SIM Supporting Episcopal Seminarians since 1857
A Seminarian Profile The Newsletter of The Society for the Increase of the Ministry and The Fund for Future Leaders: A National Endowment for Episcopal Seminarians
The Rev. Erin C. Kirby Three years…so seminary is almost over? When did that happen? What seemed an eternity of time in year one when my entering class was trying to digest the history of the Christian Church and bring it onto the dance floor with the Anglican Communion and ‘what kind of crazy’ the reader response exegesis papers must have looked like to our professor when our class represented so many varied contexts and cultures! Has all this come to a close so soon? Yes, somehow. In December I was ordained to the transitional diaconate and next week my class sits down with our transition officer to learn how to best put together our Office of Transitional Ministry profiles. Letters from the Church Pension Fund and brochures from the “Clergy” Relocation Center keep appearing in my mailbox. It is The Rev. Erin C. Kirby, exciting and a little daunting at times. Step in Society for the Candidate and Transitional Increase of the Ministry – with visits from cheerful, Deacon from the Diocese of encouraging Bob Honeychurch (our SIM liaison on the West Western North Carolina Coast), and helpful texts in SIM’s “Transitions” booklet on the Senior at The Church daunting: how to think about our finances, where we can get Divinity School of the Pacific, help and more importantly human faces that link us to a Berkeley CA group of lay and ordained Christians who are living examples of what it means to be relational and covenantal. As I look back on a lifetime of discernment I realize this spring may be a time of graduation from seminary but not an end to ongoing formation for those of us stepping out of the world of study, reflection, prayer, and, may I say, action. As much as we feel it is sometimes, seminary is not just books! I am, personally, leaving knowing through the interwoven circle of theory and practice, here at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, that part of what formation has taught me is to use what gifts I have been given to share the eternal gift of Grace given to me at Baptism. In our service to the Church, I see the whole of Christ’s mission as relational and covenantal. We are called to seek right relation with God by seeking it first with one another. The sacramental focus of the life of the Church brings us together day by day, week by week and year by year to be reminded of the Grace by which we are given full membership in the family of God. Through those practices I continue to discover inspiration and sustenance from the Spirit to be able to share God’s Grace with others within and beyond our church walls. Here at CDSP I have been gifted the time and space to learn what it means to strive to live a life dedicated to sharing the depth of what Grace means to a hurting world; having received the same from others – professors at CDSP, congregations and supervisors in my field placements, support from SIM, Episcopal Relief and Development as a seminary representative, and the blessing of commonalities found during a year of study at our sister seminary in the UK. In each of these places and more, I have found the gift of God’s love for the world is constantly shared in our Church. Thank you to the Society for the Increase of the Ministry for being among those who have taught me so well. Grace and Peace be with you, Erin Kirby
From the Executive Director
Dear Friend of SIM, Let’s face it. The current environment is very difficult for any fund raising organization. Yet SIM is blessed with loyal supporters for whom we are especially grateful in today’s economy. Dean William Stafford of Sewanee recently expressed his concern that the stressful situations facing seminaries today were causing decisions of faith to be based on financing instead of financing decisions to be based on faith. That comment gave me pause, “Is SIM acting in faith to our mission and to our donors?” My answer – an emphatic “Yes!” SIM continues its journey of faith that is not only still worthy but also more critical than ever with other traditional sources of seminarian support under economic stress (see Development Corner, page 3). SIM is emerging almost as caring parental support for those going off to seminary. Like any organization, SIM must be a good steward of its assets. Our main assets are the enduring ministry God has given us, the seminarians in our care, and the donors who provide the financial means to support our ministry. We are doing well by our seminarians, even in this economy. The 2011/2012 grant pool, with the additional funds provided by the 2009 General Convention, will again set a record for SIM’s highest level of scholarship funding. Our current seminarians are more engaged in SIM’s ministry (See the “Meet Our Seminarians” page on our web site, www.simminstry.org), and a higher percentage of our alumni are “paying back” with