The Long Conversation

“The long conversation” is one way I refer to the Bible in my New Testament courses. The Bible is a record of thousands of years of conversation about and insights into a particular people’s experiences of God. I’m astonished when people speak of the coherence of the biblical texts—have they ever read the whole thing? … read more

A Station of Silence, a Station of Witness

Recently I discovered a very brief video on my phone that I must have taken by mistake when I was walking the Way of the Cross with a group of fellow pilgrims in Jerusalem a couple of summers ago. The 5-second video shows our group walking on a narrow street in the early morning summer […]

The Rev. Jane L Patterson, PhD

Sunday, December 13 Psalms 63:1-11, 98; Amos 9:11-15; John 5:30-47   Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer: The Rev. Jane L. Patterson Advent Meditation One morning, when I was praying the psalm in Morning Prayer, I found myself imagining Jesus praying the psalm through me. This has become the way that I […]

God’s Word Sings Among the Ashes

The biblical expression of history is not so much like a line moving steadily from the past into the present and on into the future as it is like a length of fabric that a seamstress rolls out and then folds over on itself once, twice, three times, over and over again. The Exodus from […]

Mutuality: Life in the Rock Tumbler

What do you mean by that? How did you come to that thought? Do you really see that in the text? Our first-year students laughingly call seminary “the rock tumbler” because of all the ways in which they find themselves being challenged and changed by their peers, their professors, and the rigorous disciplines of theological […]

A Great Thanksgiving

After years of drought, this year’s winter and spring rains have brought almost unbearable beauty to Austin. I had gotten used to a minimal landscape, the trees calligraphic in their bare-branched simplicity – and then all of a sudden the world was shaggy and colorful and fragrant with blossoms on every branch. When I run in the neighborhood around the seminary, I find my head swiveling to take in a sweet smell or a brilliantly colored sidewalk garden.

In the midst of all this blooming, three of us realized that we had significant ordination anniversaries: Cynthia Kittredge 30 years, Kathleen Russell 25 years, and my 20, all adding up to a stunning 75 years of ordained life. We celebrated the occasion at noon Eucharist in Christ chapel on April 17, by remembering also the courageous women who went before us and made the path that we walk on. You can hear Kathleen’s beautiful sermon here. What follows is the Eucharistic prayer I wrote for the day, inspired both by the physical beauty that surrounds us here and by the beauty of the work that involves us day in and day out at Seminary of the Southwest: forming students to live and lead as Christ in all the contexts to which they are called.

Beating the Heat while staying Immobile (Jesus Prayer Optional)

Our Dean has said: “The Jesus Prayer may be said while immobile.”

Anyone who has studied the Prayer Book knows the difference between a permissive rubric and a strict rubric. The Jesus Prayer may – or may not – be said while immobile. The important thing in the summer in Austin is to remain immobile some of the time. The Jesus Prayer is optional. Other things you could do while immobile: someone could bring you a Shiner in a CamelBak, so you could suck your favorite cold beverage through a straw, without moving. Icees work, too. Just lie there and let someone bring it to you. Mmmmm.

Unraveling Lent

Jane Patterson is the Assistant Professor of New Testament at Seminary of the Southwest.  In addition to teaching Bible courses at the seminary, Jane serves as co-director of The Workshop, a ministry that guides laity in using the Bible to discern how to live faithfully.

Lately I’ve noticed that what I thought was an elite club of which I was the only member turns out to be a very popular club, with each member assuming he or she is the only one. This is the club of people for whom Lent is their favorite liturgical season. In whispers and asides, we are beginning to locate one another and to proclaim our allegiance: “I don’t mean to sound weird or anything, but really, Lent is my favorite season.”