August 28, 2018 Dear STEM Community, Please join me in welcoming Polly Robb as our new seminary intern. Polly is a senior at The School of Theology and hails from the Diocese of Alabama. She and her husband Robert have been married for 32 years and have attended St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Huntsville AL since 1986. They have three grown children, two of whom live in Nashville and one in Raleigh NC. For almost twenty years Polly was an educator, serving as math teacher and then Middle School Head at Randolph School in Huntsville. Polly has served the church in a myriad of ways: as an EfM mentor, part of the pastoral care team, acolyte trainer, Christian formation teacher, and vestry member. She and Rob worked for many years together as youth group leaders and they have been part of Cursillo in their home diocese since 1990. Currently, Polly helps lead the bishop’s Confirmation initiative in Alabama that brings young people from around the diocese together for a weekend retreat to continue their baptismal formation Rob works at Marshall Space Flight Center supporting the Space Launch System for NASA and he takes turns with Polly traveling on the weekends to Sewanee or Huntsville so they can be together. They love to bike, hike, and travel to see their grandson in Nashville. Polly clearly brings to us wonderful experience and many gifts for ministry, and we are delighted to have her serving with us through early December. Look for her in your own congregation in the weeks to come. Faithfully, Amy
August 14, 2018 Dear Members and Friends of STEM: Please join me in welcoming The Rev. Warren Swenson as our new Curate, effective August 15, 2018. Some of you have already had the pleasure of meeting Warren this summer, as he has preached and led Morning Prayer at a couple STEM congregations. Warren graduated this past May with a Master of Divinity degree from The School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. He is currently a transitional deacon and will be ordained to the priesthood on September 15th in his home diocese of West Missouri. Warren is a 2013 graduate of Baker University in Baldwin City, KS, Warren received a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Communication Studies and Spanish. While at Baker, Warren served as Student Body President and was active in the Zeta Chi Fraternity. After graduation Warren worked at Baker for two years in the Office of the President and in strategic planning before going to seminary. At Sewanee Warren was a member of the university’s board of trustees and served as a mentor to inmates in the Franklin County Jail. Warren lives in Sewanee with his husband Walker. Together they enjoy lingering back-porch conversations and both love to travel. Warren will gradually be making the rounds to the STEM churches during the coming weeks and months. I know you will appreciate his many gifts for ministry among us! Peace, Amy The Rev. Dr. Amy Bentley Lamborn Vicar, Southeast Tennessee Episcopal Ministry 917-557-0532
November 29, 2017 Dear STEM Family, First, let me say thank you for all your prayers, cards, flowers, food, and transportation assistance during my recent surgery and recovery. Last week I started easing back into work, and this week I expect to work a pretty full week. It is good to return to things that give me such joy. I look forward to seeing many of you as I continue to make my rounds for worship and pastoral visitation! I also write with another piece of joyous news. The Rev. Timothy Hannon, who has been serving part-time as deacon for STEM, will be ordained to the priesthood on December 11, 2017 at 6:30 PM. Christ Church, Tracy City, is hosting the ordination, and our own Bishop Bauerschmidt will be the ordaining bishop on behalf of the Bishop of Oregon, Tim’s home diocese. A festive reception will follow the service. Tim is a 2017 graduate of the School of Theology, University of the South. He has prior academic graduate training in Medieval history and literature (so expect plenty of Tolkien references and motifs in Tim’s sermons), and he has a special love of teaching and pastoral care. Tim has been serving primarily at Epiphany, Sherwood and Christ Church, Tracy City. He has also led the STEM Bible Study on Tuesdays during my recent absence. And he will gradually make his rounds to other STEM congregations in the near future. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting him, you are in for a treat! Tim’s ordination is not only an important occasion for him, but also for STEM and the whole cChurch. I am grateful to the folks in Tracy City for hosting, and for planning assistance from The Rev. Stephen Eichler and The Rev. Matt Farr. Please mark your calendars for this event. I hope to see many of you there.
