After a bit of a hiatus from blogging, I'm back. I simply could not let this week go by without a post. After 2 years of ministry, I am back on the campus of Virginia Theological Seminary. Why am I here? 2 years ago, (it's been 2 years already?) toward the end of my senior year in seminary, my class was offered the opportunity to participate in the Second 3 Years program. This primary purpose of this program is to continue the formation that began in seminary (i.e. the first 3 years) through the early part of our ministry after graduation. It seems like only a month or so has passed since I was last here, but there have been a few changes on campus since I graduated, though.
First, and I've written about this before, the seminary chapel burned down last October. When I arrived on campus on Sunday, I saw the "ruins" for the first time with my own eyes. This, of course, has led to other changes. Since the formation of future leaders of the church is kind of a big deal here, the seminary needed some place to hold worship services. What was once a sort of communal gathering space just outside the refectory has become the prayer hall. Since the seminary will not have a usable chapel building for at least the next few years and having the usual gathering space is an important part of being a community, the auditorium in which I received my diploma is being leveled in order to become the new temporary worship place. Perhaps the most startling change has been the conversion of the small dining room (a room I remember as a place where they stored extra chairs) has become the 1823 Café. They are still waiting for their liquor license, but this is sure to become a favorite hangout spot on campus.
Some things, however, have not changed. I am staying in one of the student dorms, and I have no idea how I managed to sleep on a twin bed all 3 years of seminary.
This week has been a long one. Our days would start with Morning Prayer at 8:30 am, and we have had some form of continuing education workshop every day, sometimes not finishing our days until an 8:30 pm Compline service. While I have certainly learned a lot this week, what I will take away the most is the opportunity that I have had to reconnect with friends and colleagues. Sadly, I must once again leave this amazing group of people to rejoin the rest of the world. I am so very happy to be a member of the VTS Class of 2009, and I look forward to keeping in touch with my class mates as we all continue to grow in our ministries.
PS - I am not the only one of my class with a blog. Take some time to check out their blogs: