Fellowship 2019 Cohort
From Left to Right [Back Row]: Michael Huynh, Valerie Hardy, Barbara Cargill, Fr. David McCallum (faculty), Rev. Brian Konkol (faculty), Devon Bartholomew, Yulon Jones, Mary Schnur, Darlene Carelli (Syracuse University), Patricia Bufford [Front Row]: Andrea Willis (Syracuse University), Hannah Benedict, Norma Malfatti, Kathy Poupart, Daphene Johnson, Lisa Busby, Barbara Kane, Letty Garcia (faculty).

“The Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Ministry made for such a revitalizing and meaningful experience. Because of the program and the people, I feel not only empowered by the quality and depth of instruction; I feel energized by and deeply connected to the ways the Holy Spirit is working between us and beyond us, giving us what we need to participate in God’s ever reconciling and renewing work. Equipping us for awareness, adaptability, and innovation, the experience my siblings in God’s family and I have gotten to share has already enriched my congregational life as well as my personal spiritual journey.”

– Hannah Benedict, Pastor, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

“The Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Ministry is cutting-edge, vital, and a whole lot of fun. The faculty and staff, each gifted and authentic, promote a climate of growth. This program helped me to listen, pray, interact and serve differently. True connections, born of diversity, vulnerability and integrity, are transformative. And, ministry rooted in these true connections and relationships has the power to accomplish much, maybe even the impossible – with God’s help working among us.”

– Lisa Busby, Rector / Vicar, The Episcopal River Parishes

“The Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Ministry program has reminded me to always be open to new perspectives and innovative ways to remind our communities that God still desires to love and bless us. The program and the relationships developed not only changed how I will lead and minister, it has changed me, and for that I am grateful.”
– Michael Huynh, Director of Campus Ministry, Hall Newman Center at SUNY Oswego & Director of Campus Ministry, Diocese of Syracuse

“I am blessed and privileged to have been a member of the inaugural class of the Lilly Endowment funded Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Ministry, in Syracuse, New York. The depth and breadth of knowledge gained from the esteemed faculty Co-Chairs and staff were invaluable.

My leadership abilities have been greatly enhanced through my participation in the Fellowship. The biblically based discernment approaches learned have been beneficial in my role as Chief Administrative Officer, especially as we implement changes required to remain a relevant church.

As I reflect on the implementation of the Fellowship, and the COVID-19 global pandemic and its impact on faith communities, I can truly say that the Fellowship’s focus on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship have prepared me to help lead our congregation in strategically changing the narrative and embracing the new normal for our faith community.”

– Daphene Johnson, Chief Administrative Officer, Bellgrove Missionary Baptist Church

“One of my greatest accomplishments and take always from the program is never feeling like you have to be innovative alone. Use all of your resources, be a team player in all aspects. Failing doesn’t define your future, recovering does. Mustering the courage and strength to push through adversity. This program has taught me to be more patient and aware of the people I work with. In this short time I’ve been more successful than I thought possible and I credit this to this wonderful class and family. The community is in full support of my goals in ministry and I applied the ideas formed from here.”

– Yulon Jones, Assistant Pastor, The King’s Healing Room

“FELM provided me with powerful and useful insights about myself and my ministry while providing me with many tools for ministry. The group’s diversity and sense of camaraderie provided an atmosphere for spiritual support, reflection and growth. The teams’ broad experience and breadth of knowledge were invaluable resources. I gained many insights on the elements of effective leadership and personal development which will guide my ministry into the future. I highly recommend the fellowship program.

– Barbara Kane, Parish Life Director, St. Mary’s Church

“My participation in the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Ministry program changed me profoundly.  An understanding of the full ramifications of this journey will take time for a full unfolding.”
– Kathy Poupart, Pastoral Associate, St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish

“The richness of the opportunity for my minsters and staff to be a part of this amazing cohort was highly impactful. The ideas, strategies and valuable insight gleaned and gained through the FELM experience still resonates. I am truly grateful to be able to see my staff equipped with relevant tools and resources to which they now share with our church family.”
-Pastor Daren C. Jaime (FELM Sponsor), People’s A.M.E. Zion Church