The Gift of Wonder

A couple of weeks ago, I had just gotten out of my car in the parking lot of a World Market when my phone buzzed with a news alert. It was there, standing in the midst of concrete and cars, that I learned that Mary Oliver had died. My stomach sank, and I felt […]

Toward a more ‘generous intellect’

For me—an introvert who works in ministry—one of the most dreaded questions asked by an airplane seatmate is, “So what do you do?” As someone who works in a church, I usually cannot avoid my seatmates’ ensuing thoughts on Christianity, the Church, God, Zen Buddhism, sexual orientation, women in ministry, etc. It’s not that I … read more

A BBQ Even a Vegetarian Can Love

Lucy Strandlund is a Middler in the Master of Spiritual Formation program at Seminary of the Southwest.  Lucy and her husband Daniel come to the seminary from the Diocese of Alabama.

The Seminary of the Southwest’s BBQ Showdown benefitting Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) this past Saturday was a complete success. My first impression was amazement at how many new faces I saw. While it was a seminary event, it was truly a community affair. Professors, priests and seminarians mingled with neighbors and friends, some of whom traveled across the state of Texas to attend the BBQ. People biking or walking by had to stop and check it out. Kids jumped in the bounce house, ran around barefoot and greeted the farm animals in the petting zoo. Dogs sniffed hopefully at the air, and even the vegetarians found cornbread, several varieties of excellent coleslaw, and some delicious local brew. The live music was reason enough to have a good time; Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars make it hard not to kick up your boots and dance, whether or not you have BBQ sauce dripping from your chin.

Make Way for the Lord

Lucy Strandlund is in the Masters of the Arts in Spiritual Formation program and comes to Seminary of the Southwest from the Diocese of Alabama.

As I sat in church on Christmas Eve, my brain full of a semester’s worth of new Biblical Studies knowledge, I felt very distant from any Jesus who might be found sleeping in a wooden manger. In the two Gospels that mention the birth of Jesus, only one spends much time on the story of his infancy. To me, the Jesus of the Gospels is a grown man who meets us where we are but invites us to be more than we have been. So who is this little baby? Where is the challenging and radical man from the Bible? This baby can’t tell cryptic parables or invite sinners to dinner. I wondered what Christmas meant to me as someone who is very much fascinated by the adult Jesus.