Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Farewell my friend...

Jane E. Rowan
Feb. 27, 1948 to July 26, 2008

The news came Friday night as I was out in the City on a "Girl's Night Out." Jane, who I had asked for prayer back in February, had taken another turn for the worse. This time, the email said - it looked as though she would not make it through the night.

In the morning, when it appeared she had made it through my desire to believe that being the strong willed, "prove you all wrong" type of a person she was, she would show us all wrong and bounce back from this bout as well.

At around 8 p.m. that night my phone rang.

I knew who would be on the other end of the phone. I knew what she'd be telling me.

And I didn't want to hear it.

Jane passed at 6:47 p.m. Saturday July 26th. She was a gifted artist, writer, jack of all trades. Her pilgrimage on this earth was ecclectic - full of experiences, places, people and things that were wonderful and delightful in unique ways. One of the most incredible experiences that I remember from her was her journey and discovery of her birth mom and family. In the winter of 2006 I met her birth mom and sisters at her adopted mom's memorial service in Shelton, WA. Listening to their stories of finding and being found were amazing.

I'm still reeling from this. Not in an over emotional way, more shell shocked I guess. Of all the people who would battle something like this, I really believed she'd be the one to fly the finger in its face and prove doctors, hospitals and care centers all wrong.

Here's to you Jane. Myself and the other Mags will miss you dearly in this world. May you find yourself wrapped in the light and love of the Eternal Creator now and always.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Will I EVER Graduate?

Okay, I should be very happy that I am finally returning to seminary. After taking a much longer than I would have cared break, I am returning to Fuller's Menlo Park Campus. I met this morning with my advisor who sweetly broke the news to me that I have actually 8 units less than what I thought, and if I take only the desired amount of courses minus summer I will barely scoot out of Fuller before I "time" out at 10 years.

Can I tell you how frustrated I am? Yes, I know I have something that many seminarians don't have - a good, well respected ministry job that supports my return to seminary and provides me with an incredible learning experience at the same time. But 10 years? At the rate I'm going, my AARP card will come before my diploma in the mail!

Thus endeth the whining. On the way back to the house I did have to remember that there was a time gap in the mix so it isn't like I've been going to school for ten consecutive years. So in reality I will be taking about a year's extra time than the six years it takes to do the M.Div part time. Hey, I'm thankful there's a part time program! If there wasn't I'd never be able to return to school. I think the challenge for me is that I so want to just move foward with the desire for ordained ministry, and the knowledge that I do have a support base that is encouraging me to move towards this goal. The blessing of being in a secure employment (as much as anyone can say that in these challenging times) is that I won't have to take another loan out for school; and I will have some positive ministry experience to put down towards my CV when it comes time for my first call.

I guess in the long run I'm doing better than I see things on paper. Relationships, Experience and Education. All happening at the same time. Okay, I can live with that.

The Fall's schedule will be auditing Greek it's been way too long since I've had a nervous break out over parsing the Greek for proxeuxesthe and please don't email to correct the transliteration - that just goes to show you why my tukus needs to be in a seat beginning in October. Turns out you can audit a language as long as you're enrolled in class and have already taken the language and need a brush up. I'm also signing up for Gospels. Then from there if I'm reading the schedule I'll be filling up the year with homiletics, Reformed Church history, NT Exegesis, Preaching and a designated course to be named at a later date for the summer. And.. I'm toying with the idea that somewhere in this I'll do my final internship. I must have misunderstood the number of hours - I took the long 300 hours internship and thought there was only a 100 hour one left that can be done in one quarter, but apparantly it's not so - and I have yet another 300 hour internship left - if anyone is reading this from Pasadena am I totally nuts or was there at one time a 100 and 300 hour practicum?

So all in all - good news: back in school. Less than awesome news: may need a walker to get across the platform for my diploma. But still will have over 30 years to be an ordained minister. Guess it's all how you look at it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why We Do What We Do

It's 9 p.m. Nope, it's actually 9:15 p.m. I'm trying to get my thoughts down before I finally exit the church building that I've been in since approximately 7:30 this morning. Tonight we just completed our Ice Cream Social event of VBS. We had a wonderful turnout of both volunteers, parents and their children. And now the youth who just will NOT leave this church (what a problem to have huh?) are in the youth room with their leaders, stereo blasting getting ready to play a game of sardines. I am blown away with how wonderful our VBS program is. I have been blessed by two very dedicated, highly organized and amazing women who have put together this program for the last three years. And each year we raise the bar higher than the previous years excellence. Add to that wonderful base delightful men and women who take time off of their work schedules, take vacations to help lead stations and be support staff; youth who go to swim practice at 7:00 in the morning so they can arrive on time to lead their crew and the go off to summer jobs after they leave us; and a community who provides us with unusual items such as 25 pounds of corn starch, leaf blowers, ice cream and other items to bring the message of the gospel to our kids in experiences they'll relate to. I am really aware that in addition to our annual Building Bridges event, VBS is one of our primary outreach events to the community around us.