Select Ministry Examples
Office of Worship Life
Serving Columbia Theological Seminary, the Office of Worship Life (OWL) offers worship services by and for students, faculty, and staff each week. My role as an intern was during the COVID-19 pandemic, which called for a creative license in online programming.
As an example, below are the offerings for the week-long Earth Day focused series I planned.
Earth Day Series:
The on-campus group SAGE (Shaping Attention to God's Earth) led us during Tuesday's pre-recorded go-at-your-own-pace service.
Old Testament professor Rev. Dr. William Brown led us in a live Zoom service on Wednesday.
(Recording is not public)
Following Friday's live Zoom service, the on-campus group FTD (Fellowship for Theological Discussion) had Rev. Dr. Brown as their guest speaker. Participants discussed the correlation between theology and environmental concerns. (Not recorded)
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Located in Trenton, NJ, WPC is a small urban church with a 120-year history, serving a genuinely intercultural congregation.
Rev. Karen Hernández-Granzen had been the pastor for twenty-five years and served as my mentor and supervisor.
During my twelve-week stay at WPC, I held leadership and participated in various ministries, including planning the worship bulletin and delivering liturgy each week.
You may watch some of my sermons online.
Bethany House of Hospitality
A mission of Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Presbytery of New Brunswick, Bethany House of Hospitality (BHoH) was my home during my time with WPC.
Housing young adults who serve the region of Trenton in various ways, the house also serves the community through its garden, food-related programs, and other social-educational gatherings.
Residents of BHoH and guests meet weekly to tend the house garden together, share a meal, and partake in a reflective activity. In a session I led, we engaged the practice of Lectio Divina with a photography book as a form of contemplation. Recognizing that not all residents and guests are Christian or religious, we could have a conversation with images that spoke to us, irrespective of doctrinal beliefs.
Using ingredients from the garden paired with inexpensive options from the grocery store, BHoH resident and Suppers program facilitator Christina teaches local people how to cook and eat healthier.
LGBTQIA+ & Allies Reunion
It had been three years since BHoH and WPC hosted their LGBTQIA+ & Allies group gathering.
After fellowship and a meal, I led the group in conversation concerning the question: What does it mean when we are so inclusive that we become exclusive?
WPC Elder Cherry documented our conversation through a graphic recording.
San Francisco Night Ministry
Since 1964, San Francisco Night Ministry (SFNM) has been serving the city through a ministry of presence. Most of the work takes place between the hours of 10 pm and 4 am as Night Ministers walk the streets of the city, offering a listening ear and the occasional sock or food item to any person who needs a moment of companionship and compassion.
SFNM also offers a weekly Bible study and two street-side worship services, one on Sunday afternoon and the other on Thursday evening. Both services are followed by fellowship and a meal. SFNM is a training ground for seasoned and future pastors and chaplains alike as a clinical pastoral education site. Because the ministry has no walls, there is no distinction between who is part of the ministry and who is not. Everyone, including your colleagues, is your parishioner.
Preaching during a street-side Sunday worship service by Civic Center Plaza in the heart of the city.
Bonding with CPE teammates on a hike.
Leading prayers and reading scripture during a weekday evening service in the busy and crowded Mission district.
Hispanic Summer Program Chapel
As a team of four, my classmates and I organized and led daily chapel for the two-week intensive Hispanic Summer Program (HSP) in San Antonio, Texas.
Our theme was creation, which includes the lives and bodies of our siblings crossing the border into the United States. Over two weeks, our table evolved, collecting the elements of creation and the names of those who have perished crossing El Rio Grande. A memorial service was held to remember those who have lost their lives crossing into the United States and those who died in U.S. custody.
Hispanic and Latinx Association
The Hispanic and Latinx Association (HALA) at Columbia Theological Seminary is a seminarian-led group that provides care, education, and support to Hispanic and Latinx seminarians and their allies. The group also leads educational events on campus and leads worship services for the seminary chapel.
You can hear my sermon for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Hispanic Heritage Month
Above: As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, HALA organized a book display on Latinx Ministry concerns by Latinx scholars for use at Columbia Theological Seminary's library. There was also a display of children's books.
Right: A table display for our closing chapel service celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
El Refugio Pastoral Care Trip
HALA makes an annual trip to Stewart Detention Center. With the guidance and support of the non-profit El Refugio, we offer pastoral care to men who have been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.).
After speaking with the detainees, HALA members, El Refugio volunteers and staff, and families visiting their relatives at Stewart sit for a meal and fellowship.
An online ministry serving BIPOC students
Seminariansofcolor.com is a personal ministry project. My experience in seminary was harrowing and what I've learned is that I needed to expand my list of tools outside of what my particular seminary could offer. I traveled the country for internships and conferences, connecting with pastors of color and learning from their wisdom and support. The site contains resources and letters of support from current ministers to the newer and future BIPOC leaders of the Church.
A significant facet of the seminarians of color project is a collection of applications, books, organizations, and other tools that may be helpful during seminary for people of color. The hub grows as pastors are called to share resources within their letters of support.