Wednesday, February 8, 2023

On Campus Joys

Yesterday was the kind of day where I was happy to be on campus, the kind of day I couldn't have had if I hadn't been able to be on campus.  Let me record the ways:

--Last week, at a lunch and learn panel, I found out that one of my favorite professors is on the ordination path, in addition to her work as a seminary professor, a job she doesn't plan to leave.  I went up afterwards to say that I'd like to hear more about that path, and she suggested we go for coffee the following week.  Yesterday we followed up and went for coffee, and it was every bit as delightful as I thought it would be.  We talked about a variety of teaching possibilities and other types of ministry possibilities.  The coffee was delicious; we went to Compass Coffee, which was new to me.

--We got back from our coffee and went to the MLK Lecture.  Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown gave an amazing speech entitled "The Power of Dreaming Out Loud."  She talked about Martin Luther King's dreams, both those in the famous speech and earlier and later versions.  He went to wide awake engagement, dreaming out loud.  She asked us to think about what we have envisioned lately and what are we doing about it.  Near the end of her speech, she said, "Use the words that you have and do the work God has given you to do." 

Here's a photo taken by Lisa Helfert (and all photos are taken by her):

The University of DC Chorale sang three times, and they were amazing:

After her speech, we went to the refectory for a Lunch and Learn.  Even though she had given a rousing speech, she was still energized when she talked to us.  It was revelatory, hearing about her career, about how doors didn't open, and she just kept doing what she knew God had called her to do.

I had to leave to go to class, but I wrote down the last things she said.  She told us about her work as a historiographer and told us to write everything down.  And she said we should be able to do more than one thing; she's 71 years old, and she's in law school, even though she has other career options at this point.

--The rest of my day was delightful too, but they are the delights I get to have every week:  Queer Theology class and Women and the Preaching Life class last night.  In the evening class, we broke into small groups.  We were each given the chapter of a book that we were discussing.  We had to write a 4-5 sentence summary and a marketing slogan.  It was an interesting way of thinking about the material, and it was a good way to get to know my classmates a bit better.  I always feel a bit of dismay when a class splits into small groups, and I was happy to have my fears allayed.

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