This Week: Oct. 3 - 9

Published: October 3, 2011

One thing have I asked of the Lord;
one thing I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life;
to behold the fair beauty of the Lord,
to seek God in the temple.

                                                from Psalm 27


These words from Psalm 27 are the “opening sentences” for each day’s office of morning prayer in Celtic Daily Prayer. They offer wise counsel as we begin our fifth full week of classes in the Fall 2011 term. The first assignments of the semester either just have been completed or soon will be. Most Art of Ministry internships are now well under way. Students in clinical pastoral education have finished orientation and are visiting patients, presenting verbatim reports, and exploring theological and vocational identities with their supervisors. Faculty members have re-discovered for another academic year the rhythms of lecturing and grading and are busy with research projects, appointments, and committee meetings. Staff persons continue to plan events and provide invaluable leadership and support. The semester is in full swing.

In the midst of chaotic daily schedules and the stresses of academic deadlines and other life responsibilities, we can imagine the poet of Psalm 27 asking:  What is most important thing that you are asking of and seeking from the Lord as you undertake this work of theological education? What is the source of your calling to ministry or to this educational process?

Celtic Daily Prayer is the prayer book of Northumbria Community. Influenced by monastic communities at Roslin in Scotland and Clonfert in Ireland, the Northumbria Community was founded in in the late 1970’s and describes itself as a contemporary “network of diverse people, from different backgrounds, streams and edges of the Christian faith.” The Community draws on the spiritual traditions of monasticism and understands itself to be rooted in the history and heritage of Celtic Northumbria. The geographically dispersed members of the ecumenical Community use their publication, Celtic Daily Prayer, to stay connected to each other and centered on the values and practices of what they call a “new monasticism.” Like daily offices in other traditions, Celtic Daily Prayer emphasizes praying with the Psalms and encourages morning, midday and evening prayer. Psalm 27 marks each morning of the Northumbria Community’s life rhythms. As we begin another week of theological work at Wake Forest University, perhaps we can consider again how important it is that our life rhythms include not only study but also prayer, rest, and awareness of beauty. 

Another daily office, this one from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer, includes in its Night Prayer these words:

It is night after a long day.What has been done has been done;
What has not been done has not been done.
Let it be.

The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
new joys, new possibilities.
In your name we pray. Amen.

Night follows day follows night as we move through the weeks of each semester of work and learning. During this fifth week of sunrises and sunsets, may we “let be” both what we has been done so far and what has not yet been done even as we continue to undertake our shared mission “to be agents of justice, reconciliation, and compassion in Christian churches and other ministries” (from the School of Divinity Mission Statement).

News for the Week 

World Communion Celebration:  On Sunday, October 2, 2011, many churches around the globe celebrated World Communion Sunday. Begun in the 1930’s and promoted by the National Council of Churches, World CommunionSunday promotes Christian unity and ecumenism and is observed by numerous denominations and congregations.

The School of Divinity will celebrate World Communion with a chapel service on Tuesday, October 3. Reverend Terry Matthews, pastor of Maple Springs United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, will lead the service and preside at communion. Reverend Matthews is an adjunct professor for the School of Divinity who teaches courses related to United Methodist history and theology.

Looking Ahead

  • Last Day to Drop Classes (with permission): October 5, 2011
  • Spring advising and registration begin on October 24, 2011. The first day of registration for the spring term is October 31, 2011. The Spring 2011 course schedule will be posted this Friday, October 7. 

Blessings on your week,

  Jill Crainshaw
  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs