February 27, 2009

A Miniseries of Reflections from Travels Abroad
By Mary Elizabeth Prentice, MDiv Middler

A Publication of the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Community

Issue #172

Part Four
Walls are a peculiar thing. Throughout history humankind has built physical walls and metaphorical walls. We saw both on the January travel seminar to the Holy Land. I have a history with walls though, so I should start first in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Many of you may know that I lived and worked as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Belfast, Northern Ireland for the 20042005 school year. I served at a local community centre in a predominantly Loyalist/Protestant town. My job was to be present to marginalized young people. But to know the context of their marginality you must look at the bigger picture. Northern Ireland is known for “The Troubles,” a period of time when sectarian violence between Republicans (closely associated to Catholics) and Loyalist (closely associated with Protestants) erupted and the country lived in the midst of sectarian violence for several decades. There is relative peace in Northern Ireland right now. Sinn Fein and the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) have signed peace agreements to encourage disarmament amongst associated paramilitaries, and the two political parties are attempting to share power in the government. However, there are still splinter organizations that have not agreed to such agreements, which makes peace at times precarious. Thus the remnants of this violence and deep-seated separation are seen in the walls and murals around the country and in particular Belfast. I speak to you about walls in Northern Ireland for three reasons. First, it was my first real encounInside This Issue
Chapel Schedule Announcements and Events What I Learned in Seminary Today 2 3-4 6 Weekly Calendar Dear Daughter 7 8

ter of identity as a cultural and religious force in society, second because I am leading a group over there on March 6, and third because the walls I saw in Israel/Palestine reminded me of the walls in Northern Ireland. There were six YAV’s from the United States the year I served. Our in-country orientation during the first few days consisted of learning the context of where we were living and working. We were driven around the city and through neighborhoods to see the blatant declaration of identity on the walls. The murals and walls in Northern Ireland are used primarily as propaganda, but are also a forced expression of the identity of the neighborhood. You know very well what type of neighborhood you are entering and who is “in control” of the neighborhood. I got used to seeing the murals. But one day I was on foot and walked up the incline of a hill, and as I reached the top of the hill I was greeted with a mural proclaiming “YOU ARE NOW ENTERING SANDY ROW.” I knew that I was entering a Loyalist/Protestant area, but this mural was surprisingly loud and included a figure in a balaclava holding a machine gun. I had seen murals like this before, but this time it was different. Maybe it was because I was on foot, but I felt like the mural screamed “YOU are NOT welcome,” rather than stating who was in charge. These types of murals were prevalent during The Troubles. Slowly they are transitioning into more peaceful signs of identity, but there are still more balaclavas than I would like to see. Belfast also has a wall. The “Peace Line”
Continued on page 5
© 2009 Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

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Chapel Schedule March 2—March 6 Monday: Tuesday: Morning Prayer Service Student Led Service of Word and Sacrament, Dr. Michael Jinkins, preacher Morning Prayer Service Led by Amber Reber Service of the Word Melea White, preacher

Cultural Diversity Student Group
At times in the past Austin Seminary has had various student groups which focused on racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. If you are interested in forming such a group, please respond to Ann Fields (afields@austinseminary.edu). List all days and times which might work for you for an initial meeting. If there is sufficient interest, an organizational meeting will be set at a time that is convenient for most of those who respond.

Thursday: Friday:

It's My Park Day March 7, 2009 from 9am to 12pm
Come one & all (including children & dogs!!!) to the Adams/Hemphill Park Cleanup!!! We will be doing a general park cleanup that will include trash pickup and cleaning out winter growth from the creek bed. Remember last years great breakfast tacos donated by Trudy's??? We are counting on them to come through again this year, so come have breakfast with us while doing something good for our beloved park! Hope to see you there! For more information, check the portal at http://austinseminary.typepad.com/portal/2009/02/its-mypark-day.html

Senior MDiv students will begin preaching in chapel on Friday, March 6, and will typically preach on Mondays and Fridays.

It’s time to get together with your small group from our retreat (during Orientation) to check in with one another on your commitments to spiritual disciplines. Contact Ann Fields if you have questions.

Winsome Walkers
Anyone interested in walking during the lunch hour? If so, beginning Monday March 2, meet in front of McCord building on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at noon (weather permitting) and we will walk for about 30-40 minutes. If you can’t do all three days, that’s OK, just come and walk when you can. Contact Deborah Butler for more information.

