Yes, that's me. Yes, my eyes look like that when I read, and it doesn't even have to be Barth. It's really just when I've got too much to do & read tired - of course I always end up falling asleep reading, but whatever. (Don't get me wrong, I love reading this stuff, it's just not always easy. Heck, I'm taking an Independant Study next semester on Barth's doctrine of Vocation - IV.3.2). I spent a couple weeks away from the books and just got back into stuff last week. It felt good, but the stress was lurking at my door, waiting to devour me - it continues that way. Simply having too much to do in too many different realms of my life. So I keep it at bay by thinking of the future, what we've got going on next - or hope to. One of those things is Spring Semester.
I always fight with myself to keep from just dropping whatever I'm doing to focus on the next new, shiny thing. Spring Semester is close enough. I'm hoping to have most/all of my classes on Thursday, leaving Tuesday free to be at Trenton Psych (& Wed Afternoon) and M,W,F to stay home and take care of Brennan, thereby not needing a "babysitter" 'cept for Daycare Tues & Thur & our friends for a couple hours Wed afternoon before Bridgette gets home. Tonight is registration, online, big coup for Princeton Seminary. 9pm... I'll be cramming onto a server that will inevitably crash, to be one of 25 students to get into a limited enrollment Pastoral Care class (Marriage, Family &...) Hope it works out, I'm nearly screwed if not.
But there's this other class, another Limited Enrollment, this time by Application. It's a Youth Ministry class, "Readings in Theology and Youth Ministry" - I've never "applied" for a class before. It's interesting. But it got me to thinking, crystalizing might be too strong of a word, but at least putting down some ideas I've been thinking about in the past - all for the application. One of the quetsions was - "If you taught a seminar at Youth Specialites - what would it be?" This is what I wrote:
I would want to teach a seminar entitled “The Mission of the Church.” I think in many ways the Church has lost the sense of mission that pervades the Scriptures, the idea of being elected to serve, chosen to bless others. I would really want to discuss how to do ministry, youth ministry but really all church ministry, outside the box of the building, outside of the Sunday morning service, up on the hill. Instead of focusing on doing “service projects” as if they are an addendum to what the church “really” does, these instead being the very heart of what the church is called to do. One of the best experiences I had in Youth Ministry was the final Fall Retreat I ran where after talking about being “in not of the world” we lived this out by sending our students out to the neighbours (we were staying in a condo complex in Palm Springs) to offer their help in any way they could. One woman was so thankful because she had to get her furniture back in after major renovations and wasn’t sure how she would do it without our offer of help. I think more youth leaders and pastors in general need to see ministry with an “off the hill” mentality that sees our call to serve as essential and not peripheral and that’s what I’m passionate about and what I’d want to teach.
I don't know if this will help me get in or not - but I figure it's better to be honest. In either event, I'm sitting here, on my couch, just begging for the future to get here, my present is a little too stressful right now...