MAY 21 - JUNE 3
Letter to the Editor Dear colleagues at the SEMI,
On behalf of the Hispanic Center and the Spanishspeaking students at Fuller I want to thank you for the recent English-Spanish bilingual issue of the SEMI. The editorial staff at the SEMI has worked hard this year to publish two bilingual issues representing the languages in which Fuller offers degrees (Korean, Spanish and English).
When one decides to work in a multilingual environment translation mistakes and linguistic misunderstandings are inevitable. Most of the time we laugh (or get angry) at the mistakes, depending on what was misstated. But in the recent English-Spanish issue the mistakes were concentrated in one place, one of the author´s names. Verónica Ann Castañeda´s name was published with three mistakes. Though clearly a mistake, mangling a minority
person´s name raises issues experienced by many people in the US that do not have “American” names.
Since name is identity, these types of mistakes often create confusion and pain. Some make peace with this by “anglosizing” their names or adding an “English” name to their given name. Parents that speak a language other than English at home will often give their US born children two names, one in their native language and another one in English. But some of us change our names as a way to fit in the in the US. The subconscious assumption behind this response is often that “Americans” cannot (or will not) learn to properly pronounce one´s given name, so why bother? But many of us born in the US have also experienced having teachers or other people in authority want to
“Americanize” our names or mangle them in such a way that we are not sure who we are. The message clearly has been that our given name, our identity, does not fit “here.” That is why so many issues came together when the SEMI misspelled Verónica´s name in an issue that intended to build bridges between students from different linguistic backgrounds. One mistake would have been seen as a typo that happens to anyone. But three mistakes felt like a mangling, however unintentional.
I want to encourage the SEMI to continue to publish multilingual issues. But I hope that we can work together so that we make different types of mistakes the next time around. Dios les bendiga.
Juan Martínez Academic Director, Hispanic Center
Semi Credits Legal Jargon The SEMI is published bi-weekly as a service to the Fuller community by the Office of Student Affairs. Articles and commentaries do not necessarily reflect the views of the Fuller administration or The SEMI.
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On Writing Fuller
Papers By Jennifer Shaw One afternoon, as I was sitting in the Westmont College library during my open appointment hours as a writing tutor, a fellow student sat down across from me, placed a few rumpled sheets of paper on the table between us, and asked me to “wave my magic wand,” by which I assume he meant the ballpoint pen in my hand. Sadly, there is no magic wand in the world of academic and professional writing. There are, however, guidelines that can serve to demystify the writing process and, if followed, improve the quality of written work. Following are ten such guidelines based on my experience and that of Writing Consultants working with students within the Fuller community. Understand the expectations
The first step in academic and professional writing is establishing the expectations for what you are going to write. Standards for academic and professional writing differ from those of less formal forms of written communication. Different written assignments–e.g., research papers, book
reviews, exegetical papers, personal reflections, The SEMI articles, etc.–require different styles of writing. The best method for determining the required content and form for your written assignments is simply this: carefully read through syllabi, guidelines, rubrics, sample papers, and any additional resources provided regarding your written work. Revisit these resources as you write in order to ensure that your paper is meeting the expectations of the assignment. If the syllabus states that your final paper’s introduction should be 100300 words, your final paper’s introduction should be 100-300 words. If the rubric lists class lectures as one of the items to be discussed in your critical analysis paper, discuss class lectures in your critical analysis paper. If you are writing for a publication (like The SEMI), read material previously published in it to learn what writing styles the editors expect and accept. Or simply ask. Use formal language
The style and vocabulary used in blogs,
emails, diaries, and other forms of informal writing are typically not appropriate for academic and professional work. While much informal writing is explicitly personal (e.g. I will email you later about when we’ll be there), personal pronouns typically have no place in academic writing. Unless you are specifically asked to write from personal experience, “I” statements are incorrect and unnecessary. (Drop “I believe” before an assertion and see how much stronger it becomes.) Informal language also frequently employs colloquial (e.g. “gonna,” “bummed,” “psyched”) or idiomatic (“cut to the chase,” “get over it,” “without a doubt”) expressions that do not belong in academic papers. Formal language in academic papers is also inclusive (e.g. use “humankind,” not “mankind”) Be direct
While rhetorical subtly and poetic language are important elements in creative writing, they are often hindrances in academic and professional written work. In other words, get right to the point throughout your paper. For shorter papers, place your thesis in the first paragraph and then move on. Remove paragraphs and sentences that do not advance your argument. Delete unnecessary words (including qualifiers like “somewhat,” “very,” “obviously,” etc.). Every word, sentence, paragraph, and page must justify its existence in your written work. If you cannot explain why it needs to be there, take it out. Do your research
All written work requires research of some type – whether discovering books in the library on a given topic, or confirming that your sources for an article are reliable, or searching your own memory for examples upon which to reflect. Any argument you make needs evidence to support it. Research involves finding, structuring, and articulating that evidence, joining your voice to a discussion in which the sources you engage speak with one another. This
requires that you listen to them carefully in order to understand them. Do not simply quote your sources, explain what they are saying and why it matters. Do not assume that what one source states about another is accurate: find and cite the primary source. Have a solid argument in mind when you begin your research, and be open to the changes in that argument that research brings. Prove it matters
Effective writing engages the reader; in academic work, this means making a persuasive argument regarding a topic that you show to be significant. An argument is a well-reasoned and evidentially supported demonstration of why your claim makes sense and therefore should be taken seriously. An argument is not an observation or an assertion. An observation notes a fact or occurrence (“Gnosticism was refuted by Irenaeus”). An assertion makes a claim without explanation or evidential support (“Gnosticism was bad”). An argument explains why and presents evidence (“Gnosticism threatened the early Church because it employed Christian language to make heretical claims”). Academic papers must not only address the what, but also the why. Articulate your thesis A thesis statement is a single sentence that states the point you are going to make in your written work. As such, it establishes the content and the structure of your paper, as well as the expectations of your readers. Clearly articulating what you are going to argue (content) and how your argument will unfold (structure) is fundamental to producing effective academic papers, whether they are explicitly thesis-driven (e.g., research or critical analysis) or not (e.g., personal reflection, book review). Every academic paper requires a thesis statement.
