“I loved my time at Exploring Your Call and speak of it constantly. If it were possible for me to go again, I would--in a heartbeat,” says Laura Brown, a 2012 participant in this annual discernment event held by Bethany Theological Seminary.
Brown, from Happy Corner Church of the Brethren in Clayton, Ohio, was
joined by Issac Brunk and Autumn Ehrig from Ivester Church of the
Brethren, Grundy Center, Iowa; Michael Himlie, Root River Church of the
Brethren, Preston, Minn.; and Sarandon Smith from Palmyra (Pa.) Church
of the Brethren. From June 14-24, these high school students gathered to
consider what God’s call might mean in their own lives and faith
The Bethany campus in Richmond, Ind., served as the central space for
learning sessions, group discussion and reflection, and worship. The
group also had some hands-on experience in assisting with Vacation Bible
School at the local First Christian Church in Richmond.
Russell Haitch, director of the program, was joined by current
faculty and students in leading the group sessions. Haitch is associate
professor of Christian education and director of the Institute for
Ministry with Youth and Young Adults. Marla Abe, a 2008 Bethany graduate
and copastor of Carlisle (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, assisted in
directing the week’s activities.
Beyond Richmond, the group was introduced to ministry at the Brethren
Retirement Community in Greenville, Ohio. They also traveled to Reba
Place, an intentional Christian community in Chicago, Ill., and visited
the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill.
Each participant also spent time shadowing regional Church of the
Brethren pastors and being hosted by their congregations. Brown
highlights her connection with copastors Charles Bell and Mike Cassidy
at Buck Creek Church of the Brethren in Mooreland, Ind. “The experience I
had with them--including talking with and being hosted by church
members, Sunday school, etc.--made the most impact on me.”
Michael Himlie says that EYC gave him additional insight into what he
feels led to do in his faith journey. “My favorite part of EYC was the
opportunity to experience all types of ministry. Some may not have fit
with our interests, but we all took a lot away from each and every
The EYC program was reinstated in 2011 after a hiatus of several
years. "With smaller groups these past two years, we've been able to
travel more, and it has meant that wonderful family-like friendships
could develop,” says Haitch. “Our goal is to expand enrollment while
keeping the quality of the program and closeness of relationships."
Registration for EYC 2013 opens Sept. 1 for rising high school
juniors and seniors. Through a generous grant from Barnabas, Ltd., in
New South Wales, Australia, all expenses for participants are covered
except for transportation to and from the event. Bekah Houff,
coordinator of outreach programs at Bethany and former EYC participant,
is organizing EYC 2013. “It is my hope that next year’s EYC will be an
eye-opening experience as young people discern God's call in their lives
while exploring different kinds of ministry."
Information is available by contacting email@example.com or on the Bethany website at www.bethanyseminary.edu/eyc.
In more news from Bethany, the seminary held Opening Convocation Aug
23 in a joint service with neighboring Earlham School of Religion (ESR).
The service was in Nicarry Chapel, in the Bethany Seminary building.
All were invited, and especially welcomed were new and returning
students in theological and religious studies. ESR professor Nancy Bowen
offered the message. The convocation was webcast, as will be other
services throughout the year, so that distance learning students and
anyone else who might wish to worship with the seminary could also
participate. Find a link at www.bethanyseminary.edu/news/OpeningConvo2012.
-- Jenny Williams is director of communications and alumni/ae relations for Bethany Seminary.
Source: 9/6/2012 Newsline