UT Recreational Sports
The University of Texas at Austin Division of Recreational Sports is allowing all students, faculty, and staff at Austin Seminary to purchase associate level memberships on a pro-rated semester basis beginning at a cost of $150.00 for the spring semester, February through May, or $320.00 for February through August, 2009. RecSports offers over 20,000 square feet of weight training and conditioning space, an indoor climbing wall, swimming pools, an indoor jogging track, basketball and volleyball courts, racquetball/handball/squash courts, 40 acres of outdoor activity space, 52 lighted tennis courts and much more. If you are interested or have additional questions, contact Rhonda Cox, Assistant Director at 471-6370 or rrcox@mail.utexas.edu to become an associate member. You may also visit their website www.utrecsports.org. If you are interested in a one-day free pass, contact Deborah Butler at dbutler@austinseminary.edu.

APTS Crop Hunger Walk Team
Austin Area Interreligious Ministries (AAIM) in partnership with Church World Services (CWS) is hosting their 30th Annual Crop Hunger Walk on March 7th and 8th. If you are not already participating with a local congregation or another organization, please consider joining the APTS team. If you are interested in walking, packets can be obtained from Nikki Stahl (nikstahl@gmail.com) or you can join the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary team online (www.churchworldservice.org). Donations can also be made at this website. Specific information about the Austin walk can be found at www.aaimaustin.org/cropwalk.html.

Personal Counseling
Referral for individual counseling is available to students and/or their families as needed. If you would like to talk about the possibility of counseling, contact Ann Fields at afields@austinseminary.edu or by phone at 4044869.

Do you have something to say to Kairos? Something to add… Something to refute?
If so, we’d like to hear. We are committed to dialogue. Letters to the editor will be published. See page 7 of this issue for our editorial guidelines.

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Austin Seminary Care Team
The Care Team serves as a consulting, advising and facilitating body in support of the work of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Vocation (VPSAV) and other administrative offices and committees, concerning the care, support and advocacy for students and their families in difficult situations. The Care Team is not a disciplinary body. The President appoints the Care Team annually. Ordinarily the Care Team is made up of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Vocation, the Vice President for Business Affairs, the Associate Dean for Student Academic Affairs, and two faculty members. Individuals may be referred to the Care Team by the student him/herself; a faculty member, administrator or staff member; any member of the Care Team, a spouse or other family member; a pastor or denominational body; another student; or the Faculty Committee on Student Life/Student Standing. Referral to the Care Team may be made either in person or in writing.

CITY/STATE Stockton, CA Narrows, VA Tulsa, OK Houston, TX Chattanooga, TN Toms River, NJ Magnolia, AR Valdese, NC Oxford, PA Tyler, TX CHURCH First Presbyterian First Presbyterian John Knox Presbyterian Clear Lake Presbyterian Presbyterian Campus Ministry At UT-Chattanooga The Presbyterian Church of Toms River First Presbyterian Waldensian Presbyterian Oxford Presbyterian First Presbyterian POSITION Solo Pastor (ordained) Pastor/Yoked-multiple (ordained) Associate Pastor for Christian Ed (ordained) Assoc. Pastor for Spiritual Formation (ordained) Campus Minister (ordained) Assoc. Pastor for Congregational Care (ordained) Director of Youth Ministries (non-ordained) Church Educator (non-ordained) Christian Ed Director (non-ordained) Youth Director (non-ordained)

Note: New Church Information Forms (CIF) are on file in the Vocation & Placement Office. Other Local Opportunities: Received regularly; check the Student Employment Bulletin Board outside the Financial Aid Office. Also, check the “other opportunities” binder in the Vocation & Placement Office.

Mark your calendars! Baccalaureate Sat., May 23 6:00 p.m. Commencement Sun., May 24 2:30 p.m.
Both Events Will Be Held At University Presbyterian Church See Alison in the dean’s office for more information. GETTING IN SHAPE FISCALLY
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 McMillan #210 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Barth & Grill 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Seminar On Your Own Break Supper break, Seminar

Commencement News


Presented by: The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) This seminar is required by PC(USA) Presbyteries Call Sharon Pawlik at 404-4832 for more information.

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Translation, Please?

