions. Minno-Bloom’s work shows how one individual’s work can be the beginning of bigger changes and greater impacts not just on a community but together with community members in collaborative and life-giving ways.