Peace Found in Prayer
Happy Friday, Everyone!
Here we are heading into October. Where did our first five weeks go? I hope you’ve found a rhythm that will help you get through these next months of study, work, family, and social time. I especially hope you’re finding time for prayer. It’s easy to get caught up on the hamster wheel of going and doing and forget the respite of just being with God.
Henri Nouwen says this: “The invitation to a life of prayer is the invitation to live in the midst of this world without being caught in the net of wounds and needs. The word ‘prayer’ stands for a radical interruption of the vicious chain of interlocking dependencies leading to violence and war and for entering into a totally new dwelling place. ... Prayer is the center of the Christian life. It is the only necessary thing (Luke 10:42). It is living with God here and now.” — from “Prayer and Peacemaking”
Grace and Peace,
Share the Library!
September is Library Card Sign-up Month and the Phillips Library invites you to invite members of your congregation to use our collection and space with the Special Borrower’s Card! Special Borrowers are just one way we extend the Phillips community and serve the public. We encourage you to print off and share this flier. — Amanda Ross, Reserves & Preservation Librarian
E-Books Collection Growing
I’ve got great news! As a member of the Phillips Seminary community, you have access to an ever growing selection of E-Books! Simply visit the Phillips Seminary website, hover over the “Library” tab and click on “Find Books, Articles, and More.” Then, click on the “PTS Catalog” link under “Library Holdings” and select “Electronic Books” in the “Limit To” drop down menu. You can access these books from your e-reader, computer and smart phone. As always, the library staff is happy to answer questions and address any concerns. Enjoy! — Joshua Shawnee, Instruction Librarian
Did you know? This year, Banned Books Week is Sept 27th to Oct 3rd. Celebrate your freedom to read by checking out some historically banned books held in the Phillips Library! Titles include: BELOVED by Toni Morrison, THE COLOR PURPLE by Alice Walker, THE POPULATION BOMB by Paul Ehrlich, and many others.
You can learn more about the most challenged books of 2014-2015 here: https://www.ila.org/initiatives/banned-books-week/books-challenged-or-banned-in-2014-2015
The Transforming Power of Love
I love fall weather! I was looking at The Old Farmer’s Almanac about the autumnal equinox, which was Wednesday, the 23rd, as I began to dream of cooler days with fall foliage happening around us. The trees enter into seasons without hesitation. They bloom in the spring or sprout leaves, while in the fall their leaves turn wonderful colors, then drop to the ground on their own timing. We can’t do anything to stop the process; it has a nature of its own. On the day of the autumnal equinox, there are equal hours of daylight and darkness occurring, without our ability to hinder it one way or another. Life around us has a nature of its own.
The nature and purpose of life is often difficult to discern, especially in the context of the world today, which seems chaotic. Dr. Ellen Blue spoke in chapel about “What happens when we see things as unchangeable?” The story of Esther was presented in such a light to remind us not to limit God’s creativity or ongoing self-revelation and the transformative nature of the Scriptural text.
The transformative nature of God happens to be another force we’re not able to hinder, control or predict. Dr. Blue asked if perhaps we were sent here for such a time as this. I wonder what our seasons are and what our nature is during these times? I wonder, if we allowed ourselves to be drawn into the transformative nature of God, what we would reflect? When I encounter our students I see the reflection of community, those who come together to seek out what is the nature of God in our time.
In last week’s newsletter I shared the story of my church being vandalized, so as to express the joy of community surrounding my church. I underestimated the pull of God, as members of the Phillips community reached out to our church to support our efforts to raise funds for new air conditioning units. Students, faculty, and staff, as well as individuals from distant locations gave us love. In less than a week, enough funds were raised to purchase our new units. Given the nature of how society is depicted today, you couldn’t have predicted this outpouring of love.
As we enter into fall may your studies continue to engage you in discussion about the nature of God in the world today and how the Creator can still shock you. I am glad God continues to be creative!
Come help us welcome the Phillips Trustees in worship next Tuesday. The homily will be offered by our own master storyteller, Dr. Richard Ward. We look forward to his message encouraging us to "go a little deeper" in his sermon entitled, "After the Exhaustion, Abundance," responding to Luke 5:1-11.
John Forest New "Go-to Guy"
We just wanted to send out a quick message regarding support for the Moodle system and your school email here at Phillips Theological Seminary.
John Forest, our Financial Aid Officer/Learning Technology Advisor, will be your "Go-to Guy" for assistance with Moodle or email issues. He can be reached at email@example.com. This email link is also available in the lower left box on your Moodle homepage under Helpful Contacts.
Have a great weekend!
From the Recruitment Team
The Recruitment team would like to thank all students, staff, and faculty for the tremendous outpouring of hospitality extended to our campus visitors on Tuesday. Several current students took the time to share their personal seminary stories—which was so helpful. Both prospective students left feeling like Phillips was a community they would like to be a part of!
In other recruiting news, Darell Christopher will be representing Phillips next weekend at the Kansas/Oklahoma UCC Conference in Kansas City and Josh Linton is heading to Portland, Oregon, to participate in sponsoring a Homebrewed Christianity CultureCast event and make some prospective student visits.
Questions About Candidacy, Ordination, or Appointments??
On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, some of the District Superintendents from the Oklahoma conference of the United Methodist Church will have supper on campus with UMC students. ALL of our PTS students are welcome to attend and eat a free meal, even those not affiliated with the Oklahoma conference. We’ll gather between classes, from 5:15 till 6:30 pm, in the Student Commons.
This is a good chance to get to meet folks and ask questions you might have about the process of candidacy, ordination, and appointments. Please email Dr. Blue at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ll attend, so they can order enough food.
Ellen Blue, Ph.D.
Mouzon Biggs, Jr. Professor of the History of Christianity & United Methodist Studies
In the Loop
At 4:21 am as many of us slept, autumn quietly arrived. Welcome to Fall - officially that is!
Here are some upcoming happenings and events on campus:
Dr. Ellen Blue will be teaching the first section of a two weekend course, Issues for Women in Christianity on campus this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The Board of Trustees will be on campus on Monday and Tuesday. They will be joining us in Chapel for the Annual Installation Service and will be joining us for lunch in the student commons following chapel. Hope to see you there!
This year's faculty representative to the Board of Trustees is Dr. Richard Ward. Your student representative is Josh Bell.
Thank you so much for your patience this semester with the ongoing renovations to the building. We appreciate you working with us as these building improvements get closer and closer to completion!
Have a FALLNOMINAL week!