Friday, April 29, 2011

Post-Easter Meanderings

For many who work in churches (especially heads of staff), it is traditional to take the week immediately following Easter as a vacation time. Especially for churches that do special worship events for Lent, the reasons for this should be obvious: the church staff has just finished a prolonged period (a month and a half or more) planning more, or at least more intensive, worship events than is usual for the rest of the year, and it's time for a break.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Holy Week Reflections IV – Easter Sunday

P4230001A friend on Facebook recently posted a comment that referenced the fact that Easter, like Christmas, has certain roots in a pagan reference that was appropriated by Christians only some centuries after the Christian era had begun (for those who are wondering, the name “Easter” is said to reference a pagan goddess).  Unlike Christmas, however, which was given a name with explicitly Christian meaning, the ambiguous name “Easter” seems to have stuck.  The post wonders why movements to call the Sunday commemorating the resurrection of Christ “Resurrection Sunday” never seem to have taken hold.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Holy Week Reflections III – Good Friday

Elisabeth Sladen died this past Tuesday.

If you don’t know who Elisabeth Sladen was, that just means that you, like most people, have probably never watched Doctor Who.  For those of us who have followed the Who universe for any significant part of the past 48 years, Sladen was known as Sarah Jane Smith, one of the longest-lasting companions of the entire franchise.  At the time of her death, she was even starring in her own Doctor Who spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures, which was in the middle of filming its fifth season (or, if you prefer the British wording, “series”).

Earth Day 2011 - Traveling by Rail

P4100021This is one of those instances where I'll just have to let my pre-prepared entries collide with each other.  I'd intended this entry, started during my recent Amtrak trip to Northern California, to appear on Earth Day, which is today.  I'd also planned to do an entry for Good Friday, which is also today.  Since Earth Day is April 22nd every year, and Good Friday changes from year to year, this can safely be chalked up to coincidence.  I'll have the Good Friday entry posted at noon.

You’ll have to click on the picture to really be able to read it, but the text on the cup reads “Rail Consumes Less Energy Than Cars Or Air Travel.”

Yes, I know that there’s irony in the fact that I’m touting this blurb which appears on a plastic cup.  Deal with it.  Enjoy the fact that it’s next to a solar-powered battery charger, if it makes you feel better.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Holy Week Reflections II – Maundy Thursday

Leonardo_da_Vinci_(1452-1519)_-_The_Last_Supper_(1495-1498)“Maundy Thursday” is one of those lesser-known Christian holidays, especially among Protestants.  Those that have heard of it at all probably know that this day remembers the event of Jesus Christ’s last meal with his disciples before his arrest and crucifixion, but even fewer have any idea what “Maundy” means.  It’s one of those words that’s pretty much never used except in connection with this particular holiday.  (Some churches use the term “Holy Thursday,” which is at least less confusing.  Don’t ask me why we stick with the more opaque term.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Holy Week Reflections I - Palm Sunday

P1010005Yesterday was Palm Sunday, and for my church that means children singing and waving palm branches near the beginning of the service. A recreation of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  I imagine that this is true for many churches, of varying traditions.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

1000 Posts!

DSC00077That’s right.  As of this post, there are exactly 1000 posts on Transforming Seminarian over the nearly six-year lifespan of the blog.
Normally, on an occasion like this, it is appropriate to write something especially profound, reflecting on the journey of the past few years.

Because I like to defy expectations every once in a while, I’m going to write about something utterly unimportant.

I want to discuss the Cheesy Double Decker Taco.

The Monster at the End of This Blog

The_Monster_at_the_End_of_This_Book_Starring_Lovable,_Furry_Old_GroverOne of my favorite books as a kid (I confess that there were many books I would fit into this category) was The Monster at the End of this Book featuring (as the cover of the book itself puts it) “Lovable, Furry Old Grover.”  The book breaks the fourth wall, certainly figuratively and perhaps even literally.  Basically, upon realizing the book’s title, Grover tries every means imaginable to get the reader (that’s you!) to stop turning pages, lest you get to the end of the book and to the monster that threatens to be present there.  But, since all of Grover’s obstacles are merely illustrations on the page (rather than literal ropes tying the page down or brick walls impeding one’s progress), the reader turns each page effortlessly until the end of the book is reached, and Grover himself is revealed to be the only monster present.  The book has been so popular that it's spawned a sequel (almost identical to the original, but with added Elmo).

Monday, April 11, 2011

A “New” Way to Stop a Train

P4100010I’ve just gotten back from a half-week vacation in Placerville, and used Amtrak to travel the bulk of the journey (still had to get from my home to LA, and from Sacramento the rest of the way to Placerville).  This was the first time I’d used Amtrak since a trip to Seattle a few years ago.  The trip gave me the opportunity to get some reading and writing done (not exactly stuff one can do while driving), and although I wish that I had Internet access in Coach (I see no reason that should be limited to just those in the Sleeper cars), it was a generally pleasant journey, and I spent some of my time on the trip writing up entries that I hope will demonstrate the advantages of traveling via Amtrak, perhaps as a way to make up for my rather extensive list of ways the train was delayed during my Seattle trip.

First things first, though.  I need to add one more “cause of delay” to that list.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Someone Forgot that April is in the Spring

P4070002I’m in the Placerville area for the next few days, celebrating my mom’s parents’ 80th birthdays.  A few miles east (and a thousand feet up or so) is Pollock Pines, where my aunt and uncle have generously let me stay.  This is the view out of the window of their family room.  Not particularly spring-like, is it?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Save the Fuller Bookstore!

You may have heard that the Fuller Bookstore (also including the "Coffee by the Books" café) is in danger of being closed.  This rumor has probably been accompanied by other rumors and whispers of what’s going to happen.  Some of these may have truth to them.  Others are either wild speculation or out-and-out falsehoods.  I’ll try to clear some of that up.

Monday, April 04, 2011

The "Secret Theology" of Women

I recently had the opportunity to be part of group of Fuller students and staff (specifically, those of us who serve either as "Ambassadors" for the seminary or who write for the Fuller Blogs site — now finally with new posts again after being down for two solid months due to technical problems) who were invited to have lunch with Fuller President Richard Mouw. During the hour, we were invited to offer our perspectives on the seminary and ask questions about things that interest or concern us. I took the occasion to ask Mouw about Fuller's ongoing commitment to women in ministry.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Conflicting Narratives and "Uncivility"

I try to read a healthy number of other people's blogs.  While I try not to remain within what's commonly called the "bell jar" (for those who don't know the term in this context, the idea suggests a person that only visits sites that promote opinions the person already has, thus isolating the person from ever hearing anything else), I will confess that some sites interest me more than others, and that some opinions are simply stated too harshly for me to continue reading for long.  Among the sites I've been to, I've been noticing a trend in the ways that people use scripture references to make opposing cases.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...