Chapel this morning was TaizÃ? prayer and it was beautiful. I was sitting with my friends Mark and Chris. On the Laudate Dominum, I started singing the alto part and then Mark decided to copy me and start singing the bass part. Chris then starts singing tenor. It was cool to have the harmonies going. I also sang the French on some of them which sounded prettier than the English. I love TaizÃ? prayer and wish I had the time to go to the ones held here in Cols but they’re usually on nights when I’m busy. I also wish we’d done it during our I-Group week.

I’ve been reading through the Gospels for my NT class and I’m starting to understand all the theories about their redaction. There is always the question of why the Pharisees had to go to the garden to get Jesus when they could have just arrested Him in person. Did they want to avoid the crowds mobbing them? Did they really think He was that dangerous? I am also reading The Meaning of Jesus by Marcus Borg and N.T. Wright, which is interesting but Borg is driving me up the wall. He wants to claim himself as a Christian but he doesn’t commit to Christ being the Son of God exactly. His argument is “no and yes”. He thinks that Jesus didn’t know that He was the Son of God until after Easter, which is preposterous to me. Do you think that God would send Jesus to earth, let Him die, and then reveal “Hey dude! You’re the Son of God!” He commented on Jesus’ words that “[He] is the Bread of Life” and “[He] is the Light of the World”, saying that “we have psychological diagnoses for people who talk about themselves like that.” (p. 149) At least Wright is orthodox.

Tonight I’m going out with other seminary spouses to say “buh bye” to the Senior Spouses. It should be a really nice dinner. It’s Italian so I might have to indulge in some chicken marsala.


WE HAVE AN INTERNSHIP SITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Newark, Ohio.

A: 2
B: 5
C: 15

Ironically, this is the way I thought it might turn out. More people do prefer straight contemporary worship than plain traditional worship, but the majority of people like a mixture or like both pretty equally. I’ve had Catholics, Lutherans (both LCMS and ELCA), Methodists, Reformed, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Baptists, Orthodox, and people with very mixed backgrounds respond. Respondents have come from fields such as Biology, Religion, Literature, Theatre, Music, Sociology,and Classics.

Pastor Rauch (Jon’s internship supervisor) took us to lunch at the Monk (the upscale pub across the street from the sem) and it was really nice. We had good conversation, excellent food, and an interesting atmosphere. I was definitely the most casual person in the room as people were in business casual clothing and I was in nice jeans and a nice sweatshirt. One rule I loved: no cell phones allowed. 🙂 (Ringing cell phones in chapel and in class and other public places drive me up the wall!) I had a Mediterranean Vegetable Salad which was OK and some sourdough bread which reminded me of home. (It was the best sourdough I’ve had outside of California.)

Jon is at an Ascension service tonight so I’m chilling at the apartment. It’s so nice to have a quiet night. While I’m home by myself, I’m putting the bulletin together for the worship demo that I’m doing with Robin next week. I love doing the bulletins so it should be really fun.

Incense is evil!!!!

My worship professor used some incense yesterday in one of the worship demos on Evening Prayer to show how to demonstrate the singing of Psalm 141. He asked if anyone was allergic to it and I raised my hand. He asked me to go sit in the back, thinking that it would stay in one place. Maybe someone should explain that smoke does not necessarily work that way! After about 15 minutes, I left because I was having a nasty asthma attack. I came back but had to leave a few more times.

Class last night was interesting. We had an African-American Muslim man come to speak to us on living out Islam. It was mostly review for me after my experiences in Detroit last December but it was still interesting. Islam does fascinate me and as I was telling one of my classmates last night, I would definitely redo my experiences in Detroit. Being veiled for a week was very different and it created a different mode of spirituality for sure. I also felt more respected (believe it or not).

I got my last reflection paper back for Systematic Theology. My professor felt fit to warn me about my TA’s comments before handing it back to me, which made me even more intrigued about what was commented upon in it. The comments were definitely… “strong” but really nothing that I couldn’t handle or hadn’t seen before. My topic had been homosexuality and I had argued against a lot of things relating to it, which my TA strongly took to heart. My professor did say that he was sympathetic toward my viewpoint but he didn’t agree with some of the Scriptural stances that I’d taken. My reponse: OK… I wasn’t asking people to agree with me and I wasn’t saying anything incredibly controversial. (NOTE: I am not homophobic and I do not support violence or persecution of gays and lesbians. Let me make this very clear!) I still passed the paper so that wasn’t an issue.

Today, Jon and I are having lunch with the person who might be Jon’s internship supervisor next year. I’ll probably do the usual and be quiet unless a question comes to me that needs to be asked, such as the expectations on me for involvement next year. Matt has already said that I’d probably be approached to teach Sunday School and that I could definitely sing in the choir. I might want to do a little more though so we’ll see how it goes today. One thing that I will probably have to make clear today is that I am aware that this is *Jon’s* internship and not my own. I’m thankful that it’s not my internship because I have no clue about most of the things Jon will be doing.

