Organization: The Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE)
I grew up in rural New Hampshire as a part of the conservative evangelical church, and was deeply engaged in my religious community, particularly through my participation and work at New England Camp Cherith (now Cedarbrook). When I started working there at 16, I discovered that I loved pastoral care and preaching, and started making preliminary plans to enter the ministry in some form (at the time, I thought I'd probably be a missionary). I attended the University of New Hampshire for my undergraduate degree in philosophy, graduating in 2010.
After I graduated, I road-tripped out to Glacier National Park in Montana, working full time a server and volunteering with A Christian Ministry in the National Parks, where I had the privilege to preach regularly - while I was in Montana, I decided to pursue a Masters of Divinity and enter ministry in some form, particularly a ministry situation where I could be regularly preaching.
After Montana, I spent three months in the intentional community L'Abri in southern England, and a month in a silent monastery, before returning to the States. My excitement about intentional community and the church as a possible greenhouse for communities comes from both of these Christian living spaces. When you're doing theology with the same people that you're cooking dinner with and cleaning toilets with, theology is better and more practical, and more often leads to genuine love and care for the other. I continued to experiment with intentional communities, and spent a year building houses in rural Kentucky working with Americorps and living in a Christian community house of volunteers. I still believe that the best model for the future church is one in which we, as the church, allow our lives to become deeply entwined with each other in practical ways, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in order to care and be cared for more meaningfully.
I'm currently finishing my second year at Candler School of Theology in the MDiv program. I'm currently still identifying with the evangelical church, and looking to ultimately become a parish pastor, which may be difficult given the evangelical churches opinions on women in ministry. I hope to continue to be a voice for compassion and unity in my evangelical community even as I identify as more progressive than much of the evangelical church. I'm hoping to eventually be a pastor, but plan on taking my time and experimenting with other forms of creative, particularly communal, ministry before then.
Day1 Weekly Programs by Laura Truman
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Wednesday April 02, 2014
In her sermon for the FTE "Inspiring Young Leaders to Shape the Future" series, Laura Truman--a student at Candler School of Theology--explores the life and ministry of the early church in Acts 2, and helps us envision where the church is moving.