Meet Our New Vicar
“My name is Ashton Roberts. I am a 2019 graduate of LTSS, where my wife Jennifer is still a student. Our son Zion is a rising 6th grader at St. Peter’s Catholic School here in downtown. I grew up near Kingsport, TN, and lived outside of Knoxville, TN, for nine years, where we are members of St. John’s Lutheran Church. I have been serving as the stated supply vicar at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Hartsville, SC, since September 2018, where I found a great love for God’s people and a deep joy in wrestling with the scriptures together. I love cooking and sharing a meal, reading theology (most recently The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr), the occasional cigar, fishing, and our dog, Hank, a lazy little terrier mix, cuter than he is smart. I am very much looking forward to being your intern this year and I am excited to learn and grow alongside you as the Spirit works among us.” -AR
Dear People of God at Ebenezer,
Our new Vicar, Ashton Roberts, will begin his ministry with us on Sunday, June 16, and will remain with us until June of 2020. He brings with him his wife, Jennifer,who is also in the candidacy process to becomea Pastor, and their son, Zion. We are very excited to welcome his gifts to our congregation, and to participate in his education process as a “teaching parish.
I’ll use the “FAQ” format to share some other helpful information about his internship:
Q: What will we call him?
A: A good and appropriate term for a full-timeseminarian on internship is “Vicar.” We have some history of using that title here at Ebenezer, and Ashton is comfortable with it as well. We encourage you to call him “Vicar Ashton” during the upcoming year.
Q: Will Vicar Ashton be a full-time staff member at Ebenezer?
A: Yes, and… It is important to appreciate that Vicar Ashton comes to us with three years of academic seminary training and a wealth of gifts and experiences. He will work a normal, full work-week and function as one of our full-time staff. At the same time, we remember that he is a student who is still being formed for ministry as a pastor. As a congregation we are participating in his training and formation – providing support, nurture and feedback.
Q: Are we paying Vicar Ashton for his ministry?
A: Vicar Ashton receives a monthly stipend for his ministry with us. This is paid from a seminary scholarship fund. Ebenezer will also provide some of the financial support – payroll tax, monthly mileage reimbursement for his visits, and administrative fees paid to the seminary.
Q: What ministries will he be involved in?
A: Soon after the beginning of internship we will develop a learning covenant, based on his gifts and goals but also on Ebenezer’s ministry needs. Our mission will be to give him a wide exposure to all of Ebenezer’s ministries, but also some more in-depth and specific ongoing responsibilities. He will have the opportunity to preach once a month, assist with worship leadership, teach, visit, and work with committees. He will also develop and implement a unique ministry project during his time with us.
Q: How will he be supervised and supported?
A: We have an “internship committee” that will serve as a support, encouragement, feedback and evaluation team for him throughout the year. We will introduce the committee and its chair to you on June 16 when we install Vicar Ashton. Weekly supervision with the supervising pastor is also an important component of internship. The two of us will set aside 60-90 minutes each week for guidance, feedback, and theological reflection on internship.
We will share more information about Vicar Ashton’s first Sunday as we get closer to June 16. Thank you in advance for your participation in this venture! You are giving a valuable gift to the Church as you help mold and shape a leader for mission and service in the ELCA!
In Christ’s Peace,