Wednesday, January 28, 2004

What a week...

So far this week has been exhausting! I don't have more homework than usual and I am getting the same amount of sleep, so that is not the cause. I think it's for two reasons: one, I had those CPE interviews and scheduling nightmares at the beginning of the week and two, because I am trying hard to break out of a weightlifting rut I am in. In order to do that I am forcing myself to go beyond what I think my limits are, always making myself do one more rep than last time and one more weight plate than last time. My muscles are mad at me because of this, but they will thank me later, I know. Now though, at the end of the day, I just want to crash. Hell, halfway through the day sometimes I want to crash. Luckily I am over the hump today and the workload is light for the end of the week. And, in exciting news: my mother is coming for a visit tomorrow. She's going to be staying through till Sunday and I am looking forward to showing her the seminary, my apartment, and the city. Though she swears its true, I doubt she knows just how cold she is going to be. But, she says she'll love it. Guess that's the Yankee in her coming out...


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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

CPE Interviews

Had one CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) Interview yesterday at Lutherean General Hospital and it went well, I thought. I don't get very intimidated during interviews like some folks do, so I guess I always think they go well. This morning I am suppossed to have another one at Evanston Northwestern Hospital, but there was some confusion as to the time of my appointment, so now I have to wait here for a phone call and miss Morning Prayer at Seabury. If I don't hear from them soon I am going to leave and go to class.

For those of you who may not know, CPE is an experience I am required to have over the summer as part of my formation for Christian ministry. In short, I will be a Chaplain at a hospital and will have all the duties thereof. Parts of it excite me very much and parts of it I know will be extremely difficult and painful. As per usual with me, I just wish this selection process were over and I knew where I was going to do it. I hate this waiting and choosing process, for everything. But, such is life.

Haven't heard back from U. of Chicago Hospital yet and Northwestern Memorial just plain wrote me off without speaking to me. Though they were rude in a letter they wrote me and exceptionally rude to one of my classmates who was actually granted an interview, so I'm thinking its no big loss. Suppose I ought to get dressed.


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Sunday, January 25, 2004

Urgent Prayer Request

Please pray for my Uncle Phil. He was recently hospitalized for seizures and it was discovered he has an inoperable brain tumor. They just found it. He is still in the hospital and we really need your prayers. Holy Spirit come...


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Saturday, January 24, 2004

Another Tragedy

I cry out with Isaiah, "How long, O Lord?" An eleven year old Palestinian boy, at play, was stopped far too short in life by an Israeli sniper's bullet. Two other boys are wounded. The soldiers claimed they didn't know they were boys (when likely they were no more than 18 year old boys themselves) and thought they might be planting anti-tank mines near the so-called "fence". So, that's a good response, shoot first, ask questions later. It's not a fucking video game! It's life! Or, rather, it was. We think the war's won? What war? What's winning? So long as people are free to snipe young children under the shadowy auspices of security, there is no war won. I am sickened by this and my cry goes up: How long, O Lord? How long will you let this go on in your world? Come down like calming rain and still our violence. Wrap us in love, not flak jackets. Assault us with mercy, not tanks. Come down, O Lord! We need you so bad. We're just making a mess of things...


