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Issue 191 2009 10.23

Issue 191 2009 10.23

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Published by: kairosapts on Oct 24, 2009
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10/23/2009

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THE VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY 
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kairoj
A Weekly Newspaper Issue 191, Oct. 26 - Oct. 30, 2009
The Fourth I love you:
Stella Burkhalter is a Senior MDiv student completing a directed studyat a Methodist Church in Austin.
It snuck up on me, for it was so unexpected. I had justdone something deliberately silly at the church dinner andin response, one of the teenagers laughed and said, “I loveyou, Stella!” Just like that. Matter of fact. She barelyknows me. Plus, what I had done wasn’t all that funny. Ihad spent most of that day in the depths of a pity party,and that “I love you” from such an unlikely source finally jarred me out of it.I thought about it for a minute and I realized that wasn’tthe first time that day someone had said, “I love you” tome. Earlier I had gone to campus to meet my spiritualdirection group and I hung around afterwards, reluctantto leave my indispensable source of strength. As I walkedaway, Lisa called out, “I love you!”My daughter thinks it’s weird that we say “I love you” toeach other in seminary. She heard me say it as I hung upthe phone with a classmate once, and it caught herattention. “I didn’t know you were talking to Dad,” shehad said. “I wasn’t,” was my reply. When I realized shewanted an explanation, I said, “That’s just the way we arewith each other in seminary.” I had forgotten howcountercultural that is.When I remembered Lisa’s farewell, I remembered that Ihad seen Shane on campus and he had noticed that I washaving a rough day. He had changed course and veeredfrom the sidewalk, deciding a wave from afar was notsufficient. “I love you,” he had said as he hugged me, as if we had been best friends forever instead of people whohad had one class together last year. I was grateful for theperson he is.“That’s three ‘I love you’s in one day, not counting theones from my husband and kids,” I thought to myself.And then I remembered there had been another. Thedrama of the day had prompted a phone call to the pastor
© 2009 Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Invite to Write
Stella Burkhaltershares a reflection fromher directed study.
Page 1-2
Reason to Celebrate
Roy Cotton, spouse of Karen Cotton ishonored for his work at Manos de Cristo
Page 2
Extensions of an OliveBranch
Editor Mary ElizabethPrentice reflects onpeace, unity,community andidentity.
Page 2 & 3
Corpus Christi
Student Group CorpusChristi issues achallenge to thecommunity.
Page 4
Capital CampaignCampus Improvements
Vice President forBusiness Affairspresents improvementsmade to the campus .
Page 5
Listening Project
Unfortunately TheListening Project hasbeen cancelled.
Page 6
 
ISSUE 191 WWW.AUSTINSEMINARY.TYPEPAD.PORTAL/KAIROS.HTML
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who had been my SPM supervisor. I had called to ask forher advice, and as usual, she had ended the call bysaying, “I love you.” Coupled with Lisa, Shane and mySPM supervisor, the young woman from church madefour “I love you’s.I had been hearing “I love you” allday long.I don’t know what it was about that fourth “I love you,” but when I heard it from that young woman, I finally gotit. God had been loving me all day long, carrying methrough the whatever thing I had blown up and made bigger than it should have been, sustaining me throughself-doubt and anxiety, faithfully grounding me as Imoved through the day unaware. The unbelievable loveof God is radiated to us through the slightly more believable love of our fellow human beings and throughall of creation, and we are rarely awake enough to receiveit.I’m working on a directed study project this semesterexamining the theology of evangelism in the MethodistChurch. I’ve been trying to understand how we are to bring others to Christ in our postmodern era, and I’mconcluding that we do that best by inviting others intoChristian community. At first I had wondered why we’restarting new churches when the current ones aren’t full,and I questioned the point of evangelism as simplyinviting people to church as if it were just another club.As I read and think and pray and watch, I see thatinviting people into community is everything. Because Iam enmeshed in Christian community, I am surrounded by people who are living instruments of grace. Because Ispend my days in Christian community, I got to hear Godsay “I love you” out loud four times today.How blessed we are to be in these kinds of communities.How blessed we are to be called to build them.
-Stella Burkhalter
Congratulations
Roy Cotton
, supporting spouse of Junior-Middler
Karen Cotton
was named Volunteer of the Year forthe Education Program for his work at Manos deCristo.Roy has been teaching with Manos twice a weeksince the beginning of the year and also generouslydonated his time to help configure the computersprior to the start of classes, as well as volunteer atthe Back to School program in August.Roy will be recognized on October 25, 2009 at theZilker Clubhouse from 4-7 p.m.
Extensions of an OliveBranch:
Reflections on Peace, Unity, Identity &Community
 Mary Elizabeth Prentice is a Senior MDiv student under care of Grace Presbytery and Editor of Kairos.
I got beat up by my olive branch last week - in more waysthan one, but I will only share this one story.Monday, October 12, I was privileged enough to attendthe U2 360 tour at the new Dallas Cowboy Stadium. Wehad general admission tickets, which meant we stood inthe longest line, but we were able to get within spittingdistance of the outer stage.
 
