Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sabbath & Politics

Theology ord is over. Now that it is off my list, I can enjoy a week or so of sabbath before starting my last year of seminary classes. I came home to my little, tiny town in Tennessee to spend time with my mom, eat free food, and do some laundry. Of course, this means little access to internet. Right now, I am sitting in the town public library, which is one room. It's funny- I'm used to big libraries at universities & at the seminary, not a one room joint. But, they have free internet, which is a huge help when your family is sans internet connection at the house (we are an old fashioned home without a computer!)

This week, I am enjoying watching the Democratic National Convention. I watch the whole thing- from gavel to gavel- on CSpan. I love it because there are no political pundents & no commentary at all. Just speeches & lots of shots of people dancing on the convention floor. Gotta love Democrats decked out in red, white, & blue with the crazy hats and waving big signs. Last night, Ted Kennedy & Michelle Obama spoke. Both were incredible. This campaign is all about HOPE and CHANGE, not about the status quo political process. I really appreciate it. I'm tired of things being the way they are and I am desperate for change. Obama is a new kind of leader, one the world needs, one that we need here. It's going to happen, I just feel it.

I love that the DNC theme is "Throwing Open the Doors". The Montreat Youth Conference theme this year was "Throw Open the Doors"! There are many moments when I found myself seeing great connection between the PC(USA) & the 2008 Presidential Election. I love that we have a great moderator now in Bruce, who is all about bringing people together & changing the way we do things as a denomination. Barack is all about bringing peoplpe together & solving problems through conversation not violence. I love it. We need a little more idealism, more dreaming, more over-reaching.

I have great hope both for the PC(USA) and for the country. It is time for a change. I know our denomination is facing some hard truths & struggles right now. I wish people were able to see past idological differences & look at each other as HUMAN BEINGS. We are all children of God. Period. That's all that should matter. It seems like we all get stuck thinking about the issues at hand, and not the people. My sincere prayer is that over these next two years, we can come together, despite our differences of opinions on the various issues & work together to build up the PC(USA) and not continue to tear it down.

We need change. We need hope. Change & hope. It is possible.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thoughts about ords studying...

I'm hold up in the CTS library this afternoon- studying for my theology ordination exam. It's crazy nuts! There are numerous topics & only four will actually be on the exam. So, one must study a myriad of things to prepare. Today's topics to tackle: Biblical interpretation (as found in Book of Confessions); implications of baptism for the Christian life; relationship between inner sense of call & affirmation of the people of God; nature & purpose of the church (as found in BOC); reformed understanding of faith; church growth & evangelism; and God alone being Lord of the conscience. Whew. That's a lot to handle! And, I've limited myself to three hours a day this week. There is only so much my brain can manage at one time.

As a reward post-exam on Friday, I am headed home (doesn't sound that great, huh?). This way, I can rest, eat for free, do some laundry for free, and watch the Democratic National Convention with my mother (who will probably sleep through most of it!). I know that many of my dear friends will be working hard on the Biblical Exegesis exam through next week, so I will be all alone. No fun, so spending time with my mom while my dad is traveling for his sabbatical sounds like a good option.

As a final note as I head back to studying...I saw this saying on a friend's magnetic poetry on facebook & it made me smile: "Yesterday is tomorrow's joy held today". I love that. May there be great joy for you tomorrow! Peace & happy studying:)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Montreat Ends, New Beginnings

I survived four weeks of Montreat...barely. It was a great experience- all four weeks of keynote, worship, music, small groups, fun times on the 3rd floor of Assembly. Here's my last small group (group 42!)...

After Montreat, I headed home to Tennessee for some much needed rest & relaxation. I enjoyed my two weeks at home. It did me some good. Now, I'm back in Atlanta to study for the theology ordination exam & get ready for my last year of seminary. In addition to taking classes, I'll be working as a chaplain at Skyland Trail, which is a residential & day psychatric treatment center. I'm really excited about getting started with this new ministry!

I must admit that I feel a little awkward being back at CTS. I've been gone for 15 months & it is going to take some time to go through this re-entry process. But, I met a lot of the new students last night, which was great. I feel good about being back for the most part. I'm a little worried about being here for the next two & half weeks until classes start- I know that I will get very lonely & sad. I'm so used to being very busy & surrounded by lots of people. It's going to take some getting used to & I'm trying to focus on the good things!