Both of our chapel services this week honor the celebration of Earth Day.
Tuesday: We'll meet in the Tabbernee Conference Center to hear Scott Sweringen from Tulsa's Cherry Street Farmers’ Market explore the need for safe and fresh food sources for our local community.
Come help us extend Phillips hospitality to residents of the Methodist Manor Retirement Community, who will be touring the campus and joining us for worship.
After the service, Susanna Southard will offer a brief orientation to labyrinth prayer. Bedding plants will be available to those who’d like to help start planting our campus gardens.
Thursday: Be sure to come to chapel dressed casually and prepared to get your hands in the soil as we celebrate creation through the worshipful act of planting our campus gardens!
Caring for Your Congregation's Mental Health
Navigating Stressful Times: Integrating Faith, Resilience & Recovery
The 14th annual Caring for Your Congregation's Mental Health conference is slated for Friday, April 24, at University Village, 8555 S. Lewis in Tulsa. Sessions run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with check-in starting at 8:30. Lunch is included.
The theme is Navigating Stressful Times: Integrating Faith, Resilience & Recovery. This free seminar is for clergy, church staff, chaplains and lay leaders. The conference aims to connect faith leaders with community resources and provide information and support to help faith leaders minister to the needs of youth, adults, elders, and families.
Workshop titles include The Theology of Fear, The Body's Response to Fear, When Fear Takes Control, The Power of Hope, and Strategies for Living a Resilient Life. There will be time for group discussions, a community resource panel, and networking.
An optional bonus session called Ask a Question, Save a Life... will be held from 2:20 to 3:30 p.m. This is a suicide prevention training using the Question, Persuade & Refer (QPR) technique. Often referred to as the mental health version of CPR, the three simple steps of QPR can save lives.
The QPR training is free to anyone 18 and older. Groups are welcome. Workshop attendance is not a prerequisite.
Check out the agenda and register today at http://www.mhaok.org/congregation or 918-382-2409. The conference is sponsored by the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma.
Abrahamic Traditions Panel to Meet
The Dialogue Institute will host an Abrahamic Traditions panel and dinner from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23, at the Raindrop Turkish Center, 4444 W. Houston St. in Broken Arrow.
The theme is “Children in Family and Society: Attitudes and Understandings from Religious Perspectives.” Speakers are the Rev. Kelli Driscoll from Bethany Christian Church, Rabbi Dan Kaiman from Congregation B’nai Emunah, and Imam John Ederer of the Islamic Society of Tulsa.
The event is free and open to the public. Dinner will be served. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.thedialoginstitute.org.
OKShare Card Gives Access to State Libraries
Did you know? Being a student here at Phillips allows you access and check-out privileges to many college and university libraries across the state. We can issue you an OKShare card that gives you access. Look at the list of participating libraries.
You also have access to the University of Tulsa McFarlin Library without needing the OKShare card. If you do visit TU be aware that there is construction going on at the library so regular access is different than normal. You may want us to call ahead for you.
Many of you received an OKShare card in your orientation packets. Email us, or give us a call if you need a new one.
Student Senate Accepting Nominations
Student Senate is looking for leaders...
At Phillips Theological Seminary, we don’t have to look far!
If you share a passion for the PTS community and a desire to take a leadership role charting its future, you might consider serving on the PTS Student Senate.
The Office of Admissions and Student Services is accepting nominations for the 2015-2016 Student Senate. If you are at least a part-time student, you may nominate yourself by submitting the nomination form to Katrina Morrison (email@example.com) no later than Thursday, April 30, at 5 p.m.
If necessary, an election will be held from Friday, May 1, through Wednesday, May 6.
Participation is not limited to on-campus students. Your participation in this key student organization is encouraged.
Boundaries are often an issue within families, communities of faith, and global communities. At the level of national government, boundaries become geographic or political. Within the faith community, boundaries may be established in doctrine or polity. Boundaries provide lines of separation in order for us to determine space. Questions arise: is this a space I am allowed within or is this a space I want others in, as in, “Hey, don’t invade my personal space!”
I recall a Jerry Seinfeld episode in which his parents were staying with Jerry in his apartment upon their return from a retirement village in Florida. Jerry was bemoaning to his closest friends the loss of his buffer zone: he no longer had the distance to separate himself from his parents. Jerry’s independence was reduced as his parents became involved in his daily life. “Independent Jerry” was going to be lost!
Unfortunately, boundaries can be used to separate rather than join humanity. Tuesday’s chapel service was a Holocaust Remembrance Service, which taught me yet another lesson about the effects of genocide. One of the video clips portrayed a Jewish family trying to immigrate to the United States at the beginning of the Holocaust, but the U.S. had decided no more immigration would happen: the border was closed. A boundary had been established—one that wasn’t there before the genocide began.
As a Native American I am often reminded of how boundaries separate, and how genocide leaves historical trauma for many years upon a group of people. It’s amazing to me that we can look at our history and still allow genocide to happen today. I am sure the Jewish people never expected the hatred they endured, nor did the Native Americans or others enslaved before them. No group expects the hatred they endure when human beings stop being seen as human.
Boundaries can respect life or diminish life. Who do you allow to cross into your space and whom do you shut out? The challenge of answering such questions requires our attention to our own humanity, our own vulnerability. It’s a difficult task. We face those difficult discussions at Phillips by speaking the word genocide in a chapel service while simultaneously breathing hope as we tell the stories of those who have endured. These difficult conversations are held in the classroom as we explore the boundaries of history and context.
As a Native American I could hold onto the tenet of a buffer zone, given the history of attempted genocide of my Native people, and separate myself from humanity. I choose instead to engage with humanity, because the Jewish people are my people, those struggling to cross the Southern border of the United States are my people, and, yes, even those who commit the genocide are my people. We need to remember until the hatred stops.
As you learn the art of creating healthy boundaries, remember that the space you create is sacred. It can be healing, it can be comforting, it can give life. Isn’t it strange that when we connect with others and become less independent, we somehow feel more free?