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The Green Mill, part 2

What a wonderful evening! The kind of evening that makes a newcomer say to himself, "Wow...I am really in Chicago now." Though Caroline and I had originally selected a Vietnamese restaurant at which to dine, we discovered upon arrival it was no longer open. So, we walked around a few blocks looking for something else - apparently we were in Chinatown as all the restaurants were Asian in nature. Fine by me; I've not had Asian food I disliked yet. We eventually happened upon a hole in the wall restaurant, Vietnamese by the sign, and decided to check it out. In Caroline's words, "It's cute." So we go in and are greeted by a young girl no older than twelve. She seats us and brings us a pot of hot tea, flavored with a fruit that was hard to determine, but I think it was leechy nut. The menu took some time to peruse as there were 261 items, but we eventually decided and placed our orders with the same young girl. Conversation came easy, always a plus! I find first date conversations to be pretty easy anyway - as National Lampoon's 'Van Wilder' puts it, "First dates are interviews." Turns out we both have an inordinate love for movies, and many of the same kinds! The food was served, again, by our young waitress. It wasn't long before we discovered that she was the only one working there. She served approximately seen tables of customers, and, given the time it took to get the food, I believe she also cooked. In the midst of all that, she was busy trying to get her homework done. God bless her, but that's amazing to me. Her tip reflected by appreciation. The food was great, mine being quite spicy. I had curried beef with lemon grass and sticky rice. Delicious. Caroline tried stir-fry beef with water grass and we both enjoyed some spring rolls. After dinner, we headed over to the Green Mill, which was awesome. The John McLean Septet was playing and they were quite fantastic. This was the part that made me really feel like I was in Chicago. A jazz club. A famous jazz club. There was a line outside the door of people wanting to get in, and we were in! It was amazing. All in all, it was a most wonderful evening, concluding with a promise for a second date, likely involving some films. I look forward to it.


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Friday, January 23, 2004

The Green Mill, part 1

Remember that phone number I said I got last weekend. Yeah, I used it. Yea! And now, I'm going out tonight to the Green Mill, one of the most famous jazz clubs in all Chicago. You may have heard of its former owner: Al Capone. Anyway, it should be an awesome time. More after I return.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Pierre is back online!

After a long drought, a dark time indeed, PIERRE is back online!!! One of my long time friends, Pierre moved to New York a long time ago and I have not seen him since. He is living out his dream of being in the big city, scraping together a few bucks working long hours to pay the bills but really giving his heart and soul to art. In our brief conversation, he told me he has an internship with a photographer and gets to see art everyday. I'm glad he's happy and also glad he's re-subscribed to an online service. A great man, a great poet, a great artist, ladies and gentlemen, I give you...............PIERRE!!!


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Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Delicious Dinner

Boy, did I ever make a delicious dinner tonight! Fresh Tilapia fillet in a scalloped sauce (with almonds, dried cranberries, grated swiss cheese, and cinnamon)! It went more smooth than I anticipated....................until it came time to remove it from the oven. Apparently, when they say, "grease the casserole dish", they're not kidding around. The dinner was still delicious, just served up in the less appetizing presentation format of "lump", as I had to scrape it out. Yeah, and doing the dishes was fun too...


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Monday, January 19, 2004

"Held in Trust..."

On the Incoming Student's Retreat which we took a couple of weeks ago, we had a discussion on what it meant to be "held in trust" by another. The conclusion my small group came to was that it meant someone who loved you, but kept you in line; they encouraged you, but was always honest (and kept you honest!) in their appraisal of you (sometimes brutally so); they picked you up when you fell and strengthened you when you stood tall; they were loyal and generally gave more to you than you either deserved or gave back to them. During this discussion I thought immediately of two persons in my life who matched that description exactly: Millie Harris and Liz Richardson. My group inquired as to whether I had ever let those folks know all this or not, and to my shame, I had to reply no. They then admonished me that before I did anything else, I needed to call them and tell them. Well, obviously I did a few things first, but I just got off the phone with Liz and we had a wonderful conversation. She said she was honored that I thought of her, but it is really me who is honored the more. She is enjoying her teaching job (freshmen highschool pre-algebra) in Virginia and is living with her old college roommates. (Must be grand!) I intend to call Millie soon and let her know what it has meant to me that she has held me in trust.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. (who held the nation in trust!) celebratory Eucharist was wonderful tonight. There was more singing than I don't know what, but it was all good music, even if I couldn't by any means do it justice. The preacher delivered a fine message - I just wished she packed a bit more of a punch in her delivery. She had some fi'ry words, she just forgot to light them! All in all though, it was an excellent event. There was a lovely reception afterwards for mingling, conversation, and cocktail shrimp. Brennan - you'll be proud of me, as I stole away with the last two shrimp on the tray!

Hopefully I will get to bed a little early tonight so I can catch up with my novel. I'm really enjoying Snow Crash, Hudd, good suggestion!


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Sunday, January 18, 2004

Interview with Presiding Bishop Griswold

Here is the link to an interesting article about the controversy surrounding Gene Robinson's consecration in the Episcopal Church. Surprisingly, the article is found at BeliefNet.org, an odd place for such an article to show up. Anyway, it's an edited transcript of an interview with the Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold, and presents some interesting insights from the top. This is not an endorsement of the sentiments found in the article, I'm just making it available.


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Yesterday was an amazingly surreal day, which I reckon is bound to happen to everyone once in a while. It was a great combination of fun, oddities, sports, and beer. To begin with, the much hyped Wake Forest vs. Duke basketball game was yesterday at noontime. I was, of course, very excited that it would be televised so I could watch. But then I thought to myself, why watch it all alone? So, I invited everyone I know from Wake that lives in the area to come over for an extravaganza. The game was a big deal because last year we (WFU) beat Duke for the first time in I don't know how long and this year Duke was ranked #2 and Wake was #3/4 going into the game. Quite the match-up! Much to my surprise everyone showed up! Willhoit, Jives, Kate Lambert, Julia Schmidt, and Jive's friend Caroline (whom I recognized from Wake but never really had met her until now). It was amazing! I hadn't seen Kate or Julia since graduation, so it was awesome to hang out with that particular crass duo again. Willhoit has been busy lately with work, so I haven't seen him in a while, and thus it was fun for him to come over. Jives and I have been hanging out a lot, so that was old hat, but nonetheless fun. Jive's friend (cute friend!) Caroline was a lot of fun to meet too - a wonderfully Southern, gentile genteel young lady. However, despite this entire cheering squad, Wake fell to the Devil's with a final score of 84-72. But, a great time was had by all regardless.

After the game, Hoit left and Kate and Julia had to go to work. Jives had a party scheduled for the evening at Duffy's where one of his co-workers was celebrating her last night in town before moving to London. So, he invited Caroline and I out to that event, to which we agreed. Caroline went home for a while and I went back with Jives to his apartment, which is awesome and wonderfully located! We played a little NCAA Football, watched a little TV, and got ready to go. Duffy's was, of course, crowded, but a great atmosphere. The party deal was $20 gets you food and all you can drink until 11pm. We forked it over. I got a chance to meet many of Jive's co-workers, who were all very nice and a lot of fun to be around, despite the fact they were an older crowd. Guess I'm getting used to that being at Seabury and all! The wings were hot and the beer flowed freely, so it was shaping up to be a great evening!

Caroline showed up a bit later and since she and I both didn't really know anyone else all that well, we spent a lot of time talking with one another, which allowed Jives to mingle with his friends and not feel as if we were holding him back. As I mentioned earlier, Caroline was quite attractive, so I really didn't mind at all! As it turns out, about an hour into our conversation, she starts asking me what I did at Wake. So I told her I was involved in Lambda Chi Alpha and the theater. At which point, she exclaims, "Oh my goodness! You were in Children of a Lesser God. Wow! You were awesome!" First of all, I was amazed she could remember that I was in that show and second of all was quite flattered by her remarks. Children was the best show I was ever in and was truly a remarkable performance from all aspects. So, we talked about that show for a while and I was simply tickled that I was being recognized outside of Wake for my contributions to the theater program there. I felt a bit like a star for my fifteen minutes!

We talked for a while longer but soon our conversation was broken up by a large commotion over by the entrance to the party area. I look over to see what is happening and I spy all these people gathered around a gentleman in a white, floor-length ermine coat, a purple 3-piece suit, lots of gold jewelry, dark black sunglasses, and a matching purple fidora. Jives had been telling us earlier that over the past several nights when he was hanging out with his co-workers, they kept seeing this guy on the street who was a bonafide pimp. Not just dressing the part, but a man who actually prostituted women for cash. Now, I'd never encountered such a man before and was quite stunned. We've all at one point or another made fun of pimps and their outrageous attire, but here, standing before me was a real live one! I had to shake his hand, just to be able to say that I did. He called me "brother" and was very polite before he moved on to his own table, never removing his sunglasses. Surreal...ahh...life in Chicago.

Not long after that the DJ gives the following shout-out over the PA, "This one goes out to Ryan, who just recently moved here to our city. Welcome to Chicago man!" Turns out several of Jives' friends thought it was hysterical that I was from the South and so thought to welcome me proper to the big city! The night went on and before it got too late I decided to head home as I was relying on grand ole CTA to get me there. So, I said my goodbyes, collected Caroline's phone number, and headed out before things could possibly get any stranger. So, in one day, I see old friends I haven't seen in a long time, meet a cute girl, meet a pimp (the two of which are not connected!), get a shout-out from a DJ, and get said girl's number! I'd say it was a successful day...


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Saturday, January 17, 2004

Comments word limit

Apparently, with this new commenting system, there is a 1,000 characters limit, which sucks in my opinion. If you have more than that to say, just email me. Jane, I wrote a lot of cool stuff in response to your comment, but it got way cut off, so if you're overly interested, talk to me at school. Sorry!

For this reason, I may consider a different commenting system. Anybody out have any suggestions of good ones for free, that DON'T limit your number of characters and allow you to customize their look?


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Comments are back!

BlogSpeak is dead, but they graciously transferred all your comments to their server, so none were lost. The new system needs to be tweaked a little so the colors match and all, but I'll work on that when I have time. Until then, I look forward to your comments!

Seabury folks - Rent the film "Whale Rider". It's right up your collective, inclusive, liberation allies. My opinion of the movie: very good - great storyline and characters, good acting, excellent usage of magical realism, and an inspiring tale. Final word: the alpha male portrayed in this film is wrong, what he does is wrong, but it comes from tradition. Tradition must be understood if not respected. And, as the film dictates, that can all change. But it is important to remember, NOT ALL MEN ARE MANIPULATIVE, POWER HUNGRY, OR OPPRESSIVE!


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Thursday, January 15, 2004

Looking Forward to Class

I am greatly looking forward to Spirituality for Ministry class today. As an assignment, each group member read an article on Anglicanism and another article, of their choosing, on a particular form of Christian spirituality. We'll receive each others reports and discuss them. The topics are Feminist theology (not the most exciting), black spirituality (definitely pretty exciting), and Zen Christianity (very exciting). My report will be on the Zen article, which I found fascinating. I already knew a bit about these spiritual practices and have even practiced some of them upon occasion. I think that of all the articles, this one will mystify the other members of my group the most, probably because it will be the most unfamiliar, but who knows. I look forward to introducing them to the topic if they already don't know about and I look even more forward to introducing them to their first koan, a zen practice of meditating on an illogical and unanswerable question. Also, I will get the opportunity to talk more about the Caux Scholars Program, about which I told them a little bit last class. I brought in the CSP brochure and the picture of my CSP class to share, and hopefully I'll spark some interest in this wonderful program for them. Heck, maybe someone will even want to apply! If any of my Caux friends happen to read this, and I don't know how you would know about it, I love and miss you all! Salam! Ahh...Caux...


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Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Comments may soon be returning

Dear friends - my commenter system hopefully will be returning by the weekend. At least, that is what the host tells us. Thank you for continuing to read however.

Just returned home from Old Testament Class where we have been discussing Amos, in particular the fifth chapter. This is the chapter containing the famous lines, "...let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream!" As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is fast approaching AND he so eloquently incorporated those lines of Amos' into his famous "I Have A Dream..." speech, we got to watch the speech today in class. I have studied it and read it many times, but this was the first time I actually got to watch it being delivered, to hear him speak his prophetic words. Wow! There isn't anything quite like a great speech, and this is certainly among the best. I have long since been inspired by great speakers and look to them as guides in my own speaking habits , techniques, and patterns. Anyway, I am feeling inspired today because of that speech!

A humorous sidebar to this thread is unfolding in Lee County, South Carolina. It has long since been their tradition in Lee County to fly the Confederate Flag over the County Courthouse on Robert E. Lee's birthday - a fine tradition if you ask me, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating heritage and the honor of people who, while they may have held wrong opinions and been on the "wrong" side of a war, were still people worthy of note. Anyway, as it so happens, because of the way Federal Holidays work, this year the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day falls on Robert E. Lee's birthday. Lee County, SC is in quite a dilemma over what to do. On the one hand they want to honor their tradition, but on the other they fully understand the negative implications such an action would hold. I say, this year, skip the Robert E. Lee tradition and let the celebration be more about MLK. After all, when all was said and done, MLK did more for the country than did Lee.


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Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Comments Down, Blog Goes On

So, my comment provider is down. The server where the comments are stored and the protocol operated is not working properly due to some unknown reasons. The webmaster there says hopefully they will be back up soon. So, for now, you'll just have to email me if you have anything burning to say back. Email: whitleyrr@hotmail.com

I've been pretty busy these last couple of days, getting back into the swing of things in seminary life. Reading once again dominates my time, but I carry on anyway. I'm gearing up for my party this weekend - Wake Forest plays Duke at noon on Saturday and I'm having all my Wake friends in the area over for a game party. It'll be good to see Kate Lambert and Julia Schmidt again as I've not seen them since graduation - and of course, the guys (Hoit and Jives) will be in effect. We'll see who else shows - I've invited an eclectic crew! But, most importantly, we hopefully will see a repeat victory of the Demon Deacons over the Blue Devils. So, that is that and now I go back to my reading. Peace!


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Sunday, January 11, 2004

The Reign Has Ended...

Before I get to the bit of news to which I alluded in my title, I'll write the rest of my intended blog.

I returned home this evening from a wonderful weekend retreat to the DeKoven Center in Racine, Wisconsin (officially logging hours in the farthest north geographical location I've ever been) for the entering class of Seabury students. The retreat was led by our illustrious Dean, the Rev. Jim Lemler and the theme was "Call and Servanthood" (translated into layman's terms = church leadership). It was a wonderful opportunity to get away and the setting could not have been more lovely - the ground was just covered in white puffy snow! I was even coerced into making my first snow angel and I have Deacon Carol Fleming to thank for that. (I simply just couldn't have a fifty year old woman outdo me! If she can flop around in the snow, then so can I!) Anyway, we had a blast - the Holy Spirit answered our prayer and was made manifest through the worship and quiet times of the weekend.

I managed to finish my last novel, Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men a while ago and forgot to blog about it. It was a really good book with hard to surpass dialogue. Stylistically, it did slow me down in several parts, but that was minor. It was the story of Louisiana governor, Huey Long (circa 1930) and his rise and fall. Both aspects of the gubernatorial term of Mr. Long (intentionally poorly disguised as the character Willie Stark) were very interesting and it was an excellent portrayal of Southern American life during that time.

Now I am on to reading (thanks to Hudd) Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, a sci-fi novel that is very entertaining about a cyber-hacker. It was originally published in 1992 (a millennia ago in terms of computer technology) and it is amazing to see how right on Stephenson was with his predictions about where we'd be in his imagined future, right down to the popularity of reality-TV shows! Also, since I mentioned Hudd, I just got finished watching S.W.A.T., a pretty good action-cop movie, with lots of shooting and lots of explosions, so there will be no complaints from one Johnson City television set.

And now, on to the distressing, disturbing, depressing, make-me-go-get-the-bottle news:

After a wonderful weekend I get an email tonight from my fraternal Brother, Mason Fox Matthews, of Raleigh, NC. We have long since played a particular video game together known as Super Monkey Ball - yeah, ifs goofy, but highly addictive. Before my infamous brother graduated WFU, I beat him at his own game finally, scoring a high score of 2,050. Now, that is a damn high score in this particular game. It stood as the high score for years...until when I attended another brother's wedding (Mark Sherriff) in late December, we all got together and, of course, had to play a little Monkeyball. I then and there beat my own high score, ringing in an unheard of 2,540. The celebration was heard for...well, likely only through the house, but I was happy and Fox was incredulous. There was simply no way anyone could beat that score. I was resigned to my eternal victory. Until tonight. He sends me the email saying he beat me. With him knowing me as he does, he also sent a digital picture as proof. It is true ladies and gentleman - I have fallen. Fox weighed in with 2,880. I willingly bend the knee to my superior, for now. This can only mean one thing...come the summer, when that minister stands up and asks if anyone has any objections why a certain two should not be wed, well then, I might just have to give a small speech. Now of course, he beat me fair and square at this game, but this is just not the case for all contests. I recall a certain footrace...and if he can cheat on that, well then he might be capable of cheating on anything and I think Miss Lucia should be made duly aware. Of course, I am only jesting. Mason is a man of impeccable character and loyalty, and would never break any vows he has or will take. But he did cheat at that race. :) Nonetheless, this does mean that he'll have to provide me with ample opportunity to answer his score during the festivities. So, in the end I'll say - Well done my brother, but don't sit too pretty yet. My wedding present to you may just be a "3,000".


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Friday, January 09, 2004

More on Communion and Baptism

In his reply to my post on Baptism and Communion, Micah has made some excellent arguments surrounding the debate. He pointed out that I do not describe "the theological thinking that would help someone to evaluate the various positions for themselves" and this is true, mostly because I am not all to familiar with it and would love to understand it better for myself. So, for his explanations and opinions, I am grateful. I enjoyed his analogy of baptism and communion to sex and marriage and did not think it controversial or out of line at all. You correctly pegged me, sir, as being one who holds to the ideals that just as one should not (nor cannot) fully enjoy communion without baptism, neither should one enjoy sex without marriage. I know, I am antediluvian when it comes to this line of thinking, but that's me. As my college friend Cambra would say, I am "fusty".

I thank you for your insights and astute comments Micah and I particularly enjoyed your closing remarks. I too would love to be able to say, "We welcome to Christ's table all who sincerely seek Christ in the bread and wine. We hope you will accept HIS invitation," but I would change that to say "we welcome all who sincerely seek Christ to accept His baptism, which is more than we on earth can give. I would encourage you to consider in your heart what it is you seek or desire - is it merely a status symbol or an exercise of your will to eat and drink, or is it truly a yearning for Christ to fully be in your life? It the former, then eat and drink at your peril, but if the latter, get ready to get wet."


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Disseminary Seminar

The Disseminary is beginning its seminar course on "Women Saints in Christian Art" and will take an in depth look at sixteen influential women in the life of the Christian Church. If you are interested, more information on how to join and follow along is on the Disseminary website.


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Thursday, January 08, 2004

Busy Day

Just got home from a busy but good day. Actually, it began on a relaxed note - I discovered on Thursday mornings I don't have class and so can actually enjoy a cup of coffee while reading my homework in the Great Orange Throne of Victory, the best place to do so. When I got to school I picked out my costume for the Boar's Head Festival (a medieval festival that is rumored to be pretty raucous when celebrated at Seabury) which entails a brown tunic and a light tan vest (I am a common server). Class (Spirituality for Ministry) was good this afternoon and my workout following class was equally as good. I've read up on tricep exercises and dips are above and beyond rated one of the best, so I tried doing several sets of those. I accomplished my three sets but it was tough. I'll keep on those for a couple of weeks and see how it goes. Then, tonight I served as a torchbearer for the community Eucharist. I was signed up to be the crucifer, but when I arrived it was decided it would look bad to have a crucifer as short as me with a torchbearer as tall as one of the other acolytes. This was pretty irritating as I was called and asked what I would like to do - plus, I don't think God much cares about aesthitics. But, I served as I was so called, and it was a good service nonetheless. This was followed by a brief community dinner and then Copeland graciously invited me to his room for a Scotch. Turns out he invited several people and we had a wonderful discussion and just some good ole fellowship (or, in non-churchy lingo, hanging out time). Now I have to do a little reading before taking control of the reigns of Wake Forest (no doubt to lose, as the game is fairly realistic!) in my newly purchased football game for the PS2.



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Tuesday, January 06, 2004

New Term, New Classes, Still Cold

The new term at Seabury is off to a good start - I finished last term with excellent grades (served up AKMA's exam on a silver platter!) in all classes save one, where I achieved a satisfactory grade though in room of improvement. I'm not altogether convinced it was entirely my fault, but that's water under the bridge. The classes I am taking this time 'round are all the second part of classes from last term (Old Testament, Liturgy, and Gospel Mission) with the exception of one - Spirituality for Ministry. This class promises to be really good and I am quite excited about it. We formed small groups today in which we will remain thoughout the term for discussing our personal conceptions and practices of spirituality, as well as our reactions to those about which we learn throughout the course. I am in a group with some fine and deeply spiritual people and I look forward to all our interactions. Rev. Paula Barker, the prof, earned my "gold medal teacher at Seabury award" today for actually providing us with a course packet instead of making us waste countless hours at the ONE xerox machine in the school.

In Liturgy II class today we got into a lively discussion (despite the lack of professor) on baptism as a rite of Christian initiation. There were arguments on all sides of the open/closed/free communion debate. For those who may be unaware: Open Communion - Communion is offered to all baptised Christians, regardless of denomination, stemming from the theology of "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" as espoused by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians (4:5); Closed Communion - Communion is only offered to members baptised in that particular denomination (i.e. Catholicism); and, Free Communion - Communion is offered to all, baptised and un-baptised. I am a believer in Open Communion by those definitions and must argue against those who espouse Free Communion, but can respect, if disagree with upholders of Closed Communion. Only those who understand and can accept what Holy Communion is (to the fullest extent humanly possible) and have been welcomed into the Body of Christ through the Sacrament of Baptism should receive communion. (Based scripturally on 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, though this also speaks warning to baptised Christians who accept Communion friviously or undeservingly.) Those who feel ostracized by this should examine themselves and seek to discern why it is they feel called to the Communion Table but not to Baptism. I beleive they will discover they are called to both, that is, to full life in Christ.

The weather this morning when I woke up was a bitterly unpleasant negative twenty-one degrees with wind chill, and believe you me, the wind was blowing! Getting out of the alley behind my house was a driving experience akin to skiing.

I am afeared tomorrow I'll not be able to move my upper body. After a heavy workout yesterday following several weeks without any, and a good workout today, I am already feeling a bit sore and stiff. I know exactly what will happen tomorrow morning - to quote "A Knight's Tale" - "...pain...lots o' pain!"

Now, I should do some reading for class and then maybe even get to bed a bit early.


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Damn! I just had a really good post, a long one too, all typed up and when I tried to publish it, blogger had a coniption and it was all lost. Sorry Beal, it was all in reference to what we discussed earlier today and I ended up agreeing with you, though I think we began on separate premises. Give me a call and we can talk it over. Anyway, since that bit of poorness has happened I'll leave you all with something I wrote a while ago in lieu of that which was surely brilliant:

Chamber Door

Courtroom stands in silence awed, with the judge
Upon His mighty and glorious throne.
Lonely defendant stands, guilty as charged,
As the gavel swings down, wrathful in tone.
Demons of the past come to watch and laugh
When the sweat, blood, and tears begin to flow.
The Kingly Judge rises up, sin’s wages
In hand, when there’s a cry from the last row.
A humble man, no’bly dressed in bloody cloth,
Speaks with tear filled eyes and a voice as soft.

“I will stand for him.
I will take his place.
I have bled for him.
I have seen his face.

“Beyond Your chamber door, O King of All,
have I seen this man’s name written in your
holy book. Beyond Your great chamber door,
which was torn in twain, broken from the wall,
have I seen this man’s saving grace in You
when I looked into the mirror and gazed
at the body that was broken and raised!
Great Lord, I willingly gave my life to
Become The Way, The Truth, and The Life in
You, Holy God, thereby defeating sin!”