Structure your writing Creating an outline at the beginning of your research and writing process is an effective method for ensuring that your paper clearly articulates and substantiates your argument. Outlining your written work enables you to organize supporting evidence logically and ensure that all your evidence is relevant to your argument. It helps prevent you from following lines of research that are irrelevant to your topic and from writing material that is extraneous to your argument. It allows you to break larger papers into smaller sections, and then determine how much time and how many words you need for each section. While there are various techniques for crafting an outline, your outline should be built on the basic three-part structure for academic papers: introduction, body, and conclusion. Communicate your intentions The thesis statement establishes the argument you are going to make in your paper; the body of your paper makes that argument by presenting supporting evidence in a logical and cohesive order. How you determine that order depends on the type of paper you are writing; it might be guided by historical chronology, research topics, the structure of source material, etc. Whatever ordering structure you use, employ it consistently throughout your paper, and clearly indicate when you are moving from one section of your paper to the next. Topic sentences for each paragraph in the body of your paper are essential for smoothing these transitions and for establishing how each paragraph is going to support your argument. Having thus established and met the expectations of your readers, the conclusion of your paper states how those expectations were met. Check your work
The first draft of a paper is not the final draft of a paper. When you have completed writing your paper, ask yourself these questions: Is my thesis clear? Does my evidence support my thesis? Does my
argument make sense? Do I have clear transitions between paragraphs? Is my paper balanced between my words and the supporting research I quoted or paraphrased? Are there any areas of my paper where I can be more specific, provide another example, or remove material that does not improve my argument? Does my paper meet all the requirements? Work on your paper until you are satisfied with the answers to these questions. Then move on to proofreading. Put your paper away for a few days (or at least a few hours), and read it with fresh eyes. Read your paper out loud, which will slow you down enough for you to notice things you did not see before. Use the spell check feature of your word processor, but do not assume it will catch all your errors (“there” is spelled correctly even if it should have been “their”). Check for proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Refer to the appropriate manual to ensure that you have cited your sources correctly. Do not let minor mistakes flaw an otherwise solid paper. Ask for help
If you have read all the materials provided regarding your written work, and you still do not understand what is expected, contact the professor, teaching assistant, editor, or whomever the appropriate person might be, and ask. Do this before you start writing and while you still have time to change direction based on the answers you receive. If you want to learn more about how to write effective academic and professional papers, contact the Writing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. We do not have “magic wands,” but we are available to help you do the actual, non-magical, sometimes difficult, and often rewarding work of academic and professional writing. Jennifer Shaw (MDiv in Christian Ethics, 2013) is the Managing Editor of the Fuller Writing Center and a pastoral intern at Trinity Lutheran Church. She holds a Master of Arts in English from California State University, Northridge and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Westmont College.
The Semi Presents
Self-Care By Denise Duke
Prior to my move from Texas, I was serving in full-time junior high youth ministry and taking classes at the Houston regional campus. I felt stretched too thin and couldn’t give adequate attention to ministry, school, or myself. When I made the decision to transition to the main campus in Pasadena, I expected Fuller to be a place of learning but also a place of encouragement, affirmation, and advocacy for self-care in and out of the classroom. Upon my arrival, I realized a different story is taking place when some professors push students with words such as “sleeping is for the dead,” “you can’t die from sleep deprivation,” and “I don’t give grace.” The purpose of this article is not to castigate the seminary but to encourage the school to move forward and encourage students to recognize the significance of caring for one’s self during this time in seminary. As students make preparations to serve
focusing on the spiritual (if we were the spiritual type).
in the various ministry fields, it is wise to practice self-care. The habits formed during this phase of life will impact us as Christian leaders.
Israelites walked towards the Promised Land, God continued to provide manna to eat. In Matt. 14, Jesus fed thousands of people from what appeared to be a limited amount of bread and fish.
When I decided to write about self-care I quickly learned that there was very little written towards the uniqueness of the seminary student. As we look at pastors who are in the spotlight, it appears that the media continues to shine light on those facing charges for financial fraud or struggling with sexual addiction, infidelity, and addictions. If a greater emphasis given to self-care before people began their ministry, maybe these tragedies could be prevented from occurring. The most common approach to self-care, the prevention of burnout, suggests people can deplete their resources. As Christians, we cannot buy into this idea. Throughout scripture we are shown that God provides abundantly. While the
“. . . a distinct split between the head and the heart.”
During my undergrad program, each student was required to take a health and wellness class where the professor touched on the importance of nutritious eating, exercise, and getting enough sleep. The predominant focus was the care of our bodies. When I began a master’s degree in counseling, our first introductory course dealt with ways we, as counselors, could prevent burnout by setting boundaries, taking care of our bodies, seeing our own therapist, being honest with ourselves, and
A different perspective, suggested by Sally Canning, compares our self-care to the way many people handle money. We are abundantly filled with gifts and resources but must “engage in stewardship over our lives, resources, and responsibilities God has graciously entrusted to us (Canning 71). In other words, we need to actively manage the valuable resources that God has given to us. This idea sounds great, but what wisdom can seminary
students gain from it? As students begin classes they may grapple with theological deconstruction. The cognitive dissonance may cause emotional turmoil and lead them to question everything, including the existence of God. Fuller needs to provide a safe place for discussions and support to guide students through this process of relearning. Another concern is the cost of seminary, especially in California. Some may encounter financial strain and difficulty finding a job, while others are concerned with how they are going to pay off their
During the preparation to become spiritual leaders it is essential devote time to personal discipleship and growing in relationship with God individually and with community. It can be daunting to find a local church because we are trained to analyze and critique theology and ministries. When we lack community and pastoral leadership, there is greater risk of apathy in our spiritual walk. Although the school offers spiritual guidance with oncampus chaplains, Fuller needs to connect more with local pastors and encourage students to participate in a church community.
