Build-a-Priest (aka the David Rowe Seminary Fund)

Build-a-Priest (aka the David Rowe Seminary Fund)

From David Rowe

I'm about halfway through seminary (training to be an Anglican minister) and am fundraising to cover the costs of the second half. Funds raised will pay for class fees, course texts, and travel expenses for my placement.

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A bit of background:

In the Spring of 2010, I applied for a Director of Music job with an Anglican Church in Hertfordshire, in England. In turning me down, the Vicar said, "But if we had been interviewing for a curate [ie. a junior priest], we would have snapped you up! Is that something you'd like to talk about?" I said fine, more to be polite than anything else, and as I drove to see him I rehearsed my arguments in my head: (1) I don't really believe in ordination, (2) I'm not an Anglican.

As I walked into that Vicar's office, he said, "Before we start, you should probably know that I'm not sure I really believe in ordination, and I'm not actually an Anglican anyway – I'm a Methodist! – but God has called me to be an ordained Anglican." I felt utterly ambushed and disarmed, and knew almost instantly that I needed to put myself forward for ordination.

[Footnote: I now do believe in ordination, and I'm definitely an Anglican!]

I went through the discernment process in England, after which the Bishop told me, "We believe you are called to the priesthood, but we're not going to sponsor you for training, since you've said that you expect to live in America at some point."

(My vicar was LIVID.)

So, we moved to the States, and after 5 years, I felt the nudge to put myself forward again. A second discernment process came to the same conclusion as the first, except that this time, they actually sent me to seminary! In August 2017 I started at Trinity School for Ministry.

And that's when the trouble started. Our newborn daughter developed such a range of health and feeding issues that we were quickly reduced to sleeping 2-4 hours per night, whilst being utterly failed by the health professionals of Pittsburgh. The knock-on effects were enough to make it impossible to continue, and having stumbled to the end of that academic year, we were forced to move back to South Carolina. My Bishop gave me permission to continue training via online classes, so that is what I've been doing for the past year. 

The trouble is, while residential classes at Trinity are free, distance learning is... not. So that's why this page is here.

A word about vision:

While ordination to the priesthood for me requires a specific calling to sacramental and pastoral ministry, it is worth mentioning that central to my sense of purpose in Charleston is a calling towards racial reconciliation, church planting, and ecumenical projects – my background in missions has shaped me in this direction, and I feel it in my bones. And while churches in our diocese do engage in these things, I do feel wired for them in a way that is pretty rare here.

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