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Kairos # 193 2009_11_06

Kairos # 193 2009_11_06

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Kairos Issue #193
Kairos Issue #193

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Published by: kairosapts on Nov 09, 2009
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11/09/2009

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THE VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY 
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 kai o
A Weekly Newspaper Issue 193, Nov. 9-13, 2009
Songs of Lament
Becca Weaver is a Junior MDiv student under care of Presbytery of Plains and Peaks.
I don’t remember our first day of classes very well. Thereare just snippets of being handed syllabi and getting ataste of what was to come this semester circulating in mymind. What I remember most clearly from that first daywas the worship service in the chapel when President TedWardlaw preached on a Psalm of Lament.He told the story of his youngest daughter heading tocollege and relating her story to ours as we “Juniors” startthis new phase of life. He spoke of the anxieties we mayhave been feeling and the doubts we may have had aboutour being here. It was at this point that I came to therealization that our seminary president is able to readminds, which filled my heart with fear. Somehowthrough his supernatural power, he knew about thelaments that filled my heart.I was painfully homesick, just wanting to be back inColorado with my family and the mountains. The lasttime I had moved out of state, two of my grandparentspassed away and I am fully aware that I am likely to losemore family members during these next few years. I amalso aware that Texas has no mountains, which meansthere will be limited hiking and no skiing.
!
Even more sorrowful was the ever-present feeling of doubt that seemed to overwhelm my whole self. Whatwas I doing here? How in the world could God call me toministry? In the past few months I had been praying anddiscerning, but clearly there are others who are way morequalified! I sat in the pew that evening, trembling as Tedspoke the words on my heart. I feared it was only amatter of time before everyone else found out that Ididn’t belong here.
© 2009 Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Invite to Write
Becca Weaver andHeather Lee sharethoughts of the aboutlament and being a female pastor.
Page 1-3
Opportunities for Food& Fellowship
Corpus Christi and theseminary communityare hosting meals fordifferent events. Seethe details.
Page 4
Five Questions
Reporter ChristianSchmidt asks studentsrandom questions
Page 5
Justice Challenge
Corpus Christi issuesthis week’s justicechallenge.
Page 6
Board of TrusteesEvents
This week the Board of Trustees will be oncampus. Find outwhen you can meetthem.
Page 7
Student Senate MeetingNotes
Student Senate makestheir notes public.Read them here.
Page 11
 
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This feeling of unease continued for the first few weeks.It seems like my mind and my heart could never quite geton board with each other. At times my mind was fullyengaged but my heart wasn’t fully in it, or my heart wasexcited to be here but my mind wasn’t. This back andforth continued until I went home for Fall Break. Duringthe week I was able to see everyone I wanted to and I wasable to stop and reflect on my current circumstances.While gathering the rest of my stuff I had left at myparent’s house, I stumbled upon a stack of old diaries and journals dating all the way back to when I was 7 yearsold. I spent the afternoon reading them and laughing atsome of the entries. Most were about the latest boy that Ihad a crush on or how our middle school’s clique “TheCrew” was making my life miserable. But there were alsoseveral entries about what I wanted to be when I grew up.I usually listed 2 or 3 ideas at a time and they ranged fromlibrarian to scatologist (google it if you’re unfamiliar) toteacher.The one career idea that was constant in all of these liststhrough the years was missionary/ministry. As I readthese entries it suddenly dawned on me that I knew veryearly on what God was calling me to do, I had justforgotten about it during the past few years when I’ve been angry at the church.I loved being home in Colorado, but the more time I spentthere the more I realized I didn’t belong. The whole timeI’ve been in Austin I’ve been thinking about the paths Icould have taken, rather than celebrating the path thatI’m on which is where God needs me.I wish I could go back to the beginning of the semesterand start over. I would read the texts with moreconcentration, I would engage in deeper conversationwith my fellow students and I would devote much moreenergy to the assignments I wrote. Since I can’t do that,I’m going to try to do all of those things now and I’mgoing to rejoice in the fact that my mind and my heart arenow in agreement.
-Becca Weaver
What do you call a femalepastor?
Heather Lee is a Middler MDiv Baptist student from Boerne, Texas.
What do you call a female pastor?The other day I was having lunch with an old friend andher family. During the conversation my friend’s Aunt(let’s call her Betty) asked me, “So what do you do?” As I began my explanation that I’m in seminary workingtoward my Master’s of Divinity, I expected the traditionalquestions that would follow. What’s Divinity? What areyou going to do with that?Having given many explanations before, I had myresponse well-rehearsed. But before I could finish, mygood friend chimed in. “She’s going to be a pastor.” Ihave been trained to expect wrinkled faces and a stunnedresponse at this answer, but what I experienced next wasnew. “So,” Betty asks, “What do you call a female pastoranyway?”Now, having grown up in the Southern BaptistConvention where they do not ordain women, I mighthave asked this question myself five years ago. But by thegrace of God, my life has traveled a path full of enlightenment and discernment that eventually led me toAustin Seminary.Through this process, I wrestled with the question: “Doesa woman belong in the pulpit?” My solution….Absolutely! What I wrestle with today is why people stillfind the idea of a female pastor shocking. Is it really sucha radical idea? Perhaps.Radical in the sense that the need for more femalepresence in church leadership is long overdue. Radical inthe sense that some people might actually enjoy having afemale pastor. Or, radical because our American mindseton equality steps forward with the right foot and dragsthe left.What do you call a female pastor? As I ponder thisquestion further, I think Betty was asking something
 