The silence in the courtroom deepens more
As the Judge’s full presence fills the floor.
He speaks, “Truly this is why I sent you!
That love might enter this room today through
He who has sacrificed all to this end!”
Then, a flash, as my soul begins to mend.
My dirty and blood streaked robes fall away.
I am clothed in white again on this day!
I turn and see that gate swing open more;
The praises rise as I walk through Your door.

Because He stood for me.
Because He took my place.
Because He bled for me.
Because he saw the face
Of my soul.
Because He paid the price
I live for You today Lord Christ!

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Sunday, January 04, 2004

A Poem

I meant to post this on New Year's Day (as would have been most appropriate) but, obviously, I forgot. So, without further adue, here is my poem:

Auld Passeth Away

The night is the time when the old man teacheth best.
A fire of mirth warms the home of dearth
As shadowy light dances along the ceiling while we rest,
Sipping on wine, listening to tales of trial and test.

The clock on the mantle ticks, tocks, and dings
Keeping time with the years which returned, begot tears,
In sync with the elder as he croons and he sings,
Unaware of the changes the young man brings.

While the light of the fire soothes and calms
Composing a soft tune to sing to the moon,
A chill breeze blows in from the back, psalms
Of yore, glory re-told, cease their soothing balms.

In the oaken frame of the door a dark figure stood tall
Snow swirling behind him, affecting the light to dim
The old man trembled, but rose, issuing a call -
Bringing a swordsman in time to see the venerable fall.

Smoke curled from the gun the bleak one, though just a lad, had fired,
His gray cloak wrapped around him, like a mist, on a whim.
The swordsman, already defeated, fell to his knees mired
In sorrow, but knew it was his time, as he was thus tired.

As the snow blew in bringing a chill the flames died down
And we who remained, had witnessed this change,
Stood only to bow down as the clock went round and round,
Ticking and tocking, ticking and tocking, by it, our lives are bound.

So the new master, ruler of destiny, removed his shroud
And holstered his gun to sit among us as one;
Now his turn to speak, make the fire again roar loud,
While we remain, lonely souls, wandering, in a changing cloud.

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Gone the sun...

...and the holidays. I am back in Chicago where I was greeted with a light snow, though tonight and tomorrow morning it is supposed to pick up. Tomorrow there is a special Eucharist at Seabury for those prepping for the start of GOE's on Monday. GOE's are the General Ordination Exams required before one can be ordained to the priesthood. They test a variety of things including knowledge of church history, pastoral care aptitude, liturgical know-how and the like. Though, if AKMA has his way, I won't have to take them when it comes my turn to graduate. Some feel the GOE's are pointless for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being bishops overriding failing scores and ordaining clerics anyway.

Classes begin anew on Monday, and, like any good student, I have no idea when they are, or what room they are in. I suppose I'll just show up for Morning Prayer, as per my usual, and follow those people that look vaguely familiar. Am I ready for another term at Seabury? Who knows, but I'll keep you posted.

Hung out with Jives tonight - we ate dinner at the Noodle restaurant in downtown Evanston before catching Big Fish, Tim Burton's new film. It was really good, but very bizarre. Could we expect anything less from Burton though? Screaming postmodern, it is the tale of a tall-tale teller and his son, who realizes that not all tall-tales are as tall as they originally seem, but that it is in their telling that they become truly alive. But it was not all postmodern, as I was reminded of Edmund Spenser's poem, One day I wrote her name upon the strand... and thought the film encapsulated the message behind it. Check it out for yourself and enjoy! Now I am off to bed...ah...warm, warm bed...


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Friday, January 02, 2004


Many congratulations to Lambda Chi Brother and Alum on the birth of his first son, Daniel Alexander Kindy!! Daniel was born at 2:30 pm, December 31st, 2003 and the Kindy's are very happy. Our praises rise to God in this joyous moment in grateful thanksgiving!! See the happy family here.

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Please pray for the repose of the soul of Mrs. Matthews, the grandmother of a dear friend of mine who passed away recently, and for the comfort of the Holy Spirit on their family.


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