Aleksandr Brown, Church of the Annunciation, Cordova
2013 Scholarship Winners
Bishop Don Johnson met Wednesday, August 14, 2013, with recipients of this year's $1,000 ECW Scholarships. Front row, l. to r. Jeanette Maddox, ECW Treasurer; Evelyn Piety, ECW President; Elizabeth Madden, Scholarship Committee Chair; Carter Webster, Calvary Church. Back row, Agnes Gordon, Scholarship Committee; Jack Dowling, Holy Communion; Aleksandr Brown, Annunciation; Bishop Johnson.
The 2013 Scholarship Winners have been announced. Each of these outstanding Episcopalians has completed an exhaustive application process and has been awarded a scholarship from the Episcopal Church Women of West Tennessee for their first year of college starting in the fall of 2013.
Carter Webster, Calvary Church, Memphis
Jack Dowling, Church of the Holy Communion, Memphis
Aleksandr Brown, Church of the Annunciation, Cordova
West TN ECW Announces 2013 College Scholarship Awards
By Elizabeth Madden
With pleasure and pride, the Episcopal Churchwomen of the Diocese of West Tennessee announce that three West Tennessee Episcopal youth have been awarded the $1,000.00 grants. They are Aleksandr Brown from Church of the Annunciation, Jack Dowling, a parishioner at Church of the Holy Communion, and Carter Webster from Calvary Church. Each recipient embodies the qualities that ECW wishes to recognize: devotion and service to his or her own church, leadership in our diocese, admirable character, and honorable goals for the future.
Aleksandr Brown will attend University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His career goals lead him to consider physical therapy or another medical field in which he can help the disadvantaged. He is sure that “God will be part of my life and help me figure out exactly what to do next.” He aims to “be in a position to be a role model to others,” as he appreciates the family, teachers, Boy Scout leaders, and church staffers who have guided his own development. A trip to Russia, the country of his birth, is in Aleksandr’s future too; he would like very much to travel with his mother and to find the Russian Orthodox Church where he was baptized.
Aleksandr feels right at home at the Church of the Annunciation in Cordova. He has attended there since he was three years old and has participated in almost all of the church’s activities. He has regularly attended church and Sunday school, made Advent wreaths, acted in pageants, and shopped for clothes and toys for the Angel Tree program. He has served as an acolyte since fifth grade, and he is a lector too. Aleksandr’s talent in art led him to portray the fourteen stations of the cross, drawings which now hang in the church to be used during Lent,
When finances at church became tighter than ever, Aleksandr and his family volunteered to clean inside and out. During summer vacation He stained the deck and recruited two of his school friends to join him to mow the grass and trim the bushes.
For his Eagle Scout project, Aleksandr drew up plans for a meditation garden at church. With the vestry’s approval and funding, he worked for six months to design and install a brick border, zoyza grass, flowers and shrubs, the irrigation system, and an arbor with benches. Aleksandr’s efforts have left a permanent reminder of his love for his church.
Jack Dowling’s energy and positive attitude have impressed those around him at church, at school, and in the community. His youth leader at Church of the Holy Communion says that, “Jack is one of those people who can change the mood of an entire room merely with his presence,” contributing to “a friendly and cheerful atmosphere” within the EYC at church. Jack has attended without fail and has shepherded other youth as a leader and role model.
In addition to parish activities, Jack has reveled in our diocese’s Happening opportunities. He attended as a Happener, later served as an Apostle, and last fall was named Head Deacon for the Happening week-end. He has participated in More Than a Meal outreach many times, and has made two trips with Mission on the Bay to restore coastal areas after Hurricane Katrina.
Jack exhibits a strong faith. He felt the power of the Holy Spirit during his EYC group’s pilgrimage to Greece to trace the footsteps of St. Paul. Jack’s most memorable moments of that trip occurred at Phillipi, where Paul baptized his first European convert, Lydia. Jack recalls, “To this day, I can still picture that chapel in my head, a small white shrine adorned with a white cross on top and circled with path stones… I found myself closer to God than I had ever been before.”
At the University of South Carolina, Jack will major in two fields, mathematics and sports management, and he plans to attend law school for graduate studies. He looks forward to “finding a group of my peers to worship with and a parish to attend.” Jack is confident that he can continue “to grow immensely, both as a human being and as a servant of God.”
Carter Webster is a faithful communicant at Calvary Church in Memphis. At Calvary Carter is an acolyte and consistently attends Wednesday night youth group meetings. Carter tells me that in 2011-2012 she “had the huge honor of serving as the youth representative on Calvary’s search committee for a new rector,” an “experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.” In the community Carter volunteers at Streets Ministry, leading games, study groups, and Bible lessons.
At the start of her senior year at White Station High School, Carter was chosen Rector of Happening #52, a job requiring hours of planning and a non-stop week-end of leadership. She has continued her dedication to the Happening movement by accepting a post on the National Happening Committee, a two-year commitment to meet at churches throughout the United States, as well as serving on the Diocesan Youth Council for West Tennessee.
.Carter is attending Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Her goal is to study social work and explore God’s calling. Carter summarizes her vision of the future this way: “I know that God has big plans for me – I can feel it and see it through the Holy Spirit.”
We wish Aleksandr, Jack, and Carter every success as they move to the next important chapter in their lives.