HERALDING NEWS FROM NORTHEASTERN SEMINARY
An advent devotional guide for Presbyterians … vacation Bible school for Russian children ... journeying through the organ donation process with a distraught family ... leading college students in ministry to inner city kids ... strategic planning for a Christian humanitarian network in Lebanon—just a few of the fruits of being on location in field education placements at Northeastern Seminary. “Field ed” is a potent opportunity for students to develop skills and abilities in ministry. Learning through doing is so central to preparation for ministry that every NES student engages in between one and four carefully chosen placements. While these can lead to job offers upon graduation (or before), the process of selecting a placement and the experience itself are invaluable. Just see what a few students (profiles on page 2) have to say in relation to some thoughts from the director of the field education program, Dr. Nelson Grimm.
Clarifying Vocational Goals Grimm: A good placement allows students to explore their sense of calling. Some feel called to a particular type of ministry, e.g., youth, music, pastoral care, administration, and look for very specific contexts to “test the waters” as they strive to confirm a direction to pursue. Sometimes students complete a semester of field ed and discover that the experience was not what they expected and so look in new directions without feeling guilty or that they
VOL. 8, NO. 5 ■ NOVEMBER 2011
had somehow failed. Others may want a more generalist approach and want a placement that allows them to have a variety of experiences— and so they discover new abilities and interests. Glen: A rewarding aspect has been my own personal development in listening, following, and discerning God’s voice and call on my life. Alma: God has taken my misery and turned it into ministry. My vision is to create forums: one for youth so they can voice their concerns and opinions and allow the adults to listen, the other so adults can express the concerns they have about the youth. Tom: I wanted an inside look at the mechanics of running a successful ministry and be better prepared to deal with modern-day struggles. Jan: Working in children’s ministry is a chance to observe the developmental patterns of today’s children and give insights into fulfilling my desire to write biblical materials for them. Duffy: The experience is directly related to the ministry I believe God is beckoning me to— working with staffing within churches and denominations to assist them in organization and development.
Opportunities for Observation Grimm: Observing provides students with some sense of what is involved in ministry without having to shoulder all the responsibility. I still shake my head in disbelief when I remember Continued on page 2
Field Education ■ Retreat: Intimacy with Others ■ Five-Week Classes Alumni Christmas Gala ■ Spring Events ■ NES Gear ■ Community News
continued from page 1
Field Ed Profiles GLEN DORNSIFE (MATL, C23) Placement: Roberts Wesleyan College, Students in Free Enterprise, Advisor
TOM FISCHHABER (MATL, C23) Placement: Calvary Assembly of God, Pastoral Intern
JAN FRANCIS (M.Div., C21} Placements: Pearce Church Morning Moms Bible Study and Children’s Ministry, Evangelical Temple of Christ Church (Novgorod, Russia) Vacation Bible School, Orphanage (Fushun, China)
ALMA MCKEE (M.Div.— Transformational Leadership, C23) Placements: Strong Memorial Hospital Clinical Pastoral Education, Breath of Life Seventh Day Adventist Youth Ministry
DUFFY SMITH (M.Div., C23) Placement: Near East Initiatives, a network of Christian humanitarian organizations, Strategic Planning Consultation
the first official church board meeting I conducted. I had never before even observed an official board meeting, let alone provide leadership for one! Another anxious moment was the first time I prepared for and performed a funeral. At that point I had only been to a couple of funerals and never talked with anyone about what a pastor should do. A good field ed placement provides for the student to observe a wide variety of ministerial functions and to ask questions about the details of each. Glen: I am discovering that communication is perhaps the significant component in advancing ideas, relationships, religion, and life. I am realizing that ministry takes place everywhere in the world, not just in church. Alma: Listening is a gift that requires time to process what a person is saying. They may not be looking for advice; they may just be trying to come to grips with a situation. Allowing people to hear themselves has shown me that they often end up answering their own questions. Tom: There are no pat answers. I saw various concepts in action and learned how different people shape them to fit their specific context. Jan: It has been challenging to find ways to make Bible stories relevant in American culture, to understand society’s influences on children, and to make the church environment nurturing and meaningful to them. Duffy: My mentor gave me access to many in my denomination who have afforded me even more opportunity and learning. I have seen pastors grow and realize they can make a difference in people's lives, even in the midst of dysfunctional staffs and congregations.