“Instead of aching, we help those who ache.”
student loans after graduation. In Matt. 6, Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow. The reality is, however, that students are concerned about their financial situation and how they can pay their bills. Fuller needs a support system in place to assist students in learning how to cope with the uncertainty of finances and to make wise biblical decisions about money. When people reflect on their call to ministry, they often communicate a desire to help others. Sometimes this aspiration is a response to the difficult situations they encountered previously. In Necessary Losses, Judith Viorst explains, “A defense against loss may be a compulsive need to take care of other people. Instead of aching, we help those who ache” (32). It would be wise for each person to address psychological concerns and focus on healing from past experiences as he or she treads through seminary and ministry.
In the midst of all the challenges students contend with, it becomes enticing to concentrate solely on academics while forgoing self-awareness. Donald Hands and Wayne Fehr, co-authors of Spiritual Wholeness for Clergy, argue that “the core cause of being unaware of his or her needs is the lack of a real personal relationship with God. It is easy for one to operate out of a false self which leads to a greater concern about pleasing others, rather than honoring God. Often times, the person who struggles with this is well educated in theology, leading to a distinct split between the head and heart (Hands and Fehr 13). Seminarians need to be honest when doing a spiritual self-check. When people take the time to dive into intimate relationship with God by listening, they will be guided to what personal needs are not being met and to discern the next steps towards self-care.
As the focus on academics becomes more prominent it becomes apparent that the lack of interest in self-care is reflected in the absence of published works and in Fuller’s curriculum. Although the Office of Student Affairs has taken great strides in working with students, I’ve heard numerous stories of the staff seeking out people who they have heard are in crisis. I believe it is the responsibility of the institution to begin the discussion of self-care before students reach the point in which they cannot cope. The seminary needs to be proactive in providing a required program for all students to address spirituality and self-care.
Canning, Sally. Out of Balance: Why I Hesitate to Practice and Teach Self-care. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 30 no 1. Spring 2011. p70-74. Hands, Donald, and Wayne Fehr. Spiritual Wholeness for Clergy: a New Psychology of Intimacy with God, Self, and Othes. Washington, DC: Alban Institute, 1993 Viorst, Judith. Necessary Losses. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986.
Denise Duke (M.Div, 2013) spent seven years serving in junior high youth ministry. She is half way through the M.Div program with an emphasis in Recovery Ministries. She doesn’t like rainy days and wants it to be socially acceptable to not wear shoes.
Busy, Broke, and
Burdened By Anna Vredenburgh
and Kyle Shevlin
When Randall approached us in the library to write an article about dating at Fuller Seminary, we were both a little dumbfounded. We had only been dating for four months and certainly did not see ourselves as being able to speak for all couples at Fuller. We both looked at each other and asked, “What the heck are we going to write about?”
Kyle spends many hours recording and producing his music and Anna spends hours editing photos and painting. We are both creative people and recognize that our processes require time apart.
But as you see, after discussing the article, we came up with a few things that we wanted to share with the community at Fuller. We have recognized a number of challenges that come from being graduate students and developing a relationship. Specifically, issues regarding time, money, and our futures seem most pertinent. We recognize that the difficulties we face probably occur to many of you, so we want to offer our story. Perhaps some of our experiences will resonate with you.
Of the three difficulties, time is probably the hardest for both of us. As Fuller students, we often mock “the love languages,” but for the two of us, it’s no joke. Both of us are “quality time” lovers, which creates a lot of stress and tension in our relationship when there simply is not enough time to devote to it. This past quarter, Kyle had morning classes and worked at night. Anna had night classes and worked in the afternoon. This left very little time to see each other, and when we did, we were both exhausted. We made the best of it, but we both agree, it was not always “quality” time. On top of that, we both have ongoing personal projects that take up even more time.
Now this would not be so bad if we lived together. We would see each other more often. In the morning. At meals. At night. But for now, as an unmarried couple, we have to try and make do with the limited windows of time we have. In fact, sometimes we lament the fact that we are Christians and must submit ourselves to cultural norms, biblical standards and the Fuller Seminary Code of Conduct while dating. If we were a secular couple, we would simply solve our “time” issues by moving in together. Yet we are not a secular couple. We are Christians, attending seminary, and doing our best to date faithfully, despite the inherent obstacles of our lives.
We are broke. We realize that most people at Fuller are and understand that it is a common experience among graduate students; however, that does not lessen the difficulty it poses to our relationship.
Now, we should preface this section by pointing out that we both share similar values when it comes to finances. We are both rather frugal and both put a lot of thought into how we spend our money. We talk about our expenses and how our financial decisions affect both our present and our future. Yet as we practice frugality, we have become aware of the fact that we face financial difficulties as an unmarried couple that
married couples do not. Life together is cheaper than life apart. Because we do not live together and are not married, we have double the expenses on rent, utilities, insurance, and even furniture (e.g. two beds instead of one). Since we live in different towns, one of us has to spend money on gas in order to see the other. We even face difficulties at the bank. For instance, Annaâ€™s bank charges fees for not maintaining a high enough average balance; however, if we had a joint bank account, this would be a non-issue because of our combined incomes. Simply put, there are ways that we could save money that Christianity does not allow. This affects us personally and theologically. Personally, we do not go on as many dates as we would like, nor buy each other gifts as often as we might like to. Our budgets will not allow it. For example, we chose to skip Christmas this past year rather than add another financial burden. Theologically, we are torn between an unclear vision of biblical marriage and a Western church culture obsessed with legalistic moralism. As we have read Scripture together, we have noticed that there is a great discrepancy between the construct of marriage today and marriage as presented by the Bible. We understand marriage in Scripture to be more of an economic institution rather than an institution of emotional commitment. Hence, we concern ourselves with the economic implications of our unmarried relationship, while the rest of the Church is overly concerned with whether or not we have sex before a wedding ceremony. In other words, the Church is too concerned with marriage in terms of chastity, when we are
concerned with marriage in terms of economic stewardship.