donations and “paying forward” with participation in our ministry (See Scholarship Corner, page 4). The faith of our loyal and caring donors bolsters our faith to reach out to provide innovative ways for new donors to express their faith in “future ordained leaders to serve The Episcopal Church.” Our monthly giving program, the $18.57 Circle of Seminarian Friends, reflects faith that the Episcopalian in the pew (EIP) grasps the wisdom of investing in future ordained leaders to serve The Episcopal Church. The $18.57 Circle of Seminarian Friends is a step in faith to solve the Church’s decades old issue of funding theological education. Spreading the word about this SIM program by visiting SIM’s web site, showing our video, and encouraging sign up programs in your parish is the key to achieving an amazing potential outcome. A 4% EIP response would alone cover the tuitions of the almost 400 residential students at Episcopal seminaries! One example of our faithful and creative donors is an amazing $18.57 Circle of Seminarian Friends response—an anonymous donation of $22,284 (12 months at $1857). “My gift is an enthusiastic endorsement of the $18.57 Circle of Seminarian Friends. I believe this program’s goal of eliminating the need for seminarian debt is achievable, and I want others to join.” We are actively communicating with our key audiences—seminarians, alumni and donors—through email, social networking with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The “News” page on our website keeps people informed in several ways, including links to seminarians’ blogs. These social networking channels put the awesome goal of the $18.57 Circle of Seminarian Friends within our reaching-out capabilities. Clearly the priority for SIM is to further develop its donor data base in order to significantly lessen the financial burden being placed on the seminarians themselves. Our seminarians are amazingly grateful for SIM’s support, but it is plainly not enough when so many seminarians are graduating with levels of debt that limit the calls they can afford to accept and are debilitating to their future ministries. Increasing SIM’s annual grant pool is our number one objective. We are so grateful to our donors whose donations are faithful to Jesus’ command,“…therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” [MT 9:38]. Faithfully yours,
Thomas Moore III Executive Director
THE CALL SPRING 2011
FROM THE CORNER OF THE
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE Honorary Board Members The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori Presiding Bishop New York NY The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas Bishop of Connecticut Hartford CT SIM Board of Directors The Rev. Dr. Richard F. Tombaugh Chair Hartford CT Ms. Judith C. Radasch Vice Chair Litchfield CT and Sarasota FL Mr. Winthrop M. Goodwin Secretary Glastonbury CT The Rev. Salin Low Treasurer Canton CT Ms. Joyce Phillips Austin New York NY The Rev. David C. Cobb Scholarship Chair New Haven CT Mr. William Dunakin West Hartford CT The Rev. Ernestein Flemister Tampa FL The Rev. Martha J. Horne Alexandria VA The Rev. Canon Angela S. Ifill New York NY The Rev. Dr. James B. Lemler Greenwich CT Mrs. Katherine B. Metcalf East Hartford CT & Naples NY The Rev. Canon Charles K. Robertson New York NY Mr. Richard M. Wenner Assistant Treasurer West Hartford CT The Rt. Rev. Keith Whitmore Atlanta GA ❖ Mr. Thomas Moore III Executive Director
INFREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Instead of the common FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that guide us when exploring a new approach, it seems IAQs (Infrequently Asked Questions) might be helpful to understanding the The Rev. Dr. Richard F. need to support SIM’s ministry. Tombaugh, Chair IAQ #1-#6: Do you know that… • Seminarians are most often on their own to pay for seminary? • Until the 2009 General Convention budgeted $200,000 for SIM to administer for relieving seminarian debt, The Episcopal Church had neither financially supported seminaries nor seminarians? • The decades-long effort to support theological education through Theological Education Sunday offerings has produced only a small percentage of parishes that responded? • A prime source of seminarian support from sponsoring dioceses and parishes is diminishing in capability? • Financially stressed seminaries are having difficulty maintaining levels of scholarship aid? • SIM is the only organization raising money on a national basis to support Episcopal seminarians? IAQ #7: Do you believe that the problem of funding Episcopal Seminaries and Episcopal Postulants and Candidates has reached a critical point? IAQ #8: If the costs of attending an Episcopal Seminary keep rising and seminaries, parishes, dioceses and organizations like SIM are unable to provide sufficient scholarship help, will the future ordained leaders of our church be limited to only those who have sufficient personal resources or are sponsored by wealthy parishes or dioceses?
