Friday, December 24, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I love Christmas.
I love the lights. I love the songs. I love the spirit. I love the Church services.
I love Christmas.
I know that Christmas is supposed to be all about Jesus. We are celebrating the Birth of Jesus (though it may or may not be during the right season, but that's a debate for a different time). During Christmas we are supposed to celebrate the birth of our Savior. The commercialism has made me not like Christmas anymore.
Commercialism sucks to begin with. Hallmark and all of the malls and superstores own Christmas. It has gotten to the point where they are setting up their displays in AUGUST!!!!! It's just wrong. Christmas should not be all about the presents and the spending of money. I hate it this year more than ever. This has been my poorest year ever. My bank account is nill and things keep coming up that take away the very little money I did have.
When you are having a hard time getting presents for all the people on your list to begin with, the uber commercialism makes you feel like shit. Can't afford the new thing this year, cant afford presents for everyone, cant afford what you think people really deserve.
Christmas is in 3 days. I've bought 2 presents. After work today I have to brave the crowds and try to go shopping with the little money I have. Too bad nowhere in the area sells myrrh.
Friday, December 10, 2010
- My Name is Devin Elizabeth Berry.
- I am 22 years old. Birthday: November 24, 1988.
- During breaks I live in Clinton, Massachusetts with My boyfriend's amazing family.
- I am a senior at Atlantic Union College. With the Grace of God I will be graduating in May.
- I'm a religion major. (This has been really hard for me to be a female studying religion in a denomination [Seventh-Day Adventist] That is not too keen on women in ministry)
- I am not positive about what I want to do when I'm done with my education.
- Hopefully in September I will be at a Seminary working on my Master's of Divinity.
- I am passionate about Social Justice, Ecumenical relations, the Global South, and helping others. I want to find some venue to incorporate all of these things.
- I want to travel the world. (One of my goals in life is to visit six out of the seven continents...who cares about Antarctica, it's too cold)
- I have been dating the same guy (DAVID) for the past three years and he is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
- I like all forms of music! (well, except polka). When I put my music on shuffle you can expect acapella, acoustic rock, alternative, blues, contemporary christian, Celtic ballads, Celtic punk, christian (metal, rock, hymns, praise rap, pop, punk), Christmas, classic rock, classical, comedy, country, dance, easy listening, electronic, Gospel, Gothic rock, hard rock, hip-hop, house, indie, metal, musicals, pop, Latin, pop-punk, pop, punk, post-grunge, r&b, soul, rap, rock&roll, show tunes, soundtracks, techno, top 40, and world. Like I said, I like everything.
- I love to Kayak. I have been done the Merrimack River, the Allagash River, the Connecticut River, and the Deerborn.
- There was one day that served to be one of the best and one of the worst days of my life: David and I went to URI to see Evanescence in concert. While waiting in line I received the phone call that Dad had cancer and it wasn't good. It was one of the worst nights obviously, because of that phone call but It was the first concert David and I had been to together and the music was amazing.
- I avoid confrontation at all costs. I will keep things bottled up for a long time. People say it is unhealthy, but I would rather keep it bottled up than get into a fight with someone
- I use silence as a coping mechanism. When things get too tough, I get silent. If you aren't saying things you can't say the wrong thing. My life has been filled with someone yelling and screaming and fighting that I refuse to be a part of it.
- Music is my therapy. A day that does not have music in it is a rare day. I use music to soothe me, I use music to calm me down, I use music when I'm angry. I let the music talk for me.
- When I was in the tenth grade I got diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The response by the neurologist was basically "how have you lived this long without meds?" I spent 10th-12th grade on a very interesting cocktail of ADHD drugs.
- I have the memory of a goldfish, or less. The only memories I have of my early life are ones that I have told to people over and over and over. I remember that I got hit in the eye and a dog bit me in the same weekend. I only remember this because there are pictures and I have been told this. I remember almost nothing from elementary school, middle school, high school or the beginning of college. I've reached the point where it worries me, but I am afraid to find out why I can't remember anything.
- I have a tattoo of a starfish on my left shoulder. It represents my Daddy. Once I have money that I can spend, I plan to get either a Celtic cross with a rose wrapped around it (to represent my Dad and my grandmother), an autism puzzle piece or the Presbyterian Cross.
- I spend one week during the summer working at a camp for mentally challenged adults. This is something that I could see being a large part of my life. I absolutely love our campers. Working with adults with autism, brain damage, down syndrome, spina bifida and other conditions is an amazing experience.
- I am claustrophobic
- Diet Coke is the only beverage worth drinking.
- I have abandonment issues
- I am allergic to the enzymes that are used in the pasteurization process of dairy.
- I hate the taste of beer.
- I am addicted to Harry Potter fanfiction (people take the characters from the Harry Potter books and put them into new situation and have new relationships develop)
- I have the worst car luck. Whether its a part that needs to be fixed, something breaking, or my insurance getting screwed up...it will happen to me.
- I enjoy getting dressed up for special occasions...putting on a dress and getting all pretty.
- I'm a total geek. I enjoy Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and other geeky things.
- I'm a huge Boston Bruins fan, but have never been to a game.
- I love chick flicks and romantic comedies.
- I love ethnic foods. Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern...it's all yummy!