There is a great difference between couples who come to seminary together and individuals who become couples while in seminary. Couples who are married have done the work of choosing a path for their relationship. They have made decisions as a couple and worked to maintain their lives together. Seminary becomes a destination for both people on a joint journey. However, as singles, we both came to Fuller with separate agendas and individual goals. These were considered without the other in mind. How could we? Now, as we continue to move forward with our relationship, we have the difficulty of shaping these two visions into one. Sometimes this is easy. Though Anna is an SIS student and Kyle an MAT student, neither of us wishes to work abroad. Geographically, we agree that we want to live in the United States and do ministry here. However, sometimes picturing this melding of futures is much more difficult. Kyle wants to combine his passions for church and music, while Anna wants to combine her passions for youth and art. Finding jobs in both these fields in the same city might not be possible. One might have to sacrifice their goals for the other. How do we choose which one of us gives up their dreams? We have both worked so hard to get here. Neither of us wishes to our work to have been in vain.
Blessed We both realize alliteration can be pretty lame, but it seemed fitting to end with another “b” word. All complaints and difficulties aside, we recognize that we are blessed. Trust us that when we say we are blessed, we do not mean this in any cheesy manner. We do not mean for it to sound like a blanket statement of God’s goodness and faithfulness to us as a couple. Rather, we genuinely believe that we are blessed because so much good has come from this relationship. Perhaps the greatest good to come out of this relationship has been the astounding growth in our own self-confidences. Both of us have become much more secure in who we are as individuals as we have grown together as a couple. We both came into this relationship with fears that somehow we would have to change or alter ourselves in order to fit into someone else’s life or, for that matter, to be loved. Yet, remarkably, this hasn’t been the case. Instead, we have found that we can be our true selves around each other, even to the point of being ridiculous. For example, Anna is a closet nerd and Kyle is a pretty big dork; rather than be ashamed of these attributes, we have grown to proudly flaunt them in front of each other. It is not uncommon to hear one of us tease the other about being a nerd or a dork because we have embraced these qualities in the other since the start of our relationship. The ability to be something in front of each other that might warrant embarrassment in front of others is a huge blessing. And we really do mean “in front of others.”
Another great blessing has been the community of friends that have established here at Fuller, both as singles and now as a couple. Our friends are a great support group for us and give us advice and encouragement as we continue to develop our relationship. We both believe that community plays an important role in relationships and can only be thankful for the community that plays a part in ours.
In closing, we want to encourage and bless all the singles and couples at Fuller. There are difficult challenges and great blessings for both. We personally know this. Because we know this, we pray that each of you is able to find the relationships, platonic or romantic, necessary to encourage and support you. Lastly, while we recognize we are no experts, we want to extend ourselves to anyone who wants to talk about relationships and dating at Fuller. You can probably find us goofing off somewhere around campus.
Kyle Shevlin is a 2nd year MAT student and part of the leadership team at One Voice Church in Pasadena. He is also a singer/songwriter and producer, hoping to work bivocationally as a pastor and musician. Kyle enjoys all creative projects and hopes to develop relationships and communities to foster the collaboration of artists working in different mediums. He and Anna have been dating since October of 2011. Anna Vredenburgh is a second year SIS student, graduating in 2013. She is studying to work with at-risk youth. Along with her studies, she is pursuing photography and other artistic endeavors. Anna hopes to combine her passion for art with her desire to serve youth in America once she is finished with her studies. She and Kyle have been dating since October 2011.
A day when the
Light switch Is taped on by Lincoln Moore
Through a streetside game of charades, they convinced him to follow them home. My roommate Ian was not religious and sometimes felt out of place living in Jerusalem, a town that demanded some type of religious commitment.That night he felt particularly out of place when the couple approached him. The man in his wide brimmed black hat, long beard, and simple black suit. The woman in her ankle and wrist length dress with her hair hidden beneath the same widows peak wig that all the other religious women wore. When Ian walked in, he found the Sabbath table laid out with Challah, wine, and enough food to serve the six kids and two grandparents around the table. All were illuminated by nothing but the Sabbath candles and a rectangle of light from the streetlamps coming through the window. Instinctively, he hit the light and immediately felt self conscious about flipping switches in someone else’s house. This washed away as the room went up in applause and laughter. Ian had unwittingly done precisely what he had been invited to do and the family was singing in celebration.
The Sabbath laws in Judaism are complex and Ian had walked into a situation in which two specific rules were at play: you may not start a fire on the Sabbath (Ex 35:3), and you may not ask an alien in your land to break the Sabbath (Deut 5:14). At first glance, there may not seem to be any chance of breaking the first rule. There’s no flame, no flint, and no heat involved. However, as science has developed, Torah interpretation has worked to respond and guide spiritual practice. The closing of a circuit can lead to an arc of electricity and the rabbis have decided that this spark constitutes the making of a minuscule flame and therefore, the turning on and off of electrical fixtures is not a suitable Sabbath activity. This made the interaction with Ian a little tricky. Being a resident
alien in the land, they could not directly ask him to do any work - like flipping a switch - so they simply invited him to their house to see if he would turn on the light of his own accord. Fortunately he did. The family Ian offered a seat at the table but he had to get home. They offered him a bottle of wine - they opened the fridge to pull it out, Ian saw that the light switch was rigged to always be in the “on” position to keep from igniting any sparks - but he didn’t drink. Ian said his goodbyes and made his way up the mountain to our apartment. -----------------------------------------
The church in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has done some serious misinterpretation of Jesus’ teaching on the Sabbath. To be more precise, we have allowed the desire for the acquisition of wealth and power - more recently replaced by the fear of losing them - to dominate what Jesus is showing us about the importance of a weekly day of rest. Where he says that the Sabbath is made for humanity and not humanity for the Sabbath, we have been too ready to think that this means we can do away with the Sabbath when it becomes inconvenient. We need to understand instead that Jesus is showing us that the Sabbath is God’s divine order for our lives and when we myopically overwhelm ourselves with regulations and religious responsibilities, the day of rest becomes work and ceases to be part of God’s plan. However, the Sabbath is not some trifling bit of religious artifact for us to dispose of on the altar of convenience.
