I go back to seminary next week. Back to the frustrations I feel, to the inner conflict and the loneliness. But I also go back to the opportunity to learn — to discover new things about God, church, myself, and my brothers and sisters. I’m hoping to engage our worship professor in conversations about how we can do church in a new way while still reflecting my denominational heritage, teaching people about the word and administering the sacraments rightly. I’m also hoping to do some experiments in worship with my fellow students while I am there (if any of you read this and are interested, hit me up). I’m also going to look into how I can participate in morning prayer with the Episcopalians or maybe start doing it with my people.
I wish I was going back to a place that provided my colleagues and myself more opportunities to experiment with worship and with community. I wish I felt like my forays into spiritual discipline weren’t going to be solitary, but like they were encouraged and supported by the institution — best case scenario, that opportunities to deepen my spiritual life would be provided (and not by lectures. we have enough of those).
I wish I felt like there would be seminary, even classroom, conversations about the culture around us in Berkeley and how we could read it and engage with it — and how to apply that work to our lives wherever we end up.
I wish we would talk less about those outside the church and talk more to those outside the church. Because I want to fish the the ocean, not in a kiddie pool. And I can’t do that unless I understand what kind of fish there are out there, what they eat, how they swim, how to read the currents, and a bunch of other stuff I don’t even know I need to know. For now, I’m going to have to learn that on my own. Well, hopefully, some other folks will come along for the ride.
And, if nothing else, at least I get to have my dog with me this time :-).