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180 2009_04_24

180 2009_04_24

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A Publication of the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Community
April 24, 2009 Issue #180
Kairos
© 2009 Austin PresbyterianTheological Seminary
Inside This Issue
Chapel ScheduleAnnouncements & EventsElections Results and InformationThe Crosses224-56Sally’s Page: The B Word & BuddiesWhat I Learned in Seminary TodayWeekly Calendar Austin Seminary Pie78910
By Carol Schmidt, MDiv Senior 
Last week I returned to Austin for a meetingof seniors, and because it was a Tuesday, I arrivedearly to attend Chapel. Chapel was, for me, one of the best parts of seminary. Especially TuesdayChapel, where in the passing of the peace and com-munion could be seen and felt and tasted the goal of all our words and works and hopes. Chapel was theconstant each week, even at times when it seemedas if all the world around me had gone nuts. Nomatter how tough the week, still there was Chapel.When I entered seminary nearly five yearsago, I imagined that it would be much like going to amonastery with learning, and I was particularly ex-cited about going to chapel during the week. While Iwas wrong about the monastery part, chapel did playan important role in my education. It didn’t replaceSunday worship with my congregation, but did ac-centuate the difference between worship wherewomen are fully included and where we are not.Each week was like moving between two very differ-ent worlds, the one in Austin and the other at home.During my first year, many people attendedChapel – students, staff, and faculty – and Ted regu-larly preached at Thursday Chapel. It was one of the most amazing years of my life. I enjoyed goingin with others and finding a seat in a pew, thewarmth of collective bodies warming the cold stonechapel walls. As the organ began to sound, the peo-ple began to glow and the warm light from within re-flected in the walls, increasingly reverberant until thevoices of all gathered joined in exuberant worship.The light filled the space, causing its bounds torhythmically expand and contract until the voicelights were delightfully dancing in hues of purple andreddish-orange. In that light was the smell of Godand the feel of having entered into an ancient song,an eternal being, a new life that has always been.Chapel is where I first heard women preach-ing and saw them serving communion. Their voiceswere so confident. It wasn’t unusual during my firstsemester to feel tears flowing down my cheeks dur-ing chapel and my thoughts were something likethis: “They know something here that we don’t know;I need to learn it and take it back to my church.”There was a vision radiating from Austin Seminaryand I wanted to take in as much as I could and carryit to others.A large part of that vision included the open-ness to questions. When I first knew that I should goto seminary, I talked to my pastor about going to oneaffiliated with our church and he told me that I could-n’t ask my questions there, but that he had heardgood things about the Presbyterian seminary in Aus-tin. One of the greatest values of an education atAustin Seminary is the openness in the classroom toall questions; a willingness to look at theological andrelational issues from as many possible positions or angles as we can imagine. That flexibility and open-ness to different approaches and solutions is both astrength of the seminary and a great source of hopefor the future of church and its ability to change, aswell as effect change in the world. And the open-
Continued on page 3
New Kairos Editor!
The Kairos Editor for the 2009-10School year will be
Mary Elizabeth Prentice
!Congratulations, Mary Elizabeth. We look for-ward to your leadership and creativity.
 
 
www.austinseminary.typepad.com/portal/kairos.htmlIssue 180 Page 2
Chapel ScheduleApril 27—May 1Monday: Service of the Word
 
Jamye Dunlap, preacher 
 Tuesday: Service of Word andSacrament,
Rev. KristinSaldine, preacher 
Thursday: Morning Prayer Service
 
Student-led 
Friday: Service of the Word
 
Matthew Pyeon, preacher Senior MDiv students preach in chapel onMonday this week.
Mark your calendars!
Baccalaureate
Sat., May 236:00 p.m.
Commencement
Sun., May 242:30 p.m.Both Events Will Be Held AtUniversity Presbyterian ChurchSee Alison in the dean’s officefor more information.
Commencement
 C  o r  n  e r 
SUPPORT THE FAITHFUL FLYERS
The Hill Country Ride for AIDS is fast approaching, and the Austin Seminary team, the Faithful Flyers,needs your help! The ride raises funds to support ten agencies in the Austin area that provide services andresources to those struggling with the challenges of living with HIV/AIDS. Each rider raises a minimum o$500. Go towww.hillcountryride.orgto donate online to the team or to individual. Also, it’s not too late—newteam members are welcome! Sign up now for the ride on April 25!
Backyard Spirituality with Michael Jinkins
On Friday, May 1, Dean Michael Jinkinsis hosting a gathering of students at his home,7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. You're invited to come andspend this May Day reflecting on and engagingin spiritual practice that Michael has foundmeaningful. Space is limited, so register your interest soon by signing up at the McCord desk.Contact Mari Lyn Jones for more information.
This is the third in a series of opportuni-ties introduced by Still Small Voice for discuss-ing and engaging in spiritual practices with afaculty member 
.
The Church in ChinaA Talk by Dr. Andy Dearman
Come listen to a presentation by our es-teemed Dr. Andy Dearman about the Church inChina! Andy will be presenting during lunch onMonday April 27th in McCord 203. Come, bringyour lunch and listen to the experience of a wiseman! Contact José Lopez for more information.
 
