Four official conversations about the role of Worship at PTS will occur in the Student Commons over lunch (11:30-1:00): Tuesday, March 11; Thursday, March 13; Tuesday, March 18; and Tuesday, March 25.
Dean Nancy Pittman, Professor Richard Ward, and Pastor to the Community Susanna Southard will lead the sessions. An online opportunity for participation is also in the works for those who email Staci Copenhaver with an RSVP. Please plan to attend at least one conversation.
Reflections on PTS Volunteer Day at the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
Our day at the Food Bank was an interesting one! I had no idea how much food and other items are donated to the Food Bank by stores and other organizations. There were large boxes and bags of canned goods, jars, cereals, and packaged food, and an odd assortment of pet supplies, baby items and personal care products. Our task was to sort all of it into large bins while weeding out unusable items as we went. With the help of a group of students from Holland Hall, we managed to fill every bin in the room! It was great to see how much food is donated that might otherwise have been thrown away, but I was also dismayed to see how much of it was “junk food” or products with little nutritional value. This experience made me more aware of the need to work to find ways to get more nutritious and fresh food to people who are food insecure.
-- Clair Powers, Instruction Librarian
As an avid volunteer with several outreaches, I volunteered at the Food Bank many years ago. My experience there last Friday with PTS was enlightening. I had no idea how all-encompassing the Food Bank's work is for so many people in need. The camaraderie amongst my co-workers was endearing. I look forward to more opportunities volunteering through Phillips.
-- Evette Sims, Assistant to Stewardship
Just a few weeks ago, I volunteered at the Food Bank with my church, filling backpacks for hungry children in the 24 counties served to take home with them for the weekend. Last Friday with the PTS group, I was sorting, tearing down boxes for the cardboard crusher, and “un-barcoding” miscellaneous items so they couldn’t be returned to the stores. The organization and careful attention to safety and contamination prevention was impressive — so was the amount of work we got done in the time we were there!
-- Judy Krase, PTS Data Management Specialist
For more information and fun pictures from our Day at the Food Bank, see the Community Service page on the PTS website.
John Philip Newell to Offer Lecture and Workshop in Tulsa March 24-25
Celtic Christianity Scholar John Philip Newell will give a free evening lecture on Monday, March 24 at 6:30 pm at Boston Avenue Church, 1301 S Boston Ave, in downtown Tulsa. The title of his talk is “Listening for the Heartbeat of God.” On Tuesday, March 25, he will present a workshop titled "The Rebirthing of God: Christianity's Struggle for New Beginnings" from 9:00 am – noon. The workshop costs $30 and includes a box lunch. To register for the workshop, contact Dr. Bill Crowell at 918-699-0127.
John Philip, the co-founder of Heartbeat: A Journey Towards Earth’s Wellbeing, is an ordained Church of Scotland minister with a passion for peace among the great wisdom traditions of humanity. His PhD is from the University of Edinburgh and he is internationally acclaimed for his work in the field of Celtic spirituality, having authored over 15 books, including Listening for the Heartbeat of God, Praying with the Earth, and his most recent visionary work A New Harmony: the Spirit, the Earth, & the Human Soul. Click here for a full bio.
From the Director of Student Recruitment
Hello, friends. As many of you have heard, the new website is good to go and is so far getting good reviews on its look and functionality. There will be initial bugs, sure, but we’re a long way from where we were and everyone around here is excited about it. It’s a significant recruitment tool, one that anyone can use. I encourage you to spend some time on it, link to it on your social media outlets, and invite prospective students to take a look at it. Use it. Interact with it. Let it generate buzz. This is a small way that you can help tell the story of Phillips and perhaps snag someone’s interest who is considering theological education.
Here is where I’ll be in coming weeks. I hope to see you around.
- The Wesley (NSU)—Tahlequah, OK | March 10 (rescheduled for weather)
- Progressive Youth Ministry Conference—Chicago | March 17-21
- Harvard Avenue Sticking Points series | March 26
- ATS SPAN Conference—Orlando | April 9-11
- OTC in Springfield, MO (Guest lecturing course for Mary Ann Morris) | April 21
- Spring Feast (Rocky Mountain DOC)—Ft. Collins, CO | April 26-29
From the Registrar
March 17-21 – First Concentrated Course Week
March 21 – LAST DAY TO WITHDRAW FROM A CLASS
March 24 -28 – Second Concentrated Course Week
March 31 – Enrollment Opens for Summer/Fall 2014
The New PTS Website is Live!
PTS rolled out its long-awaited new website this week, and it is a sight to behold! We will highlight new features two at a time over the next few weeks.
First of all, let's admire the new home page design! The tech team's goals were to enrich the overall content on the site and to convey the progressive and engaging nature of Phillips through eye-catching design choices.
Once you've taken in the aesthetics, check out the new multimedia. The home page video, virtual tour, introduction to Moodle, and introduction to Chalk & Wire are good places to start.
Do you know how to find that journal article that you need? Contact the library for tips on how to find which articles you need.
We mail books! If you need particular titles let us know. Email or call us, and we will mail them to you.
Regular Library Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 8:00-5:00
8:00-6:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
We are open 10:00-2:00 on these upcoming Saturdays:
April 5, 12, & 26.
Concentrated Course Week Hours:
Greetings PTS Community,
PTS Student Senate would like to invite the PTS community to send mealtime prayers. We are thinking and seeking to introduce the community to a different way of coordinating prayer during the lunch hour. Our goal is to continue developing a spiritual intimacy during communal fellowship over a meal. This invitation for prayers is open to everyone. Please send in your mealtime prayer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Student Senate
Out of Control
In the event of a contest, the forces of nature win. As much as I would prefer to prevail over all the inconveniences, threats, and sometimes very real dangers that winter/spring storms can bring—just to pick an arbitrary example—my protests seem to have no effect. Well, all right. My example is not so arbitrary. For the second time this semester, PTS had to cancel classes one day this week and even close down the building in response to forces beyond our control.
At least online classes are immune to weather issues. That is, online classes are protected as long as students and faculty are not experiencing power outages or loss of internet connections. Technology, it seems, should be much more within our control than nature. It is, after all, a series of human inventions operated by a series of humans. Humans can fix things when they go wrong. Humans can communicate and strategize and work things out. However, humans are also, as it turns out, human.
A dozen staff and faculty at PTS gathered for a morning Ash Wednesday service this week. We remembered together our own mortality, our own humility, our direct connection to humus. Humans make mistakes; unfortunately, sometimes human act in bad faith toward one another. And, in the end, we have no more control over one another than we have over the forces of nature. In this web of life, we are all interconnected and interdependent. In the expansive world of technology, we are all interconnected and interdependent.
For reasons entirely beyond our control, this past week the server that hosts our PTS website became unreliable. The timing just happened to coincide with the grand roll out of our brand new design. All the hours of hard work and growing anticipation hit a brick wall. (Are there bricks in cyber space? This one sure felt like it.) Both we and our hosts went into fix-it mode. The website became only intermittently available. And that would have been a sufficient headache; however, many students and faculty rely on the PTS website for links to Moodle, our online course platform, and library resources. Eventually, the Moodle site itself became intermittently available.
Any modicum of a sense of control over our circumstances went right out the window. To quote a consultant who recently worked with our faculty, “I’m learning to pray the Serenity Prayer deeply, very deeply.” I imagine we all are.
The good news in all of this is that PTS is made up of incredibly skilled and dedicated people who know how to band together in the midst of feeling out of control, to find workable work-arounds for practical problems, and to support one another throughout. The interruptions have been minimized. Professors have found ways to keep courses on track. The newly designed website is a delight to behold. Even the weather is starting to clear up.
Many thanks to Cheri Peluso-Verdend, Mary McGilvray, and others who have persevered through the chaos. Many thanks to Carl Muehlberg and his technology assistants who taken appropriate actions, all the while interpreting the complicated circumstances to the rest of us who do not always understand the intricacies of technology. Many thanks to Lora Conger and Nancy Pittman for paying attention to the health and safety of students and employees in the face of nature’s overwhelming forces. The circumstances beyond our control are not, in fact, beyond our ability to cope.
Finally, thanks be to the God who does not abandon us, no matter how chaotic the forces around us become!
Grace and peace,