Thursday, October 6, 2011

I’m Baaack!

I am sorry that I have been absent for so long. I was in the world of Biblical Greek…which consumed every neuron I possess…but I passed! I was also basking in the joy of my wonderful family and friends at the occasion of my oldest daughter’s wedding!

It is difficult to write a blog while being careful not to mention anyone by name…and when I do not have comments to respond to.  I really would love to hear from you!

This semester I have New Testament Greek Exegesis…which is explained in the course objectives: “through diligent study, lively conversation, and the work of the Holy Spirit to become more effective interpreters of the Bible and more faithful Disciples of Christ.”  This sounds like Bible study at First Church! I am also taking Intro to Preaching and Advanced Studies in Youth and Culture (if you haven’t read Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited, please do!)  We are reading it in relation to youth ministry and it is amazing. 

I participate in Field Education this year in a small, culturally diverse Presbyterian church nearby.  It is a wonderful and welcoming congregation which feels called to this task of nurturing future pastors. 

I miss my church home, but I still don’t feel separated from you!  I know this has been a tough summer but I know that you are supportive and model Christ’s love and presence to each other.  Each day I am reminded of how much you have nurtured me on my Christian journey and continue to do so.

Please enter in the conversation with me…it is hard to write alone!

Peace and love,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Last Day of Class

Last day of class for the year!!  I cannot believe I have finished my first year…where does the time go?  I feel as if I am just picking my head up from posting my first paper only to discover it is my last.  It has been an amazing year full of surprises.  Old dogs can learn new tricks and enjoy them.  And as I say old I embrace it.  Other than some aches at times I would never go backwards.   C.S Lewis’s quote “You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream” has never felt so correct! And I encourage you to do just that. Though my head may look swelled when I get back it is only the trauma to my brain from working so hard.
A great number of my fellow students will not be here this summer so it was strange and sad to say goodbye in the cafeteria today.
There is not much time to relax,  I will be Greeking it this summer and need to spend the time before preparing for that adventure.  Any and all tips in that direction are welcome!
I feel so blessed to have supportive family, church family and friends who have all made this dream possible.  I am so excited to be back “home” for Rummage and the wonderful event of my oldest daughter’s wedding to a fabulous man. 
I will see many of you at Rummage Saturday or in worship on Sunday if not during the next week!
Peace and Love,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


It is still April so I am not totally late!  And I will be there Sunday and can hardly wait to see you all!
I have just finished finals for the Spring long term and start Spring short term tomorrow.  I cannot believe that the first year is almost over! And I have discovered I am not the only crazy “mature” youth minister around.  One of my dual degree classmate’s mother is joining us next year.  Her story is similar to mine and it is wonderful to have her join us. 
I have stressed over school this year…I cannot hide that, but the younger students have stressed just as much.  Each of my study groups consists of predominantly younger students and they worry just as much! 
I have to say Old Testament and New Testament this year were tough.  You are expected to eat an elephant to give them a mouse.  There is so much material to memorize.  It could not have been too bad as I am taking a class in the short session with my Old Testament professor because she is wonderful.
This has been an amazing year and I encourage all of you to do something that you think you cannot possibly do, but want to, because you can and it might just change your life.  Young or old we all have gifts that God wants us to use, so don’t be afraid, God will be there with you.  That is the only way most of us feel we did as well this year as we have, God was there.
Today I attended my sixth youth forum here.  The experience eight years ago changed my life.  I still cannot believe I am actually here (and I have been for eight months!)   And what a surprise, today as I walked in for a session I heard someone yell my was Erik. I hope to catch up with him while he is here.
I hope to see you this weekend in church…I so miss the rhythm of church life, especially during Lent. Holy Week was finals week!
Peace and love,

Monday, February 28, 2011


Today in chapel a very gifted senior preached. He spoke of a conversation he had with his grandfather about his call to mission work and then to seminary. As he reported it was not an earth shattering event, they both happened through phone calls from people inviting him to join them. This rang true for many of us…many think a call to ministry is an instantaneous, life changing event.
This sermon made me reflect on the different “calls” that have shaped my journey and they sound just as uneventful…or so it seemed at the time. First Church has been and continues to be the wire that strings my call together. The years of working in ministry with all of you constantly nudged me in this direction.
As I sit in seminary I am constantly reminded of those nudges.
An invitation to help with the junior high kids…and oh those kids!!  The PW always welcoming and challenging me to grow… Sunday school teachers as we huddled around the craft closet talking “theology” that we didn’t know we were talking…mission opportunities where we were always amazed at how much it ministered to us… and those kids…growing as we worked at being parents together…nurtured by a supportive ministry staff that gave me opportunities to explore my groups and Bible study…and those kids...Deacon pot-luck suppers…Session meetings (yes, even Session meetings) and the congregation in worship along with so many others. First Church connected the call to me and you are calling each other every day…don’t be too busy to pick up.
I would love to hear from you about what is happening "back home"!
I am off to a study group to review for Systematic Theology…comparing Levinas, Calvin, Cone, Lee, Augustine and Jones (just for this week).
Peace and love,

Monday, January 31, 2011


Okay, so once again I am just making my monthly post! One semester down and seven to go. The January short term was tough – Modern Church History from the Reformation to present day in three weeks was intense, but it is over!

