Field Ed Profiles: Susan Butterworth '16

Susan Butterworth photoIntroducing Field Ed Profiles, a series highlighting students' experiences in the Field Education program at EDS. Susan Butterworth '16 talks about her time at St. Michael's Church in Marblehead, MA.

Why did you choose St. Michael's for your Field Education unit?

I chose St. Michael’s because I have established relationships in the interfaith community in Marblehead. One of my Field Ed goals was to be involved in interfaith relationships.

What skills and experience did you bring to your Field Ed unit?

I brought teaching skills and a love of liturgy and commitment to interfaith and ecumenical hospitality and cooperation. I brought a desire for a broader experience of parish life and a desire to be a public witness to the gifts of prayer and the Holy Spirit.

What knowledge and skills did you gain from your Field Ed experience?

I improved my preaching skills, especially in getting away from my notes more and more until I could finally preach without them. I learned to involve the assembly in the liturgy, inspired by an understanding of liturgy as “work of the people” from Stephen Burns’ Liturgical Theology and Practice class.

How did Field Ed develop your call to ministry?

It confirmed my commitment to sharing my love for prayer and liturgy in a leadership role; to teaching in the context of ministry; to intergenerational hospitality in the parish; to ecumenical/interfaith programs and hospitality in the community; to sharing multicultural experiences of the wider Anglican Communion with a monocultural parish. I was formed and transformed by my year of bringing EDS and St. Michael’s together in my heart and from the pulpit and lectern.

What was your favorite part of the Field Ed experience?

The warmth, the love for tradition and scripture, the openness to new ideas, the simple love, which I experienced with older parishioners, the eight-o-clockers, and the faithful at the Wednesday morning Eucharist and Bible Study, was beautiful. I have never felt more supported in my vocation than with the older people at St. Michael’s.

Another favorite part was the opportunity to chant the collects at Evensong on the night of the passing of the town’s interfaith covenant. I was very nervous because so many clergy were present and I had never chanted in public before. I mustered all the resources of my semester in Suzanne Ehly’s Voice and Leadership class and prayed from my heart.