- I am perpetually cold.
- At one point I wanted to be a Crime Scene Investigator but the amount of Chemistry involved stopped me.
- I love NCIS:LA, HAWAII: 5-0 and CSI: Las Vegas.
- Often I feel like the black sheep, like I don't belong in my family.
- I love cooking and baking!
- I like to experiment in the kitchen. Curry+enchilada sauce+chicken=Filipino Chicken? Olive oil in sugar cookies dipped in White chocolate. I don't like to follow recipes.
- If a movie was made about my life I want Mike Rowe (from Dirty jobs) to narrate.
- I want to learn at least 2 languages.
- My true friends mean the world to me.
These are all things about who I am, what I like and what I want to do with my life.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Apparently I have changed. Someone told me today that "the usual you wouldn't have done that". That got me to thinking...The usual me? Who is the usual me? How can someone tell me what the usual me is? Shouldn't I know the usual me more than anyone? And besides all that, change is good.
The fall semester of my senior year of college just ended. One semester left until I am no longer a college student. One semester left until I have finished my 4 year sentence. one semester until I am hopefully becoming a seminarian. Reflecting on the fact that I have one semester left freaks me out. I really need to buckle down! No more playing around, no more procrastination. It's all about hitting the books next semester.
I have decided that there are certain changes in my life I need to make. No longer can I jerk around and then do everything at the last second. (Yes, I know this will take a LOT of work, but I'm going to start). I am also extraordinarily sick of drama. I am sick of being dragged into the drama of people's lives. I am sick of being surrounded by toxic relationships. My own relationship is perfectly amazing and I have hardly any drama in my own life so I am official done with other people's drama rubbing off on me. Enough!
I am also surrounding myself with more people, but at the same time engaging in hermitism. I have expanded my circle of friends and have begun hanging out with people I have not hung out with in a very long time. I am surrounding myself with all types of people and I enjoy it. At the same time I value alone time. Part of me wishes I were a hermit. Therefore I will create an equal balance of socialising and being by myself. I get stuff done when I have alone time. So next semester I will randomly escape to my dorm room and hide there for a night or for a weekend. I get too overwhelmed when I am surrounded by people 24/7. If I randomly disappear do not get angry, but get used to it.
Friday, November 19, 2010
The worst part is, I'm not even sure why I am like this. No, wait, that
might be a lie. There is a lot of crap going on in my life currently and it's
all bottling up. Normally this mood is like a hangover, and I can just sleep it
off. Apparently not today. I had a dream this morning that just made things
worse. So I have been staying with my boyfriend's family when I am not at
school. It was initially only supposed to be for a few weeks. Last night his mom
told me that she wants me to move out the week after graduation. so I have to
find somewhere to live at that point. That is what sort of allowed all of my
negative emotions to rise to the service. While texting with my boyfriend last
night he asked me what was wrong and this was my response
"The fact that my friends hate each other and I am stuck in the middle
being a horrible friend to at least some one at all times. The fact that one of
those friends has decided that if he doesn't take time off next semester and
leave the country he will kill himself (and that i am the only one that knows).
The fact that I don't know what the hell I'm doing come graduation. The fact
that I have to take 28 credits next semester in order to graduate. The fact that
my mother is suddenly appearing and trying to be every type of mother she never was I have no (expletive) clue how to approach that or respond. The fact that the head of my department has decided to start trying to convert me and is giving me a hard time for everything AND informed me, in class, yesterday that he will give me a hard time until I graduate. And I can't talk to friends because either they don't care or are in part the cause of my distress."
Like I said normally I can just sleep and the emotions go away. That's how it normally works. That is my normal coping technique. I avoid them and they go away. Yeah it's probably not healthy, but it works for me. I should probably add that I avoid confrontation AT ALL COSTS!!!!!! There was too much of it when I was a kid and so I try to have none in my adult life. I blast some music and drift off to sleep and I wake up and it's all better. That did NOT work this time. I put on some evanescence and went to sleep. I woke up this morning from a dream and the dream I had had only made the emotions, the thoughts, the everything worse. Which is why I reason it would be a good idea to stay away today. I feel bad because at least one of my friends is trying to talk to me. Problem is she's one of the Friends mentioned in the text to David (boyfriend).
So I can't tell her the extent of what is bothering me. So I only told her about
the dream. This is what I explained The dream: I had a dream where my father and I were with my grandfather. I couldn't see his face the entire time because I don't remember what he looks like. So it was a blur instead of his face. We were in his condo or something and getting along really well. At first it was awkward but in the end I was sitting next to him on the couch and like rested my head on his shoulder. But that dream could never take place. Mainly because my dead is dead! And also because he would have never been in the same place as his father.
You have to understand about my family. I don't really remember my grandfather. I found his address on google a few months ago and I've been wanting to write, but to be honest I am afraid too. I don't really know the extent of what happened. Mainly because everyone treats me like a little kid and tell me absolutely nothing. I'll be 22 in 6 days, time to treat me like an adult, but that's a tale for another time I suppose. I'm not sure what happened between my dad and my grandfather but it was huge. I've heard rumors but no one has ever said directly "this is what happened". I do know I haven't seen my grandfather in a long long time. He didn't even come to Dad's funeral. I have one memory and that is of my cousin Timmy and I, we must have been 2-3 years old and we are sitting next to my grandfather on Christmas eve. That's it. I saw a picture of him in the slide show from my grandmother's wake in March which sort of inspired me to get in touch, but as I said I am afraid.
