Does the name Anya Powers ring a bell. Probably not, but come September she will be our Yale Divinity School intern for the 2018-2019 academic year. She is excited to be among us and learning more about leadership in a Christian community of faith. Anya brings with her experiences wide and varied: she has worked as an Exhibitions and Publications Assistant at the Yale Center for British Art, led testing for the National Nuclear Emergency Response Program, was an intern in communications for the non-profit Mental Health Colorado; and, having passed the physical endurance, stamina and strength training and excelled in leadership development, graduated from the Marine Corps Officer Candidate Juniors training program. She is currently in Alabama undergoing “boot camp” to become an officer in the Air Force Reserve.
In her application to the Yale Divinity School Supervised Ministry Program she had this to say about her plans beyond divinity school.
As of now, my plan is to proceed to ordination in the United Church of Christ while spending a minimum of two years in the Air Force Reserves. After those two or more years working in parish ministry or chaplaincy, I hope to go on active duty as a chaplain. While I certainly feel called to military chaplaincy, I know that God may call me elsewhere at any given time and I am prepared to follow that call. As such, I hope to learn as much as I can to be suited for whichever ministry I may be called towards in the future. With the church as a foundation of Christian faith, I do feel that wherever I end up, the church will always play a central role and thus I aspire to learn that which would help me best serve the church at any given time.
Anya will have opportunities to lead worship and preach, to engage in pastoral care and visitation, and to participate in funerals and weddings as they may occur. She will also have opportunities to participate with our youth group and begin an ongoing adult Bible class.
With Anya coming on board in the fall our congregation will be taking on a new ministry: that of a Teaching Church. We will play an important role in her formation as a leader in the United Church of Christ and in helping her discern God’s call in her life. Yes, Anya will be bringing her gifts and experiences to serve in our church; but more importantly, she will be learning from us what it means to be a pastor, a preacher, a teacher and a leader in the life of our congregation.
The Rev. Dr. Sarah Drummond, Dean of Andover-Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School has asked our church, along with the Spring Glen Congregational Church in Hamden, to participate in a pilot Supervised Ministry program specifically for United Church of Christ students. I will meet with Dr. Drummond and the Rev. Jack Davidson of the Spring Glen church on a regular basis for support; and a small group of folks from our church will be trained and serve as a support team for Anya. I am proud we have been identified as a congregation to participate in this pilot program. This is a wonderful opportunity for us.
In the course of my 33 years in ministry I have had the privilege of supervising over 25 students from Yale Divinity School. In all those years the congregations in which the students served were blessed, as will we.
In joyful expectation of God’s coming realm of love and justice,