Each year the Seminary Consultation on Mission (SCOM) issues grants to students of Episcopal seminaries through a trust funded by Venture in Mission, the church-wide capital campaign of the 1970-80s. The purpose of this fund is to develop and deepen a global perspective in seminary life and curricula, and thereby help renew and extend effective commitment to mission, both foreign and domestic, throughout the Church. The call for grants asks students to propose projects that carry out these purposes.
This year, two students from The General Theological Seminary, Deborah Lee and Michael Horvath, were successful in their proposals and will receive SCOM grants. Each will use the grant to help fund field placement in other countries, Lee in South Africa, Horvath in Mexico. Summaries of the approved proposals are provided below.
Deborah Lee We in the United States have a moral, social and spiritual imperative to actively engage with our partners at the table in God’s vineyard. Doing ministry across borders requires a call not only to reconciliation, but revival. Christ’s work in the world through lay and ordained people is predicated on a deeper awakening of spiritual, social, and political consciousness through critical, life-applicable and practical theological reflection and action, and the passionate pursuit as people of faith to keep the risen Christ at the center. Our task as a community of faith is to accompany, not persuade. Evangelism is manifested through the Holy Spirit’s work in us; our part is to be present to others in their journey and allow them to accompany us in ours.
To this end, I am excited to have the opportunity to engage in ministry alongside my brothers and sisters at the Church of the Resurrection in Cape Town, South Africa, in a seven-week field placement. The 80-million member world-wide Anglican Communion, of which the Diocese of Cape Town in the Anglican Church of South Africa is a part, provides a wonderful opportunity to learn how to conduct ministry given the heterogeneity of culture, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status of its membership in a challenging and changing environment.
Michael Horvath My proposal for six weeks of field placement and study in Cuernavaca, Mexico, is designed to start preparing me for ministry in a community with a growing or significant Latino/Hispanic demographic. I want to escape the common North American assumption that “one size fits all” when it comes to Latino/Hispanic ministry by immersing myself in one particular and numerically very important Central American country, and then building up to explore other significant Latino/Hispanic cultures from there. The Diocese of New York has a wide array of vibrant Latino/Hispanic Episcopalian faith communities, and I think it is a given that part of my ministry will be focused on serving Latino/Hispanic communities in some way.
I plan to divide my time in Cuernavaca between a field placement at the Cathedral of St. Michael and All Angels (Catedral San Miguel y Todos los Angeles), or at another local parish, as well as participating in a Spanish language immersion course.