Paul Clever is founder of an emerging religious order, the Common Friars. The friars are men and women, married and single, lay and ordained. They live and work on the Good Earth Farm in Athens, Ohio, a farm which provides food for local soup kitchens. When not farming or working with volunteers, much of Paul’s time has been devoted to traveling and developing the friar’s rule of life. He has spoken extensively on food and faith, discipleship and commitment, the Eucharist and right livelihood. Paul is writing a series of articles for ECF Vital Practices called Faith on the Farm. Visit the Common Friars website at http://commonfriars.wordpress.com
Kathryn L. Reinhard (Dorothy A. Given Fellow) began work toward a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at Fordham University, New York, NY in September 2009. While her primary focus will be on Christology, particularly in the context of challenges facing the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, Kathryn is currently conducting research on the relationship between religious pluralism and African Anglicanism, which explores how Christian-Muslim relations in countries such as Nigeria and Uganda have shaped the African Anglican stance on homosexuality. She has two publication submissions currently pending: one on the role of the Holy Spirit in St. Augustine's Trinity, and a second which uses performance theory as a way of understanding communal (and in this case patriotic American) identity. In addition to sharing her knowledge through academic writing and pursuits, Kathryn hopes to strike a balance between the practical and academic and to "foster and encourage lay people to think about God, and to think about the ways God relates to their everyday lives."
Edward E. Thompson (William B. Given, Jr. Fellow) began his graduate studies at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR), Arlington, VA, in the Fall of 2009. Ted is examining the dynamic of religions and religious belief in peace building, both in diffusing conflict, and in the aftermath of serious social turmoil. In addition to having a background in Asian Studies and experience with Japanese-American Episcopalians, he intends significant study of Islamic tradition. In January 2010 Ted will participate in a work/study trip to Syria that involves "citizen diplomacy" between Syria and the West as one approach to addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is also very interested in addressing conflict at the congregational level. "I remain convinced that reconciliation is at the heart of the Church's mission," Ted says. "In regard to our denomination, I think we have learned a great deal in the past few decades about how to help congregations move through conflicted times. But there is still more to learn in order to better use all the knowledge that exists."