Sunday, September 24, 2006

Welcome to Fuller!

This past week was "Welcome Week" for new students at Fuller. I was a part of CREW--a team of returning Fuller students who put on the week of orientation. Most of my job consisted of sitting at the Information Booth and directing/answering questions for new students. We also put several all campus meals including an all seminary BBQ. The crew was a diverse group of students from Fuller and lots of fun to work with. Here are couple pictures that I hope capture the last week....

We wore these bright yellow Tshirts all week so I had to get Kristin next to her bright yellow bug. Notice the Starbucks in her hand and the not-fully lit sky behind Kristin...we had to wake up quite early--before the sun--the day of check in to be ready for the students. But it all ran smoothly so it was worth it!

Charlie's Angels...or Audrey, me, and Andy in the Information Booth
Most of CREW with our yellow balloons...the new students dubbed us the "yellow balloon people."
Finally the one of the best parts of crew--the walkie talkie radios, here's Audrey, me, and Laura. Yay for Orientation Crew:)

And for some more matching T-shirts...Here's Becca, Sarah, Sophie and I with our Fuller Presbyterian Tshirts outside the Fuller welcome sign. Welcome to Fuller new students!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Around the Table

As my stomach continues to heal I am adding foods to my diet that I haven't eaten in months. Peaches, cucumbers, humus, cheese, grape juice, and baked lays potatoe chips are some of my favorite new foods to eat. Going into a grocery store holds the excitment of buying all sorts of variety of foods. There are so many choices! Even better than the grocery store is coming home to fix a meal or snack. And after consuming the food I feel good! It is amazing to see the fruit of God's healing.

Tonight, however, I was reminded of another blessing of food. Moving to CA brought with it the new experience of not eating most of my meals in a dining hall. The past four years I had been blessed with the convenience of the University of Richmond dining hall, dining facilities at camps, or Mom's kitchen. Not only were these places convenient in that someone planned and cooked all my meals for me, they also all had the element of communal dining. I grew up eating every dinner around the kitchen table with the entire family. College and camps continued this tradition. Meals brought adventures as I laughed with large groups of friends or had intense intimate conversations with friends hidden in the back of the dining hall with everything in between.

This past school year brought much busyness and transition and I was finding my meals to be squeezed in here and there often between classes or during a study break to watch the evening news or an episode of "Friends" or a time to catch up on phone calls. There is nothing wrong with my meals--realistically my schedule lends itself to dinnertime in those ways. But now the communal dinner time that I had previously taken for granted now were seen as blessings. This summer my group of friends had a friend visit from Texas for a 2 week intensive class at Fuller. We decided to make her feel at home and have multiple homemade dinners throughout those two weeks at our various apartments. After our friend had returned to TX we realized that those meal times were special...and something that we didn't do nearly enough!

My new apartment is much larger than my old apartment and lends itself much more to entertaining large groups of people. Tonight I had two friends over and made them the most basic meal ever--spaghetti. As we laughed about my fish dishes and enjoyed the pita and humus,we shared what had done that day. We chatted in preparing dinner, eating and then cleaning up the dishes. We pondered over both trivial matters and large life questions.

A friend sent me an excellent sermon on sharing meals. Here's a quote that I love:
"There is something about a meal, isn't there? You sit on the same level together and use your hands to eat, drink, pass things around. You look each other in the eyes as you share food and drink, you share conversation, you share each have to pay attention. There is mystery and wonder, intimacy and healing..." The sermon goes on to expound on the most powerful meal of all--the Lord's Supper. He goes onto to share about the power of communion today--the unity and tie that is brought in the body of Christ around the world, the tie and rememberence of the past and the hope of the future, and the tie that is brought between us and God--each time we have that meal! Meals can be powerful times!

Here is a picture from back in July sharing a meal with friends--back to front--Sarah, Becca, Gavin, Sophie, Denise, Jenny, and I. I am excited to experience more powerful meal times with friends!