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taking time to breathe

I haven't blogged much of late, have I? Things have been very, very busy -- I've been working at full steam throughout this week even though I'm hanging out in L.A. (where I grew up) on the closest thing I'll have to a vacation this year. It has been somewhat relaxing at least to be tapping away on my laptop in a quiet house or by the pool instead of in my study at home, but I do hope I can get a solid chunk of down time before Wednesday, when I head for home. I should get home at about 9:30 p.m. or so on Wednesday, at which point I have to go to the printer's to pick up a poster or two and copy some articles for The Witness' presence at the General Convention (usually abbreviated as 'GC') of the Episcopal Church. In the morning, I hope to take the car in for an oil change and then load the car with GC gear. There'll be a lot of it -- much for The Witness, and since that necessitated my driving instead of flying, I plan to bring lots of the comforts of home, as I won't be home again until June 21.

On the morning of June 8 I drive to Kenyon College in Ohio for the Global Episcopal Mission Network Institute, where I'm co-presenting on "Views on the Future of the Anglican Relationship" with Christopher Wells, with whom I served on the Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, the body charged with preparing General Convention to respond to the Windsor Report and related documents and events. On June 10, I'll drive to Columbus to help set up the GC booth for The Consultation, a coalition of progressive organizations in the Episcopal Church. On June 11, I pick up my honey from the airport, as she has VERY generously volunteered to help with The Witness' coverage of convention, and the marathon that is General Convention begins!

With all of that in the works, I haven't had much time to breathe, let alone blog, so I haven't shared much of my personal news:

I've got a new job that I'm excited about -- I'm editing The Worship Well, a website with ideas and resources for good and creative liturgy, for Church Publishing. It's a part-time gig, so it doesn't interfere with my editing The Witness, which is also part-time, and I get to work from wherever I am. That's important, as in September (if not sooner) I'll be moving to the Boston area to enroll in the Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. When my bishop first decided that I should go to seminary, I can't say I was excited about it. I've spent a majority of my adult life in graduate theological education, and have a seminary degree from St. Mary's Divinity College of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland as well as a C.Phil. (all but the dissertation for a Ph.D.) in New Testament/early church history from U.C.L.A. My discernment of a call to ordained ministry was in part a recognition that what most inspires me as I study the New Testament and history of the church is working out in my worshipping community what it might mean for us to be the Body of Christ as we follow Jesus today. I found my voice as a preacher and experienced a call to parish ministry, and so I was initially unhappy at being taken away from parish ministry to spend more time in classrooms and libraries.

Now, though, I'm really looking forward to being at EDS. All those libraries plus the structure and community of academic life at a seminary will, I think, make it easier for me to file my Ph.D. dissertation, and I'll also have the chance to branch out more in my studies; I'd like in particular to engage in deep and extended study of issues in the Anglican Communion that I took up in my work with the Special Commission. And I imagine that all the things that made me love seminary the first time around -- living in a community of folks who take their faith and formation seriously, long talks over margaritas about liturgy, theology, church politics, and life, the goofy fun that emerges in a community of people under similar pressures -- will be present in life at EDS. And as much as I love Frederick, where I live, it'll be fun to live once more in a big city (good Thai food! public transportation! art-house films!).

Knowing that I'm moving there, though, puts me in an awkward kind of in-between stage. Our house in Frederick was the first property I'd ever owned. It was a stinky (literally! The whole place smelled like cat urine when we moved in), disgusting mess when we bought it, and with a LOT of elbow grease, we turned it into a charming home. It's the first place I've really 'nested,' and I did that bigtime. It's sad saying goodbye to that and moving into an apartment that seminary regulations say can't be painted; it's hard to believe that my new digs will feel anywhere near that homey. I have confidence, though, that I'll settle in soon enough, and will eventually get to a point where it's hard to imagine living anywhere else. And now that it's set that I'm going to EDS, my imagination is already starting to settle there, and once I get back to Frederick after convention, I think the summer will mostly be about getting rid of stuff I don't need and packing up to go. It's a very good thing that I'm happy to be going where I am; otherwise, I think I'd mostly be feeling dislocation. As it is, I'm far more looking forward to being there already than I am upset about needing to move.

Seminary, here I come! Well, almost -- in the meantime, there's this small matter of General Convention, finding out just where I'll be housed next year, packing up, and moving. But I think the change will do me good. If you have any tips for Boston life, give me a shout!

June 3, 2006 in Life and Whatnot, Personal News, Where's Dylan? | Permalink

Comments

Yo, Dylan! Welcome to SoCal! I wave to you from the very hot eastern reaches of LA county.

Posted by: spidey | Jun 3, 2006 2:40:48 PM

Dylan,

My prayers and best wishes to you as you go to General Convention and prepare for EDS.
Also my thanks for your work on the Special Commission. I am sure that EDS and the wider church will continue to be enriched
by your gifts.

I recently (2002) took a class at EDS on
"God and Creation" taught by Kwok Pui Lan,
who I thought was an outstanding teacher.
I was working on a Certificate in Science
and Religion and took another course "Frontiers of Science and Faith" at
Gordon-Conwall. As different as they are
I found both seminary experiences valuable
and am reminded why the present dialogue with all its tensions really can lead us to a creative place. My thanks for our talk after the 2005 Diocese of Maryland Convention.

God's peace to you.

Steve Hagerman
St.Stephen's, Crownsville

Posted by: Steven Hagerman | Jun 5, 2006 2:08:38 PM

Dylan, I loved seminary, and I know what you mean about the community of people gathered for a common purpose and with common interests. I hope it goes well for you at EDS.

I am not too far from there, so perhaps a blogger meet up at some point?

Posted by: Rev. Dr. Mom | Jun 7, 2006 7:44:41 PM

Dylan,

It was good to see you again at GC. I think I'm headed to EDS as well, though by a sort of circuitous route, so I won't be there full time for a couple of years. We're getting used to the idea of selling the house and packing up the cats too, but we've got time...(I will get to take a class there next summer.)

Have fun, and thanks for the great Convention coverage. I'm on pins and needles about today's joint session.

Peace,

Marie

Posted by: Marie | Jun 21, 2006 10:06:29 AM

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