Getting Candid with Our Candler Interns

As a congregation, there are a lot of perks to being on Emory's campus and being around the corner from one of its graduate schools, Candler School of Theology. To name just a few, Candler professors graciously lead us in a lecture series each summer, their world-class Pitts Theology Library resources are at our fingertips, and each year, students in their Contextual Education program join us as ministerial interns. Our congregation serves as a space to put their classroom knowledge into practice, and to perhaps learn some things about ministry that the classroom might not offer!

We have valued the opportunity to be a ConEd site for Candler students in years past and look forward to what these new interns will bring to the life of our congregation this coming year.
 

Meet Nick Georgian

 Nick taking a selfie at Niagara Falls with the youth this summer on their Choir Tour.

Nick taking a selfie at Niagara Falls with the youth this summer on their Choir Tour.

Nick Georgian is a second-year Master of Divinity student. He is originally from Mississippi and has impeccable manners to match his southern roots. Nick is seeking ordination as an Elder in The United Methodist Church.

Best book you’ve read recently…
The best book I've read recently is Kevin M. Watson’s A Blueprint for Discipleship: Wesley’s General Rules as a Guide for Christian Living. Dr. Watson’s book served as the foundation for our discussion during the summer Gathering at 5:05. This book was very insightful and opened my eyes to see what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I also witnessed the growth of the bible study participants as we journeyed together, finding a new understanding of true discipleship.

Favorite class at Candler…
My favorite class at Candler so far has been Theology of Wesley and Methodism taught by Dr. Rex Matthews. It has opened my eyes to see why I am United Methodist. I have been active in the United Methodist Church most of my life, but never truly understood what it means for me to be a part of the Methodist Church. This has better prepared me to be a future Elder in the UMC and to be a faithful disciple and member of the Methodist tradition.

Most moving moment in ministry so far at Glenn…
The most moving moment I have experienced so far at Glenn is through being a part of both of the youth trips this summer. I was blessed with the opportunity to go on the youth choir tour in Toronto, OR and the youth mission trip in Gatlinburg, TN. During both trips I had the great privilege of getting to know such an amazing and talented group of young men and women. I witnessed God’s wonderful acts through each person in the group, whether that was through a worship service, singing, playing an instrument, working on a house or building a handicap ramp. Glenn youth is an amazing group and has shown me the joy of being part of ministry and the power of youth ministry. I can’t wait to get to know each of the youth members better.

Your goals and dreams for your time with us…
I hope to continue to grow the bond God has created within the youth and the congregation. I look forward to working with and learning from Rev. Dr. Alice Rogers, Rev. Susan Pinson and Rev. Blair Setnor, the best mentors I could ask for.

I am excited for the opportunity to serve in various ministries at Glenn and to work alongside other wonderful interns, such as Tiffania, Sara and Stewart. My hope and prayer is that I continuously show God’s love and grace to all and further God’s Kingdom. I cannot wait to see all that God has in store for me at Glenn. 

 

Meet Sara Maughan

 Sara (far left) with classmates and her favorite Candler professor Brent Strawn.

Sara (far left) with classmates and her favorite Candler professor Brent Strawn.

Sara is a second-year Master of Divinity student. She enjoys being outside, watching movies, and napping. Seriously, she's phenomenally good at napping. She and her husband, Chris, and their sons John (14), Eli (12), and Austin (5) are members of Glenn.

Best book you've read recently...
Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber. Nadia Bolz-Weber is the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, an ELCA mission church. She is a recovering alcoholic and minister who really knows how to tell on herself. If you appreciate stories with foul language, truth, and the work of the Holy Spirit, I strongly recommend this book.

Favorite class at Candler...
Duh! Old Testament with Dr. Brent Strawn. The class that really turned my world upside down in my first year was Dr. Strawn's Old Testament. He successfully imparted on me the significance of this book and the absolute relevancy of it right now. However, Dr. Matthews' class on the Theology of Wesley and Methodism is a close second. I'm taking his class right now as an A term (full semester class condensed into two weeks). And I've got to say, I love Wesley and the people called Methodists!

Most moving ministry moment so far at Glenn...
Any moment with the youth of Glenn. They are just completely awesome.

Your goals and dreams for your time with us...
To show up and do the best job I can at whatever Alice, Blair, Susan or Brent have called me to do.

 

Meet Stewart Voegtlin

 Stewart (second from right) playing a late night game of cards with a late night meal at Waffle House on the Youth Mission Trip to Tennessee this summer.

Stewart (second from right) playing a late night game of cards with a late night meal at Waffle House on the Youth Mission Trip to Tennessee this summer.

