Sunday, March 11, 2012

Noah Lawson Ember Letter

Almighty God, whose loving hand has given us all that we possess: Grant us grace that we may honor you with our substance, and, remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your bounty, through Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.
March 10, 2012

Greetings Bishop Menees,

I apologize for the tardiness of this Ember Letter. At the writing of this letter I am completing the sixth week of the second semester. Time really does fly when you are having fun. I hope that this note finds you well and blessed and basking in the glory, wonder, and mystery that is the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.  


Classes are engaging and papers are coming due! My class schedule is as follows:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: Ascetical Theology (Monday/Wednesday), Historical Theology, New Testament (Gospels)
Tuesday/Thursday: Church History, Parish Ministry, New Testament (Patristic Interpretation, Tuesday only)
In addition to classes this semester I have been blessed to participate in a number of extra-curricular activities:

The Pusey Guild: On Tuesday, February 28th I became an official novice in the Pusey Guild. I find it to be a great forum for discussing the important ideas of the catholic faith and for mutual encouragement as we advocate for those ideas.

Saint Michael the Arch Angel Anglican Church: I have started a 12 week intense discipleship program for high school youth. It is a program called FIRESTARTERS and has a specific emphasis on action (going out and praying for healing, giving words of knowledge, etc.). So far it is going really well and I am expecting some significant results. We have a group forming for a second 12 session. I am also teaching Sunday school for the larger young adult population that is not in FIRESTARTERS and teaching in the Lenten soup supper series.    

United States Navy Chaplain Candidate Program: In early February I was approved to enter the Navy’s Chaplain Candidate Program. On March 9th I was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy. This means that I will be attending Officer Development School in Rhode Island this summer followed by the Chaplain School.  My current status is in the Inactive Ready Reserve where I will have the ability to work with active duty chaplains through the course of my seminary career (when seminary is not in session). After being ordained I will have the option of applying for full time chaplaincy in the Navy. My understanding is that Bishop Jones (bishop for the armed forces) hopes to touch base with you, as my diocesan,  concerning my involvement in the chaplain candidate program.  

Saint John’s Military Academy: Once a week I meet with a small group of young men who live and go to school at SJMA. They come from all over the United States and from different countries around the world to attend school here. Our time is spent discussing issues of faith, challenges they are having academically, and issues they may be having because they are away from home.

Lad Lake: I have been approved to be a volunteer chaplain with Lad Lake. This is a facility that houses young men who are wards of the state and in some cases juvenile offenders of the law. I expect to begin volunteering by the end of March.     

Nashotah House Theological Seminary Board of Trustees: I was recently elected by my class to represent them on the Nashotah House Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees exists to hold in trust in perpetuity the assets of Nashotah House and to establish the policies by which the institution is governed. In particular, the Board is charged with providing effective short- and long-range planning for the House, nurturing and safeguarding the highest academic and religious quality of the seminary, ensuring sound financial and physical asset management, promoting communication among all constituencies and to the public, and selecting the Dean. Trustees meet once each semester and represent a wide breadth of the Anglican and Episcopal Churches. The board is comprised of laymen, priests, and bishops.

One of the activities that we are required to do  as seminarians is to find a parish internship. I am considering an AMiA church in Wheaton, IL called Church of the Resurrection. It is quite large and evangelical, has a connection to the seminary, and is fairly close distance wise. These internships involve a several week commitment for teaching, shadowing a mentor priest, and are supposed to happen during the summers. Do you have any direction for me relative to securing an internship (type, location, etc.)?  

As you may know, I have worked hard to raise ongoing financial support from friends and family. I recently have changed how the money is being processed. The information below reflects how the new system will work. Prior to these  changes Christ Church was issuing tax statements to contributors. This ended up being a considerable amount of work for Christ Church’s volunteer treasurer. By shifting the tax function to the seminary the church treasurer will have less of a work load.  

1)      2011 Contributions:
a.       As of the writing of this letter contributors should have received a statement from Christ Church recognizing their contributions for 2011 as tax-deductable.
2)      2012 Contributions:
a.       Christ Church will continue to receive contributions in my name and will forward the balance to the seminary in my name. Contributions received by the church starting in April 2012 will not be tax-deductable.
b.      Contributors who desire a tax-deduction will need to send their contributions directly to the seminary scholarship fund at Nashotah House (see information below). The seminary will then credit my account.
Checks should be made out to:
Nashotah House
(on the memo line write: Bishop Parson’s Scholarship Fund: Noah Lawson)

Mail Checks to:
Nashotah House
2777 Mission Road
Nashotah, Wisconsin 53058

I feel truly blessed to be here at Nashotah House. I am having a great time and value the gift that this experience is. I pray for you and the diocese daily. Are you still hoping to visit? Thank you again, and I pray that you will know more and more the depth and breadth of God’s love for you.  

Blessings to you...Keep the Faith,

Noah Soares Lawson
Seminarian, Nashotah House Theological Seminary
2777 Mission Road
Nashotah, Wisconsin 53058
(262) 646-6500 (office)

1 comment:

Dale Matson said...

Fr Noah is a native of Lemoore, California. He was ordained a deacon on August 6, 2013 and a priest on August 20, 2014 in the Anglican Church by the Right Reverend Eric V. Menees, Bishop - Diocese of San Joaquin.