Julie Hendrix is a Seminarian from the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac. Her sponsoring congregation is St. Thomas, Menasha. She recently sent this letter to update the diocese about her seminarian experience. Please keep Julie and our other seminarians in your prayers.
Dear Diocese of Fond du Lac:
As I am starting my second year of seminary at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, I thought it might be a good time to give an update as to how I’m doing.
Nashotah is located about 35 miles west of Milwaukee, close to Oconomowoc, Delafield and Waukesha. Nashotah House is a wonderful community -- it has been super supportive of me and my family -- I am very blessed to be a part of such wonderful people!
So, last May, I completed my first year of seminary -- I took a variety of courses ranging from Ascetical Theology, Church History, Old Testament, Hebrew, Church Music, Homiletics, among others. My favorite course has been Church Music because it spoke to the integration of the liturgy and music -- something that everyone is interested in! I also enjoyed my Homiletics class very much -- preaching is such an awesome responsibility, so to do it well and to get good feedback both from my professor and my peers was invaluable.
This coming term, I am going to be taking Greek, New Testament I, Historical Theology, Church History II, Liturgy II, and Student Pastoral Ministry.
As part of our time here at Nashotah, we are required to attend a local church -- hopefully one in which we will serve as a seminarian. I attend St. Matthias in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Fr. David Simmons is the rector. Fr. Simmons is a Virginia Theological Seminary graduate and an oblate of the Order of Julian of Norwich. The congregation is lovely and very welcoming. They have been very supportive of me and my family.
This past summer, I spent most of my time in Clinical Pastoral Education. This course was probably the toughest, yet most beneficial course I have taken yet. I served as a chaplain in Bethel Homes in Oshkosh. While there, I made daily pastoral visits to people who were in the independent living apartments, the assisted nursing apartments, and the full care nursing home. I led worship services twice a week, Wednesday and Sundays. I got very attached to “my people” and miss them terribly already.
Last year, I was a Choral Scholar member -- the Nashotah House choir, a 4 part choir, sings every day, and travels to various churches and cathedrals to perform. I was an alto and very much enjoyed my time learning how to sing Anglican chants.
This year, I will be a sacristan. A sacristans are students who facilitate twice daily offices and daily Mass which is the core of our community life at Nashotah House. We help train those who are serving in various functions of the chapel life, whether they be a lector, thurifer, torch bearer, eucharistic minister or other functions.
Finally, my family is doing great -- in fact, I recently became a grandmother for the first time! I’m thrilled because he is a very happy, calm baby. My kids, Daniel, Susana, and John are doing wonderfully -- and my husband, Steve, is happy and continuing his good work in Ghana, Africa.
Thank you all for your prayers and support -- I know that without them, I could not do the work I am doing and want to do.
If you would like to provide financial support for Julie, you may send a check payable to Nashotah House, 2777 Mission Road, Nashotah, WI 53058 with "Julie Hendrix" in the memo and a note to add it to her educational expenses account.