ESR Student Stories
In recent years, the ESR community has been blessed with the addition of several couples who have decided to pursue seminary studies together. In this series, we will profile our current couples-in-residence.
Eva Abbott and Van Temple
When I (Eva) started working in pastoral care in 2012, I quickly realized I needed more knowledge and training to do it effectively. After taking two courses on-line through ESR, I applied for and was awarded a one year scholarship to continue my studies. Van was nearing the end of a four year effort to create an affordable housing organization in New Orleans and needed a sabbatical for rest and discernment. Moving to Richmond and joining the ESR community have revitalized, deepened and directed our passion for justice. I’ve found academic study both exhilarating and exhausting, and Van has been thrilled to audit several ESR writing classes. We are both very grateful for the welcome and guidance from professors, administration and staff.
Professionally, Van has restarted his land trust consultant business, and I will be exploring ministry direction in my upcoming 9-month internship. I’m in conversation about a chaplaincy internship at the Veteran’s Hospital in Cincinnati and an advocacy position with a local nonprofit committed to community well-being and justice. Both of us have also gotten active in the local Indivisible resistance group and are watching, with wonder, something new emerging in us and in the community.
John and Elizabeth Edminster
With the help of Cooper Scholarships, Elizabeth and John came to ESR from New York City, where John had raised two children to adulthood and retired after 44 years as a packaging and display designer, and Elizabeth was working as senior research associate for a consulting firm serving non-profits. Each of them a mid-life convert to Quakerism, they had met at New York’s Fifteenth Street Meeting and married under its care. Now members of Richmond’s Clear Creek Meeting, both had been active contributors to the life of New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM), as well as to their monthly meeting and to the annual meetings of Christ-centered Friends in the Northeast. Elizabeth holds master’s degrees in music and library science. John, a sometime street evangelist whose tract Jesus Christ Forbids War was taken under the care of NYYM in 2006, carries concerns to promote ministries of prayer, hands-on healing, and mutual confession and absolution of sins among Friends. John serves ESR’s student body as Recording Clerk of the Student Meeting for Business and as editor and publisher of the weekly newsletter The ESR Luminary.
Dan and Jaimie Mudd
Dan and Jaimie had a calling to ministries of individual and community renewal. They had cast longing glances towards attending ESR for an MDiv. Together they began to deliver retreats on prayer, Meeting and Church renewal as well as Friends Couple Enrichment. While delivering a workshop at the 2016 Intermountain Yearly Meeting they took time to visit with ESR alum Tracy Davis and ESR Student Travis Etling. These ESR shining stars urged Jaimie and Dan to call Matt Hisrich and discuss admission possibilities. They called Matt and proceeded to enter discernment with their anchor committee. Within weeks they were admitted, enrolled, moved to Richmond as Cooper Scholars and began studies. Whew! They love sharing their lives as a couple with ESR and with Richmond. Dan’s passion is creating a safe space for people to explore their spiritual life and relationship to the divine. His ministry is focused on prayer, spiritual direction, and the Experiment with Light meditation. Jaimie brings her passion for the Light within people and organizations into her work with faith communities across the denominational spectrum. She enables the realization of faith in action in community and entrepreneurial ministry. Together they deliver Friends Couple Enrichment Retreats.