From the January 2014 Cathedral Connection
“There are so many good works taking place at All Souls, and I’m just happy I can take photographs to help capture them,” said Tom Crook, who has always been interested in photography and currently contributes as a photographer at All Souls. Tom particularly enjoys taking photos of children and young people at All Souls’ family events like the St. Nicholas Pageant. He also cited the Easter Egg Hunt and a recent acolyte training session with deacons as opportunities he cherished. The advent of digital photography has given him even more reasons to carry his camera around. “It’s just so easy,” Tom said.
A retired educator who moved with his wife, Joan, from Dunedin, Florida, following a spate of four hurricanes, Tom and Joan have three adult children and three grandchildren. In Florida, Tom was a parish diocesan youth leader and director of the diocesan summer camp.
I suppose you’d call Tom a halfback because he was born and raised in New England, lived much of his life in Florida, and has now come halfway back to the mountains of North Carolina.
In addition to his photography for All Souls, Tom is active in nature photography through the Carolina Nature Photography Association.
But photography isn’t Tom’s only commitment to giving back. He is currently a lay Eucharistic minister at All Souls and was previously involved in Education for Ministry (EFM), an outreach program of the School of Theology at Sewanee: The University of the South. EFM is a worldwide program designed to dig deeper into the Christian faith, study the Bible, church history and theological ideas, and reflect on connecting faith with life experiences.
Tom participated as an EFM mentor. His role was to work as an enabler rather than as an informer of people. Mentors may be lay or ordained persons. Criteria by which mentors are selected include: having experience in serious religious study, having a familiarity with methods of biblical scholarship, possessing a mature faith, being able to live with the ambiguity within the interpretations of the biblical tradition, possessing skills which help a group to develop its own life, and demonstrating a willingness to perform administrative duties.
While Tom retired from EFM mentorship three years ago and is content with his current responsibilities, he continues to be open to opportunities to serve. “If the Good Lord presents me with a new challenge, I’ll be all ears,” Tom said.
In 2014, the entire Crook family is looking forward to a cruise in the southern Caribbean to celebrate Tom and Joan’s 50th wedding anniversary.
BEST WISHES for a safe and happy trip!
For additional information about Education for Ministry: http://www.sewanee.edu/EFM/EFMAboutUs.htm
Tom's photos online: www.scenesbytom.com.