During the 2004 alum reunion held March 21-24, Louisville Seminary awarded The Mr. and Mrs. Olof Anderson, Sr. Fellowships for Excellence in Pastoral Ministry to four of its graduates. These fellowships are presented to alums who are currently engaged in parish ministry with at least two years experience. Each recipient receives $1,000 toward expenses for continuing education experiences and projects that will help to nurture excellence in ministry.
Established in 1927, the awards honor Mr. and Mrs. Olof Anderson, Sr., parents to sons Frank and Sidney W., who ran the Anderson Wood Working Company, and Olof, Jr., who earned the Bachelor of Divinity degree from Louisville Seminary (1927) and spent his entire ministry of 43 years as the pastor of Kentucky Presbyterian churches. After the death of Olof Anderson, Sr., the awards were later supported through the Anderson Wood Working Company, and today they are continued through the Sidney Anderson Foundation, Inc.
The 2004 recipients: Rev. David M. Crow (MDiv ‘68)
is a volunteer co-pastor, with his spouse, at Stavanger International Church in Stavanger, Norway, a small congregation comprised of American and European expatriates living a highly transient lifestyle. Crow has served in ministry 36 years since his first call as campus pastor at Oregon State University in 1968. Over the years, he has also served congregations in Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and as Regional General Presbyter for the Presbytery of Cascades in Portland, Ore.
When Crow and his wife answered the call to serve at Stavanger last fall, they found a struggling church in need of long-term leadership and direction. With the support of an Anderson fellowship, Crow plans to attend a conference in Germany sponsored by the Association of International Churches of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Through this experience, he hopes to strengthen his teaching and preaching with insights from lectures on Reformation; develop a network of support among other international pastors who minister in transient congregations; and expand his knowledge in the area of international ministry in which he serves today.
At the conference, Crow hopes to “discover how other churches maintain strong lay leadership, develop new leadership, and how they support those who don’t make so many moves, but who find themselves saying ‘hello’ to strangers and then ‘good-bye’ to people they come to love. We will discover how other pastors minister to those who are homesick but who cannot return home.”
In 2002, Rev. Cheryl Garbe (MDiv ’01)
was appointed solo pastor of the Morgantown United Methodist Church, situated in the center of historic Morgantown, between Bloomington, Indianapolis, and Columbus, Ind. She also serves as chairperson of the South Indiana Conference Board of Young Adult Ministry in the United Methodist Church.
Recently, the congregation’s leadership participated in the first stages of strategic planning, from which they have defined their mission and are now setting goals for the future. Garbe says this has generated much energy and excitement which has demanded a lot of time from the pastor. “To harness and direct [the energy] effectively and in the right direction, the pastor and the congregation must be strong spiritually, listening for God’s voice in the process,” she said.
With that in mind, Garbe plans to participate in the Three-Year Covenant Community for Spiritual Formation, offered by the South Indiana Conference. With the Anderson Fellowship supplementing the costs of the commitment, Garbe believes she will be able to learn and lead her congregation in establishing nurturing spiritual disciplines; guiding others in spiritual direction; personal well-being; and building covenant groups to expand the experience of various Christian practices.
Rev. Fran Lane Lawrence (MDiv ’01)
has been pastor and head of staff at the Presbyterian Church of Charleroi in Pennsylvania since graduating from LPTS in 2001. Her congregation has approximately 200 members who have spent the past three years identifying various ways in which they can minister to the many needs of the community.
“Charleroi has been hard hit with economic struggles resulting in significant areas of need and concern: unemployment, homelessness, drug abuse, and domestic violence among others,” said Lane-Lawrence. Dramatic flight by young families has left a community comprised of 70% retired persons and many impoverished families without the resources to relocate. Through Lawrence’s guidance, the congregation identified for themselves a mission of outreach to the people of Charleroi. In three years they have established a weekly breakfast with the pastor for neighborhood children, a highly successful community clothes closet; a program that provides shoes for children prior to the start of school; and an infant resource project.
Like Garbe, Lawrence realizes the importance of spiritual formation for the pastor and the congregation in sustaining a ministry of outreach and action. Therefore, she will use her Anderson Fellowship to pursue certification in spiritual direction from the Shalem Institute in Maryland. “I believe there is a direct connection between the spiritual disciplines of a pastor and the way a particular parish is led to live in God’s presence,” she said.
Rev. Nancy Ross-Zimmerman (MDiv ’01)
is Associate Pastor of Traditional Worship and Music at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since beginning her call, Ross-Zimmerman has helped to transform congregational life and worship through a revitalization of church’s traditional worship, music programs, and churchwide fellowship. These efforts have included a weeklong choir camp for children in grades K-8 in which 64 children attended; a youth drama troupe called “Fools for Christ;” incorporating visual arts into the worship space, created by church members; and intergenerational fellowship events.
“I believe that of all the controversial issues that entangle the Presbyterian Church (USA), in the long run, it will be our worship that will or will not sustain the denomination,” said Ross-Zimmerman, who would like to apply the Anderson Fellowship toward future study of worship trends and rituals. “We must make our worship, both Traditional as well as multi-media, engaging and creative, rooted in a sound theology and rich with our heritage. Our worship, including the sermon, must grab the attention of those outside of our church walls and bring them in to discover their passion for serving God.”
Ross-Zimmerman hopes to construct a continuing education experience with hymn writer and professor of preaching Dr. Thomas H. Troeger at Illif School of Theology and to attend one of the emerging church seminars.
Alums interested in applying for the Anderson Fellowships can contact the Office of Field Education by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 800.264-1839, ext. 297.