Thursday, January 19, 2012

Small groups opportunity this semester

Those tabs at the top of the page are a reminder of what you can be doing to improve and clarify your discernment for work in theology and ministry. The ideal with this program is to "hit" every category, and be able to show you have done the work of attending to spirituality and discernment through a concept map (see the right column video on this blog!)

Although we do not have a small group set for discernment per se (you should speak up if you want that), there is an easy way to get a small group experience this semester. Check out Campus Ministry's "Praying with Parables", an eight week series being set up all over campus at different times. More information and sign up sheet in OCM: register by January 22.

Beyond the value of setting time aside to share reading and praying with scripture, it would be good to have a Christian small group experience. They have their own dynamics and are often the life-blood of parish life, if you plan to work in that venue.

Happy first week of the semester!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Have A Dream Today

From the famous 1963 March on Washington speech:

"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!' "

--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Theology Essay Contest (cash and a scholarship!)

Obsculta Theological Essay Contest

Submission Due Date: March 1, 2012

Eligibility Requirements: College Junior or Senior

Saint John’s School of Theology·Seminary is proud to announce the inaugural Obsculta theological essay contest for college juniors and seniors. The winning essay will receive a $500 cash prize and a $6,000 scholarship to the School of Theology (contingent upon admission). It will also be published in Obsculta, our student run journal for writing and art.

Obsculta is the opening word of the Rule of Benedict, which has shaped the life and spirituality of Benedictines around the world for over 1,500 years. The full opening phrase of the Rule is “Listen with the ear of your heart.” This simple admonition shapes not only the life of the monastic community at Saint John’s but also the way we do our theology and preparation for ministry. In a world where people too often speak first and ask questions later, we seek to listen—listen for the voice of the Spirit in Scripture, tradition, each other and the world. Out of this listening we speak that Word of God in a way we hope can be heard in and even inspire the world in which we live today.

We seek essays in that spirit for the Obsculta prize. The essays can be on any topic of Christian theology. This includes comparative studies of other religions and pastoral or practical theology as well as disciplines such as scripture, history, systematics.

Criteria for selection include the significance and compelling character of the topic; the quality of the research, analysis, and synthesis; the clarity, coherence, and persuasiveness of the argument; and overall style and creativity. Papers must be no more than 15 pages or 4,000 words (12 point font, double-spaced, 1-inch margins), follow the Chicago Manual of Style.

For additional information call 1-800-361-8318 or e-mail

Friday, January 13, 2012

Travel safely

...and see you the first day of Spring semester 2012: January 16th. Unless your car gets caught in a tree.

Study Abroad in Italy this summer...?

(from the Vatican art museum)

Study Abroad in Italy this summer!
Information Session
Wednesday, January 18th
4:00 - 5:00
Saint Mary's Hall, Room 134

Are you interested in spending time in Rome, Florence, and Venice? Professor Preston Lawing will be leading a three-week course to study the art, culture, and architecture in these three beautiful cities. The class is open to all majors.

WHAT: AR260: Introduction to Italian Art & Culture (3 Credits)

WHERE: Rome, Florence, Venice, and Paderno del Grappa, Italy

**Highlights include The Sistine Chapel, The Vatican, The Uffizi Gallery, The Duomo Cathedral, The Accademia, Venice Pallazzo, & the Chapel Santa Angelo.

WHEN: May 13-June 2, 2012

COST: $4530
Price includes tuition, lodging, local transportation, some meals, and entrance fees.

Additional costs you are responsible for: Passport, airfare, and some meals.

DEADLINE: Program application and $1000 Non-Refundable deposit due by
February 10, 2012.

Balance Due: April 16, 2012

If you have any questions about the program, please contact the Study Abroad Office at vmcdonal@smumn or x6996, or Preston Lawing at or x1701