Traveling Ministries

Over the past year, ESR's development staff have organized a program, best described as a faculty speaker's bureau, called ESR Traveling Ministries.  This program arose out of two sets of interrelated considerations.  The first was ESR's desire to more readily provide its faculty's expertise to the wider community of Friends, as well as others interested in aspects of Quakerism who would not normally take formal classes from the School.  The second consideration relates to the need for ESR to cultivate the support of constituents who would not otherwise experience the School's programs and faculty.

In organizing the Traveling Ministries program, ESR faculty were asked to provide a list of topics on which they are able to speak authoritatively and on short notice.  At this time, the twelve academic and administrative faculty of ESR have submitted a list of thirty-eight topics on which they are ready and able to speak.  These topics have been organized under four general headings covering: the Bible; Quaker Faith and Practice; Church/Meeting Growth and Management; Spirituality; and Religious Education.  A promotional brochure has been produced that contains more detailed information on these topics, and how to arrange for a faculty to make a presentation.  Given the urgency of this program to both ESR and the wider community of Friends, the services of Traveling Ministry speakers is offered free of charge, and with a request that the honorarium provided (if any) be given to the speaker.

To date, a working draft of the promotional brochure has been included in some segments of those who received the March, 2005, solicitation mailing.  This includes those mailings sent to alumni and prospects who left the donor pool between the fiscal years 2003 and 2004.  The brochure has also been personally distributed and described to the members of ESR's eight Regional Development Committees, with instructions to try and match speakers and topics with the needs of the organizations in their local community.

This spring, three faculty members traveled for speaking engagements. Stephen Angell, the Geraldine Leatherock Professor of Quaker Studies, participated in a retreat with the FCNL policy committee in late January, 2005.  Lonnie Valentine, Professor of Peace and Justice Studies, traveled to Grass Valley Friends Meeting in March to facilitate discussions around the peace testimony and nonviolence.  In April, Phil Baisley, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Studies, assisted Friends at Valley Mills Monthly meeting with a self-assessment and visioning process.  Plans are underway for a fall trip to New England Yearly Meeting by Stephanie Crumley-Effinger to facilitate conversations around scripture and sexual orientation.  Jackie Speicher, a 2004 graduate and adjunct faculty member of ESR, is planning a retreat with First Friends in Whittier, California for October.