So, I have the opportunity to go to Africa in October for a conference. I don’t have the resources to do this currently, however, so if any of you feel called to help out with this, it would mean a lot. You can either send a check to the Cathedral with a note indicating it is for the seminarian’s trip to Africa, or you can use the GoFundMe link below or on the “Join our Journey” page.
This is the first in a series of posts from Anglican 1000, the Anglican Church in North America Church Planting Conference. (Pictures will be posted after the fact.)
Last Night, we had the opening Eucharist and sermon by Archbishop Duncan. This morning, we had Morning Prayer and some time to mill around and discuss things with each other and the various venders that are present. The group I’m traveling with made a special stop this morning, eating breakfast at Chik-Fil-A before we got to Church of the Resurrection, the parish in Wheaton, IL where the conference is being held.
Observations thus far:
1- ACNA seems to be incredibly Evangelical/Charismatic.
2- ACNA still ordains women as priests (in some dioceses) and deacons (some dioceses).
3- There are a lot of young people, both clerical and lay here. They probably outnumber older persons. Furthermore, the gathering seems to be very diverse, both in terms of gender and national origin.
Thus far, I have preached twice since entering Nashotah House, once in St. Mary’s Chapel and once at the local parish I am serving at. I am an introvert. Yet, I have found thus far that I really enjoy preaching. I first preached on Advent I (1979 lectionary, year C) and had several weeks of preparation time. My second sermon (Advent III, 1928 BCP) had a much shorter prep time, as it was at the bringing of the week leading up to final exams.
They were two distinct sermons, I think, and have been told. Advent I was more of a meditative sermon; in a way, it was my meditation on what Advent is and how that related to Christmas and Christ the King. On Advent III, I asked the congregation this question, “Why are you here?” and pointed out the fact that there is so much else that they could be doing. I asked them what it meant to be a “steward of the mysteries of God” (based upon the Epistle reading), and told them that the world needed to know why we were in “a small church outside of a big city”.
I wonder what some of the greatest preachers in history have thought of it. John Chrysostom was “the golden tongued”. What makes a sermon different from reading out of the lectionary? I, personally, am not to the point where I would be confident preaching ad libitum, rather than from a manuscript.
As part of our seminary formation, we are trained as preachers. Students preach in the chapel on a regular basis, are expected to preach during internships and Field Education, and take at least two classes on homiletics. I look forward to this.
Christ the Lord is born: O Come, let us adore him.
One of my classes this semester is Greek. Our aim is to have enough knowledge of Greek that we will be able to do basic exegesis, use a Concordance and dictionary, and be able to attempt further study of the language (as many students do in the following two semesters of Greek that are offered).
One of the first hurdles is learning the alphabet. The video below contains a song that we have used that has been quite helpful.
Church Music is another class with new skills to learn. We are learning the basics of keyboarding, as well as how to do Anglican Chant. While I don’t think we will do this in chapel:
we do do this three times a week:
This academic journey is complements a spiritual journey. Nashotah’s emphasis on formation finds us all in the Chapel twice a day for Morning Prayer, Mass, and Evensong. Every day. Even during weekends, summers, and times when students are not on campus, the Offices and Mass are said day in and day out. Nashotah breathes prayer. The Rosary is said twice a week by the Society of St. Mary. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is offered on Wednesday Nights for those who want to attend. Professors begin class with prayer. The Angelus rings three times a day. The Benedictine way of life, as I have said before, teaches us to serve our neighbor. Our work crew assignments take us out into our community, cleaning buildings or repairing gutters or painting fences. It was this last task I found myself doing today.
Here are a couple of pictures to show you various parts of Nashotah’s campus.
We stopped by the mailbox on our way to the grocery store today and discovered a very large, thick envelope from Nashotah. Contained therein was an enormous amount of information, some we were expecting and some we were not, but were nevertheless glad to receive. Our housing assignment for this fall and lease, as well as pet regulations, move-in tips, housing policies and similar documents made up a large part of the packet. The Greek Alphabet also received its own handout. Additionally, three books, which I am required to read, arrived as well. Other books, which are not required but are nevertheless suggested, were contained in a document from the faculty.
Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer is the first book. It is the story of Bonhoeffer’s experience with the men of an underground seminary in Nazi Germany.
Second and third are Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict and The Rule of St. Benedict in English. The first is a commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict, the pre-eminent rule among Western Monastics. The Rule has greatly impacted the way of life at The House, which is guided by daily prayer, daily study, and daily work. All are done as a community. See here for more information on Nashotah’s Benedictine Life.
I have a lot of reading to do before this fall, when I will surely have more and more reading to do.
Playing the waiting game is hard sometimes, especially when you don’t know what ‘s around the corner. I’m currently waiting for word about this fall. I have applied for admission to Nashotah House Theological Seminary, as an M.Div student. I have also applied for postulancy in the Diocese of the Holy Cross. Everything is in on both counts, we are simply waiting to find out where we will be this fall. Once we know that, we can begin to make preparations- reserving a moving van, registering our son for Kindergarten, packing. Right now, it’s just hurry up (the application process) and wait (waiting). So, we wait, and continue to go through life, waiting for God’s guidance, living out our lives as Christians and Parents as best we can.