Community Comes in Many Forms
One of the things I miss most about not being on campus each week is the chapel service on Tuesdays. Chuck, Gina, and the team of Phillips students who intern with them each semester do a great job of integrating the material we are learning with a wide range of worship styles.
If you haven’t attended chapel in a while, I encourage you to check it out. The 30-minute service provides a heart-centered touchstone in the midst of a busy, often head-centered day.
That said, I need to remember that chapel sermons are posted on the Phillips website each week! What a great way for long-distance students to take part in the community.
And we distance learners have a community of our own, as we forge relationships in our online classes. I know several students have told me that they’ve gone through every single class together since they started two and a half years ago! That builds connection over time, for sure.
I’ve been pleased to meet several colleagues whom I’ve only known online in concentrated course weeks, as well. The connection is there, no matter which format we learn in. I also like the way we interact with students both further along in the curriculum and just beginning. I was warmly welcomed by more advanced students when I started out, and I hope to extend that welcome to others.
I am proud to call all of you colleagues and friends!
Grace and peace,
Announcing the Proud Faith Project: A Living Archive
Joshua Shawnee, the Preservation and Archives Librarian at Phillips, is spearheading a special archival project in which he will collect the narratives of members in the LGBTQI community about their experiences in faith. He is reaching out across the U.S. and beyond in an effort to preserve the record of these unique experiences.
The LGBTQI experience is what archivists call a silent history. Few information artifacts have been created and maintained. Even fewer have made it “out of the information closet.” Without a decisive effort, these cultural records will soon be lost. This is especially true for spiritual narratives. LGBTQI stories of faith, spiritual discovery and religious abandonment, as valuable cultural artifacts, are at a particular risk of being lost forever.
In concert with the mission of Phillips Seminary, the Proud Faith Project seeks to cultivate vital communities and vital conversations by capturing, collecting, arranging, describing, preserving and presenting LGBTQI stories of faith for the common good.
These information artifacts will be housed in a special collection called the “Proud Faith Archives” and will include personal narratives, statements of faith or defiance, interviews, institutional and communal histories and digital and print images. The Proud Faith Project is the first Living Archives endeavor of the Phillips Seminary Library and is under the curation of seminary archivist Joshua Shawnee. Submissions are now being accepted.
Plan Self-Care into Schedule
As we begin to move into the semester, I’m sure you are looking at the syllabuses from your classes, your work schedule, your ministry schedule, and your family time to plan out the work you have ahead. In sum total the effort can look quite daunting. Maintaining calendars and plans for success can be challenging.
One thing I want to make sure you keep in mind is time for yourself. Sarah Morice Brubaker brought a message this week in chapel about how the myriad images we receive through commercialism paint a different picture of transfiguration than maybe what it really is. The picture of what is accomplished during your semester at seminary can look much different at the beginning of the semester than at the conclusion.
Planning time for yourself to recoup and maintain your spirituality is an integral part of the seminary experience and the work we do trying to live out the ways of Jesus. Yet it is often the first thing we sacrifice in order to accomplish our goals. I’ve encountered many ways in which our students set aside time for themselves in the form of physical exercise, meditation, time with family, or just being still and quiet.
I want to encourage you to place time for yourself on the calendar. It is not being selfish or detracting from other areas of your life; it is actually preparing you to perform better in those areas. And consider your goals. Even though we all appreciate an ‘A’ in each class, perhaps the ultimate goal is how much we learn about ourselves and how we contribute to the communities we interact with on a regular basis. For these experiences, the only measure is the joy you are experiencing in personal growth and contribution to the lives of others. I don’t recall a grade scale ever being established for joy!
One aspect of our being in ministry is our call to whatever place we are drawn to, whether that’s community work, church work, or our own transformation. There is this draw, a movement, an unseen force, which calls us to take on the task of seminary. Even within the classroom and community of seminary, this force is moving for life past our seminary education, to make a difference in creating a world of justice and mercy.