A. B. C. D.

“Come back here and I will taunt you a second time.” “There is something I must tell you… I am not left handed.” “Boys, you gotta learn not to talk to the nuns that way.” Other ______________________________________________

The first person to submit the correct answer to kairos@austinseminary.edu will receive a free donut next Wednesday at 11:00.

Student Senate Minutes February 18, 2009
Present: Melissa Koerner, Sarah Hegar, Ann Fields, Matthew Thompson, José Lopez, Jackie Saxson, Lindsay Hatch, Excused: Chris Kreisher, Amy Wiles
OLD ITEMS • Spring Fling (#1) – Saturday, April 4. Matthew researched fields for the event. A field in Pflugerville can be rented for $50/day. More research will be done to see about grilling. City parks are not reservable for sand volleyball courts. Matthew will reserve the field and Jose will contact SSW. • Spring Flung (#2) – Thursday, April 30, 5:30pm to J Dinner, fun, and farewell to Ann. Cinco de Mayo themed. NEW ITEMS • Manna – March 4, 11, 25 • March 4 – This week in Facebook and Wednesday Update • March 11 – Ted speaking • March 25 – Manna Coffeehouse Lindsay will recruit pray-ers for Manna • Senior Manna – Wednesday, May 6 • Senate and Committee Elections – Matthew suggested moving to ranked voting to avoid second votes. We would have to call a student body meeting to change this in the Constitution. He also proposed changing the by-laws to include an MSSW representative. Senate will invite Charissa Ellis, the elections chair, to senate next week to discuss this further. Student Lounge – evidently Student Senate is in charge of stocking and maintaining the lounge. Senate will check this weekly after their meetings. Student Cross Wall – Students are encouraged to bring crosses to be hung on the student lounge wall. Senate is setting a deadline of April 8 for the crosses to be collected during Manna. Conservation—A suggestion from student David Mustol: as a good steward of creation and the environment David would like to push for all papers to be submitted electronically to save paper. Senate will invite David to our meeting to discuss this further. José will write an article for Kairos reminding the community about paper awareness as well as printing on both sides. We are also working to get recycling for the computer lab and student lounge.

• •

José closed the meeting in prayer. Respectfully submitted by Sarah F. Hegar.

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Continued from page 1

the various paramilibegan in the 1970’s as a tary organizations. I ‘temporary measure.’ It lived in North Belfast has now outlasted the (for the first half of Berlin Wall and zigzags the year), which was for some 4km (2miles) predominantly Cathothroughout the city and lic. There, the tricolor into the lower slopes of Irish flag flew high the Black Mountains. Its and the road signs base is concrete blocks were sometimes in measuring 6m (~18ft) Gaelic. I had to be high. Over the course careful about colors of thirty years and as to wear when I went recently as 2005 the out. You never knew wall has continued to whom you would engrow in height. The wall counter. A football now has at least 3m hooligan with a few (~9ft) of metal sheeting too many drinks above the concrete and mixed with me wearoften another 2-3m of The Murals of Northern Ireland ing wrong-colored chain link fence on top shirt would not have ended pretty. of that. This wall divides the West Belfast communiWhat surprised me was an encounter my ties of Protestant Shankill Road and the Catholic friends Jen, Whitney and I experienced within our Falls Road. There are gates that allow passage first few weeks. We were in a pub enjoying a pint from one side to the other, but they still close daily and some young men started talking to us. They around 5 p.m. and re-open at 8 a.m. (According to determined we were NOT from around the area and the Lonely Planet Travel Guide for Ireland, 2004). quickly began giving us tips on how to manage living It is popular for people to stop and write mesin Northern Ireland. In an off-handed remark one of sages of peace and solidarity. There is a specific the young men said to Whitney, who was wearing a part of the wall called the “Solidarity Wall” which is a turquoise scarf, that her scarf was too “green.” Now collection of murals expressing Republican for those that are unfamiliar with turquoise, it is a (Catholic) sympathies with, among others, the Palesblue-green color, more on the blue side in my opintinians, the Kurds, and the Basques. While I lived ion. But the young man said it was “too green.” It over there messages of anti-American sentiment was too “Catholic/Republican!” I was astounded. were also prevalent. I hope to take the group I am Without having to ask – I knew what “side” the young leading back to the wall and see if anything has man was on. changed. And that is what This was not a walls can do. They can wall that inhibited my life be seen as a forced exin any way. However, I pression/ imposiexperienced many metation/declaration of identity phorical walls that did inthat determines sides. fluence my life. I worked They can be seen as a East of Belfast where the way of staking claim to a town (Newtownards) was certain area and physi95% Loyalist/ Protestant. cally saying who is in and The murals that dotted who is out. Walls are a the streets here were part of our history and mostly red, white and seem to be a part of our blue, and were accompafuture. nied by Union Jacks and the flags and symbols of
The Belfast Peace Line

