Monday, May 15, 2006

Morphological Ambiguity

I bet most read the title of my blog and said "whaaaat?" That has been my reaction for the last eight months sitting in Greek class. I have been in almost three full quarters of Basic Biblical Greek. With a frustrating professor it has been a long three quarters filled with many paradigm memorizations and all kinds of grammar charts. After hours spent cramming 2nd Aorist verbs and prepositions in my head I was beginning to wonder what the use of taking Greek was in seminary.

One assignment during the last quarter was to translate 4-5 verses in 1 John (the easiest Greek to translate in the New Testament) and share an exegetical insight (an insight that we had gained from looking at the verses in Greek) with small groups of my Greek classmates as a devotion. Nervous about the assignment, I sat down in the library with a pile of books--an interlinear Greek-English Bible, a NRSV Bible, a NIV Bible, my Greek textbook, my lexicon and of course my Greek Bible. I wrote out the passage in Greek and tackled it word by word...verse by verse. It took me some time to look up some words and tenses but in time I realized I had translated 4 verses of the Bible in the original language!

I had a brief celebratory moment in the library and then moved onto the next part of the assignment--an exegetical insight. Having not had Exegetical Methods I wasn't quite sure how to do this. I started out by comparing the English versions of the verses with my Greek translation. To my surprise there were differences! When translating the Greek the editors of the English Bibles had added in words to make several words and phrases plural that were originally singular in the Greek. This didn't change the meaning of the verses significantly by any means... What it did do though was take away emphasis on the communal body of Christ--the passage was addressed to one person (one body of Christ). [I won't go into more details here if you want to know more, just ask].

All this to say that it was at that moment in the library--that it clicked--THIS is why I took Greek!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

23 Years

On May 6th I turned 23 years old. It's overwhelming to think of how things have changed in one year. A year ago I was about to graduate college from the University of Richmond. Now I live in LA--almost a third of the way done with a masters at seminary! In one year I was a college student, a camp counselor, a medical data entry office assistant and a grad student. Despite all the change--it has been a great year. From my times in Richmond with old friends, new friends at Duke and finally new friends in LA God has truly blessed with amazing relationships across the country.
How did I celebrate the big 2-3?
My actual birthday was an uneventful yet amazingly relaxing day. I enjoyed celebrating a joint birthday with George--the oldest seminary student, he turned 71! A week after my actual birthday I was "kidnapped" for lunch at a secret destination. My favorite hang-out restaurant in Richmond is Moe's Southwest Grill. Sadly I thought that Moe's did not exist in LA and had been missing their amazing queso for months! Much to my surprise my friends had found a Moe's close by and surprised me going there. Here's a picture of us at the fabulous Moe's:

Sarah and Sophie continued the birthday surprise fun by treating me to a pedicure. Here's a picture of me and Kernie (our stuffed monkey friend--to read more check out:

The day went on with continued adventures and laughs--thanks to my friends for making my birthday so special!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Festival of Nations and 100th Anniversary of Ordination of Women

On Friday night April 28th the students of Fuller put on the Festival of Nations. An annual event, the Festival of Nations takes over the campus lawn with homemade food from over fifteen countries. Anything from Brazilean BBQ to Chinese rice to Jamican chicken to American hot dogs adorned the lawn. While the food was awesome..the even more impressive part of the evening was the performances from over 30 different nations. Japanese martial arts, Italian opera, African drums, salsa dancing, and a Rock and Roll band showcased the amazing talents of Fuller students. I was in awe of the vast range of representation of nations at Fuller. It was definitely a reminder that I live in Southern CA now. Here's a picture of the parade of flags from the nations:

Another exciting event that took place at Fuller recently, was the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ordination of women in the PC(USA) church. In a span of the last eighteen months marked the 100th anniversary of a woman being made a deacon in the PC(USA) church, 75th anniversary of a woman being made an elder in the PC(USA) church, and 50th anniversary of a woman being ordained in the PC(USA) church. To celebrate, Fuller had one of its weekly all campus chapels devoted to this anniversary. Dr. Scholer (a beloved professor and a renowed scholar--particularly on women in ministry) spoke. An alum of Fuller and now ordained pastor in a PC(USA) church also shared her testimony as to what it is like to be a woman in ministry. Following chapel there was a Q&A panel discussion with our two speakers. Finally there was a lunch that invited ordained women pastors from around the LA area and current students to celebrate. At Fuller I have felt nothing but affirmed and encouraged from professors as a woman pursuing the ordination track (an environment that is rare in some seminaries and churches sadly). How exciting that we celebrated this--happy 100th anniversary of ordination of women!! Here is a picture of our two speakers:

Friday, May 05, 2006

Seminary Playground

Last Thursday my Foundations small group headed out to Lacy Park to enjoy the nature and sunshine and cram in two small group sessions. Spreading out picnic blankets and cookies, my group forged ahead to discuss the monastic life--the first assigned topic of the day. We then began the next section--the assigned course reader. The reader consisted of a number of articles about the nature of the gospel and the church. I was the assigned leader to this session. I began the session by asking who had actually read the entire reader. Turns out only one of our 6 member group had!
I decided to lead the group in some share time instead--doing a high/low type activity. After sharing there were 20 minutes left in our time together. I brought out the reader again and asked the group if they wanted to attempt to discuss it. Just then we all heard the laughs and screams of children playing on a nearby playground. Simultaneously we had the same idea... In an instant all six grown adults (ages 23-26) raced towards the playground. We jumped off the swings, scurried through tunnels, hung upside down on the monkey bars, rode the rocking horses, and even had sprint races. Fifteen minutes later we were out of breath--and rejunvenated.
Seminary is hard--academically and emotionally. At the 6th week of our Third Quarter we were as one group member put it "mentally exhausted." The way the quarter system is set up we only have a week between winter quarter and spring quarter (unlike the 3 week Christmas break between fall and winter quarter). The newness and excitement of moving to CA and being in seminary had worn off. As an second year student put it--"you can't run on adrenaline through all of grad school." Don't get me wrong--I am still glad to be at Fuller and learning...but the energy level has worn down a bit. I am sure that course reader had tons of insight to offer, but on this particular day our group needed to laugh, run, and more than anything--play!