The recent economic downturn has resulted in a number of cost cutting measures by employers. A lot of these ‘costs’ have been people. Not only do these cuts result in turmoil for these people’s family, but they also place new burdens
on those who remain employed. While in Detroit for the past few years, I found myself often talking about ‘those fortunate to have jobs’ and waxing whimsical about the days of a 40 hour work week. The minimal expectation now is 50 to 60 hours, which we gladly work because if we don’t produce, someone else will.
One interpretation of the Sabbath is that it is a day to refill, a day to recharge our batteries so that we can attack the coming week all the harder. Abraham Heschel counters this way of thinking in the book The Sabbath by saying, To the Biblical mind, however, labor is the means toward an end, and the Sabbath as a day of rest, as a day from abstaining from toil, is not for the purpose of recovering one’s lost strength
forced into the rhythm by the simple fact that nothing was open from sundown Friday through sundown Saturday. Friday afternoon was marked by frantic meal planning and grocery shopping in the nearby overrun markets. Not being committed to meticulous attention to the requirements of the law, we would cook during the evening and then share a meal together. Saturday was a day to be available to your friends and for waking up at whichever hour it was that you awoke. After stumbling into the Sabbath, I found that living in its rhythms felt like coming home. I counted the days to the Sabbath, planned with my friends as to how we would celebrate, and welcomed the Sabbath like a dear friend. Later Jewish mystical tradition calls the Sabbath a
It’s not a day off, it’s a day the lights are rigged “on.” and becoming fit for the forthcoming labor. The Sabbath is a day for the sake of life. Man is not a beast of burden, and the Sabbath is not for the purpose of enhancing the efficiency of his work. [The Sabbath] is not an interlude but the climax of living! It’s not a day for refilling our batteries. It’s the day in which you are freed from toil, when you are most like what God made you to be. It’s not your day off. It’s the day that the lights are rigged “on.” It’s peace, righteousness, and joy drawing together in what becomes sanctified time. And again, you can’t refill your batteries. No closing circuits, please. I have recently begun an intentional Sabbath practice. It was born out of my time living in Jerusalem and being
bride and as the sun sets on Friday, they would celebrate her arrival as if it were a wedding day. Speaking to Jerusalem they say, “Shake off your dust, arise! Put on your glorious garments, my people, and pray: “Be near my soul, and redeem it through the son of Jesse, the Bethlehemite. Come, my friend, to meet the bride; let us welcome the Sabbath.” The Sabbath is a wedding day every week. The return of the Beloved. I came back to America and promptly gave up the rhythm. The lights were too dazzling and the demands on my time too alluring. And here I am. After five years of knowing there is a better way and choosing to ignore it, I’m trying again. And I’m terrible at it. My postmodern
heart balks at the codified system which observant Jews use to govern life on the Sabbath. Its rigors and strictures don’t seem compatible with true rest. So I am left to hear how others have lived in the Sabbath and then decide for my own what the Sabbath means and how I will engage it. Heschel argues that Judaism differs from other religions in that it places emphasis on Sanctified Time as opposed to Sanctified Space. He writes, “The day of the Lord is more important to the prophets than the house of the Lord.” Launching from here, I have decided to set myself a few ground rules for the day of rest.
1. Pick a day. Make it Holy. 2. Do no work. Make no money. 3. Do not write or read for class. 4. No chores. No cleaning. 5. Sabbath has to happen in community.
I fail weekly at nearly all of these rules, but without question, the most difficult is the last. There is very little interest in the strict lines the Sabbath demands. The day of rest is seen as an interesting anachronism, but we blindly fail to see the ways in which a day separated from the other days as different can have any bearing in a world in which work, church, and social demands are constantly besieging our time through the beeping, chirping pieces of technology which we carry with us at all times. Our technology has annihilated space and because of it we have lost any semblance of sanctified time because through it we can be reached anytime through it. The response that I have ranged from people thinking me quaint to crazy. Some have expressed jealousy. The assumption being that the only person who can do
Sabbath simply has nothing better to do. While the Sabbath brings with is a sense of peace and coming into order with the grain of the Creation, I have found my desire to achieve and excel and possess chafing at what it sees as laziness. Refusing to work one out of every seven hours that I am awake feels wasteful. I wake up every Sunday with a to do list in my head and then must choose to forget it. Some weeks are better than others. The question I would pose to you is what keeps you from the Sabbath? For me, it is fear. Fear that God is not enough. Fear that God is not actually in the business of being in my life. Fear of nothing but zeroes in my checking account. Fear that people will think that I am lazy. To do the Sabbath, you are going to have to be okay with getting lapped by the Joneses. Depending on the rigor that you choose to engage, you might end up with a stranger in your house hoping that they will turn the light on and while we might scoff at that one practice, we must also be aware of the great power that simplicity can have in revealing those things which truly matter. The rediscovery of the Sabbath has been part of Christ’s continuing act of salvation in my life. Through knowing Jesus, I see the places where my sin has me trying to cut against the grain of Creation. My lines are still so jagged but as they are brought into alignment, I see the blessings of God become more clearly and life as I should live it becomes slightly less confounding. ---------------------------------------For all of the foreignness in the story of Ian and the religious family we should remember it ends with a moment of unanticipated joy. With a group of people joining together to celebrate something for which they had no reason to hope. I don’t know of a better way to describe the wooing love of God than that. Lincoln Moore wants to sabbath with you and is free to talk about it on Sundays. He is from Detroit.
