Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Beginning of the End

The beginning of the end for many who are graduating - and thus time to begin bidding farewell - has begun. As such, today was a VERY busy day...

First, congrats to this year's Myrtle Saylor Speer Award recipients: Jen Stuelpe-Gibbs, Arionne Williams, and Audrey Krumbach. This is a long-standing (31 years) Garrett tradition; an award given at a "just desserts" party for women of the seminary only. As Audrey so nicely put it, the short is that its an award given to women (who are voted on by their class) who we know will "go out and cause some trouble in the church." It seemed appropriate, then, that the award's first recipient - Rev. Dr. Marti Scott - was present tonight to talk about the history of the award.

Following "just desserts" was the end-of-year picnic (only inside b/c of rain). It was especially great to see everyone and just have some time to chill in light of the intensity I'm still not over from General Conference. Who'd have guessed it would be so difficult to "jump in" after getting back!?!

I intentionally missed most of worship tonight, as it was the "stress busters" service, and I'm just not there, so I didn't feel the need to get stressed about how I should be more stressed! I did pop in for the end, though... as I was waiting for my ride and they were running over. No harm ever done in joining in a couple closing songs! This was possibly the BEST decision I have made in a long time! Dean Lightsey got ahold of the mic, and there was no turning back! We sang, danced, and praised God for a good 20 minutes after the service was supposed to end. It was AWESOME! Talk about Holy Spirit overload!!! Praise God for nights like this... when I am thankful for these opportunities that I thought (hoped) would come more often in my seminary community life.

After worship we made our way to Margaret Ann (seen here caring for the baby broccoli ) & Jack's house. There, they (and Bishop Rader) led a "debriefing" conversation about what General Conference was and will mean in the future. Not just what our experiences were - but what does that mean and how does/ should/ could that trickle down into our local churches? It was a fruitful conversation that I am thankful to have been a part of. There is much work to be done, but it is helpful and hopeful to have these conversations.

If nothing else, this is yet another reason I am thankful to be a Garrett student... that our faculty found it so important to have this opportunity (both for their sake as well as ours) that they went out of their way to invite us into their home in order to host it. Gracious hospitality and intentional community at its best, to be sure (especially since we were all tired b/c many of us had to go to all 4 big social events today!)

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