Mud Pit 101: Welcome to the Spring Semester

I realize I have not updated this in awhile. I also realize that I have yet to finish my report on the Holy Land Experience nor have I reported on my first semester at LTSP or the start of my second. With a brand new schedule, five new classes, and a new travel schedule between NYC and Philadelphia, I have yet to figure out a study/work/church/family schedule that works for me yet. And I’m already behind in my reading (but just so). I will write more later but I would just like to say that I am enjoying the fact that the snow piles are finally melting and mud pits are filling the seminary campus. It almost feels as if spring is actually coming soon.

My first impression, however, of this new semester is that it will be harder than my last. I am in class quite a bit more, my responsibilities at my Field Experience site has increased, and the classes are quite a bit more challenging because we are covering areas of study that I am just not well grounded in. And I think one of the most obvious signs of this, in terms of language, is how often the phrase “in confirmation class, you did ” is used in sermons and in lectures. My first thought is always, always, “I never went to confirmation.” It’s a fun phrase that is used, usually, to ground the community in a common experience but it can also be a tad alienating. It highlights a common experience that I do not have. That is not necessarily a bad thing but it’s a reminder that I’m not just learning the language of scriptures, the language of theology, the language of pastoral care, but also the language of the “ideal” common Lutheran experience. And it’s an interesting experience especially when thought of in regard to doing ministry to people without that same faith language. It’s quite easy to get stuck in that language unconsciously. And I think I fall into that trap more than I should.