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Jessica EasterThe Night Ministry
Jessica is a Quaker minister who is endorsed by her home Meeting (Lake Forest Friends Meeting) to provide a ministry of presence to folks of a variety of life circumstances. A large part of her ministry involves demonstrating that Quakers still exist, are relevant to today’s concerns, and can look like her.
At ESR Jessica learned that G-d can be present and active in the most complicated and difficult circumstances. As a result, she has been able to highlight the presence of G-d in some of the most heartbreaking and challenging of situations (e.g. the deaths of children, spirituality and sexual minorities, and the growing tension between police and youth of color).
During her final year of seminary, Jessica was certified as an HIV pre- and post-testing counselor and health educator. Upon graduating ESR, she embarked upon a yearlong internship as a chaplain at the University of California San Francisco’s three main clinical sites. She currently works as a Youth Outreach Professional at The Night Ministry in Chicago, IL. Taking seriously George Fox’s encouragement to “[answer] that of G-d in everyone”, Jessica has ministered to and been blessed by everyone from pediatric cancer patients in San Francisco to homeless LGBTQ youth on the streets of Chicago.
John FitchRenaissance House
An ESR MDiv graduate, John launched Renaissance House 2003 as an ESR student. This is “an intentional Christian community…located in an impoverished area of Richmond, Indiana [serving the poor and those who have] physical or mental disabilities.” As former resident and ESR graduate Micah Bales puts it, “We had an open door policy, inviting folks from the neighborhood to stop by and visit with us. Three nights a week, we hosted community meals, inviting folks from the neighborhood, and our friends from around town, to come and have dinner together. These dinners were an amazing demonstration of what Christ’s table looks like.”
Abbey Pratt-HarringtonThe Laundry Project
Abbey has always had a heart for social justice. For the last year the most noticeable way she lives this out is with her work on Richmond Indiana’s Laundry Day Project. Three to four times a month she goes to the local laundry mat with others from the community to provide soap, dryer sheets, and most importantly quarters to local residents so they can clean their laundry for free. It’s a need that is often overlooked in the community but an important one for dignity. The Laundry Project has recently passed its 3,000th load and continues to grow.
Vivian WyattMinister of Care and Business Administration, M.Div. 2011
"After ESR, God became bigger and more inclusive to me."
After growing up in a conservative denomination, Vivian Wyatt was certain of one thing: Church should be inclusive. That quest for an open faith community eventually led her to ESR. "I had never met a Quaker until I went to ESR,” says Vivian. “But the qualities I found there gave me the courage to open up my thinking about faith."
"My goal was to be a hospice chaplain. But a clearness committee of people I trusted steered me toward preaching, and supervised ministry in an MCC church. I loved the experience, and they loved me, and after graduating I stayed."
"I’ve always been 'an only'–today, I’m the only black women, the only straight person, on the pastoral staff. At ESR I wrestled with my beliefs, and now I’m in a comfortable place.