The Rev. Lisa Neilson has received a new call in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas to serve as the Curate-Missioner at Texas A&M and Blinn, and Lisa has accepted! Lisa’s call was announced to the Episcopal students at Texas A&M after their Wednesday evening worship service.
Lisa, ordained as a deacon at St. Martin-in-the-Fields on January 15, 2016, will graduate with a Master’s of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary on May 19, 2016.
She shares, “I love VTS and serving at the National Cathedral, but I am thrilled to be coming home to Texas. I will be only a few hours away from family in the Fort Worth area. My ministry at A&M will have a missional focus, and I am delighted to engage with college students and to encourage them to be in relationship with God. The university is dedicated to sending Aggie leaders out into the world prepared to take on the challenges of tomorrow. Together we’ll figure out how to serve God in and amidst challenges that face us. These students, most of whom are near the age of my two adult children, are our present and future church. They gather and worship and serve now, and the Canterbury Episcopal Student Center has a lot going on. For anyone headed to A&M, I’m excited to be there to welcome them with ‘Howdy!’ and help them settle in to student life.”
From where she is, outside looking in to Aggie culture, Lisa is undaunted. “The Aggie culture is based on shared experiences and traditions that create lifetime bonds with Aggies there now, Aggies who were there before, and Aggies who will come. At the heart of this is a strong sense of community. It will be a blessing to be a part of the work of Christ in this community.”
The Aggies will benefit from Lisa’s gifts and enthusiasm. Lisa is a cradle Episcopalian who was active in Episcopal Campus Ministry when at Syracuse University, and she served in a parish near the Syracuse campus as a lay eucharistic minister, lector, and clerk of the vestry. She has been a member of St. Martin-in-the-Fields for over 18 years, where she has been Sunday school teacher, worship leader, lay eucharistic minister, lay eucharistic visitor, vestry member, and senior warden.
Lisa expresses her thanks: “I am grateful for how my ministry has been encouraged and supported in my home parish, St. Martin’s, where the work of the Holy Spirit is embraced by the community. In my ministry, I have been formed by the lay and ordained ministers of St. Martin’s. That’s made it possible for me to end up where I am right now – finishing up seminary and called in new ways to serve God.”
When asked about her anticipated ordination to the priesthood, Lisa said, “That’s up to Bishops Scott Mayer and Andy Doyle to decide. It’s likely it would be in College Station in late summer or early fall.” With certainty, she shared, “It’ll be where and when it needs to be for the ministry God is calling me to.”
Almighty God, we thank you for raising up among us faithful servants for the ministry of your Word and Sacraments. We pray that Lisa may be to us an effective example in word and action, in love and patience, and in holiness of life. Grant that we, with her, may serve you now, and always rejoice in your glory. Amen.