So I have had a craptastic week. Everything is compounding. Between school,
friends, drama, advisers, my mother, post-graduation, my messed up dreams, and the desire yet fear to know my grandfather my everything feels like it will
crumble if the wind blows. I advise keeping your distance today. Hopefully
tomorrow my coping mechanisms will get their act together and work.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
What I liked:
- The campus is beautiful
- Almost everyone lives on campus, which is great because it puts a real emphasis on community
- Faculty all live very close to campus
- There are three dorms on campus and everyone is intermingled (it isn't like Juniors live in one, middlers in another, and seniors in a third). I went into a dorm room and it was gigantic compared to dorms at other schools. And everybody gets a single!
- the faculty I met seemed very approachable and students say that the faculty is amazing
- There seems to be a great dining area (yes they always put out better food when prospectives come but the regular food was great too), they know how to cook proper vegetarian food (not the AUC fake stuff), and they will cater for dietary needs!
- Worship isn't mandatory but it is offered every day. And every service is different.
- There is a multicultural aspect.
- Everyone on campus genuinely seems nice. Students, faculty, staff, etc stopped and talked to me because I was looking at the school.
- It's PCUSA, so basically I could be living polity everyday, which will really help with the ordination process
- 100% of tuition is covered
- Not everyone is going into Pastoral Ministry. I have no clue what I want to do. I feel called to serve in ordained ministry but I'm not sure in which capacity. I have interests in Social Justice, The Global South,and Ecumenical relations but what can I do with that?
- The classes are amazing. And just because 2 people are getting the same degree doesn't mean they will take the same classes. My friend and her husband have both done the M.Div program at PTS and only took 3 of the same classes.
What I don't like:
- It's 5 hours from home...I'm sick of driving after the first 2 hours
- I got lost in the middle of nowhere New Jersey on my way home!
- It's more rural than I was hoping for (but apparently its 1 hour to NYC, 1 hour to Philly, not too far from the Poconos, not two far to the beach, etc so you make it work)
Obviously the list of things I like greatly outweigh the list of things I don't like. So if I get in, it's pretty easy to see that PTS would be my choice.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I suppose I really have two main options. Option #1 I drive. Option #2 I take Public Transportation.
Let's break it down- option 1: I can drive down which will be about 5 hours of nonstop driving. I'm not a huge fan of driving. I will spend approximately $13,920 for gas. Plus the cost of tolls. Or take about 15 more minutes and avoid toll roles. Based on my status as a poor college student I would naturally avoid toll roads, but that still leaves spending money on gas!
option 2: This could break down a couple ways:
- The totally independent way: I pay for parking at the Leominster station, take the commuter rail to Boston, get on the T, grab the cheap Chinese bus to NYC, hop on the NJ transit to Princeton Junction, take the shuttle to Dinky Station. I'm unsure of the cost of the shuttle. Without the potential price of the shuttle that would be around $49.
- Ask someone to drive me to the commuter rail at the butt crack of dawn. That would save me $9 so its around $40.
- Ask Scott if I can go with him into work. He works right next to the riverside station on the green line. I would hop on the green line, switch to the red line, grab the bus to NYC, then the train then the shuttle. That brings it to about $32.
I suppose the benefits of driving is that I am pretty much on my own schedule.
The benefits of taking public transport would be I don't have to drive for 5 hours straight. It's better for the environment. I don't have to freak out about the prospect of driving anywhere near New York City.
Can I just say how much I hate hate hate hate hate hate being a poor college student. Yes, I hate it that much! How am I supposed to be able to afford to visit seminaries? I'm sorry, did I mention that all of those prices are 1 way!!!!!! ONE WAY!!!!! so double it, and that's how much it would cost me total. I can't find anywhere where I can calculate how much the tolls and gas would be so I am trying to make the right choice. GRRRRRR!!!!!!!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Twitter and Facebook profiles: Twitter- presbygeek (I live tweeted throughout our meeting. search #bostonpresbytery for that) facebook- devin.berry
Presbytery and 10a voting date: Presbytery of Boston, 11/1/10
Reason ONE that you are voting "yes" on 10a is... Because it makes sense
Reason TWO that you are voting "yes" on 10a is... Because tolerance is the future of the church
Reason THREE that you are voting "yes" on 10a is... because it isn't just about GLBTQ issues
What are your greatest hopes for the 10a debate that will take place on the floor of your Presbytery? The Boston Presbytery isn't known for having the most civil conversations on this topic. The first Presbytery meeting I ever attended was the questioning of Sara Herwig (http://media.gfem.org/node/10752) and I left that meeting in tears for Sara. My hope is that as we address this topic we can remember that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
How would you respond to those that say that if we pass 10a individuals and congregations will leave the PC(USA)? I believe that is individuals leave the church because 10a passes then perhaps we are better off...
What should the Presbyterian Church focus on after Amendment 10a passes? One issue at a time please?
How does your understanding of Scripture frame your position on 10a? 1 Corinthians 12:27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
I must admit that the true title of this blogpost should be Why I VOTED yes on Amendment 10a. The Presbytery of Boston voted last night, but seeing as I am slow to blog I was unable to post this prior to our vote. I apologize. Now, on to the real issue at hand:
Okay, so for my non-PCUSA followers and for my PCUSA followers that aren't addicted to the book of order and the happenings of the church, let me explain what is going on. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has The Book of Order (affectionately referred to as the BOO) which serves as the constitution of our church. The BOO has all of the "laws" of our church and essentially the way things are meant to be done. The BOO can be edited and amended, much in the same way that the Constitution of the United States of America. Every two years the General Assembly of the PCUSA meets and looks at the amendments that different Presbyteries have sent in. All of the Presbyteries in the country have to vote on the amendment and if it passes the BOO changes.
This year there were 15 amendments for the Presbyteries to vote on. Amendments 10A-10O. The hot ticket item, however, was (and is) Amendment 10A. Amendment 10A seeks to amend section G-6.0106b (I told you it is a lot like the US Constitution!) Right now that sections says "Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in Fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (W-4.9001), or in chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, elders, or ministers of the Word and Sacrament."
Amendment 10A would instead say that "Standards for ordained service reflect the church's desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspect of life (G-1.0000). The governing body responsible for ordination and/or installation (G-14.0240;G-14.0450) shall examine each candidate's calling, gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of office. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidate's ability and commitment to fulfill all requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and instillation (W-4.4003). Governing bodies shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates."
There are a couple different perspectives that can be taken on this matter.
- As long as someone has a calling, as the gifts to serve, is suitable to serve and is prepared to serve, who are we to say they cannot because of who they love?
- When so many churches are lacking pastors, when so many of our congregations are yoked due to a lack of staffing, why are we turning capable potential pastors away?
- I know many GLBTQ candidates for ministry as well as elders who are more competent and better able to serve than many of those who identify themselves as straight. Let's get those who want to joyfully serve and have the abilities to do so installed!
- Cut this whole intolerance crap...it's getting old!
- It isn't just a GLBTQ issue. With the current wording, if you are heterosexual but not living within either in fidelity of marriage or in chastity in singleness you are unfit to serve in any office... so all of our elders and deacons who are living with a partner but not married to them, why are you serving the church? I actually knew an elder who upon reading this resigned from the session because by him living with his girlfriend he was going against the BOO.
I suppose these are the reasons why I voted for Amendment 10A. The Presbytery of Boston was amazingly civil in our discussions on the night of the vote (11/1/10). The Presbytery had 83 votes cast. 53 voted were in favor of passing Amendment 10A. 30 votes were against amendment 10A.
Presbytery of Boston, I am proud of you!
Monday, November 1, 2010
just a quick note. I am very tired. Just got back from an amazing presbytery meeting. Yes, I said AMAZING! I will blog all about that, Amendment 10-A, the progress of my quest to seminary and more...in the morning.
Friday, October 29, 2010
So what is the new direction you might ask? THis is going to be my "Quest for Seminary" blog or my "Presbygeek tries to get ordained" or "Presbygeek M.Div." blog or whatever clever name comes to be. Essentially this is going to be where I vent my frustrations but share my joys about applying to seminary, the ordination process of the PCUSA, actually going to seminary (Hopefully!), and whatever else happens to occur.
I have been searching the interwebs to hear about other people's faith journye, quest for ordination...etc... and I came across a pretty cool blog. Charles Wei is a PCUSA seminarian in San Francisco and I have totally fallen in love with him (In the will you please be my new best friend sort of way)! You can check out his awesome blog at http://jesushighforthegayguy.blogspot.com/. Reading about his story and his journey is really helpful. So I present here for you (and the rest of the monkeys of teh interw3bz) my journey, my quest, or whatever we shall call it!
Friday, October 22, 2010
It appears that I have periods of intense blogging and then I forget about it for a few months and then I come back.
Well this is me coming back. Hopefully I remember to stick with it.
When we last joined the Presbygeek she was debating whether to go to Liberty University or stay at Atlantic Union College. (enough of the third person, sorry) So I ended up deciding to stay at Atlantic Union College. They recieved accreditation through July, which works out for me because I graduate in May. May 15th to be exact. Put it on your calendars!
In the past two months since I've blogged:
- Started my Senior year of college
- gave up on learning...that sounds really bad, let me explain: I have reached a place where I feel that my college is no longer teaching me things. I am sick of having peopel try to convert me and I am sick of people looking down on my theological ideals. But I graduate in May so I need to stick it out. And I need to bring my GPA up (or at least keep it where it is) in order to get into seminary!
- I started seriously taking a look at which Semianry I want to attend
- Served as the one YAD at the Synod of the Northeast's synod assembly. There will be a whole blog post on that!
- got appointed to the Synod Council Committee on Grants
- Got an iphone (silly detail but it has made life easier) which I believe should be the official cellphone of the PCUSA.
- started planning a Northeast PCUSA Youth event (more to come on that)
- continued working on fundraising for the Trip to Cameroon
- attended Presbytery meetings (gave a report on Triennium)
- attended session meetings
what else??? Ohhhhhhh, and I got endorsed by my Presbytery to enroll as an inquirer!!!!!!!
Friday, August 6, 2010
So I just got off the phone with Liberty University working things out.
These are the things I know
Liberty University (Online)
I wouldn't have to pay anything up front -Pro
In fact I would get a refund back after loans are processed -pro
I would be able to take a full course load -pro
It would be like a third of the cost of auc. -pro
I wouldnt be enrolled at AUC (so no yearbook etc) -con
I can work a lot! -pro
Don't have to worry about missing classes to go visit perspective seminaries -pro
Have to make an effort to contact professors -con
save money- pro
paying rent -con
can take an intensive (weekend class) and see Ryan+Kayleigh+Mercy- pro
I was told that it would be a good idea to explain the situation to the VP of enrollment (apparently he can help).
He replied to my email and said that he would try to take a look at stuff on Monday
As of right now I still have to pay that $1100 by the 20th.
financial aid is playing stupid about a scholarship that I am supposed to recieve.
live in dorm- pro/con
yearbook, banquets, activities- pro
no dealing with drunk freshman/ screaming in the halls at 1 am/ girls next door singing (or strangling a cat) at 1 am -pro!
easier to explain one sem. applicaitons- pro
professor and staff fleeing like their asses are on fire- con
part of my aid is work study and with off-campus work + classses + other commitments I dont know when i'd find time- con
thoughts? Advice please!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
1) Atlantic Union College has lost it's accreditation. PANIC!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHH AHHHHHH WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?
2) It's okay I got it! I'll apply to a few schools.
3) PANIC!!! that means going far away! That means losing my job! AHHHHH!!!!!
4) Nope it's all good! I'll finish my degree online and I can work during the day. Yay!
5) Crap! I need somewhere to live!!!! AHHHHH I can't afford any of the apartments around here
6) Wait...Washignton Adventist University said they will cover us for the year. so If AUC doesn't win the appeal my degree will just come from WAU, but I keep taking classes at AUC and live in the dorm. well sigh of relief!
7) WHAT??? all of the head of financial aid have left? Financial aid is being run by someone who graduated in may? That cannot be good! They are smart and getting out while they can aren't they??
8) EXCUSE ME????????? I owe $2400? I need to pay $1100 in order ro register for the fall semester! Where do you suggest I find that money?
9) Dr. Roberts left? What do you mean? Dr. Trott might be leaving? Dr. Trott? Like DR TROTT???? okay, well, um... let the panick attack begin!!!!!!!!!!!!!
10) How am I gonna come up with $1100 by teh deadline? I can't! More loans? I don't have good credit! AHH
11) contracted teachers aren't coming back. Wait that doesn't affect me. No, but it means they are getting rid of more and more. Oh, not a good sign!
12) Inbox message: Remember the deadline for registration at liberty University is August 11th! Sigh of relief? cause of panic? does it matter?
13) WHAT AM I GOING TO DO???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????/
May: End of school, finals, bestfriends getting engaged, working, cleaning etc.
June: Shelby's graduation, World Communion of Reformed Churches
July: Working, Triennium, working, a visit to Wilmot
August: working, a series of movie nights, three year anniversary, Challenger's camp, starting school somewhere...
Friday, July 16, 2010
I'm not entirely convinced that anyone actually reads my blog so I suppose it is okay then. It's not like I am letting anyone down. Now I shall blog about what I was supposed to blog about a month ago. The World Communion of Reformed Churches!
So, I spent 18 days at Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI) for the World Communion of Reformed Churches. From June 11-29 I got to know people from all over the world....literally! We covered 6 of the 7 continents and well over 100 countries. It was such an amazing experience. Meeting people and learning about different cultures was fantastic. I learned a few words in other languages (for instance, Labas means Hello in Lithuanian) and I taught some people about how certain things are done and said in the US. It was a great networking experience as well. I now have friends in places all over the globe that I can go visit! :)
On top of meeting so many great people from around the world I also learned a lot! There were two Eccumenical bodies: The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (based in Geneva) and the Reformed Eccumenical Council (based in Grand Rapids). Durign the Uniting General Council, these two bodies came together to form a new organization: The World Communion of Reformed Churches. Sort of like an Eccumenical super power!
Over the course of those 18 days I learned about the Accra Confession (which I think is pretty cool), what life is like for Christians in other parts of the world, the indigenous people in North America, and abotu different justice topics. all of the documents we covered (Which are a lot) can be found online at http://www.reformedchurches.org/documents.
This experience has sparked something in me for Eccumenism. I want to get involved in any way possible. The National Council of Churches is getting together in November and I plan to apply to be a steward. I love working with other Christians on eccumenical relations. It is just so amazing. I realize that I sound like I am being sarcastic but I am 100% serious.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Okay, Let's start with this little tidbit: a few days before I headed to Michigan for the World Communion of Reforemd Churches (more on that later), I found out some horrible news. Atlantic Union College (as in the College that I attend) has lost it's accreditation. Pause for a moment of AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, so while it will remain open, NEASC (the regional accrediting board) has decided to revoke the accreditation. AUC plan to petition it but we will see how it will go.
So what is up for the fall? At the moment, I have no clue! I can stay at AUC and hope that the win the appeal. I can transfer to another Adventist school (the nearest is in Washington DC) and continue to feel oppressed. I can transfer to a public school that doesn't have a religion major and hope a lot of my credits transfer. I can enroll in Liberty University and finish up with their online classes. Or I suppose the final option would be volunteerism and by that I most likely mean City Year.
Those are the options and I have no clue what I am doing in the fall! OH JOY!
Monday, May 17, 2010
I like weddings. If you know me personally this should be considered common knowledge to you. I like weddings a lot, and I always have. You know the movie Bride Wars, when it flashes back to the main characters as kids playing wedding dress-up? I would have been the one in the corner planning the pretend wedding. People (my boyfriend especially) make fun of me for my obsession with weddings. I would like to point out, however that I have liked (read been obsessed with) weddings long before there was an amazing guy in my life. I just really really like them.
Two of my favoritest people got engaged 8 days ago. Kayleigh and Ryan...YAY!!! We have all known for a while that this was going to happen! I am especially Happy of course because that means Yay wedding planning! Really guys it's like giving a drug addict coke! THANKS!!!!!!!! I am a fountain of wedding knowledge just waiting to share.
So Kayleigh (the Future Bride) and I were talking about weddingy type stuff and when we were talking last night she asked me why I was going into ministry instead of becoming a wedding planner. It would make sense for me to become a wedding planner right? I mean I Love weddings, I am good under other people's stress, I am good at calling people down and a mediating, and for some reason that's the only thing I can keep organize ;)
It only seems like a good idea. What I really really want to do is to be a wedding planner on the side. I want to go into ministry because it is where I feel called but I want to dabble in weddings as well. I would love to work at a bridal store or something similar while in seminary and then plan weddings on the side once I have a real job. The only thing is I have no idea how to get into that sort f thing. i have helped people plan weddings before and I have all this stuff in my head just waiting to create an amazing wedding. But how do I actually go about doing it????
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
This summer I plan to do all of my researching of different Masters of Divinity programs, figure out which schools I am applying to and work on those applications. Also, I plan to study for and take the GRE. I think I will attempt my first try in July and see how I do. Additionally, I plan to complete and submit the application to become an inquirer with the Presbytery of Boston. Some of my friends who have gone through Seminary and some who have already been ordained told me that I should become an inquirer before starting seminary because once I start it will be hard to find the time to do it. Rev. Wayne Parrish, the executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Boston, asked me last year when I was going to do it so I figure if it would be a good idea to have that done by fall.
My fear is that I wont get accepted anywhere. My GPA is not good! I'm working on bringing it up but it is no at the caliber that some of these schools are at. I have lots of community service and stuff outside of the classroom and I am sure I can get great letters of reference. I think that I can bang out some pretty good essays as long as I have someone look at them and make corrections before I submit them. I'm going to attempt to get a good score on the GRE. It's my crappy GPA that scares me.
My number one choice was Harvard Divinity School. I'm still going to apply, but I don't see it happening in all actuality. I screwed around too much and have received too many Cs. :(
so far I am looking at:
- Harvard Divinity School
- Boston University School of Theology
- Princeton Theological Seminary (I have to apply to a PCUSA school)
- Bangor Theological Seminary
- Andover-Newton Theological Seminary
I feel like there is one missing from the list but I can't remember which. People at school think I should apply to Andrews University Seminary because there is like a 98% chance I can get in.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
On top of the sadness that my friends leaving is causing, the fact that they are graduating is causing me to think. And as we all know, me + thinking is dangerous! What I have been thinking about is what I am supposed to be doing after I graduate. I came to the realization today that in one year I will be a college graduate (that is if I pass statistics this semester) and that's a scary thought.
For a while I was thinking about the peace corps. I want to serve in some way. I love the idea of traveling and I want to serve people everywhere. People that I've talked to that have done peace corps have loved it. But it's a two year commitment. Two years without coming home. missing birthdays and holidays and weddings. And bigger than all that is two years without David. That would be the part that kills me. I get all depressed when I go a few weeks without seeing him. I could not handle two years. But alas he has no interest in missionary work or this sort of thing.
I was talking with my friend Elise today. She is studying in Paris right now. We were talking about the fact that in one year we will be college graduates. And we were talking about the future. She sin't sure that hse wants to go straight into a masters program either. She is considering teach for america or the peace corps. I told her that I had been considering the peace corps but the 2 year commitment was too mcuh for me. But, I told her about the PCUS Young Adult Volunteer program. The YAV program is a lot like the Peace corps, except it is under the presbyterian church and works in area under churches. There are placements in different parts of the US as well as around the world. Unlike the Peace Corps it is only a 1 year commitment. She said she thinks I should do it. She says that David and I have a strong relationship and we will be able to survive one year apart. Part of me thinks she's right, part of me isn't sure. Let me clarify. I have NO doubts in our relationship. I have doubts in myself. I personally do not believe that I could go that long without Him.
so these are the thoughts I am thinking. part of me wants to apply to the YAV program and see if I get accepted. That way I cna decide and maybe that is where I am being called. I would go to seminary afterwards, but maybe I need that one year break between college and seminary? I've figured out where I am applying for seminary though! :) Harvard Divinity School, Boston University School of Theology, Bangor Theological Seminary, Andover-Newton Theological Seminary and maybe Princeton. My grades are not good enough that I believe I have a chance at HDS or STH but people are telling me to apply anyway. I really really want to get into HDS. That is my dream school and always has beenn, but we'll see.