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A Weekly Column Offering Musings, Insights, and Reflections on the Seminary Life

196,197, ...
By Paul Dubois, MDiv Senior

I am blessed with a lot of friends. In fact, I had 196 friends when I started writing this column, but I’m up to 197 now! In a conversation last week I heard reference to a study (which regrettably I cannot cite) that found that generally Americans today have fewer deep, close friendships than ever before. That is, we are more alone than ever despite the extraordinary degree of our technological connectedness. Sadly, I don’t think this surprises many of us. Sadder still, we often feel powerless to change it. Well, at least I do. Enter Facebook. Facebook has been a lot of fun since I succumbed to a friend’s prodding and signed up last spring. I enjoy checking on friends’ status updates, occasionally changing my own status, and playing Scramble. But, as most things in my life do, Facebook has spurred me to reflect upon myself and friendship (and a little on time management). Many of my Facebook friends come from the seminary community. Almost immediately upon signing up, I began receiving friend requests. Some were pre-existing friends—People I have gotten to know and love through various experiences together–class, spiritual direction, the wilderness, Indonesia. But others were people who, although I knew their names, I had never really spoken to before. I was a little surprised that they knew me, that they knew who I was, and that they offered friend status (I’m not sure this necessarily qualifies as “friendship.”) I suppose I was a pleasantly surprised that these persons had seen me. There are some of you out there whom I see, perhaps smile at and give a polite salutation... but are we friends? Do I take the leap and make that statement (which you must verify), that we are, indeed, friends? It is interesting that you must verify that I am indeed your friend before I am allowed to see your profile. For me, however, the most vulnerable part is asking to be your friend. I’ve ventured beyond the seminary community, too. A few nights ago I added my first high school to my education profile–not the school I graduated from, but the high school I attended for a year and a half in Maryland before moving to Texas. I felt funny about going back there, though. Face-

book voyeurism. I moved from Maryland 30 years ago and fell out of contact with the last of those people about 20 years ago. Why was I doing this, where was I going, what were my intentions? Out of the hundred or so names, a few stood out to me. Jeff and I first got to know one another in Junior high. But in the 9th grade we were on the high school wrestling team together. More importantly, that was also the year he discovered acting. As a freshman he won the leading role in ‘Pippin,’ the spring play. I remember how much he loved acting. So there he was on Facebook, with a Los Angeles address. By Googling him I found he is indeed an actor, mostly of bit parts in a variety of television series. He also had a rather minor role in “Holes.” I’m going to have to watch that one again. Then there was Amy, whom I didn’t know as well, but I remember her because we had a lot of classes together and she always wore rock-n-roll concert t-shirts. Heart, Boston, and Led Zeppelin. Lo and behold, apart from whatever else she does for a living, on the side she is an expert on the history and biographies of Led Zeppelin, even having met them. Should I tell my boys? Can she get us tickets when Zeppelin comes to Houston? There were others, too. Ty and I used to laugh a lot and crack up. He even suggested once that we form a comedy team. There were other names I remember, sometimes vaguely, but not their faces. Then there was Tony, an awkward boy whom I didn’t know well, and I wonder whether I had been unkind to him. I reconsider my intentions. Why am I looking at these people? Do I dare risk to click on the “add friend” button, and allow myself to be judged as friend, or not, by them? No, not yet. To simply place myself before them as a member of that high school community is vulnerability enough for one day. The fear that I will not be remembered, that I will not be seen, gives way to the fear that I will... that they will want to reconnect with me, that I will be seen, loved, and welcomed. Will this somehow obligate me to them? What does it mean to be a friend? Deep down, I know that vulnerability is a good thing. 197 and holding.
Disclaimer: This column is not a cheap ploy to increase my friend count.

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Monday, March 2nd
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Board of Pensions – Kathy Muenchow Morning Prayer Acts 2:42 – Jose Lopez Conspirare Committee – Ann Fields Spiritual Direction Group – Scott Quinn

McCord 204 Shelton Chapel Knox Dining Hall McCord 201 McCord 202

Tuesday, March 3rd
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 4:15 – 8:15 p.m.

