Friday, December 30, 2011

General Ordination Exams (GOEs)

Coming soon to a seminary near you!

What's strange to me, is that when I graduated (the first time) in 2007, I was really hoping to take the exam in the next 6 months, or maybe a year later.  Little did I know that it would actually be five years later.  So I dragged my class notes and all my theology books from Denver to Corvallis to Asheville and now, in a heap, to Alexandria. 

Whoo hoo!  The days are finally arriving and I'm so glad.

The review of the seven canonical areas has been, well, filling.

  • The Liturgy resources (Book of Common Prayer and every hymnal authorized by The Episcopal Church) are tabbed, labeled, stacked.  
  • The history timeline has gathered many long stares - reminding me over and over what happened when {1033? 380? Council of Chalcedon? Anselm? Aquinas? Augustine (which one!?)? etc. etc. (Its the stuff my dreams are made of.)
  • The ethics definitions are neatly re-scribbled for pre-test recall.  
  • The theology books and notes are packaged in re-usable bags. 
  • The contemporary issues have been reviewed, but could stand another look online
  • The dozen folders of notes from Holy Scriptures courses are stacked in front of me, awaiting a final glance.  The New Oxford Annotated Bible is tabbed and labeled for easy use.  
  • The Theory and Practice of Ministry models and notes are neatly waiting a final review. 

The bibliography is prepared.   

Well, a few more bits to re-check and re-call.  Then... drum roll...

I'll SHOW UP TO THE MOMENT and with grace, fear and trembling, humility, humor, and lots of hope... and saying our class mantra, I'll take the exam(s).

"Answer the question, the whole question, and nothing but the question, so help us God."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Restore Us

Today's appointed Psalm 80 has this wonderful refrain, "Restore us, O God: Let your face shine, that we may be saved."  I reflect about this in the last Advent days leading up to Christmas. 

Advent is a beautiful time of waiting, wondering, wandering and of wanting.  In every sense, I cry out to God to be restored. That sense of deep longing for not only me, but us, to be restored, made whole, refreshed, re-newed.

With this refrain, we can remember that it is in the shining of God, the shining face of Christ in every person we meet, in the shining parts of creation around every turn, that we see a glimpse of wholeness, of God's saving grace. 

"Restore us, O God: Let your face shine, that we may be saved." Amen