Well these are the thoughts I am thinking and the things on my mind. Lots of praying, reflecting, thinking, talking, and discerning to do.
Friday, April 30, 2010
So The Toms event happened and there was about 30 people who went barefoot to raise awarness for those around the world without shoes. We got coverage in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette as well as in the Clinton Item. A bunch of people donated shoes which will be sent off to Haiti. All in all I think it was pretty successful.
I kept meaning to log on and post some stuff as things have been happening, but alas I just get busy and forget.
Let's see what else has happened?
- I was elected Secretary of the Student Ministerial Association for the 2010-2011 school year. Kayleigh was elected head of public relations so it should be a good year in that respect. Our President is Willis Byas and that people is going to do great things for God.
- At the awards and honors chapel I was given a $1000 scholarship so that's pretty cool. Yay free money! Now I need to remember to write the thank you.
- I went to Atlanta to cheer on Gael Force, Team 126, at the Championships of FIRST Robotics. It was pretty awesome. Kate and I helped Shelby with Strategy, ehich I enjoyed. While the team didn't win it was a great weekend.
- While I was in Atlanta, I checked out Columbia Semianry. I don't think it is the seminary for me, but it was an interesting experience. Every time I have gone to visit a Seminary it was one of the ones in the Boston area and it was just to hang out with people or attend an event. This time it was me as a prespective studnet and it is a whole differnet feeling.
Right now I am in the middle of the hectic part of the semester. It's time for FINALS. The only one that I am really stressing over is Statistics. A) I am not good at math. B) His teaching style nad my learning style to not line up C) all of the homework is on the internet and I can't sit in front of a computer screen for 5 hours straight doing an assignment. D)I have spent over 5 hours on one assignment and I am still not done with this assignment. This class is seriously hurting me and I am afraid of how it will affect my GPA and therfore affect my chances of getting into the Seminary I want to get into.
Graduation is in a week and that is bumming me out. Last year I didn't really care about the seniors graduating. It's not that I didn't know them it's that I wasn't as close to them as I am to a number of this year's graduating seniors. :'(
Friday, April 9, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
I have gotten a whole slew of people interested in participating. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette and the Times & Courier are interested in coming to campus to cover the story next Thursday. I am super pumped.
But then the bureacrats and the red tape are begining to take over. Apparently I didn't go through the proper channels so the person in charge of PR for the college is being pissy.
Now I need to set up meetings with The Head of Security, The School Nurse, and The Vice President of Student Services. Also I need to email the person in charge of marketing. I do not actually understand what marketing has to do with the event. In addition, I need to come up with a waiver, a press release, and some sort of kick-off thing.
Ahh the Red Tape of raising awareness!
Monday, March 29, 2010
The idea is that people will go the entire day (or as much of the day that they can) without wearing shoes. What is the purpose of this you ask? we spread awareness about the impact a simple pair of shoes can have on a child’s life.
I am organizing an underground TOMS movement on AUC's campus. I've gotten a bunch of people to sign up adn I am hoping even more will before the 8th. I decided to share the information with President Wendth. I wonder if I can get him on baord. My real hope isn't so much that he too will go barefoot (though that would be amazing), my goal in sharing the information with him is to make it so that the students (and staff) that decide to participate wont be told that they have to put shoes on. I want to spread as much awareness as possible!
Here's the details:
- Fact #1:In some developing nations, children must walk for miles to food, clean water and to seek medical help.
- Fact #2:Cuts and sores on feet can lead to serious infection.
- Fact #3:Often, children cannot attend school barefoot.
- Fact #4:In Ethiopia, approximately one million people are suffering from Podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring disease caused by walking barefoot in volcanic soil.
- Fact #5: Podoconiosis is 100% preventable by wearing shoes.
I'm going to make myself a t-shirt as well to spread awareness. Hmm maybe I should contact the newspaper?
For more info check it out: http://www.onedaywithoutshoes.com
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
These means that If I go at my current rate I will not be graduating on time. This is unacceptable! I will not spend more than four years here! I refuse!!!!!!!! pls I am headed straight to seminary (or at least that is the plan) and that starts int he fall.
What's a girl to do? Once I get my tax refund I am going to enroll in some distance courses to make up for the missing credits. Probably Louisiana State University, because that is what Ryan is using. I WILL GRADUATE ON TIME!!!!!!!!!
Do you think they will let me count elements of Dairying as a physical science class?????
Well the first post of today was written in my head a few days ago but I never got around to writing it down. This post on the other hand I am coming up with as I type it. Yes, I am that good!
What with some of my friends getting married and others getting engaged I have got rings on the mind. While looking at rings with a friend I started thinking about the different type of rings. While there is the princess, round, oval, pear, marquise, emerald, heart, trilliant, radiant, and cushion cut, this is not what I am talking about. The different types of rings I am thinking of are the unique ones. One of my friends proposed with an opal engagement ring. New! different! unique! I know of another friend that is using a ring that has been passed down through the generations. I think this may be my favorite type of ring. A family heirlom. With that ring you carry your family. The past comes along with you as do the people who have worn it previously.
