Celestial Lands The Religious Crossroads of Politics, Power, and Theology

I Survived January

January Intensives are over… and I’m both happy and sad. I am happy that I have survived, I am sad that some of my favorite people in the world are headed home to parts across North America. January is a special time at Meadville Lombard, but it is also a difficult time.

It was especially hard this year, because I was not as prepared for it as I have been in the past. Too many things were going on in my life and in my heart leading into this month.

I should explain for those not familiar with Meadville. January Intensives is a 3-4 week long semester, in which you can take whole courses (at least the class time) in a week. You meet from 9-5, Monday through Friday, in rather intensive educational experiences. Because Meadville uses a preparation-experience-reflection model of education, it is a very physically, emotionally, and intellectually challenging time. There are also weekend half-credit classes that can be taken.

This January I took “Congregation as Learning Community” with Dr. Mark Hicks, “Real Peace, Real Security: Unitarian Universalist Perspectives on Peace and War” with Dr. Sharon Welch, and “Afro Americans and Unitarian Universalism” with Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed. All of the courses were incredible and transformative, in their own ways… but I have to say that one of the first books I ever read from a UU Author was Rev. Morrison-Reed’s “Black Pioneers in a White Denomination”.

I want to thank all of my classmates and wish them well on their journeys and in the ministries they are returning to. I wont name you… you all know who you are. You are all a part of my heart, and I miss you already. I also want to thank the instructors and the staff… especially Simon, who slept in the building to keep the heat running as the snow piled up outside.

My next semester begins on Tuesday, but it will be back to the normal pace… And that is a different thing indeed.

Yours in Faith,


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