It is odd having such a change in your schedule every few months. It was great getting back to regular full schedule of classes – many of the students I am in class with I have not seen for six weeks. I am really excited about the classes I have this semester… Systematic Theology, New Testament, Speech, and Bible, Preaching and Catechesis – a Reformation church history class. I have also spent the past week during break studying for the PC, USA Bible Content Exam which I take Feb 4. It makes no sense to me to take this before I have completed New Testament, but that is the progression.

Our baby girl is home with us this semester – making for a cozy home. It is great to have her here and she is taking five classes and working two jobs!

It is crazy how this community shuts down when it snows… I had my first snow day (but since it was the midterm, instead of a test we had to write an eight page essay and turn it in by the end of the day!) Not much of a day off and we have had two late starts – all in January!

I miss you all and hope to hear from you soon. Let me know what is happening with you as well!

Peace and love,

Friday, December 31, 2010

December (Just under the wire!)

Happy New Year!
I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas! It was very strange to not be “working” Christmas Eve – and I miss that time with the staff.
I am finally able to dig my way to my desk! It has been wonderful having 3 of our kids with us for Christmas – 2 of them had to spend a few extra days with us due to the snow storm (I thought it was not suppose to snow as much here). 5 of us in the apartment was cozy, to say the least! But it is not horribly disappointing to be getting back to normal! I am not sure what that is any more, but getting ready for the short term to start on the 3rd seems like normal.
It was great to be “home” with you all at Thanksgiving. I was afraid I would be sad and homesick but you have raised me well! I enjoyed it, felt renewed but ready to get back to school. I am looking forward to spending a longer bit of time there in May and June and to share more of this amazing experience.
Writing a blog is difficult for me because I love the interaction of conversation – not just my blathering on - so be sure and write me!! I have promised to be a better communicator, but continue to fail. I could put it on my New Year’s Resolution list… but fear it would be the first failure of the year. I promise to try to be better!
It is hard to believe that I have a semester behind me! I thoroughly enjoyed all my classes.  Never thought I would get through all the reading. The opportunity to learn from such brilliant and caring professors (almost all are pastors as well) has been a gift I am lucky enough to continue receiving! During the short term (3 weeks in January) I will be taking a modern church history course and next semester I am taking New Testament, Speech, Systematic Theology plus Bible, Preaching and Catechesis in the Reformation. 
2010 has been a year with so many changes - I can hardly wait to see what 2011 brings.
Have a safe and happy New Year!
Peace and love,

Monday, November 8, 2010


All my great intentions have fallen away! I had hoped to write every week and I am managing once a month.
Things are moving so fast – I cannot believe it is almost Thanksgiving. And almost time to be home to see everyone!
I am a little old to be emerging from anything, but that has been my life lately!  From emerging from the tunnel vision of midterms and processing information from the Emerging Adult Conference, I feel like it should be spring, but I have emerged to find fall in its fullest.
I may have had only one midterm test – Old Testament – my first real test in 35 years!  But also several papers! I am use to writing papers where I have a book to check my facts. Memorization is much harder. (It was reassuring to hear the younger students were just as stressed.) There was a cloud of anxiety hanging over the seminary, but it has been blown away like the leaves as we get resettled into the remainder of the term.
The diversity of people and opportunities is a wonder. The different preaching and worship styles are so exciting as well. I still relish in the opportunity t worship every day.
Our baby was out here a few weeks ago and it was great to see her (the first of the kids to visit.) When she returned home she told us that we really seem at home here, that we have not skipped a beat. I am thinking that I will not feel that way when I visit over Thanksgiving, I have missed everyone so much.
One last word to us parents. I regret the times I fretted over not hearing from my kids while they were at school. I now know that it is because you do feel as if you are in an alternate universe and disconnect. But we are still in their thoughts, just at odd times that do not mesh with the schedule at home. So, please forgive my errant ways and give me a call or write to remind me!
Take care of each other and I look forward to seeing you in church again in 2 weeks!
Peace and love,