It is time for an update. I now officially have a week of classes behind me. It started last Tuesday - day after Labor day - with Fundamentals of Worship. My classmates and I gathering in the chapel not really having any clue what to expect. Today we gathered in the chapel with more of an idea, looking at our teachers with less fear and trepidation in our hearts, feeling a bit more confident about our places here in the rhythm of this community.
CDSP gathers for worship as a community 13 times per week with occasional drifts into higher numbers if there are special needs or new things we wish to try. Daily Morning and Evening Prayer (except on Thursday there is not Evening Prayer). Holy Eucharist Monday, Tuesday, Friday. The only exception to our motly daily rhythm is Thursday when instead of a midday Eucharist and Evening Prayer the whole community intentionally gathers for Holy Eucharist in the evening followed by dinner and other community activities. While I am not able to be as consistent as I like in participating in all of these worship times I do my best.
I carry a full class load with Old Testament Foundations, Anglican Tradition and Life, Elements of New Testament Greek, History of Christianity I, and Fundamentals of Worship. This means a whole ton of books plus readers full of information copied for us. Aside from somehow managing the book load there is figuring out Moodle, a useful and helpful (once you get a grasp on it) online tool where you find the syllabus, readings, forums, interesting tidbits from the teachers and all kinds of goodies all put together for each class you register for. I'm just glad there isn't a grade for how quickly you figure it out, because I've needed a lot of help!
Aside from our first week of classes, we also had our class retreat this last weekend. It was held at St. Dorothy's Rest, an Episcopal Camp and Conference center up among the coastal redwoods. What an amazing experience! I loved the company of the giant trees, the hush of the forest, the dripping as the fog condensed and fell from the branches. I can't wait to go again soon.
I am looking forward now to finally being able to settle into the rountine I am craving to help me get all of the reading and writing done that needs to be done. Although I had arrived in Berkeley early to settle in I had no idea what my weeks and days would look like. Now I have some idea and am moving forward into that rich rhythm of community and study that called me into this particular place for my education and formation.