Tag Archives: PC(USA)

Just Show Up

In his charge to the Class of 2007, Theodore J. Wardlaw, president of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, recounts an unpleasant ordination examination conducted by his Committee on Preparation for Ministry.

The meeting ended with them saying, “Mr. Wardlaw, we’re not persuaded that you can answer two of these ordination questions in the affirmative. In face, we think you may be a Neo-Kantian Whiteheadian.” (apparently an unpopular theological stance in South Carolina during Rev. Wardlaw’s seminary days…)

Wardlaw continues, Continue reading

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Checked out

Tuesday, August 7:

My brain has officially checked out for the next 6 days. :)

I’m done! I survived today, a day that spanned the gap between being out of town with work for 2 weeks and heading out to Los Angeles and Santa Barbara for a much-needed vacation.

As far as traveling for work the past couple weeks…

I’ve been to Indiana, for an event called the Presbyterian Youth Triennium, which entailed rushing 15 sr. high students through 2 different half-hour layovers in major airports, only to show up at Purdue University to be melded into and herded around in a crowd of 5000 people. (Maybe I’m using a bit of overstatement… overall, it was a great experience.) Stressful from a leader standpoint, but positive nonetheless.

Upon returning from Purdue, I had a couple days in the office to basically sit in meetings and hear about what I had missed. Not that I could do anything about it; there’s just a set of stuff that has to be covered. The couple days in the office were about catching up. Then I took a couple days off, for a combination of resting from what I just finished as well as preparing for what was coming up. So for Thursday and Friday, I was focusing on what lay ahead. For the upcoming week, I was headed off to speak at a great camp that the kids from our church go to (Sonlight Christian Camp). Thursday consisted of getting the thematic skeleton laid out for how to address the week’s big idea. Honestly, I had had this on the back burner since January, but it really never got much thought because all the day-to-day pragmatics took priority. On Friday, I got the chance to attach some specific ideas and references and whatnot to the skeleton.

An aside techie note: For this speaking engagement, I tried out a new idea-mapping program, Compendium Open Learn. I’d recommend it; Open Learn is a great hybrid between left-brain outlining and right-brain visualization.

Wednesday, August 8:

So when I showed up at camp, I had a basic idea of what each day should consist of. Each day entailed a couple hours of making speaking notes, putting together a powerpoint, double-checking scripture references, etc. The week turned out to be great. I left with the impression that the biggest ideas I wanted to drive home really stuck with them. Thanks be to God! The content of the talks merits its own post later.

Mentioning powerpoint made me think of a post I read recently over at Out of Ur. It’s well-written, and makes me double-check myself to make sure I’m not using technology in a manipulative fashion (which is especially easy to do with media-inundated sr. high students).

This morning we left the house at 5:00am, to fly out to Los Angeles. Got out of Durango pretty smoothly. Saw some friends from church on our flight out. I love small towns. 14k people and you’re almost guaranteed to see someone you know at 6:30 in the morning at the airport. Anyway, the flights were pretty uneventful, which I guess is the ideal. Sitting on the runway at Salt Lake City, there was some super weird new-agey music that it seemed only Anina and I could hear. I was listening everywhere to try to track down its source. But I just looked goofy standing up, or putting my ear against the window, or feeling the vents for vibrations, because no one else could hear it. Turns out that somehow my armrest headphone jack was specially equipped to become a speaker instead of a jack. My armrest was emitting the offending tunes! It was definitely funny to witness, but basically, you just had to be there.

On the bus leaving LAX, I couldn’t help but overhear a fellow passenger calling home to let someone know he landed safely: “Oh honey you wouldn’t believe how beautiful it is here… 70 degrees, clear blue skies…” If by blue you mean gray, yeah sure, I’ll buy that. I’m not bashing LA’s smog or that guy’s definition of blue, but it’s just funny… it’s muddy gray here overhead compared to places like Durango.

I love being on vacation!

Plan B

July 1st. Wheee! …right? Yeah, kinda cool that we’re over the hump. 6 out of 12 months have passed. I blinked a few seconds ago, I coulda sworn it was mid-April then. Oh well.

I’m not excited about Monday (technically today). Summer’s been fun, but I haven’t been paying attention to as much around me as I should have been. Or, maybe enough, but not the right things.

I (and many others around me) have been planning on me beginning my graduate work this Fall. The plan was to enroll at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, in Iowa. They have a great distance program that will allow me to keep my Durango life while I work on my M.Div. The thing is, since it is a distance program, it takes a bit longer. 5 years going full-steam every semester. And as much as I’m sure I’ll enjoy seminary just for all the great reading and discussion, earning my graduate degree holds significant practical importance. Down the road, formal ordination will allow a church to pay me a tax-exempt housing allowance on top of my salary. Now within the PC(USA), said ordination requires achievement of a Master’s degree. Moral of the story, ordination will make life a lot easier, in terms of raising a family and living expenses and all that.

Now, back to why the post is titled “Plan B.” I’ll know for sure in a few hours, but I have a hunch I may have missed the application deadline to enroll in Dubuque’s distance program for this Fall. If so, I’ll be kicking myself pretty hard. It was a simple date on the horizon, and I fill out applications well. I just would have had to make a note about July 2 sneaking up, and this would be a non-issue.

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