My second day of class has come to an end and I’m back in my little home away from home. I’ve got all my readings done for the next couple days so I’m taking a little time to rest. It’s been a great few days. Friday through Sunday was orientation. I have an amazing cohort of 21 students. Wonderful people from all over the country; from Boston to Sacramento, Seattle and Miami. And they are really amazing people. There are Methodists and African Methodist Episcopal, a Seventh Day Adventist, some UCC folks and a smattering of different Baptist and congregational churches. I’m the only Lutheran! It’s actually quite nice to be completely out of my regular Lutheran, Midwest element. It’s good to have the experience of being an outsider, and feeling a bit like a fish out of water. It’s humbling and helpful.
I’m taking two classes: Violence and Leadership in the Old Testament. A course that is focused on working through violence in light of religious violence in the world currently and Introduction to Christian Leadership where we are focusing on our own individual assessments of our wellness, leadership, strengths and weakness. The readings have been terrific. I believe Brian posted my syllabus for you if you like to check it out.
I am grateful for the time to stop, reflect, read and listen. I would say already it’s been a transformative experience. I’ve had a chance to read some difficult Old Testament stories with one of the worlds best interpreters of the Old Testament, Ellen Davis. In our first day of class she interpreted the very difficult story of Abraham and Isaac as a story about trust between God and Abraham and a way of God learning to trust. We’ve spent some time talking with our cohort about our personal leadership strengths and weakness as viewed through the lens of pastor wellness.
So, tomorrow is day three of class. I’m looking forward to it. I am also, as you might expect, looking forward already to heading home. I love the opportunity to learn, and I can tell already that I will be anxious to return and see my new cohort friends in January. But, it is hot as anything down here and so humid!! I look forward to a little cooler, kinder Minnesota!
I have been keeping up on all the things happening at home. Thanks to Todd Biewen and our new call committee! I look forward to our next steps. Please keep me in your prayers as I hold you all in mine as well. See you soon!