Faithfully yours, Amy
September 1, 2016 Dear Members and Friends of the STEM Community: As the academic and program year begins, I am excited to announce two additions to our STEM clergy/pastoral team. The Rev. Robert Beazley has been called to serve as a part-time curate for STEM. A recent graduate of the School of Theology (May 2016), Robert is a life-long Episcopalian who grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and is a graduate of Florida State University. He has always been drawn to the outdoors, so it is no surprise that he fell in love with the Sewanee area when he first visited almost ten years ago. During his college days, Robert had a chance to work for the Episcopal Relief and Development’s hurricane relief effort in Galveston, Texas. It was during this experience, when he saw the Church in action beyond Sunday morning worship, that he decided to pursue ordination to the priesthood. Robert is recently engaged (his fiancé is a senior seminarian at the School of Theology), and he will continue in his year-long appointment in the Office of Advancement at the University of the South as she completes her own course of study. Robert will primarily serve at Christ Church, Alto and Trinity, Winchester, where he will preach, assist with Bible study, and share in pastoral visits. He will most certainly make his rounds to other STEM congregations as well. Indeed, he has already preached at Epiphany, Sherwood and enjoyed visiting with parishioners there after the serve this past Sunday. I am certainly echoing his words when I say that Robert feels honored and blessed to serve with STEM, and he looks forward to meeting many of you in the coming weeks. Dr. Nina Vest Salmon has been called to serve as a seminarian with STEM during this fall term. Nina is a postulant from the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia. She has taught English at Lynchburg College for the past 20 years and serves as faculty advisor to the Canterbury Club. She recently earned a PhD in Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought. Her work included archival research and collecting oral histories to explore the racial integration of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia. A lifelong Episcopalian, Nina has been active in the church at many levels, from multiple roles in her own parish to involvement in the diocese, Province III, and the wider church. She has been a General Convention deputy since 2006 and served most recently on the church-wide State of the Church Committee and the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop. Nina will be at Sewanee for one year before returning to Virginia. She and her husband Jerry, a recently retired high school history teacher, have three sons in their twenties and a standard poodle named Sally. Nina is very interested in the STEM model, and feels that her ministry and learning among us will be useful in her own diocese in the near future. Nina will primarily accompany me on Sundays as I make my round among the STEM churches. She will preach on occasion, offer pastoral care, and hopefully offer an adult education series. The STEM churches have always had close ties with the School of Theology, and I am proud to see us continue in that mutually-enriching tradition. And I am pleased, now, to welcome Robert and Nina into our special community of faith and ministry. I know you well join me in welcoming them and sharing the kind of gracious hospitality for which STEM is known. I hope to see you at our annual STEM Eucharist and pot-luck luncheon on Sunday, September 18, if not before.
Blessings and Peace, The Rev. Dr. Amy Bentley Lamborn, Vicar
The Rev. Amy Bentley Lamborn has accepted the call to be Vicar of STEM, effective January 1, 2016.
The Southeast Tennessee Episcopal Ministry (STEM) is pleased to announce that The Reverend Amy Bentley Lamborn has accepted the call to be Vicar of STEM, effective January 1, 2016.
Amy was ordained in 1996, and she has served in a variety of ways since — as a deacon in a small college town, on a diocesan staff, as a curate in a large urban cathedral, as a rector of a suburban parish. She has also served as a hospital chaplain and a supply priest in the Diocese of New York. Amy earned her PhD at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 2009 (Psychiatry and Religion), she also served on the faculty of the General Theological Seminary from 2011-2015 as professor of pastoral theology. She has also done clinical training in psychotherapy at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies and the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association and spiritual direction training at the Haden Institute.
Amy is a 1996 graduate of the School of Theology, University of the South. She and her husband, Rob (also a graduate of the School of Theology), moved back to Sewanee in August of this year. Rob is the Rector of Otey Parish. They have a 12 year-old daughter, Caroline, who is a 7th-grader at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee.
Amy is excited about serving as Vicar of STEM. After learning about the ministry and meeting with various people associated with the ministry, she was drawn to the rootedness in “place” of each STEM congregation, the commitment of faith and spiritual practice (including ministry in each community), and the sense of spiritual resilience common among the STEM congregations.
