"My experience as a summer fellow at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church has been incredibly formative. The last eight weeks, I have learned about myself, my call, nonprofit work, the greater Church, the city of San Francisco, public transportation, social justice, community organizing, data entry, networking, public speaking, how to cook for 50 people and how to give a sermon to only a few. It has been more valuable than I could ever have imagined.
Before I began my fellowship, I felt called to some sort of academic professorship in a secular university. I still envision that as my career, but my fellowship in this church has changed me – and my call – and now I know I need to have a working relationship with my church. I plan to seek candidacy through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to work as a commissioned associate in ministry, a formal role in the Lutheran church. I would not be taking this route were it not for this fellowship!
I also have a clearer understanding of the work that needs to be done in progressive Christianity, and better yet, an understanding that the work is hard. There are a million small things that can be done, and few of them are as easy as sending an email or making a statement. Sometimes the work is uncomfortable, and frequently the groundwork falls apart. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important, because it is.
I have gained so much from the conversations I have had with the other Bay Area fellows. Their thoughtful introspection has helped me better understand my own work, and hearing about their roles at their sites – and within the Church in general – has inspired me to work harder and have a wider frame of reference. Because of them, I can see that in my own leadership development, I will greatly benefit from regular interaction with a committee of my peers, be it formal or informal.
Thank you so much for this experience. It has been one of the best summers ever."