Student Volunteers Needed!
 Student volunteers are needed Saturday,May 23rd and Sunday, May 24th to assist withthe Anderson House Dedication Ceremony,Baccalaureate, and the Graduation Commence-ment Ceremony. Responsibilities will includedirecting traffic, guiding Anderson House tours,ushering guests, etc.If interested, contact Chris Kreisher atchris.kreisher@austinseminary.edu 
Are You Good with Scissors?
 Be a part of history! The AndersonHouse Dedication Task Force is holding a lot-tery drawing to select a Student Representative(and their family) to participate in the AndersonHouse Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Saturday,May 23rd. If interested, place your name in thebox located at the McCord Desk by May 5th.The drawing will be held at Manna on May 6th.Any questions, contact Chris Kreisher atchris.kreisher@austinseminary.edu 
 
 
www.austinseminary.typepad.com/portal/kairos.htmlIssue 180 Page 3
ness in the classroom was a reflection of the preach-ing in Chapel.During my second semester, a fracture be-gan to occur in the beautiful vision I perceived to beemanating from seminary. My friend, Karen, washaving struggles with her church similar to my ownregarding ordination. The President’s Colloquiumthat Spring was held in the chapel, and two menwere debating the pros and cons of the full inclusionof people who are LGBT. Suddenly, I felt as if I wasin my church, and the words the men were speakingwere hitting me. They were the same words usedagainst women, but in this chapel they were directedat her and not me. And she was without a voice,being spoken about, as if an object of some hypo-thetical exercise. Our churches were not as differentas I had thought. That was when I first wonderedwhat theological thread of exclusion connectedKaren’s situation and mine. But still there wasChapel, and I would continue to go, listen, learn, andcommune. And there was the classroom, wherequestions might open the door to insight into rela-tional possibilities. And there were friends, withwhom to share the struggle.Since that day four years ago at the Presi-dent’s Colloquium, I’ve continued to wonder aboutthe connection between the ordination of womenand the ordination of people who are LGBT. Lastweek in Chapel, David Johnson inadvertently helpedme find another piece of the puzzle. Having arrivedearly, I was looking at the bulletin and saw thatDavid would be preaching. The title of his sermonwas, “Jesus Never Leaves the Table.” He looked atme and asked if I’d help serve communion. No onehad ever before asked me to participate like that inpublic worship and he asked as if it were the mostnatural thing. It took a moment for it to sink in. Hewas talking to me. It wasn’t a classroom exercise or an assignment to complete, but an invitation I’dnever before heard. “We need someone to helpserve. Would you like to help?” When I realized hewas talking to me, my heart leapt to the highestheaven. Would I like to help serve? “Yes, I’d love tohelp!” Thankfully, Jennifer Lord had worked over-time last semester to help me rise and speak at tableand pulpit, rather than crouch in a whisper.Later I began to wonder why I had been sosurprised by David’s question. While searching for an answer I found words deep inside that wereplanted when I was very young and reinforced everytime I’ve tried to stand up and defy them. “You’refemale. You’re not good enough. You’re not strongenough.” These are the hitting words. These arethe damning words.In denominations that refuse to ordainwomen, the strength women are perceived to lack ismoral strength. Being in physical form like Eve, weare the first to fall and then drag men down with us.We are to blame for the lacking perfection of men.This is the hierarchical chain of blame described inGenesis 3, but it goes beyond male and female rela-tions and is the temptation of all hierarchical rela-tions. When people who perceive themselves to bemorally superior fall, they look for someone else toblame and pour out humiliation on the other. Churchhas confused humiliation and humility. Humiliation isa state of being pressed down so that there is nofreedom to be willingly humble.“You’re not good enough. You’re not morallystrong enough.” These are the words churches con-tinue to use against women and people who areLGBT. There was a time when church sent peopleto hell physically by having their bodies burned. To-day church puts people through emotional, psycho-logical, and spiritual hell when it condemns who weare as God created us and sentences us to silence.The authority claimed to silence us is the result of usurped power; power stolen through blame and hu-miliation poured on others in order to elevate them-selves. Many gods have been created by using theBible and Christian theology to elevate some peoplewhile excluding others.Sometimes I wondered why I kept going toChurch and Chapel. I no longer believed in theChristian gods constructed to control and humiliatepeople. I think I kept going because I couldn’t forgetthe vision, and in Chapel I could see and hear whatmight be, what might suddenly burst forth, God’skingdom on earth. I kept going because as corruptand unjust as institutional churches can be, as Davidpreached, “Jesus never leaves the table.” We go tothe table, and I think Jesus goes in us out into theworld. In Chapel, particularly in the Service of Wordand Sacrament, is the source of renewal. No matter how rough the week may be, still there is Chapel.
By Carol Schmidt, MDiv Senior 
Continued from page 1Carol Schmidt is a graduating senior from Clifton, Texas. She is a member of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

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