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churches of all Christian denominations deal with today.Betty’s question may seem shocking initially when inreality it isn’t that shocking at all.Maybe the world struggles to define female leadership inthe church because we (as the church) have yet to define itourselves. Sure we may say females belong in the pulpit, but do we really mean it? In fact most female leadershipseen today in churches are in areas other than seniorpastor positions.Many traditions have been ordaining women for years,and yet the idea of a female pastor will still raise aneyebrow or two. Perhaps it is because we don’t buy intoour own theory. Ordaining women is one thing, but believing women should preach is another.There is still, even if we won’t admit it, the idea that awoman has to be just as good as a man to gain authorityand earn respect. Why do we continue to hold females toan unfair standard especially in the church? In manyways women surpass the work of men. “Remember,Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did only backwards and in heels.” (Faith Whittlesey)I challenge you, O future leaders of the church, toconsider the unspoken truths of female leadership in yourtradition. What remains silent that speaks volume to theproblem?So, my friends, what do YOU call a female pastoranyway?
-Heather Lee
Looking back 
Christian Schmidt is a junior MDiv Unitarian Universalist studentunder care of the Southwest Unitarian Universalist Conference.
I’m tired. Really tired.It may just be that time of semester, but the last time Iremember being this exhausted was a few years ago, justafter Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Louisiana andMississippi Gulf Coast. I was working as a newspaperreporter in Natchez, Mississippi, and, though we werespared nearly all of the destruction that the hurricane brought, we were impacted as much as just about anyone.Starting a day or so before Katrina made landfall, theroads were packed. By the day the storm hit, there werehalf a dozen shelters in Natchez and two nearby towns,the gas stations were out of gas, and the grocery storesdidn’t have much left to sell, and Natchez only hadintermittent power.We briefly moved the newspaper’s operation to myapartment, which was in one of the few neighborhoods intown that still had power. Soon, we had a generatorrunning and a day later, the power was back on acrosstown, though not anywhere else in Southern Mississippi.Meanwhile, Natchez’s population nearly doubledovernight, as thousands of evacuees came streaming intothe town of 20,000. For some reason, it’s been on mymind again recently. (Maybe John Ahn’s comparisons between the forced migrations of the Israelites to Babylonand the residents of New Orleans across the nation havesomething to do with it.)I remember the weeks after Katrina hit, going daily to theshelters where thousands of people slept on cots in hugerooms at local churches and schools. I remember talkingto people about their horrific stories of surviving thestorm, of walking miles through waist-deep water overwhat used to be roads in south Louisiana. Many peopledidn’t know if their family members were still alive,much less where they might be.And I remember being tired. So tired. For weeks, thenewspaper staff worked 12- or 15-hour days trying tocover the new reality of our community. But it wasn’t justthe hours. It was trying to deal with unbelievable events Iwas witnessing and the stories I was hearing.And sometimes, that’s where I feel myself now, trying tocome to grips with the reality of our lives, trying to figureout what I should do. And I think back to those weeksand months after Katrina changed the Gulf Coast forever.
-Christian Schmidt

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