Always Starting Over
Somewhere To Begin
By Samantha Curley
“For last year’s words belonged to last year’s courage, and next year’s words await another voice.” -T.S. Eliot
I have a friend, Carrie, who finds the perfect words for every occasion: a new job, a breakup, a birthday, when someone is feeling sick or down or just needing a pick-me-up. Carrie is a gifted journalist and we are really more friends-of-friends than actually friends ourselves. But Carrie and I share some sort of soul connection - like we see the world with similar eyes, hearing its sounds and carrying its weight in a similar fashion. Maybe you have a friend like that. I hope you do.
in them from a distance, knowing I was where I was supposed to be and so, with contentment, celebrating that unique mix of fear, adrenaline, and hope in the lives of those who left. And I got really good at the staying part - hosting friends, doing airport pickups, and squeezing in coffee dates as people came back “home” to visit. And then it was my turn.
I apologize in advance because this is the stuff of a bad made-for-TV movie. After a complicated break-up up with the first boy (purposeful word choice) I had fallen in love with after almost a year of talking about and expecting to get married. He
I’ll admit it, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. It was this T.S. Eliot quote that was scribbled on the card Carrie gave me at my going away celebration a month ago as I was on the verge of packing what I could fit of my life into my Prius and heading 2,000 miles west to a new land of ocean, mountain, and seminary.
I’ve spent my entire life in Chicago, growing up, going to college, and working my first job in its suburbs. After graduating college, I stayed and watched my nearest and dearest friends slowly move further and further away, eventually ending up dispersed all over the country. Between that and working for Young Life, I became the one who stayed, saying goodbye as friends ventured into new seasons and new places. Change, movement, adventure. Those are things I did (and still do) believe in. But I believed
very quickly started dating someone else. But not just anyone. She was my new roommate, close friend, and co-worker. I will spare you all the soap-opera details (like how the three of us had to keep doing ministry together for the next six months and how I’m his younger sister’s god-mother and how his parents were my Young Life Committee Chairs), but needless to say, I found myself in an alltogether unbearable context in which to exist. And so, after years of being the one who stayed, I left. Now don’t worry, I prayed about it. I talked to a counselor and mentors and friends. I was already taking classes through Fuller part-time so it wasn’t a completely arbitrary or reactionary decision. Fast-forward through several going away parties, painful goodbyes,
gifts, cards, moving boxes, and a crosscountry road trip, and I now have a 91101 zip code.
In Tommy Givens New Testament class, he constantly drills into our heads that there is no pure race, no direct lineage in any genealogy. And the genealogy, the familytree so to speak, of Christ is no exception. His is a very crooked line of messy, deep, and unexpected relationships. As such, the Gospels evoke more than just a bloodline; they tell the story of a people. I believe this is true of our stories as well as the Story.
the few short years I spend here that will make any difference or provide any sort of clarity? Am I actually going somewhere? Am I almost there? And how will I know when I find it? Is anyone going with me? Whether, like me, you have only recently arrived or you are soon to depart, isn’t life just an amalgamated string of new ‘years’, new starts, and next steps for all of us? To what end? Doesn’t the hard reality of life (and basically the entire book of Ecclesiastes) tell us that “there’s nothing new under the sun,” that it’s all “vapor” or “chasing after the wind”?
I pulled into Fuller with a hopeful expectaction for something new. Whatever mess or crookedness or unexpected divergence the path of your life took to bring you to this place: career ambitions, career re-adjustments, broken hearts, new marriages, hopes, dreams, tears, or fears, they have somehow resulted in the uprooting of your life to this sunny, wayward California country. For a new start. A second wind. Another voice. And the gnawing questions at the pit of my stomach, the ones I can’t shake no matter where I am (as Confucius said, “No matter where you go, there you are”), those questions that deviously loom in the back corner of my mind, the ones I will only allow to flutter into consciousness for mere moments at a time for fear of ending up in a pathetic pile of hopelessness and anxiety, are: So what? What’s the point? Why did I leave? What in the world do I expect to happen in
I’ll admit it, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I don’t even know what degree I want to get. I hardly know what I like (other than maybe cooking, movies, and big dinner tables) or what I’m good at, let alone what I’m hoping to do after being handed a diploma. And I know there are “resources” and people I can talk to about all of this. And I have, and I do. And I believe what they tell me. I trust that there’s purpose in me being here and that this is some dot in the zoomedout picture of my life that I will see more clearly with hindsight. But all I want is some clue to which dot it is, or what lines will emerge from it, or what kind of image it will evoke and hope you can relate to this ever-looming pile of angst that I speak of. If not, I apologize for the introduction.
The more balanced reality, the one I’d tell you about in my lighter (I’ll resist adding “better”) moments, is that I pulled into Fuller a weary traveler with hopeful expectation for something new, ready to shed a few layers of what was, in preparation for whatever will clothe me here. I’ve also come carrying a heavy burden of loss, arriving with hurts and grief (and guilt) of leaving relationships, community, and home behind.
Some of us may relate to those disciples who quickly went right back to fishing (their old way of life) as soon as Jesus dies. In the midst of fear and disappointment and unmet expectations they turned back to what was, to what had provided them with community and purpose and security before they left everything to follow a rabbi. Good thing he came back, huh?
