FTE Blog


Can We Keep Our Promises?

“I’m thinking about quitting the MDiv.” The voice on the phone was my former student and intern here at Marsh Chapel with the support of FTE’s Pastoral Internships.

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By: Br.  A. Whitney LC Lawrence August 20, 2014


An Opportunity to Re-Engage not Remake the Church

When my wife and I arrived to be co-pastors about four years ago, we found a congregation with an amazing history. They were founded in the mid 50s and since their founding have always been involved with incredible things in the community—the civil rights movement, Vietnam, social justice movements.

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By: David Lewicki August 12, 2014


Innovative Ministries: Stepping outside my box

I admit I can be a traditionalist and creature of habit when it comes to church, so when my Aunt Norma from Tennessee announced that she participated in a Maundy Thursday Service online, I kind of gave her a sideways glance and asked, “What’s that!?!” She explained that Pastor Audrey DeCoursey who is based in Portland Oregon has started an online church plant and worshipping community called Living Stream Church of the Brethren.

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By: Heather Wallace August 06, 2014


Attentiveness and Practices in Christian Ministry

It was a rare and beautiful moment—200+ leaders of all ages from churches, seminaries, and community organizations stood quietly, breaking up the energetic conversation and brainstorming that marked the day, and waited at their empty dinner tables with their hands on their stomachs, breathing deeply and consciously and attending to the presence of God in their breath.

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By: Cassidhe Hart July 25, 2014


Conducting My Beautiful, Cacophonous Clone Choir

One of my summer TV obsessions is BBC America’s Orphan Black. With the help of greenscreen effects, an immensely talented actress portrays multiple people cloned from the same genome. In a single episode she can be a scientist, a thief, a soccer mom, a crooked biotech executive, a fanatic cultist, and whatever else the writers toss her way. It’s an intriguing exploration of identity and of the pathways open to each individual.

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By: Trevor Persaud July 19, 2014


Lead Differently

“Here’s to the crazy ones…The ones who see things differently…People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” Seventeen years ago these provocative words captured the attention of the public and persuaded many to think different about Apple.

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By: Stephen Lewis July 14, 2014


An Open Reflection to My Younger Self

I am the seven-year-older version of you. You are angry about God’s call in your life and bitter with everyone. For some reason, FTE sees something in you and selects you as an Undergraduate Fellow. Honestly, you do not know how they made this mistake.

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By: Eric Brown July 03, 2014


The Building of Community in Unlikely Places

Against the picturesque setting of the gorgeous pines stood a 30 ft. slim pole that is part of the challenge course of Camp Berachah. Atop the pole stood a very nervous, young man who kept stating, “I can’t do this”.

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By: Fran Davis-Harris June 18, 2014


Can you Repack That?

It’s a bread-and-butter question that pastors love asking: Can you unpack that for me? The question is extremely useful (though perhaps overused), because people often speak in loaded language and try to convey more than they’re saying.

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By: Tyler Sit June 10, 2014


Compensation for Being

I was walking through the Boston Public Garden when I ran across two couples looking for someone to take their picture. I obliged, and after snapping a couple of shots I noted that, “You really can’t get a better day in Boston.” One replied, “I know, isn’t it marvelous?” After this brief encounter, we went our separate ways. Was this not a moment of ministry?

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By: Br.  A. Whitney LC Lawrence June 04, 2014


A Christian Take on Mindfulness

Jesus dedicates no small amount of metaphors to inspire his disciples to “keep watch”: bridesmaids who burn their lamps as they wait for their beloved (Matt 25:1-13), a servants in a house who waits for the homeowner to swing by (Mark 13:32-37), and so forth. Watchfulness, it would seem, was what the disciples should be all about: their eyes were to be the ones to peer into the dark outside and wait for a flicker of the divine to break the night.

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By: Tyler Sit May 29, 2014


The Power of a Room

This is the third time I’ve been asked to attend the Transitioning-into-Ministry (TiM) Participants Gathering. The first year I thought it was a fluke. The second year I was looking for it. This year, I was expecting it. What was is “it”? The power of a room.

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By: Jonathan Barlow May 21, 2014


Listen Closely

The room was full of young pastors—hip, cool, bright and beautiful people in their twenties—newly out of seminary or divinity school, embedded in their first calls. Gathered for a few days to make friends among ecumenical colleagues, they were open to wisdom that might help them stay connected to their best selves.

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By: Dori Baker May 09, 2014


Communication as an Art

Over four years ago I came to FTE after spending several years studying and devoting my time to the arts. I did not attend seminary. I did not focus my undergraduate degree on any type of religious studies.

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By: Kimberly R. Daniel-Brister May 01, 2014


Celebrating a Birthday or Celebrating the Birth of an Idea

It was a cool Tuesday morning. With no technology to navigate the way, they moved briskly through New York City’s morning traffic. The destination: 30 Rockefeller Plaza. With nervous energy, 12 Christian leaders, pastors and educators gathered in Room 5600 to give birth to an idea.

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By: Stephen Lewis April 27, 2014


Shhhhhhhh!

I gave up interrupting for Lent this year. Interrupting is among my top annoyances, along with whistling and not knowing the difference between “you’re” and “your,” and one that I am extremely guilty of myself. Interrupting God is a particularly egregious problem of mine, and I came to FTE’s Leaders in Discernment Retreat with multiple manifestations of it.

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By: Erin Grasse April 22, 2014


Do We Know Enough About Other Religions?

In the brief three months that I have lived with the Tibetan Buddhist community in India, several high-level Buddhists have publicly complimented Christianity. But I wonder—are we Christians ready to return the favor?

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By: Tyler Sit April 18, 2014


Is the Institutional Church Worth Saving?

When I was younger, I can recall Christmas Eve services at my home church where we had to pull out chairs and have auxiliary seating for the hundreds of parishioners present. Now, the only time we have to do that is for funeral services for the bulwark members of our church. Countless gallons of ink have been spilled debating whether the institutional church is worth saving.

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By: Rob Lee April 16, 2014


My Time At the FTE Vocational Discernment Conference

The music started late on Friday night, without warning. Some people found a sitting room on the third floor and opened up a coffee-table jam session.

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By: Trevor Persaud April 11, 2014


A Muddy Epiphany

It was the kind of mud that squelched as you stepped, with brown water submerging your shoe at each pass. All hopes for getting away clean were quickly abandoned, and my friends and I couldn’t help but laugh as our boots stuck.

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By: Tyler Sit April 04, 2014

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