“SIM has been a tremendous support during my time in seminary. SIM has helped make it possible for me to receive the full benefit of residential seminary…where I have been formed both in the classroom and outside of the classroom in the community. I believe that my education and experience in a residential community will benefit my future parishioners and me greatly as we live our lives together in the parish. The financial support I received from SIM helped make my formation experience possible.” A.C., School of Theology, Sewanee THE CALL SPRING 2011
SCHOLARSHIP CORNER In an effort to steward our resources and curtail travel costs while maintaining our tradition of making pastoral visits in the fall and winter to our seminarians and hand-delivering scholarship checks, the Rev. Bob Honeychurch (Seabury-Western 1984) in California met with our students at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley CA, and at the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont (CA); and the Rev. David Boyd (Nashotah House 1984), rector of St. David's in Austin TX, met with our seminarians at the Seminary of the Southwest. David Cobb, our Scholarship Committee Chair, and Tom Moore, our Executive Director, made fall and spring visits to: Berkeley Divinity School, General Theological Seminary, Nashotah House, Sewanee, Virginia Theological Seminary, Episcopal Divinity School and McCormick School of Theology. The visits are a win/win/win: for our alumni looking for innovative ways to pay back and pay forward; for our seminarians to receive that personal pastoral visit from a national Episcopal organization that cares and prays for them; and for the SIM representatives who return inspired by the dedication, energy, excitement
and faith of our seminarians. We are pleased to present the stories of Bob and David along with photos below and on page 5. Thank you, Bob and David! As we prepare this issue of Ruth McElraevy “The Call” we await the receipt of Scholarship Applications from seminarians across the country seeking financial aid for the 2011-2012 academic year. It will be a busy time in the office as we read and process these forms and ready them for delivery to the fourteen members of the Scholarship Committee who evaluate and make recommendations. With this year’s additional support from the National Church, we expect to award another record-breaking amount of money to these seminarians. We are ever mindful of the responsibility we have and ask you to lift up the seminarians and the work of the scholarship committee and staff. Ruth McElraevy Scholarship Program Administrator
From The Rev. Bob Honeychurch Few places define the life of a seminary community as well as its chapel. So it was, during regularly held chapel services at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA and the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont (Bloy House) in Claremont, CA, that I was privileged to present 2010-2011 scholarship checks to two students in each institution for the Society for the Increase of Ministry. As the Missioner for Congregational Vitality at the Episcopal Church Center based in Los Angeles CA, and as a SIM alumnus, it is my honor to partner with SIM in this great work. I was the recipient of The Rev. Bob Honeychurch with students assistance through SIM in my own Nancy Frausto and James Lee, both from the seminary days in the early 1980’s at Diocese of Los Angeles, at the Episcopal Theological Seabury-Western Theological School at Claremont. Seminary, and this was one small way to “pay it forward” as we continue to support the work of leadership development for an ever-changing Church. In an atmosphere of worship, prayer and thanksgiving, the presentation of SIM Steven Yurosko, from awards in a chapel setting also provided the opportunity to ground those awards in the Diocese of thankfulness to God, thankfulness to those who have so generously contributed toward Northern California, visited those scholarships, and thankfulness to the women and men enrolled in seminaries across by Bob Honeychurch the Church for their willingness to exercise their ministry through this unique calling. at Church Divinity The Society for the Increase of Ministry, our seminaries, and my office all share the School of the Pacific, common goal of equipping leaders to serve the world through the Church. I am blessed Berkeley CA. to be a part of that work in such an important way.
