Yesterday, at 11:30 am, I finished my first semester at the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. My final final was the day before (biblical greek) but I still had to turn in my field education evaluation and it was due at noon. 30 minutes to spare.
I’ve been doing some self-reflection about the semester, trying to pick up some of the things I really learned during the semester. It honestly feels like I didn’t learn much though after my spring semester at LTSP and CPE, it’s hard to follow up those kinds of events. I needed to wind down and I guess this was that kind of semester.
But I did get one important piece of information a few weeks ago. In my preaching class, everyone met one-on-one with the professor to watch a video of our sermons. While reviewing my extemporaneous homily, she noticed that I would trail at the end of sentences when I was preaching but not when I was reading the text. She said something to the effect “you know, when you preach, own that authority that you have.” I view scripture as authoritative and I’ve learned how to read it loud and proud. But when it comes to my own words…well…I don’t view it as authoritative. And not that I most likely ever will. But just being able to own the words that I’m speaking…hmm. It’s good advice. And, from my whole semester at GTS, that’ll probably be the thing I take with me. That and how being in Episcopal seminary has made me waaaay more Lutheran (kinda like how having a theologically liberal supervisor – and I mean that in the old-fashion-christianity-is-bigger-than-needing-to-believe-in-God kind of way – has made me a tad more theologically conservative). So there’s that.