Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Steps Stone and Mustard Yellow: Beginning seminary with baby

My survival belongings (diapers, notepad, books, wipes, water bottle and Hawaiian print blanket are strewn across the steps of the seminary library, grand stone like a cathedral, old and opening to a seminary world wide, diverse, yet insular. in a permeable sort of way. Avriana, my five-month old daughter is held close to me with one arm; my other hand holds Everything Must Change, a pre-release version of Brian Mclaren's latest book. Squishy noises of poop, boldly propelled by natural gas sound explosively from my baby's bottom. I look around, to note any possible witnesses, before I align my yellow legal pad and a folder emblazoned with the Lutheran Theological Seminary logo and filled with financial information, so as to form an approximation of a changing pad. Opening Avriana's diaper, I am careful not to let her roll down the stone steps into the green seminary square below, and just as the yellow-mustard gooey stuff is revealed to Creation, appearing from the library's massive wood doors is prim-ish looking women who is walking toward me marked by a slightly raised eyebrow connoting intrugue and a predilection for disapproval from behind her nose-level bifocals. I say, "Hi."

Everyday we begin prologue with a small group discussion around a long table, which looks like a sub (or as they say in Pennsylvania, a hoagie,) and it is over this hoagi that we get to know people who will someday be ministers in the name of Christ. Prologue, in case you were wondering, is our introductory seminary course, taking up all day, every day except Sunday for two weeks, emphasizing exposure to the Other, in the form of interfaith presenters, a field trip to the local Krishna temple (where you can find delectable date peanut cookies, as well as freshly dressed deities and caucasian women and men donned in Indian Sari's serving the All Attractive One,) and intense discussion of racism and the socio-ethnic landscape of the Avenue on which sits our permeable, insular womb, in which we will become pastors, priests. Someones and somethings who will bear some responsibility for carrying out the work of Christ's God in the world.

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