THE CALL SPRING 2011
Opportunity to return a kindness Even though I had been the grateful recipient of grants from SIM when I was in seminary, I have carried for 25 years a nagging feeling that I have not adequately expressed gratitude for a gift which had—literally— helped my wife and me keep going in the early years of marriage and ministry. Then: a chance to make good presented itself last fall when Tom Moore of SIM contacted me to say that SIM was seeking a more cost-effective way to continue its practice of distributing grant checks in person. He asked if, as a former recipient, I would represent the Society in presenting checks to students at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin. I was grateful for the opportunity. When I met individually with The Reverend David Boyd with students from the the SIM recipients from the Seminary of the Southwest, Austin, Texas. SSW, I received many blessings. While it is pleasant to be the bearer of such bounty, I was also delighted to come to know the seminarians. I found them to be authentic, sincere and very, very grateful. I felt a great joy seeing that, through these soonto-be priests, our Church will continue to know faithful and sound leadership. Another by-product of this re-connection with SIM was the discovery of SIM’s “$18.57 Circle of Seminarian Friends,” which my wife and I have joined. I will never be able repay what the SIM grants meant to us 25 years ago but I can do something in response, something which will benefit our Church and help ensure its future. – The Reverend David Boyd, Rector St. David’s Episcopal Church, Austin, Texas
“As a seminarian I was deeply moved by SIM’s generous grant made to me while at Berkeley/Yale. Now, having accrued approximately $20,000 in seminary student loans, I believe wholeheartedly in SIM’s mission of eliminating seminarian debt. Please accept my contribution to SIM as a token of gratitude.” The Rev. E.B., Berkeley Divinity School 2009
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop of Connecticut, Honorary Board Member at Fall 2010 Board Meeting at Christ Church, Greenwich, CT.
THE CALL SPRING 2011
Witnessing to God’s Will in Your Will
“I won’t lie to you,” publicly confessed the seminary alumnus to faculty and trustees, “My wife and I do not tithe. We don’t yet give ten percent of our income to the church or other charities. We have a goal of getting to ten percent but we are not there yet.” “However,” he said, “last month Margery and I wrote a family trust and in our estate, we tithe. And I’ll tell you this,” he affirmed, “it is a lot easier to tithe on your estate than it is on your income!” Most of us can identify with this sentiment: it’s easier to be generous with our estate than it is with our income. As we ponder our faith commitments in the family budget, we weigh our desire to put our money in this important direction with competing claims for family, retirement, and so many other things. When it comes to budgeting our giving, it can be hard to focus and to balance. But a time will come when we won’t need any of this money, and all of our assets will be distributed to others. To whom shall we give them? Our 1857 Legacy Society, established at our sesquicentennial in tribute to the year of SIM’s founding, includes those of us who have remembered SIM in our wills or estate plans. We have done so because of the importance of the succession of ordained clergy to the Episcopal faith. We want to pay forward the blessings we have received. We want there to be a community of faith to witness to future generations. If your estate planning already includes SIM, thank you for your thoughtful generosity. So we may welcome you to the 1857 Legacy Society, please confirm your planned gift by completing the inside of the enclosed return envelope. If you are interested in joining SIM’s 1857 Legacy Society, please use that same form on the inside of the enclosed return envelope for us contact you to answer your questions, or welcome you for crafting your legacy to provide ongoing investments in future ordained leaders to serve The Episcopal Church. SIM and our seminarians thank you!