Others may be more quick to embrace the Ruth in them, having the courage to plant their feet in a new land, with a new people. In the midst of disappointment and uncertainty perhaps you want to trudge forward, resolute, and not looking back. But don’t you wonder what Ruth left behind in Moab? What was she running from, what alternatives did she (not) have, that allowed her to so boldly announce to Naomi: “Wherever you stay, I will stay” (Ruth 1:16)? No way there isn’t more to that story, right?
I don’t think any of us are fully one type or the other. All new starts, all real stories, must sit in both sides of this tension - of staying and leaving, of new and old, of uncertainty and comfort. What will you do with the swirling fears and insecurities of the What Next? What happens when it’s time to move on? Or when life doesn’t go like you think it will? When people and situations and relationships end or don’t meet your expectations? Where will you
go? Who will you meet? Who will you pretend to be? And who will you really become?
Transition of any kind is loss. A loss God promises to turn into endurance, character, and then hope (Romans 5:1-5). With each new voice that we add to the choir of our lives - and to the orchestra of the kingdom - let us remember that from loss comes hope, that from death comes life, and that from every new and faithful step we walk, and the new courageous words we speak, God is building us into a (crooked and messy) story. He is building us into a people, his people: “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isaiah 42:9)
This is a promise that I’m learning to cling to (the desperately gripping so hard my knuckles are turning white kind of clinging). And that’s why I love that T.S. Eliot quote. It reminds me that there is a story, a direction, and a necessary degree of courage to life. And that I am where I belong, having been given the voice to tell this part of my story. As graduation approaches for some and summer approaches for the rest - whether you stay or whether you go - may your hellos and your goodbyes, your arrivals and your departures, be graced with the tension of old and new, of hope and grief and loss, of adventure and uncertainty. May you both remember what was and have hope for what’s next. And most importantly, may you use your voice to speak your story as it unfolds. Samantha Curley is an MAT Theology and the Arts Student. She just moved from Chicago and started her program this quarter. She loves writing, film, and cooking.
Super heroes and
Skitzo by Randall Frederick
Last week, I was privy to information about someone in counseling who, together with substance abuse and suffering from psychotic breaks, fixated on superheroes. Not in the sense that he believed he was one, but that he had an emotional attachment to action figures and comic books as a child and, clearly, never stopped wanting someone to save him – from the mental isssues he was aware he possessed, from his mother, from his loneliness, from misunderstandings, etc. One of the most common misunderstandings of those who have mental health issues is the way in which they are isolated. It is never just schizophrenia, it is never just depression, or any other diagnosis. The problems are compounded by the way in which they isolate others.
covered comics, and justified my behavior as “putting away childish things.” In truth, I came to the place inside myself where I believed that no one was going to save me (no, not even Jesus Christ). Except for the excitement in taking my little brother to see superhero movies and answering questions he had about Wolverine and Captain America, I haven’t really returned to those interests. I did, however, begin projecting those childhood hopes into religious interests. My story intersects with this man in one notable way: Like him, I was told as a child that comic books were “satanic.” As an access point to the eternally evil, I was warned that my life was headed in the wrong
Like him, I found great comfort in the pages of Superman and Batman. I confess that, in hearing of the problems this person has undergone recently, I was struck by the similarities between us. Like him, I found great comfort in the pages of Superman and Batman, the Avengers and Spiderman, and especially the X-men. On the fifth grade playground, I was a veritable walking encyclopedia on the X-men. However (and I’m really trying to think about this) when I was sixteen I stopped buying “collector’s edition” action figures, hologram
direction. I was told I would “go to Hell” if I kept reading them, and was almost thrown out of a small Christian school three times. The catch? My parents had encouraged me to read since I was a small child and, even though I was a small child, I knew these well-intentioned warnings were hellaciously incorrect.
read the rest online... thesemi.org
Tanya Riches Album Review by Art Bamford
I have to admit that I have never liked contemporary Christian music. For many years I attributed this disdain to the fact that I have great taste in music and Christian music did not meet my high standards. More recently that arrogance has been assuaged by the devastating realization that I am not the world’s leading authority on music. If my Christian brothers and sisters want to listen to music made by and for our tribe, that is fine by me. The emcee Common said it best, “If I don’t like it, I don’t like it, that don’t mean that I’m hating.” That said, I was ambivalent about reviewing Tanya Riches new album, Grace. While I will not go so far as to say I was converted into a born-again Christian music fan, I must concede I was pleasantly surprised and supremely impressed. Grace takes a sure step forward and introduces new ingredients
into the Christian music formula in a way that is both reverent and respectful of Riches peers and audience, past and present.
At their core, the songs on Grace still fit very much within the familiar “Christian” genre. Where I found the most interesting developments were in the arrangements and production that embellished each song. One of my most common complaints about Christian music has been its tendency to express unity and cohesion musically through monolithic power-chords marching along in lock step. Riches avoids this by deftly using an approach comparable to funk in which each instrument plays a unique but fairly straightforward part, all of which dance poly-rhythmically around the central voice and beat of the song. For example, an understated ukulele phrase percolates through the opening
track, “Arise and Shine,” adding a lilt and buoyancy that compliment the lyrics perfectly. The overall effect is that Grace loses the rigidity without sacrificing that strong sense of cohesion we might hope to preserve, lending the album a consistent, elegant gait throughout, as opposed to bouncing back and forth between rockers and ballads.
