Remembering the Words

If you’ve read Ursula Le Guin’s classic “Earthsea” trilogy, you will know this story. If you’ve not read the Earthsea trilogy, why not? Put down Moltmann and the New Interpreter’s Bible, quit worrying about GOEs—they’re still three months away—and pick up Le Guin! She’s the best thing you’ll read this year (unless you read Schleiermacher; nothing is better than Schleiermacher).

In book three of the trilogy, The Farthest Shore, something has gone terribly wrong in the island-dotted, mythical world of Earthsea. An alternating malaise and terror encroaches across the globe. As his home island succumbs to the illness, but before his own wits are stolen from him, a young nobleman named Arren travels to the island of Roke, home of wizards, to seek the help of the Archmage Ged. With Ged, the world’s most powerful wizard, Arren travels on a swift boat across the sea, in search of the source of the world’s madness.

The Harvest is Plentiful, But the Laborers are Few

Alex Easley is a Middler in the Master of Divinity program.  Alex comes to Seminary of the Southwest from the Diocese of Texas and currently serves as the Middler Seminarian Intern at St. Julian's of Norwich Episcopal Church.

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’ (Matthew 9:35-38 NRSV)

 

Last Thursday, February 6th, the Rev. Jimmy Bartz gave a lecture at Seminary of the Southwest entitled “Fear, Risk, Courage, Failure, Intimacy, Change, Mission, and the Kingdom.” Throughout his lecture, Jimmy urged his hearers to live courageously, taking risks and following Christ into uncharted territory.

Making the true light part of your story

Ashley Freeman is a middler in the M.Div. program.   Ashley and his family come to Seminary of the Southwest from the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast.

 

John 1: 1-18
The true light, which enlightens everyone, has come into the world.

 

2013 is almost over, in a few short hours 2014 will be upon us. Many of us will celebrate tonight with friends and family. We may watch the giant ball fall in Times Square, or see fireworks, or pop the top on a bottle of champagne, or perhaps we will share a good luck kiss with our significant others at the stroke of midnight. Regardless of how you celebrate the coming of the New Year, 2013 is history. The best and worst of 2013 is now part of your story. As you reflect on the last twelve months of your life, where did “the true light, which enlightens everyone” shine?

Recognizing a gift

Christine Havens is a senior in the Master of Arts in Religion.  Christine came to Seminary of the Southwest from the Diocese of Iowa.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

How do you recognize a gift? Gifts are objects of love and affection, given freely, right? We have a Christmas carol that celebrates them—“on the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . .” Toward the end of my marriage, I learned to recognize when my ex was seeing another woman—he bought me things that were fairly thoughtful, that reflected my taste. Reflecting on this right now, I keep my distance from the image of an iridescent black stone dragon given to me for Christmas one year and from the gratitude I recall feeling at the time—despite the affair, my husband remained my true love. There were other such “gifts” before we finally separated. To say the least, this definitely skewed my ability to recognize gifts. I loved what my friends since then have given me—candles, a pair of earrings when my ears were not even pierced at the time. I do not mean to suggest that these gifts had no meaning. How can I say it except to state that they were easily recognized, safe, and not painful? I can see now just how much relief and gratitude I felt then—I did not have to go near that dark place inside me that helplessly viewed thoughtful gifts with trepidation and suspicion, a darkness that, until very recently, I carried around within me.