Today is the beginning of the Spring semester, and I started out by joining the community at worship at our midday Eucharist. Today Rev. Flora Keshgegian, who is teaching my Introduction to Pastoral Theology class, was celebrant and preacher in honor of the 35th anniversary of her ordination to the priesthood. I sometimes forget that I am surrounded by people like her who have lived and formed the history of the Episcopal church and the opportunities I enjoy today to serve in whatever ways God is calling me.
My schedule is full of goodness this semester. Along with Intro to Pastoral Theology, I will be taking Intro to Worship with the Rev. Ruth Meyers, Intro to New Testament at the Franciscan School, Church History: Modern to Contemporary at the Dominican School, and Women's Spiritual Quest taught by a woman from the Jesuit School.
While there is so much to come this semester, I also filled my January Intersession with good classes that challenged and stretched me. First, I spent a week in a class called Addiction, 12-Steps, and The Church. We examined the spiritual aspect and effects of addiction as well as experiencing recovery meetings, learning the physical and psychological effects of addiction, and discussing the various manifestations of addiction in every walk of life.
The second week I spent my afternoons in Art, Darkness, and Womb of God with China Galland, learning about the variety of expressions of the Black or Dark Madonna. I truly loved this class as we had a wide variety of backgrounds all coming together to contribute to the discussion about Mary, the Mother of God, Theotokos, or whatever honorific title you prefer. I must say that I truly enjoyed this class, and feel that it nourished me in this path in ways that classes taken purely for academic requirements may not.
The last thing I did during Intersession was to complete a quartet of certifications in preparation for Field Ed next year. Safeguarding God's People, Safeguarding God's Children, Canon Law, and Multicultural Training are all accomplished.
With Christmas and Intersession behind me I am prepared to dive into this new semester with energy and determination. Soon I will be in San Diego for the Diocesan Convention, looking forward to seeing friends and mentors while I am there. I pray that this semester nourishes, challenges, and forms me as I move forward in this journey.