Arch Street Presbyterian Church strives to be a teaching congregation and one manifestation of this aim is the regular inclusion of talented seminary students and recent graduates who are actively exploring both their call to ministry and sense of pastoral identity. By participating in the life of this place, ASPC provides room for them to learn the craft of ministry by assisting in worship, leading various Christian education programs and collaborating with our community partners while being guided, encouraged and challenged by more experienced pastors and lay leaders. As part of ASPC’s connection to the worldwide church and recognizing the need for revitalization in the North American church, we believe it is imperative to nourish tomorrow’s theological leaders and walk beside them as they prepare for courageous and imaginative ministries of various forms.
The Pastoral Immersion Program, a joint venture between Arch Street and our sister congregation Broad Street Ministry, offers future theological leaders an uncommon opportunity for vocational discernment and formation for ministries, a challenge to step outside of themselves and into a faith community in Philadelphia, and a taste of the possibilities for the future of God’s people. By embracing the notion that all ministry is contextual, students reside and breathe in the city where their ministry unfolds and are guided by the program’s co-pilots, who also live alongside them, to help navigate the specifics of life in Philadelphia, the elements of urban ministry and facilitates an environment that encourages risk taking, learning and builds mutual respect. Want more information? Contact Rev. Becky White Newgren or Rev. Bill Golderer.
Four pastoral associates are participating in the 2012-13 Pastoral Immersion Program at BSM and ASPC:
Sudie Niesen Thompson was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. A cradle Presbyterian, she grew up in a family who made “church” a priority. Sudie was confirmed at Glendale Presbyterian Church, where she was ordained as a Deacon during high school. Sudie attended Miami University (Ohio), where she studied Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Dramatic and Literary Art as Facilitators of Social Change. In 2008-2009 Sudie served as a PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer in South India; there she taught English and tutored children in the Dalit (‘Untouchable’) community. Upon her return from India, Sudie enrolled at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
Kelly Forbush recently graduated from Yale Divinity School where her studies focused on embodied worship and environmental theology. She chose to come to Arch Street Presbyterian Church because the program brings together many of her passions: creative, artistic worship, community organizing/social justice, and urban ministry with a ministry team. As a candidate for ordination in the United Church of Christ interested in church planting, she is looking forward to learning more about different (and similar) ways of doing church. In her spare time I love to dance, host potlucks, and be outside biking, hiking, or gardening.
Jeannine Oakes grew up in Aurora, Illinois. She earned a BFA in Film, Photography and Electronic Media at the University of Illinois in Chicago, studied at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale and Yale Divinity School, and received a Master of Arts in Urban Ministry at McCormick Theological seminary. She has a passion for social justice, creative worship, and congregational song. Jeannine eats mostly vegan and enjoys spending a morning at the farmer’s market and then cooking with her partner. Jeannine looks forward to getting to know Philadelphia through the lens of justice driven ministry.
Hannah Lyon grew up a preacher’s kid in North Carolina. She studied Reformed Theology at Davidson College where she also was a cheerleader for four years. (Go Cats!) She relocated to the Philadelphia area in 2010 only to discover there was more Yankee in her than she had previously been allowed to believe. Hannah found Broad Street Ministry through her work with youth and children at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church. Hannah took respite in 2011 in South Africa, where she received a Masters of Divinity at Stellenbosch University. She is excited to be back in Philly, having the opportunity to both absorb all that Broad Street Ministry & Arch Street Presbyterian are and to share in the work of the Gospel being done here.