Stewart is a 2015 graduate of Candler with a Masters of Theological Studies (MTS). Intern turned assistant director for our youth ministries, Stewart is also a member of Glenn with his wife, Katrina, and their son, Trey. Stewart loves Glenn, but would choose a trout stream if given the option on a Sunday morning.

Best book you've read recently...
I always read in batches, so I have two. The first is a book I read my first semester at Candler, and have re-read several times since then (it honestly gets better with every read): Annie Dillard’s Holy the Firm. Dillard’s language is stealthy and sticky; if you’re prone to blowing through prose instead of meandering, some of her power may be lost on you. If you deliberately slow your pace, you’ll find you come to a standstill at times, especially when Dillard describes seemingly ordinary events, such as a moth drawn to a flame, in extraordinary ways. The moth doesn’t just vanish in the flame; it is “curled, blackened, and ceased, disappearing utterly,” only to resurrect instantaneously in the “glowing horn shell of…abdomen and thorax---a fraying, partially collapsed gold tube jammed upright in the candle’s round pool."

The second book is Language in Literature by the great linguist Roman Jakobson. One of Jakobson’s many strengths is his mastery of subjects other than linguistics, which, of course makes him a better linguist. This book serves as exhibit A: through Language in Literature Jakobson performs deft structural analyses of wildly diverse poetry from Yeats, Blake, Baudelaire and more, and convincingly makes a case for the connection between poetry and experience, which has compelling ramifications for the work of Homer, much less Biblical authors….

Favorite class at Candler...
I have two: the first was Paul’s letter to the Romans with Luke Johnson. My best friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer my first semester at Candler, and exegeting Romans in Greek was the best therapy I could ask for. It was a weird semester, with Emory closing frequently due to snow and ice. I have fond memories of sitting in the hospital with Rob, reading from the Greek text while he slept, and clawing through my lexicon at home in the early morning hours while folks sledded down the street on broken down cardboard boxes.

The second was a directed study on prayer with Don Saliers. We built the reading list as we went, starting with the Greek of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew and Luke, and then moving to Tertullian, Origen, Merton, Rahner, Barth, Schleiermacher, and others. The discussions were held on Saliers’ back porch, usually over tea, and were never restricted to the readings, of course. Saliers is a bottomless reservoir of information; he effortlessly seasons all discourse with allusions to an ever-expanding list of luminaries, which is to say while we may have been discussing the Lord’s Prayer, we also discussed Dickinson, Emerson, Thoreau, Yeats, and Kant. This was easily one of the great intellectual experiences of my life.

Most moving moment in ministry so far at Glenn...
Surprise: I have two. The first was being served communion by Ellie McQuaig and Katie Cole at the youth led advent service: two young women I love and admire, a paper cup half full of grape juice, and a half-frozen hunk of sweet, yeasty bread. That’s thanksgiving in the truest sense of the word.

My second was the first worship service Blair presided over after being ordained. Ben Ladner played Mumford & Son’s song, “The Wind Beneath my Feet,” and Sarah Napier danced. But Ben didn’t just play the song; Sarah didn’t just dance. I nearly bit my tongue off trying not to cry. When I looked up, Blair was pretty much weeping, so I figured it was permissible at that point. I don’t know if ministry can be more moving than that moment.

Your goals and dreams for your time with us...
My goals and dreams have always been the same: to be as beneficial to the kids I work with as they have been to me. 

 

Meet Tiffania Willetts

 Tiffania (third from right) trying to teach Sunday Schoolers a thing or two about cooking.

Tiffania (third from right) trying to teach Sunday Schoolers a thing or two about cooking.

Tiffania is a second-year Master of Divinity student and is passionate about empowering leaders of all ages in the local church and helping churches to engage with their communities in new ways. Originally from Florida, Tiffania is seeking ordination as an Elder in The United Methodist Church.

Best book you’ve read recently...
At the beginning of the summer I read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes for some lighter fare.

Favorite class at Candler…
History of Methodism. I was really inspired by the roots of Methodism and the role of small groups in the success of the Methodist movement in the 1700 and 1800's.

Most moving moment in ministry so far at Glenn…
Children's Sunday School has been such a blessing this summer. The children at Glenn have taught me so much in only a few short weeks!

Your goals and dreams for your time with us…
I would love to continue to get to know the people at Glenn, of all ages. I have really enjoyed the time I have spent with Glenn Next young adults, the Care team visiting homebound members, the missions team, and many others in worship. I want to continue to learn from the Glenn church family the many ministry skills I can't learn in the classroom.