Board of Pensions – Kathy Muenchow Service of the Word and Sacrament Dr. Michael Jinkins, preacher Chapel Team: Kathy Escandell and Jeff Saddington Library Instruction – Lila Parrish Reading, Writing, and Study Skills – Light German

McCord 204 Shelton Chapel McCord 201 Knox Dining Hall

Wednesday, March 4th
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 12:45 – 2:30 p.m. 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. 1:00 – 8:30 p.m. 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Board of Pensions – Kathy Muenchow Administration Advisory Committee – Nancy Reese Spiritual Direction – Jean Springer Midweek Manna – Student Senate Corpus Christi – Scott Spence Student Senate – Melissa Koerner Church Ministry Department Meeting – David White Korean Bible Study – In Hye Park Spiritual Direction – Barbara Schutz Senior Seminar: BOP “Getting in Shape Fiscally” – Sharon Pawlik APTS Choir Rehearsal – Kevin McClure Insights Commissions – David Jensen University Christian Meeting with Dr. Tomlinson – Outside Group

McCord 204 Trull Boardroom McCord 202 Stotts Dining Hall McCord 201 McMillan 206 Knox Dining Hall McMillan 204 McMillan 205 McMillan 210 Shelton Chapel Trull 115 McCord 201

Thursday, March 5th
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Spiritual Direction – Barbara Schutz Morning Prayer Led by Amber Reber Call 2 – Gail Dalrymple Austin HR Management Association – Lori Rohre Library Instruction – Lila Parrish

McCord 202 Shelton Chapel McCord 201 Knox Dining Hall McCord 203

Friday, March 6th
8:30 – 10:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Spiritual Direction – Joe Berry Worship: Service of the Word Melea White, preacher Cancer Connection Training – Outside Group

McCord 202 Shelton Chapel McCord 203

Saturday, March 7th
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Cancer Connection Training – Outside Group

McCord 203

Sunday, March 8th
2:00 – 3:30 p.m. 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Austin Girls’ Choir – Sara McClure Veterans for Peace – Jack Prince

Shelton Chapel McCord 203

Submissions to Kairos: Email submissions to the editor, Paul Dubois, at Kairos@austinseminary.edu. Calendar events and room reservation requests should be sent to Jackie McCully at jmccully@austinseminary.edu or made in person at the McCord desk. Editorial decisions are based on urgency, availability of space, and editorial guidelines. Deadline is Wednesday at 5:00 P.M. Submissions made after deadline must be accompanied by a dunkel. Kairos Editorial Guidelines Kairos is the voice of students at Austin Seminary. Kairos generally carries no advertisement for sales of goods or services by individuals. An exception is the sale of a student’s library or other study aids. It is not possible to make all program announcements which are submitted by individual churches. Kairos is more likely to be able to run announcements which apply to ecumenical or interfaith groups or groups of churches. No letters which attack individuals or groups will be run in Kairos. This is to be distinguished from letters which might criticize the actions of individuals or groups. Kairos will publish letters to the editor that contribute to Christian conversation on the APTS campus. All letters must be signed.

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Dear Daughter
It is late, my eyes are half-closed and my heart is full. The “Good Book” and Paul’s letters to the churches, now inspire me to write to you, this letter from love. Daughter, I’ll forever love you and tell you the truth—for you know, there’s nothing more out of order, than a thoughtless, undisciplined daughter! Looking into twinkling eyes, flashing with humor and wit, perkish mouth with upturned corners, a wide impish smile, guess who I also see? Oh, dear God, is it me? Your melodious voice tells of your young life singing for freedom, while holding onto the “Solid Rock,” I pray that you will. With wonder, I hear and see your bold and brash spirit, sometimes too fresh, sometimes too sad, always moving with youthful assurance to your own identity and self. At times, I want to remember words of wisdom and caution, the elders used with me. Whisper them in a way you can truly hear, strong and sweet for you to tuck away in your heart. You are my darling daughter and my promise to you is this. With answered prayers you will be ready. Oh yes, you will be ready! Ready for the beautiful journey of life on to true Christian womanhood. And daughter, along the way, I will have to move from Mother to friend and back again, because you see, I’m on a journey too! God bless you and keep you in His care, always. Mother

Malartha Bosier, November 2001

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