When I last wrote, I was right in the middle of sorting out moving up to campus, having just found out I did get a spot in the on campus apartments. I asked for your prayers for what I was sure would be a crazy few weeks orchestrating a move with about 1 week notice.
Well thank you for praying! By God’s grace everything worked out wonderfully. It has been really neat to write these updates because I have a tangible reminder of ways that I’ve asked for prayer and can see ways that these prayers were, in some cases very quickly, answered.
I found someone to take over my lease in Watertown, found a moving truck, packed the thing up with the help of 12 friends (thanks, all!), and got settled into my apartment the second week of September. This is the first time I’ve lived on my own, and I have to say I’m really enjoying it. I miss my roommates, of course (and our late night video game sessions), but am also really enjoying getting connected with the student body here on campus.
As a part time student for the past two years, I have become aquatinted with many people, but have not really gotten to know anyone that well. As a full time student, I’ve already met tons of new people and am reminded that seminary students are an awesome bunch of people. I’ve really enjoyed making connections over shared interests and learning all the crazy ways God has led people to study at Gordon Conwell. The student body is quite diverse in age and gender and cultural background, but somehow I feel at home here already. I had lunch with the president (with a bunch of other students) and am excited by his vision for the future of the school.
I attend chapel worship services on Wednesday mornings, and am learning how awful it is to stand and not be able to sing. We are indoors, masked, and physically distanced from others and it’s such a strange feeling of incongruity to be present in a worship service but not able to participate with my voice. I was not planning to get involved in the worship ministry here (I do enough of that at TCC), but after two weeks of drumming on the pews, humming to myself, and generally being quite antsy, I couldn’t take it anymore and emailed the chapel director to get involved 😂😂😂. So I’ll be playing in the chapel band soon. If you know me (and if you’re reading this you probably do), you’ll know that I just can’t NOT make music. It hurts my soul to just stand there.
Three classes this semester:
- Greek I (a re-do of my summer intensive Greek experience). This is a much more reasonable pace to learn a language and so far I’m mostly understanding things. (In person, masked and physically distanced indoors)
- Spiritual Formation for Ministry. This course focuses on not only spiritual formation for yourself, but learning how others are spiritually formed and learning tools and resources to help people grow in faith. Great readings and some great papers that I’m excited to write at the end of the term. (In person, masked, and physically distanced indoors)
- The Project of Reconciliation. A course that was petitioned by several students to be moved up a semester (originally planning on taking this Spring 2021), this course examines the racial tensions happening in our culture and seeks to equip students to be agents of reconciliation for the sake of the Gospel. Assigned books are really great. (Online via zoom)
As always, if anyone out there is interested in hearing more about any course don’t hesitate to reach out!
At TCC, we’ve moved to outdoor services in September. As we launched our ministry year theme “The Return,” we invite people to return to church, but also see this return as a metaphor for a greater return we all need to make in our hearts of repentance and renewal, and long for the ultimate return of Jesus that we all hope and pray for.
Outdoor services have been so life giving. If leading worship for the frozen chosen here in New England is hard, when they are masked and can’t sing, it’s even harder. Being outdoors, even while still masked, and spread apart has allowed ~200 people to feel comfortable to gather and sing. The first day, I chose the call to worship from Psalm 95, and felt so grateful to be leading the church in the words “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”
Thank you all for your continued support!!! These updates are a joy to write and I hope they are a joy to read as well.
That I would make life-long connections with students, staff, faculty, and administration here at the seminary.
That I would find a life giving core community of friends.
That I would be able to balance the demands of ministry with the demands of school work.
Partnership program goal is 90% met. The rest can come from my supporting church(es) in 2021. So while I can’t officially say I’ve finished fundraising, I’m essentially done.
Apartment swap and move went so well! Moving is stressful and it seemed to go pretty well without any unexpected difficulties.