From Northeastern Seminary
Developing Leadership Grimm: Students also need the opportunity to develop their leadership. They are expected to function as a leader within some area of ministry. It may be teaching a class, facilitating a small group, leading a choir, or planning a mission trip. Regardless of the area of ministry, a good placement needs to be big enough to capture a student’s imagination and to bring out the best within. It should allow for creativity and responsibility while still having the safety net of capable supervision. Glen: I am in a position where moments of tension and pressure arise. Directing a team of student leaders and making sure we move forward with a purposeful progression has been a healthy challenge. Tom: I was always wondering if people were being reached and, if not, how we could do a better job of reaching them. Duffy: Field ed holds up a mirror for you to see yourself and mark your progress (or regress) and the small group case study sharing is fantastic—allowing for great networking and consulting with others. Jan: My academic courses helped in areas of teaching, because I can connect factual knowledge and historical truths with spiritual truths. I have brainstormed new ideas about teaching children (and women) with my mentor. Field ed stretches you spiritually, emotionally, and (often) physically, but the rewards are great. It can be the hardest coursework you will ever love.
Mark and Lisa McMinn
Questions like “how are my daily choices regarding how I eat contributing to local/global health and neighborliness?” prompted participants to consider changing habits that support unjust systems. Or the question “how might a respectful connection with those who grow my food change me?” got people thinking about their choices as consumers and care for the land and global community. New meaning for intimacy with the “invisible neighbor” and the “near neighbor” was explored. Students enjoyed spending time together in a relaxed atmosphere while alumni appreciated reconnecting with “people concerned with
Nurturing an ongoing personal relationship with the triune God in the midst of the demands you face ... that can be challenging. But that’s what the annual All-Seminary Retreat is about. This year over 130 people gathered on November 12 for communal worship, prayer, teaching, and reflection around themes of “walking gently on the earth” and “finding relational health in ministry.” Speakers, Drs. Lisa and Mark McMinn, professors at George Fox University, identified specific ways to implement relationships globally and locally.
spiritual and relational experience.” And between the times of private reflection, small group dialogue, and fellowship, spouses were able to share in their seminarian’s experience. True, in listening to those who attended, some would like the day to be shorter and others prefer longer, some would like more worship and others more breaks. Even so, the common themes underscored the significance of personal and spiritual formation to ministry preparation and practice.
http://blog.nes.edu There are 14 course opportunities this spring to assist ministry leaders in completing their degrees, enriching their vocation, or meeting professional development requirements. Graduates can enjoy the alumni benefit of auditing a class for only $50. Classes occur one night a week on Mondays. Some of the courses being offered are: ■ Fundamentals of Transformational Leadership Dr. Nelson Grimm ■ Technology and Spirituality Dr. Rebecca Letterman ■ Disability Awareness for Christian Ministers and Laypersons Professor Barbara Isaman-Bushart ■ The Wisdom Tradition: Proverbs and Ecclesiastes Professor Brittany Kim See full course listings here. For credit: $420 per credit / for audit: $150 per course ($50 for alumni). To inquire, contact Faith Sharp at 585.594.6623 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Zip-front fleece sweatshirts $40 ▪ Ball caps $15 ▪ T-shirts $12 ▪ Mugs $5 ▪ Window decals $2 To order contact Sarah Champignon at 585.594.6800 or email@example.com . Give your name, email or phone number, quantity, and size, as needed. Pick up and pay for your order at the reception desk at the Seminary (Rochester campus) or inquire about shipping.
Another voice in the marketplace of ideas. See what is being tossed around by Seminary faculty, students, alumni, and staff to equip and inspire, reflect and inform. Want to be a guest blogger? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org .
March 5, 2012 Dr. Al Tizon of Palmer Theological Seminary will be speaking at a half-day event on March 5 on missional preaching. Dr. Tizon blogs for Word and Deed Network, of which he serves as director. Al Tizon
In celebration of this sacred season Northeastern Seminary alumni are invited to a dessert reception and musical celebration on Saturday, December 10, 2011. This special event begins with the reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the concert at 7:30 p.m. featuring the RWC Chorale, Wind Ensemble, Women’s Choir, and College Community Orchestra. Both events are in the Roberts Cultural Life Center. Tickets are free, but you must RSVP by emailing the NES Alumni Office at email@example.com by Monday, December 5.
March 28, 2012
Conflict need not be destructive; in fact, it can create opportunities for care, healing, and vitality in our connections to God, self, and others. Drawing upon the practice of compassionate communication, psychosocial studies of empathy, and koinonia (the church’s union and communion with God in Christ), Dr. Theresa Latini will present and model skills for building authentic community marked by empathy and honesty. By learning to transform conflict from the inside out, we are empowered to lead with compassion, conviction, and courage.
June 12-13, 2012
This year’s Conference on Ministry features Dr. David Fitch. Dr. Fitch, avid blogger and author of The End of Evanglicalism?, will also serve as visiting professor in our doctor of ministry program. CEU credits are available.
January 23, 2012—March 23, 2012 Issues of American culture and Cuban identity permeate the work of Alberto Rey in this retrospective collection of paintings. Multiple themes of identity and alienation are addressed in some early paintings, while an examination of the validity of regionalism in contemporary art is the focus of more recent works. His current work uses nature and painting as a metaphor for human life and death—in poignant reminders of the fragility and richness of life. Rey is distinguished professor for research and creative activity at the State University of New York, Fredonia, N.Y. House of Memories, details
Greater Rochester MLK Worship Service Elephant Room — Journey Christian Church Unite Pastors Gathering
Jan. 16 Jan. 25 Feb. 20
Rochester, N.Y. Greece, N.Y. Williamsville, N.Y.
U.S. Army Chaplain (CPT) Michael Cerula (C17) returned home early in November 2011, after a blessed time of military ministry in Iraq. Shepherding service members in Baghdad, Al Asad, and Basrah, Iraq allowed him the opportunity to see the Lord’s hand in thousands of lives during his time there. He was extremely grateful that NES placed a large emphasis on spiritual fitness and giving “out of the overflow,” as prayer and worship placed him on a solid foundation during his time overseas. He returns to Michael Cerula Johnstown, Pa., to resume his full-time role as acting brigade chaplain for 4,300 Army Reserve soldiers in the surrounding area.
Katie Kreutter (C25) started working with students from SUNY Geneseo this past August in the role of campus minister with the Geneseo Wesley Foundation out of the Geneseo United Methodist Church. She is involved with organizing and facilitating various events and activities to promote fellowship and faith development.
Faculty News: Dr. Beth Gerhardt, professor of theology and social ethics, presented at a Community Development Seminar at Edgewood Free Methodist Church in Brighton, N.Y. on Sunday, November 13. The seminar was sponsored by the Compassion Task Force.
Because of your generosity, the NES community was able to send a donation to a student severely impacted by the recent flooding in southern New York State. The funds have helped to defray the cost to repair and renovate their damaged home. Thank you for your kindness and support!
Professor of Philosophy and Ethics David Basinger’s essay, titled What is a miracle?, is the lead entry in the recently published Cambridge Companion to Miracles (Cambridge Press, 2011).
He adds, “Please remember to pray for our chaplains, service men and women, and their families around the world. So many have never known the Comforter and what it means to recklessly abandon ourselves to Christ, and to daily lay our needs at the foot of His cross.” Tom Worth (C4) and his wife, Marsha, traveled to Bulgaria in the month of October with their organization, Grace and Truth Missions. This year marks 20 years of annual mission trips to the country for them. They visited Silistra, Dobrich, Plovdiv, and Sofia where they ministered at churches and a prison.
Tuesday, December 6 Wednesday, January 18 Thursday, February 16
6—7:30 p.m. 6—7:30 p.m. 6—7:30 p.m.
Marsha and Tom Worth
2265 Westside Drive, Rochester, N.Y. 6500 Sheridan Drive, Williamsville, N.Y. 2265 Westside Drive, Rochester, N.Y.
Northeastern Seminary 2265 Westside Drive Rochester, N.Y. 14624 585.594.6800 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nes.edu