We are Christian missionaries who are going to serve in Tanzania, East Africa. We will be spending a year living and working at Msalato Theological College in Dodoma, Tanzania. We hope to spend our year declaring the love of Jesus Christ in word and action through teaching, building friendships across national boundaries, and serving the physical and spiritual needs of our community.
We hope you can visit our blog regularly to share with us as we continue our mission! For more information, please check out our FAQ.
Elizabeth grew up in Glenview, Illinois, just north of the city of Chicago. She moved to Virginia after high school to attend the College of William and Mary. Elizabeth was active in mission in high school and college, and went on several short-term domestic and foreign mission trips, including to Michigan, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. During her senior year in college, Elizabeth began to discern a call to ordained priesthood. She spent a year working as a job coach for people with mental illness before entering Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. She and Ben got married in 2010, after her first year of seminary. Elizabeth graduates this May and anticipates being ordained as a deacon in June. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to walk with Tanzanian students through the rich spiritual formation of seminary!
Benjamin grew up with his parents and two younger brothers in Johnstown, Pa, about an hour and a half east of Pittsburgh. He graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., with a degree in government and a minor in Information Systems. It was there that he met and fell in love with his joyful, sweet, beautiful and a only a slight-bit crazy red-headed wife, Elizabeth. They met at the Canterbury Episcopal Ministry and first really got to know each other during a mission trip to Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. After graduating, Ben worked as an Information Technology consultant for CGI Federal in Fairfax, VA and then as a web developer for the action-tank American Solutions, in Washington D.C. Today, he works for SRA International as a web developer at the General Accountability Office, a wing of the U.S. Congress. Ben is a member of St. Paul’s Parish on K Street in Washington, DC, where he is an altar server and ward secretary of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. He is looking forward to the chance to get out of his comfort zone and share the love of Christ in a more particular way, though he is wondering if his deadpan sarcasm will translate into Swahili!
What is a missionary?
The word “missionary” describes a person who goes out into the world to declare the good news of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. A missionary serves the mission of the Church: to reconcile all people to God and to each other in Christ. When people speak about missionaries, they most often refer to people who leave their homes, and often their countries, to go and share the love of God with others. However, all Christians can serve as missionaries when they witness to this message, wherever they are.
What will you do?
We will serve at Msalato Theological College in Dodoma, Tanzania. This school trains lay and ordained Christians to serve God and His people in communities and parishes throughout the country. Elizabeth will teach students preparing for ordination, and Benjamin will help manage the computer systems at the school and provide training in computer use. We also expect to work with the surrounding community in many ways, such as participating in the worship and life of parishes in neighboring villages.
How long will we be there?
We will be serving at Msalato Theological College for the 2012-2013 school year. Our placement goes from August 2012 to August 2013.
How did you decide to do this?
We actually had each individually contemplated missionary work before we discovered our mutual interest in it. In the last year, as we discussed how we planned to serve after Elizabeth graduated from seminary, we realized that this would be a great time to serve overseas. We are excited about this work because we hope to share and spread the love of Jesus Christ through friendship and service, strengthen bonds with other Christians across the world, and work with the people of Tanzania to form Christian leaders who will help serve and inspire the people of their country.
When and where will Elizabeth be ordained? Am I invited?
Ordination to the Diaconate
God willing and the Bishop and people consenting, The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. Gulick Jr., Assisting Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, will ordain Elizabeth to the Sacred Order of Deacons on Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 at 10:30 am at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 6509 Sydenstricker Road, Burke, Virginia (Driving Directions). All are invited. No RSVP is needed, though please plan to arrive early to get a good seat. A reception and party will follow.
Ordination to the Priesthood
Elizabeth will likely be ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests in Tanzania, roughly six months after her ordination to the diaconate. This ordination, though perhaps harder to get to, will also be open to the public.
What is YASC?
The Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) is a program of the Mission Office of the Episcopal Church. YASC sends men and women ages 21-30 to serve beside fellow Anglicans all over the world. On their one-year placements, these young adults strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ by serving others as teachers, counselors, development partners, and in countless other roles. By word and by action they declare the love of Jesus Christ to all whom they serve.
More information about the Young Adult Service Corps can be found at: http://episcopalchurch.org/
What is the Episcopal Church?
The Episcopal Church is the United States branch of the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion is a global family of national churches united by common history and ties to the Church of England. We have about 80 thousand members worldwide, and are the third-largest Christian denomination. As Anglicans, we trace our faith and our ordained leadership back to the first Christian apostles. Today we continue to proclaim the love of God through worship, scripture, and sacraments.
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