“Enclosed is a token of my appreciation for the prayers and financial support provided by SIM while I was at the General Theological Seminary. My success is due in part to the generosity of those who went before me. I pray that my mustard seed contribution can help to perform miracles for others.” SIM Alum, GTS 2009 At Episcopal Divinity School, recipients, left to right, Becky Gettel, Diocese of Rhode Island, Tom Moore and Cathy Clark, Diocese of Northern Michigan
THE CALL SPRING 2011
QUOTE from a Seminary Dean “We do not say thank you often enough for the partnership we have in providing resources for seminary education to those called to serve God in full-time ministry. I know that for many of our students the funds they receive from SIM make it possible for them to attend seminary. As you know, many have left full-time jobs, sold homes, and left family and friends as they discern God’s call to full-time ministry. In this difficult economic time, when scholarships and grants are reduced and non-existent, your continued support of our students makes all the difference. Thank you.”
CHARLES H. KAMAN, 1919 – 2011 With the death of Charles (“Charlie”) Kaman on January 31st, SIM and the Episcopal Church lost a great friend and generous supporter. Charlie was an aeronautical engineer, entrepreneur, civic leader, inventor, accomplished musician and, with his late wife, Roberta, founder of the FIDELCO Guide Dog Foundation. Sadly, Roberta (“Robie”) died just last year. In their ministry with SIM, Charlie and Robie established in 2002 the second “named” scholarship in SIM’s history that has honored eight men and women to date [See The Call, Fall, 2009]. They funded the launch of SIM’s renewed efforts at raising scholarship money for seminarians in 2002 and underwrote SIM’s presence at the General Conventions of 2006 and 2009. Charlie was indeed a man of vision: his helicopter business, Kaman Corporation, built around his inventions in harmonic technology for helicopter blades motion; his invention of the Ovation guitar making further use of that same harmonic technology; his not-for-profit organization that provided vision to the blind; and his vision for SIM supported with the Kaman Scholarship. The Kamans cared deeply about the welfare of Episcopal seminarians and, through their generosity, encouraged hundreds of others to join them in helping to provide well educated, well trained, committed and energetic ordained leaders for the future of the Episcopal Church. Interestingly, a recent Kaman scholar, Stephen Carson at Sewanee, was pleased to relate in his appreciation to Charlie that the Ovation guitar was his first musical instrument. In ways, many that he never knew, Charlie Kaman touched many people. His legacy will continue to affect SIM’s investment in future ordained leaders to serve The Episcopal Church.
+ May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace; and may light perpetual shine upon them. AMEN
A Collect for Seminarians O God of all who teach and all who learn, bless we pray all who study to serve you as priests in your Church. Most especially do we intercede for those seminarians who are the recipients of your gifts given through the Society for the Increase of the Ministry. Enable the Society to uphold these students in body, mind and spirit in the realization of their vocation. Watch over and support them and their families along with the faculty and administration of their seminaries that all may be done to your honor and glory and that the Gospel may be advanced by their ministry in your Name, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
“You are like a congressman for all of us seminarians. You represent us at a national level. I like that.” S.W., Virginia Theological Seminary 2011
THE CALL SPRING 2011
“I am so grateful for the money I am to receive from SIM and for the ministry that SIM does. God has blessed me by calling me to his ministry and shows me every day the true meaning of what it means when he tells us he will provide. I am excited, too, that SIM as an organization doesn’t simply ‘write the check’ but takes an active interest in the seminarians you support.” N.S., Wycliffe College, Toronto
PHOTO: CURTIS PRATHER
The Rev. Canon Robert “Jerry” Carroon with students at Nashotah House in Wisconsin.
“Thank you so much for blessing my family with your support. It means so much to us that we are being lifted up in prayer by our friends at SIM. It has been wonderful first semester of seminary here at Duke and that is largely due to the support you have provided.” S.D.C., Duke Divinity School At Virginia Theological Seminary, left to right: Peter Doddema, Financial Aid Officer Andrea Kramer, Seth Walley, Audrey O'Brien, Tom Moore, Ben Badgett, Caleb Lee.
SIM Supporting Episcopal Seminarians since 1857
The Societ y for the Increase of the Ministry
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