Reflections from Seminary Students

Theologian Thursday – Lesslie Newbigin

November 24th, 2011 § 0 Comments

A word from the father of missional theology, Lesslie Newbigin:

The Spirit is the source of hope – not just hope for ourselves, but hope for the completion of God’s whole cosmic work. ‘In this hope we are saved’ (Romans 8:24). It is because of this work that we are liable to be invited ‘to account for the hope that is in [us]’ (I Pet. 3:15) and so to become involved in the missionary dialogue. Seen from this point of view, mission might be defined as ‘hope in action.’ – The Open Secret, p.63 » Read the rest of this entry «

Worship Wednesday – The Book of Common Prayer

November 16th, 2011 § 0 Comments

I spent many of my formative years as a part of an evangelical church in south Seattle. For my experience in worship services, this meant a number of things that you might expect – monthly communion, focus on personal sin and the work of the cross to redeem that sin, the centrality of the gift of teaching as a part of liturgy, the worship leader designated specifically as a musician…corporate worship practices are generally limited to prayers led by the pastor, sermons, baptism, and music, etc… » Read the rest of this entry «

Abbey Intensive

December 2nd, 2009 § 0 Comments

The deer are grazing in an open field with fawns comforted in being at their mother’s side. As I arrived at Camp Casey on Whidbey Island for a one-week intensive course, I couldn’t help but marvel at the proximity of natural beauty. The Olympic mountain range descended in tiers over the narrowest part of the Puget Sound. There was a slight breeze floating from the sound through the valley. Neatly aligned at the far end of an open field were the officer’s quarters that would be the week-long home of the Christian Formation in Discipleship intensive course at Camp Casey Conference Center on Whidbey Island. It was a perfect setting. Dean Doug Strong sat on a bench socializing with the students who had arrived early. After introducing myself to Dr. Strong and my fellow students, I placed my possessions upstairs in the room I had been assigned and prepared for an unbelievable week of discipleship, community, and education.

We dove into Wesley’s “means of grace,” practicing prayer, worship, celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the reading and hearing of Scripture, fasting, and mutual accountability and support in small groups. A typical day during this week involved awakening for breakfast around 8 a.m., the morning rite around 9, lectures from 9:30 to 11, quiet study time from 11 to 12, lunch from 12-12:30 p.m., another lecture from 1-2:30, free time from 2:30 to 5, spiritual practices from 5-6, dinner from 6-6:30, free time until 8, testimonies from 8-9, and compline from 9 to 9:30 p.m.

In a week’s time, a group of relative strangers became a tight knit community. Tear-jerking testimonies fostered encouraging communal prayer, compline services morphed into extended worship times, and Settlers of Catan became the new favorite board game. Day one communion, touring Fort Casey, and the Wesleyan love feast were the highlights of the intensive.

Looking back, the abbey intensive course at the beautiful Camp Casey intentionally cultivated a tight-knit community. The week-long retreat greatly assisted in the development of relationships that a currently enhancing my educational experience. What an amazing feeling to have this kind of connection with fellow students!

-Donovan Richards

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