July 2022 Vestry Papers ECF Fellows: Innovating in The Episcopal Church
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.
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.
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. Read Minno-Bloom’s article to hear about the many different social justice ministries at Trinity Church Asbury Park.
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. This article is available in English and Spanish.
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 Muslims 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!”
This summer we are publishing a blog series from Fellows and Episcopal scholars to highlight trends in scholarship and the role of scholarship in Episcopal life. If you are interested in writing a blog post about scholarship in The Episcopal Church (ex: recent developments, history, Episcopal writers and texts), please reach out to Sally Benton at [email protected].
We continue to work to update our Fellows informational page on the ECF website. If you would you like to have your current information added, please fill out this Google form to be included. Any questions may be directed to Sally Benton at [email protected].
Please be in touch to learn more about the Fellowship program and speak to a staff member about your potential as a future ECF Fellow. Contact Kjerstin Besser at [email protected] with any questions you might have.
Also, your input as regular readers is extremely valuable to us as we discern what to share in our monthly Vestry Papers. Please help us by filling out this short survey so we can continue to tailor ECF Vital Practices to your specific needs. Click here to take the survey.
Dr. Adriane Bilous
Director of Leadership and Learning