In the meantime, I should probably go read some Borg and Wright for NT I.

Oh yes…. Happy Birthday Brianna!

Breathing is Overated

It’s allergy time and since I’m allergic to almost everything they sell for head colds, I’ve had to wait until everything migrated south before attacking it. I’ve been very intimately acquainted with my inhaler and my bottle of Robitussin. I woke up choking at 3 am and almost sent Jon into a panic attack. Thankfully, I was able to communicate to him where my inhaler was and that some water would be *really* nice. At least the thunder and lightning and torrential rains should cut some of the pollen down.

My intonation practicuum today was…. interesting. (Intonation is basically where you sing the words of the liturgy on tones and switch tones at various points.) I was playing through my music today and Hilde (one of the MACM students — Master of Arts in Church Music) walked in and asked if I wanted some help. She and I went over the music and I felt a lot better when I had to go and sing with Kara (our intoning instructor who is also basically the lead cantor around here and a classmate of Jon’s — she was a music major and her husband is a music teacher). I was able to sightread most of the WOV Setting 4 stuff and Hilde helped me with the LBW Setting 2 stuff. (WOV and LBW are two of the worship books that we use.) My voice was cracking and I was coughing violently by the end but hey, I passed the practicuum with flying colors.

Just before chapel, one of Jon’s classmates (Matt) invited us out for lunch. Over lunch, we talked about internship stuff since we’re probably going to be at the site where Matt was. He was able to fill us in on some stuff that we did need to know. It was good because I finally feel like someone is cluing me into things in this process.

Today, I got a really interesting email. It was from Ellen, who happens to be an IV staffer in Bosnia. It turns out, she’s been rading my weblog for a few weeks and wanted to know if she could be part of my liturgy survey. My response: YES!!!!! I checked out her site and it is really neat. I also think her ministry work is really wonderful. She teaches English to Bosnian students. I encourage all y’all to check out her weblog. Oh yes… she’s also Episcopalian!!!!! (My Anglican side rejoices mightily!!!!)

OK… time to go heat up the leftover “Prego Pasta Bake” and read some ecumenical dialogues. Slan lait!

Senior Class Party

The Senior Class party was a blast. It was good food and the Iron Chef cake decorating portion was also really good. I still reek of frosting (which Jon hasn’t minded at all 😉 ) and it was fun getting my fingers down in the frosting container to coat the cake and the Butterfingers bar I was making into a chimney. The skit afterwards was fantastic as the seniors mocked the faculty in “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” style.

After the party, I went to Seminary Choir where we worked on the Credo from the Gospel Mass and a few other pieces. It was fun singing the Gospel Mass, especially since I have it memorized and I could really get into it. We’re singing it at the Nelson Trout lectures and I am soooooo looking forward to them. There’s also going to be another choir there (probably an African American one) and it sounds pretty good.

A: 2
B: 5
C: 12

Most people are also saying that they go to churches where they see the Gospel moving in the people and where things are done rightly. It also helps to have the people be friendly.

My Daily Texts is finally here!!!

The survey will be updated when I get home tonight. I can’t access the counts here at school since I need my computer for it. (Currently, I’m at work.) The answers have been really interesting and I’ve appreciated the results from the non-Christians that I’ve asked as their input is vital to what I’m using for my paper.

I finally got my replacement copy of Daily Texts from Mt. Carmel Ministries. It was $10 to replace it but it is *WELL* worth the money. For those who want something devotional but short, might I recommend it? I also recommend Our Daily Bread and Campus Journal. I like Daily Texts because it gives you an Old and New Testament verse for the day and a prayer. During my quiet times, I do like to read a larger chunk of Scripture but it’s nice to have the two meditation verses and then a prayer to base everything else around.

In Ministry of Worship, we watched a video on the Taizé community which was really good and we talked about daily prayer. I think it’s a worthwhile discipline and though I wish we weren’t doing the discussion out of the Presbyterian book (since it’s full of inclusive language which is, in my humble opinion, evil), it was good to discuss it. As a pastor, I think I will talk about the importance of quiet times with God in our daily lives but I’ll be judicious in how I push it.

Naps and Free Meals

After I got offline earlier, I curled up with Jon and took a nap. He woke me up at 5:30 so I could get ready for the dinner tonight. He declined to attend because he wasn’t feeling good. My nap however was fabulous and I would have continued it if I hadn’t had to be the AV diva tonight.

Dinner was pasta, baked potatoes, bread (lots of carbs), some really icky green beans, salad, and cookies. It was the Board of Directors dinner but I mainly socialized with Nik, Whitney, Chris, and Jennifer. We had a lovely time talking and then we heard from Dr. Childs who is heading up the ELCA Sexuality Study. It was interesting and not a load of propaganda like I expected it to be.

OK… tallies as of 9:45 pm EST are….
A: 2
B: 1
C: 10

Thank you all who are sending me commentary. It’s a good thing to receive and it shows me who I’m addressing when I become a pastor one of these days. 🙂