ECF Announces 2012 Fellows
June 22, 2012, New York, NY – The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF)’s 2012 Fellows are engaged in ministries and academic studies that encompass relationships between land, community, and faith; spiritual and educational exploration for young adults; and connections between science, technology, ethics, and faith. ECF is pleased to announce the 2012 recipients of its Fellowship Partners Program grants: Ms. Sarah Nolan, the Rev. Deacon Kyle Pedersen, and Mr. Joseph Wolyniak.
For nearly 50 years ECF’s Fellowship Partners Program has empowered emerging leaders to transform the Church by supporting transformational scholars and leaders. “Since 1964 ECF has awarded nearly 200 Fellowships,” said ECF President, Donald V. Romanik. “Today those Fellows continue their work as leaders at all levels of the Church, revitalizing communities of faith, charting a path to the church of the future with new ideas and innovative ministries, teaching, preaching, and serving God’s mission.”
“This year we received more than twice as many applications to the Fellowship Partners Program than in previous years,” remarked Miguel Escobar, ECF Program Director. “This broadened the pool of exceptionally qualified candidates, and made the selection process an exciting challenge. We believe the 2012 Fellows will make a significant impact in areas of critical need throughout the Church in years to come.”
ECF Fellowship Partners Program 2012 Fellows
Ms. Sarah Nolan
Sarah is Director and Lay Chaplain of The Abundant Table, an Episcopal ministry in Ventura County, CA, focused on creating sustainable relationships with land and community rooted in personal and communal faith traditions. “This project represents my commitment to be an active agent, supporting the greater development of land based ministry and responsible Christian formation,” remarked Sarah. The Abundant Table nurtures a house church, a campus ministry, a community supported agriculture program, farm to faith transformational journeys, and farm to school educational opportunities.
Sarah hopes to foster support for individuals and congregations engaged in, or interested in engaging in, land based ministry by creating a network of similar ministries within the Episcopal Church and other faith communities; developing practical curriculum to support congregations and communities; creating a list of resources; and identifying ways for local congregations and community organizations to support existing opportunities or to develop their own. This will range from access to Bible/book study material, multi-media, and conferences, to information on starting an internship, supporting the development of a local garden, or initiating a small congregation based micro-enterprise.
The Rev. Deacon Kyle Pedersen
Kyle is Deacon for New Haven, CT, and Director of the Connecticut Mental Health Center Foundation. Kyle’s project, The Seven, is a part-time, non-residential program for young adults (18-30 years old) that he launched in 2011 with the Association for Episcopal Deacons. This spiritual and educational exploration program engages participants in hands-on work and reflection in their communities, while helping them discern their own vocations in mentored relationships with Episcopal deacons.
Kyle observes, “We know that young adults are exploring and experimenting with a variety of commitments (relationships, education, work, faith) while learning and acquiring new skills, abilities and insights. They may observe more fluid or permeable boundaries between different groups, different social and political expressions, and different religious or cultural practices. They may be filled with a spirit that gives them a unique agility when it comes to engaging the intermediary and interpretive space between the world and the church.”
Kyle was ordained a deacon at age 37. Now at 46 he feels more like the prodigal father than the son. “I want to give away new models of hands?on, integrated theological education and vocational discernment that will equip young women and men for leadership in the church and the world. And I want to be there to welcome them as authentic, engaged and humble leaders in whatever vocations or careers they pursue.”
Mr. Joseph Wolyniak
Joseph is a doctoral candidate in theology at the University of Oxford, where he is writing his dissertation on the thought, legacy, and ongoing relevance of Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) to discussions at the nexus of science, technology, ethics, and faith.
Joseph is an aspirant for ordination to the priesthood in the Diocese of North Carolina, and novice in the Third Order of the Society of St. Francis (Province of the Americas). He is also co-founding missioner of the Community of the Franciscan Way (Raleigh-Durham, NC), an emergent Episcopal Christian Community in the Catholic Worker tradition. “Through my academic research, involvement with academic and ecclesial organizations, and emergent missional efforts, I hope – in 'word and deed’ – to encourage and nourish the church’s faithful engagement with science and technology,” he noted.
Joseph is currently a consultant to the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council Committee for Science, Technology, and Faith and hopes to begin a triennial term with the committee following the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. With the Rev. Dr. Andrew Davison (Westcott House, University of Cambridge), he is currently editing two forthcoming collections that seek to strengthen the bond between academic theology and parish ministry.
Renewal Fellowships were awarded to the Rev. Sam Dessórdi, the Rev. James Brian McVey, Sr. Greta Ronningen, Andrew Thompson, Elizabeth Anderson, the Rev. Rosa Lindahl Mallow, and the Rev. Altagracia Perez.
The deadline for 2013 Fellowships will be March 15, 2013. Complete information about the Fellowship Partners Program can be found here or by calling 800-697-2858.