We look forward to Amy’s leadership and guidance as we begin our ministry together. ________________________________________________________________
February 4, 2016
A Message from Amy: (reprinted from message in Cross Ties newsletter)
A Holy Lent Next week, on Ash Wednesday (February 10th), we begin our Lenten journey. (Please see elsewhere in this issue of Cross Ties the times of services for each of the STEM churches). On this day of special observance, our foreheads are marked with dust as a sign of our mortality and penitence. And we are summoned to the observance of a holy Lent: “by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 265). As personal and individual these Lenten practices may be, we are not left to go it alone. I would like to call your attention to several special Lenten offerings, held in various STEM churches, and open to all members of STEM (and visitors/guests, too — please consider inviting a friend or colleague along!).
The Rev. Br. Aelred Dean, a senior at the School of Theology who was recently ordained a deacon, will be offering a series at Epiphany, Sherwood on Benedictine spirituality. At approximately 11AM, following the Sunday Eucharist, participants will gather for a simple lunch of soup and salad, then study and engage in the ancient practice of lectio divina, a method of meditation on holy Scripture. In the course of this series, participants will also learn more about The Rule of St. Benedict and its influence on Anglican spirituality. The series begins on February 14, the first Sunday in Lent, and concludes on March 13, the fifth Sunday in Lent. This is very much a beginners “course” — no experience is required. And even if you have some experience with lectio divina, you are sure to learn something new and draw even closer to God in the experience.
The 5-session series Embracing Forgiveness: What It Is and What It Isn’t will be offered at both Trinity, Winchester (on Monday nights from 6-7:30 PM) and Christ Church, Tracy City (on Thursdays from Noon-1:30). I will lead and facilitate both groups in this study, a video-based series available through the Church Publishing Company. Participants are encouraged to purchase the handbook for the series through Church Publishing for (12.95): https://www.churchpublishing.org/Search?q=embracing+forgiveness+DVD+and+book. (If you wish to purchase a handbook, please do so ASAP, as it takes around a week to receive it).
Dates for the course on Forgiveness at Trinity are: Feb. 15, Feb. 22, Feb. 29, March 7, and March 14.
Dates for the course on Forgiveness at Christ Church, Tracy City are: Feb. 18, Feb. 25, March 3, March 10, and March 17.
Please consider attending one of these special offerings! ~Amy
_______________________________ May 2016
A Shining Moment (or hour) for STEM Did you know that every Tuesday at 12:30 PM members from at least two or three STEM churches gather for Bible study? Yes, Trinity Winchester hosts this weekly event (there is always hot coffee or water for tea). But for the past few weeks we’ve had members from Christ Church Tracy City, Christ Church Alto, and Trinity around the table, eating a sandwich or salad, passing a bit of cheese or olives or fresh fruit for others to share. It’s not unusual for us to have outside guests, too. What do we do in this Bible study? Each week we simply study the readings for the upcoming Sunday (this is typically called a “Lectionary Bible Study”) and we engage in a variety of perspectives and interpretations. As the leader, I bring my decades of training and study to the table. And I keep us (reasonably) on track. Participants ask big questions, challenge one another, and press for the relevance of Holy Scripture to issues of faith in daily life. And every time we gather we practice being a Christian community. Perhaps most importantly, we draw closer to God and to one another. As one regular participant recently said, “Our time together is so expansive and open. Even our ideas of God are becoming bigger!” Besides the time I share in Sunday worship at a different STEM church each week or in a pastoral visit with someone, Tuesday Bible study is usually the highlight of my week. It is a joy to experience the fellowship members of STEM share with one another. Indeed, what we do, by bringing our morsels of food with some items passed around the table, and breaking open God’s Word, is extend the communion and hospitality of our Eucharistic feast beyond the Altar, beyond Sunday morning, beyond the liturgy. And we experience the presence of God profoundly in our midst. So, if you have a lunch hour near Winchester or you are looking for a new opportunity for spiritual growth and scriptural study, do consider joining us. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. ~ Amy