Get to Know the 2015 ECF Fellows

ECF interviewed Audra Abt, Reed Carlson, and Robert (Bob) Leopold this past summer as part of their orientation session. Unfortunately, Colleen Swan, who is the Dorothy A. Given Fellow, was not able to attend this gathering, though she has since been interviewed and a video is forthcoming. Click here to learn more about the 2016 Fellowship application process.

The Rev. Audra Abt

Audra is a priest working in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. As an ECF Fellow, Audra will nurture a growing Christian base community movement (home and neighborhood-oriented worship, study and mission), started by Latino immigrants in Greensboro, North Carolina. This ministry is an example of how Episcopalians from Latin America are leading the church of the U.S. into a life of worship and service that reflects the communities described in the book of Acts.

The Rev. Reed Carlson

Reed is a doctoral candidate in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Harvard Divinity School, studying and teaching the story of God's people. Reed studies conceptions of evil and human moral agency in the Old Testament and in Second Temple Jewish Literature. His research seeks to answer questions such as: How did the writers and readers of biblical literature conceive of angels, demons, spirits, and other divine beings? Who or what was “evil” in Second Temple Judaism and how could it be managed?
Reed hopes to develop curricula for use in seminaries and local churches that empower all of God’s people to teach, preach, and live the theological stories that begin in the Bible and continue today.

The Rev. Robert Leopold

Bob is Missioner at Southside Abbey, a community he helped found in Chattanooga, Tennessee. With his ECF Fellowship, Bob will be able pursue his dream by working with Southside Abbey to begin “Innovative Leadership Rounds.” This project will invite missional church lay and clergy leaders to engage with other like-minded leaders from across the Church by visiting, observing, sharing, and inquiring in groups with the overarching goal of creating a network of missional communities in a web of support for one another.

Ms. Colleen Swan - Video Forthcoming

Colleen lives and works in Kivalina, Alaska. She is municipal coordinator for Kivalina’s relocation project and is a lay minister and environmental justice advocate. In light of the 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church’s apology for the Doctrine of Discovery and wrongs committed against Native people in the name of Christ, Colleen began a restorative justice process to help communities understand what they lost and connect their traditional practices with their Christian faith. Colleen’s project is outlined in three phases: to document stories from elders, about both abuses endured through encounters with missionaries, and important Iñupiaq traditions; to develop an Iñupiaq -English resource for Arctic Coast congregations that synthesizes biblical Christianity, Episcopalian practice, and Iñupiaq spirituality; and create venues for healing and restoration.