"Ministers need a well thought-out view of what it means to be human."
This simple sentence came to me while I was talking to our youth director and student assistant pastor this week (who also reminded me that assigning 150 pages to read each week is too much! Thank you, M.). Simple, yes, but it gave me a foundation upon which to hang "Spirituality and Psychotherapy," my class in the Fall. Funny how, with something so simple, lots of disparate thoughts can fall into place.
At least I think they'll fall into place. I HOPE they'll fall into place. After I finish this post I'm going to work on the Prospectus again and hopefully get it into shape to send to the associate dean. This is such a huge subject--I've had some difficulty winnowing everything down. Another friend who is currntly getting her Ph.D. in this field also gave me some sage advice: Just teach what you know, Katherine. Teach what you know. I'm thinking that a lot of what I know is out of date and the faculty will want me to do some new research, but I'm not sure, so I think I'll just let them tell me that after I submit this prospectus. I probably will use some of Ken Wilber's stuff, though--I've always been interested in his thinking but have never read him. Other than that, I'm going with what I already know.
I'm loving this work! It's reminding me of why I loved being in that Ph.D. program. It's just SO gall-darned fascinating!!! Woo-Hoo!
In other news of the week in Katherine's world: only my minister colleague and his wife came to Morning Prayer yesterday. Disappointing, but also understandable. It takes me an hour to set up the sanctuary the way I want it, so I definitely need to "market" this service more than I have! ... The other Lenten activities went very well. We had about 16 people in Evening Prayer (which is a lot for this little church), even more--about 20--for our Soup Supper, and 8 stayed for Praying with Mandalas. (The others dispersed to other meetings going on.)
I need to remind myself, of course, that this work is not about numbers. As I sat there yesterday morning, realizing that no one else was going to show up after all my hard work, part of me felt like I'd thrown a party and no one showed! Ugh. But then it didn't take long for another feeling to arise within me....I sat there and just looked at the breathtakingly beautiful light from all those candles, and the stained glass of Jesus kneeling in the Garden of Gethsemane, and I decided it was all okay. Heck! I set this up for myself! Because I needed to pray and be there for God! That thought/feeling was in tension with the disappointment all day, but as I type this, I'm smiling. I think the tension has broken into that which is more creative and good.
Next week, while I'm away, they are going to dedicate the new Welcome Garden (with a labyrinth and an oak tree filled with wind chimes in the center) on Wednesday evening. Really sorry to miss that.
I have a picture in my mind of M.S., one of our members, with his shovel and wheelbarrel, yesterday, working in the Welcome Garden, getting it ready for this dedication next week. MS is the one who has done the vast majority of work on this thing. It's truly a labor of love for him. It amazes me---his (and so many others, including myself, although mine is not physical labor) willingness to do for others. To work so hard and so long for other people. Not solely for others, of course, but mostly. And it's endemic. All over the world. Every moment of every day. People are laboring for other people.
There's a goodness in this world that will not die, as Carrie Newcomer sings. And that goodness, I know, is stronger than hate--any kind of hate. The Holy Spirit that motivates all this goodness will prevail. I know it.