The Wisdom Year – Church of the Intercession

In response to evolving needs throughout the Church, The General Theological Seminary is building a program of education and formation that integrates the classical theological disciplines with real-world experience and practical ministry skills.

M.Div. Seniors, Deborah Lee from the Diocese of New York and Alexander Barton from the Diocese of Ohio, are doing their Wisdom Year Pastoral Residencies at the Church of the Intercession in New York City. Church of the Intercession is a welcoming and multi-cultural parish engaged in numerous opportunities for community outreach in an urban setting. Deborah and Alex practice all aspects of congregational life—pastoral, liturgical, programmatic, and administrative—in the context of paid ministerial positions that also include the opportunity to preach.

63ef30c0-a56b-4e24-8ec8-70ba67fcc2df
Deborah Lee and Alexander Barton (right) take a leadership role as liaisons between parish ministry and the Church of the Intercession Sports and Recreation Program.

This Wisdom Year placement has enabled them to experience a critical challenge for underfunded urban parishes: nurturing the gifts of the spirit within the youth and community at large. Alex is grateful for this opportunity to further support his call to “be part of a process of re-envisioning worship and programs in urban parishes and see what church looks like in non-traditional forms of worship.”

Deborah is thankful she has been able to use her Wisdom Year “as a discernment tool for future ministry. The experience is continuously breaking open what I thought ministry should or shouldn’t be. It has given me the advantage of viewing ministry not only in terms of something that I do, but also as an expression of who I am as Christ’s disciple serving the people in the Church as well as beyond the walls of the Church.”