Similarly, the album is mixed in such a way that each part can be heard clearly but none is singled out or allowed to overpower the ensemble as a whole. This result is not due to a lack of ability on the part of the musicians who accompany Riches. A discerning ear will recognize that the players are capable of stealing the spotlight but choose to serve the song over indulging their own egos. Considering this is Tanya Riches solo album, she should be commended for choosing an egalitarian sound. Grace also strikes a nice balance between the warm, organic feel of an analogue recording and the polished sound of a digital one. Many artists have reacted against the synthetic sterility of digital over-production with ‘warts and all’ recordings captured live in the studio, but few have opted for the kind of professionalism that reigned in the pretape era. There is still Pro-Tools spit shine here and there, but for the most part, Grace is the real deal. It turns out the audience doesn’t have to hear creaks, squeaks, and between-song banter to discern the difference between MIDI synths and violins. Any decent artist appreciates the difficulties of trying to evolve and move forward while also preserving a relationship with your audience. Tanya Riches has done a truly commendable job of indulging her own creative
impulses with Grace without overfeeding them, leading Christian music forward without leaping so far as to alienate those expecting a familiar sound. Christian or not, that kind of measured, thoughtful growth is indicative of an artist that cares about their audience as much as their art. While my inner-music snob refuses to let me admit to enjoying the album, I have no choice but to affirm, as objectively as possible, that Grace is a beautiful album. Art Bamford (MDiv, ‘14) told his Grandma in Jan. ‘96 that he was going to attend Fuller Seminary someday. If he had known at the time what a seminary was, he never would have said this.
About Grace The album Grace is an anthology of twelve congregational songs written by Australian worship leader Tanya Riches to intentionally give voice to the night seasons of life within the contemporary worship space, and as a missional venture for her PhD at Fuller working with Aboriginal Australian congregations. Some songs are previously published through Hillsong Music and others collaborations with well-loved Australian worship writers, representing a variety of denominational worship traditions – Emergent, Pentecostal/ Charismatic, Presbyterian and Anglican. And with the talents of producer Peter King, ‘Grace’ is at times a whisper in the dark, and also a shout that God reigns in the global South ...
fuller happenings PIECES theChoreopoem** May 25, 26, & 31 & June 1, 8pm Curtain (No late entries) Travis Auditorium PIECES is a multicultural, multi genre theatrical production. Inspired by Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights”. PIECES is based upon the lives of seven AfricanAmerican, Latina and mixed race women searching for healing, hope and finding their voice together amongst the social ills of America. Through spoken word poetry the audience journeys with these women as they address topics of sexuality, ethics, race, church tradition and other personal, spiritual and cultural life challenges. Visit piecesthechoreopoem.eventbrite.com for your complimentary ticket. Q&A will follow the show along with a networking reception. **Adult Content/for Mature Audience. Friend Peace Scholarship Fund The “Friend Peace Scholarship Fund,” with preference for individuals associated with the United Church of Christ, has scholarships available. The qualifications for the scholarship are fairly generic, so many Fuller students might be qualified. Inquiries and requests for application forms to the Hawaii Conference 1848 Nu’uanu Ave., Honolulu, Hawaii 96817 or e-mail email@example.com. Other scholarship programs may also be available from the Hawaii Conference UCC and its Associations. Rev. J.K. Fukushima Scholarship for Master’s level students The application criteria is fairly generic, but it does ask applicants to outline their commitment to the Asian-American Community. The median scholarship award is $500. Additional information on Portico.
ACTS Thrift Store Needs your Help Donate your unwanted clothes, furniture, electronics, etc to ACTS Thrift Store which benefit the International Services Furniture Program. Bring your items into the store at 1382 Locust St from 9am–5pm Mon–Sat. For bulky donations call 626.577.4471 for pick-up. See us at actsthrift.org for more details and a list of items we cannot accept.
Food Distribution needs YOUR help!! The Food Distribution Program, initiated in 1987 by international students, is an outreach to students & the greater Pasadena community struggling with the cost of living. Food Distribution takes place every Wednesday and shifts are either 10:00am–12:00pm, 12:00–2:00pm, or both. Sign up to volunteer at: tinyurl. com/ftsfooddistribution. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
weekly happenings Worship on the Mall Mon, 10:00–11:00am Campus Mall Where any student and faculty can begin their week by fixing their gaze on Jesus in adoration, praise, and prayer on the middle of Fuller campus Live Bones Worship & Prayer Meeting Tues, 6:00–8:00pm Psychology Student Lounge Live Bones is a space for Fuller students, faculty, and community members to pray, fellowship, and grow spiritually with others in an atmosphere of rest, encouragement, and authenticity that
fosters spiritual vitality admits the challenges of life and seminary.
Morning Prayer Wed, 7:30â€“7:55am Catalyst A Sacred Space for a Variety of Prayer Traditions. Find community and rest as you breath new life into your mornings. Free coffee. Office of Student Affairs, 626.584.5433, email@example.com.
Thursday Devotions Thurs, 10:00â€“11:00am Catalyst Join us for weekly Thursday Devotions. Sponsored by Africana Student Association. Refreshments will be served. firstname.lastname@example.org
adverts Beginning Guitar for Future Worship Leaders Veteran pastor and worship leader Jim Kermath is organizing a weekly, one-hour class for guitarists of any skill level. The student fee is $60/month (4-class blocks.) If interested, please email Jim atjim@ questcoaching.us.
Field Education Field Education Chaplaincy Internships for Summer and Fall 2012 Polish your pastoral skills and learn about spiritual care in a hospital, hospice, senior care site or correctional institution. Available chaplaincy internship sites for the Summer and Fall 2012 quarters can be found at the Field Education page on Portico. Start the process early! Before registering for a chaplaincy course, interns must be interviewed and accepted by the prospective chaplains. Depending on the site, the approval and pre-internship orientation process can take from 3 to 8 weeks. Contact the Office of Field Education and Ministry Formation at 626-584-5387 for more information or visit the Field Education website, located on Portico (under School of Theology). MATM/MACL Students This is a reminder that you are required to complete one ten-week, part-time, 4-unit practicum. This is a project-based practicum, and you will need to start early to plan your project. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at fielded@ fuller.edu or 626.584.5387, or stop by our office located in Carnell Hall (behind the Catalyst).