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Lawrence FriedlandLawrence Friedland

Current Church (or home church): Bethany Presbyterian Church
Denomination: Presbyterian
Ministry Interests: Youth work, Chaplaincy, Youth Chaplaincy

Education

  • Masters of Divinity with focus on Pastoral Care and Community Interaction

Ministry

History in Ministry

I served as a Youth Leader for eight years at Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church in Fishersville, VA. I have served for seven summers as a Workshop Director at Massanetta Springs Middle School Conference and currently serve as Chaplain for the Waynesboro Police Department.

Special Ministry Interests

I am very interested in crisis ministry. The interactions when people are sad and scared and can be touched by the power of G-d is very important to me. This is a good intersection between ministry and my secular work in Community Services and I look forward to seeking opportunities to explore this form of ministry further.

Call to Ministry

While my faith journey is twisty and wild, it lead me to a place of study where I could find the words needed to share the love of G-d with people in need. My call to ministry came through working with middle school youth and that has continued through my time in the seminary. I have been supported continually by others in ministry who reflect the gifts that have been shared with me. This has been a source of strength through all of the years of work. I have also been supported strongly by my parents and sister who have been open to all that this strange walk into ministry entails. I am thankful to my wife Jacquie who has endured long hours of solitude while I write and study and serve. She has walked this path as much as I have. For this I am endlessly grateful.

Ideal Ministry Situation

My ideal ministry situation would be to work with middle and high school youth that have experienced barriers and difficulties in their life path. I have found these conversations to be the most valuable and give opportunities for growth and positive faith connections.

Seminary Experience

I am grateful for the courses at EMS. The opportunities to study on an interpersonal level is very valuable and very different from other seminaries. Polity and Theology are very important, but not nearly as important to me as the way that people interact and engage with it in real life. EMS has given great opportunities to forge a path of connectivity to share G-d's love in a way that is accessible and personal.

What courses did you enjoy the most at EMS?

The Formation courses have been of remarkable value. These and Spiritual Direction, Pastoral Care and Preaching have truly formed me in a positive way and given me the tools to grow in ministry.

What thoughts would you like to share with those considering entering seminary?

Study.
Read. But don't read everything.
Listen. But don't listen to everything.
No one has all of the answers.
If you don't agree, argue. Just have your facts ready.
G-d is always with you. Even at 2 am when you are trying to finish your papers... Especially then.

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