Monthly Archives: September 2011
Disgust. Shock. Outrage. Our country is in mourning. Our nation is truly lost. We are in a whirlwind of emotional upheaval, a rollercoaster of spiritual destruction. The lead up to the execution of Troy Davis has awakened this country to the thriving injustices and deep systemic issues of racism that are alive and well in the U.S. today. Tuesday and Wednesday have been particularly emotional, as more and more Americans began to realize the validity and personal impact of the statement “I am Troy Davis.” Whether people cared about the death penalty or not prior to the last few days, weeks, months, or years, starting Thursday morning, this country woke up to a new world, one of pain, confusion, and a greater need for healing than in recent years.
As I was sitting in my Pastoral Care and Counseling course at Chicago Theological Seminary, Tuesday night, I was tormented by the mixed feelings of pain, anger, confusion, and helplessness that were racing through my head and heart. I brought it up to the class, asking, “how do we as future pastoral caregivers grapple with this layering of emotions not just as they affect an individual or family, but also a community, nation, or the entire world? How can we be effective faith leaders in times of pain and grief when we’re confronted with cases as complex as that of Troy Davis?” We grappled with these questions for nearly an hour, with times of silence and utter-speechlessness scattered throughout the difficult reflection. Read the rest of this entry
It has been awhile since my last post, partially because I have been experiencing so many new things and getting settled into my new home, new life, as a student at Chicago Theological Seminary. I moved into Disciples Divinity House on the 23rd of August, went on an orientation retreat with fellow first year students on the 25th, began classes last week, and have started to campus jobs, as well. This non-stop rush of excitement is, to say the least, the way I prefer things in my life. But, I pause to reflect briefly on each of them, to take a breath and be thankful for these new experiences that will shape my next few years of life in seminary and most surely my ministerial career.
The decision to apply and move into DDH has mainly Hattie and Amy Bertschausen to thank. My lovely girlfriend suggested I talk to her mom who lived in DDH when she was in seminary. So I did. It turns out this housing program is both affordable, but also rich in spiritual community, lovely amenities, and wonderful people. My room is nice and the shared facilities, which feels like a part of Hogwarts, makes me feel both comfortable, as well as overwhelmed by the historic nature of this building. The vast majority of the residents are University of Chicago Divinity School students, so they will not move in for another week. Read the rest of this entry