ISSUE 191 WWW.AUSTINSEMINARY.TYPEPAD.PORTAL/KAIROS.HTML
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The circular center stage was set up at one end of thestadium and a circular multimedia cone was suspendedabove which descended and captured the camera anglesof The Edge, Bono, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.From the center stage two silver bridges extended over toan outer ring of stage. The first 1,500 people in the doorhad the privilege of standing in the inner ring. The outerring was 360 degrees around the stage and the bandmembers would cross the bridge and come and play onthe outer ring. It was a pretty ingenious set up.I was actually four people deep from the stage and had Ihad go-go gadget arms surgically installed, instead of repairing my old arms, I would have been able to wipe tosweat off of Bono’s brow. I have to say that I am notreally much for famous people, but there are exceptions.As for example Bono, because:A.He is from Ireland.B.He sings a song about The Troubles in NorthernIreland (Bloody Sunday). I’m a big fan of educatingpeople about The Troubles!C.He is the son of an Anglican mother and RomanCatholic father in Ireland (almost unheard of in the late60’s early 70’s). It is like he is an olive branch himself.D.He has an Irish accent thus is pretty dreamy! (Nooffense to my boyfriend)I am not going to shove and push people about to getcloser to a famous person, but I am intrigued when ourpaths nearly intersect. I have never been to a concert likethis before, much less been 4 people deep to the band.Needless to say, it was amazing.During one part of the concert, as Bono sang “City of Blinding Lights,” he pulled a 14-year-old NapoleonDynamite looking kid from the inner pit. Hand in handthe kid walked and ran around the outer circle and wasentranced by his 10 minutes of fame.The teenager wearing a hooded sweatshirt and glasses,stuffed his hands in the pockets of the sweatshirt andlooked bewildered as Bono sang, “You are so beautifultonight.” In the end the kid walked off gifted with Bonosignature sunglasses.This was all a part of the theme “What time is it?” I think I understood what Bono was trying to get at –
Now is thetime
. Bono has been politically active in helping to stopmounting debt to Africa, promoting AIDS education,advocating freedom to all people, and the list goes on. Hehas also had affairs and lives the life of a rock star, but heyhe is human after all.“This tour in part is dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi,whose only crime, was being the democratically electedleader of Burma, for which she has served 20 years inprison,” Bono proclaimed before he sang “Walk On.”This was he message of the night.Bono went on to boldly congratulate an unpopularformer President for his work in preventing the spread of Malaria and increasing Humanitarian Aide to Africa. Apre-taped message from Archbishop Desmond Tuti wasplayed before the song “One” was sung. Clearly themessage was meant to draw out our commonalities andfind unity. (Unity in the sense that we may be different, but we are all broken human beings. Unity in the sensethat diversity is respected, celebrated and proclaimed.)Throughout the concert, I was struck by the ability of people around me that found commonalities amongstthemselves. There was a sense of unity during theconcert (olive branches abounding), I just wonder why itdidn’t make it out to the parking lot.After standing for nearly 7 hours my knees were swollenand my body ached. So before I got into the car I decidedto stretch. Granted my stretching techniques are a bitidiosyncratic – they are, however, extremely helpful inloosening up these old joints and getting blood flowing.As I was doing what I called the Sumo-wrestler stretch(Imagine legs-out, knees-bent, squatted and stretching thegluteus maximus, minimus and anterior pelvic joint.)Two girls walked by pointed and loudly exclaimed: “OHMY GOD! SHE LOOKS HILARIOUS!” The friends I waswith directed my attention to them and I called out – “Atleast I can walk when I’m 30 because I am doing theseexercises!” I know - it didn’t make sense, but I felt likesaying something!Needless to say the peace, love and unity I was feelingfrom the concert was briefly interrupted, but what can Isay – I’m broken in so many ways.But “Now is the time” and I am trying to find unity andlove in the midst of being beat up by an olive branch.

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