Keep yourself grounded in care for yourself to remember why you are at Phillips and what a gift you are for answering the call. Seeking out authentic ways of living out your seminary education is counter-commercial and counter-cultural; daring to take time for yourself may seem the same. Remember to care for yourself!
Saying "Thank You" to Donors
SPREAD THE LOVE!
COME CELEBRATE AND SAY THANK YOU!
On February 8 – 12, we will be saying thank you to Phillips donors who help make your education possible.
We want to show our Phillips family how much we love them by making "thank you" videos, taking "thank you" pictures and writing "thank you" postcards.
Come and join us in the Student Commons from noon to 2 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. A FREE LUNCH and CANDY BUFFET will be provided. Participants will also have the chance to win great Phillips swag.
Students not on campus that week can still participate; just email Malisa at Malisa.firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how.
You may participate at any of these times:
Monday, Feb. 8 4:30 to 6:15 p.m. (Candy Buffet provided)
Tuesday, Feb. 9 Noon to 2 p.m. (Lunch and Candy Buffet provided)
Tuesday, Feb. 9 4:30 to 6:15 p.m. (Candy Buffet provided)
Wednesday, Feb. 10 Noon to 1 p.m. (Candy Buffet provided)
Thursday, Feb. 11 Noon to 2 p.m. (Lunch and Candy Buffet provided)
Community Organizing Opportunities
Dr. Kathy McCallie extends this invitation from the Tulsa Sponsoring Committee, a network of local clergy and citizens working across traditional dividing lines to revitalize democracy for constructive social and economic change in Tulsa:
At 7 p.m. Feb. 16, First Lutheran Church in Tulsa will host a presentation by VOICE OKC (Voices Engaged in Civic Engagement) called "Public Safety at Risk: Fines, Fees and Incarceration in Oklahoma." Come check out the work of our partner organization in Oklahoma City — work they are doing at the legislature and with a statewide question that proposes to change some non-violent felonies to misdemeanors. First Lutheran is located at 1244 S. Utica, and you should use the ground floor doors to access the Fellowship Hall.
Three leaders from Tulsa representing the Tulsa Sponsoring Committee will participate in an Interfaith Education Seminar in Dallas with authors Charles Matthews and Luke Bretherton. Those from Tulsa will report on this experience at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 during the monthly meeting.
The clergy caucus of the Tulsa Sponsoring Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Feb. 25. All clergy are welcome to attend. The regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Both will be held at Fellowship United Church of Christ, 2900 S. Harvard Ave. (beside Braums).
For more information: Contact Kathy McCallie at email@example.com
Logo Wear Available
If you would like to order custom-embroidered logo wear for Phillips, please see the attached and contact Adam Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order. Deadline is Friday, Feb. 12.
Beware of Back Gate!
The gate to the back lot does not always work smoothly. Please be patient and cautious when you enter or exit. Make sure that the gate is open sufficiently for your car to pass before you proceed. The gate never moves fast, but it will do damage!
If the gate catches part way, it can usually be re-started with a second swipe of the card.
President Peluso-Verdend offers this explanation: Because of the construction of the gate and the physics (heavy and long), the bolts that hold the the two parts of the track on which the gate slides loosen about weekly. When they loosen, the gate catches on the spot where the tracks join. Most of the time, the gate can be re-started with a second swipe of the card, but at least once, it went the other way and damaged a car.
The gate was left open during the day hours after that incident, but now, for the sake of security, the gate is closed 24/7. Bill is trying a different fastener in hopes of keeping the track from loosening. If that does not work, the next step will be to weld the track.
In the meantime, if you are caution and patient, there should not be an issue with entry or exit, and we will all have a more secure parking area and properly restricted entry to the back doors of the building.
John Forest is the guy to help you with Moodle or with Phillips email. You can always find his contact info just like this in the upper right corner of Moodle.
From the Registrar — Important Dates
Last Day to Drop a Course — February 13, 2016
Tuition Refund Schedule
February 1 – February 6, 2016 80%
February 8 – February 13, 2016 50%
After February 13, 2016 None (withdrawal)