I think my next favorite type of ring are ones with unique stones. Who needs diamonds? They are so expensive. I think it might be more economical to look for a different type of stone. Plus with a different gemstone you get to be special. Everyone has diamonds but not too many people have a ruby engagement ring.
That brings me into gemstones. I love rubies as an engagement ring stone. Rubies are red. Red is the color of Love and passion. Makes sense to me! But okay, rubies can be a bit expensive as well. EMERALDS! I love love love emeralds. I don't know if it the whole Irish thing and maybe I am genetically programed to like emeralds, but I love them! They are unique and amazing and heck Green looks good on me :)
That's just my brief thoughts on rings and stones. I could go on for ages. But I will leave you with this for now. Engagement rings do not have to cost you an arm, a leg, and your first born. Start with an inexpensive but beautiful ring and then a few years down the road when you have real money buy a more expensive ring if that is what you want.
Let me first explain this:
On my father's side of the fmaily, I was the first born granddaughter. There are two male cousins that are older than me as well as my brother. I was the only female granddaughter for almost 10 years. (I believe I was 9 when my cousin Anna was born). So after me came five more grandsons.
That being said I have come to realize that one of the hardest things for me is to see these strong men cry. After my grandmother's funeral I was doing well until I looked over and some my cousin who is 6 months older than me crying. This instantly sent me into tears. Having never seen most of my cousins cry before this past week I think made it even more difficult.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
2 years ago my Dad died. It was one of the hardest things I have been faced with. He was diagnosed with Lung cancer December 5 and then January 7, he was gone. It was so hard to see the rock of my life fade away to nothing and then just dissapear all together. There are still points randomly that I am struck with so much sadness. When I saw 27 dressed I cried afterwards because I will never have the moment where my dad walks me down the aisle.
This morning my paternal grandmother died. Apparently she had been battling Lung Cancer for a while and kept it to herself. I know Rosie has always been strong but why did she keep it to herself? When she had colon cancer a while back she shared that. why not this?
All I can keep thinking is why? why take Rosie? why the same thing as dad? why 2 years after dad? I know God has a plan and he doesn't share the playbook all the time but Why?
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I desperately want to go on a mission trip. I have been on two before and I have this burning desire to go on another.
When I was in the seventh grade, we took a trip down to Harlan, Kentucky and worked with an organization called C.O.A.P. They help low and very low income families fix up their houses. Sort of like a habitat organization except it was centralized just to the Appalachian people. It was a fantastic experience and there was even an article written about our trip in the Christian Science Monitor. Photos from the trip can be seen here: http://www.bdcolenphoto.com/Journalism/A-Trip-to-Harlan-County/8448994_SoYVL#555356633_FZHZk.
My Senior year of high school I went on a mission trip with the Assemblies of God Church I had been attending (there aren't many PCUSA churches around). We took a bus down to Pass Christian, Mississippi. The bus trip was an interesting experience in itself. We broke down numerous times, lost power to the bus (including the bathroom) and then ultimately the bus died somewhere in Alabama and we had to be saved by another bus. Once we finally made it to Mississippi, it was a phenomenal trip. I learned that while Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans there was so much damage in Mississippi that was being ignored. The town we were staying and working it was practically wiped out. The people were living in half destroyed homes or were crowded into other people' homes and yet everyone was so sweet and appreciative of this small little dent we were making. It was an amazing experience.
I want to go on a mission trip. My school has mission trips occasionally but the problem is that they are 99% evangelistically based. Evangelism is not the type of mission trip I am looking for. I want to go on a mission trip and help people whether it be repairing a house, painting a school or doing something with children. I want to help in a hands on way.
I need to find a mission trip to go on and pronto!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I recycle and I try to encourage other's to recycle.
I try to shop at thrift stores like Salvation Army.
I've been working on taking shorter showers (this is difficult).
I switched from a gas-guzzling monster to a more fuel efficient car.
I've been making other changes in my life to be more environmentally friendly but things keep getting in my way.
One of my biggest obstacles is my college:
- The heat is blasting year round. I have to keep my window open (which wastes heat) and I have to keep a fan on (which is a constant waste of electricity). I tried not doing this but I open my door and get blasted with a heat wave.
- The electricity- I have already explained how I waste electricity because I need to leave the fan on. Another issue is that all of the lights in the building are consistenly left on. If no one is in the showers room why does the light need to be left on? The same with the bathroom. When I turn the lights off people get angry...luckily they have yet to figure out it's me.
- Water- I have nalgene bottles and reusuable water bottles but I tend to not use them in the dorm. The tap water in my room has a similar taste to that of a pencil. I have tried a brita filter and refridgerating it but to no avail. In the dorm I drink bottled water and I feel bad about it.
I need to work on these things!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
At school I have tried to encourage recycling but that only lasted for a little bit because administration wasnt into it. The cafeterian uses styrofoam for everything. :( We had what I believe to be potato starch (decomposible) forks a few weeks ago but people complained and so those disappeared. I am the one who constantly turns the light off in the shower rooma nd the bathroom. I've been told it doesn't matter because the school creates our own electricity. Sorry people, but it does matter.
We waste so much energy. THe dorm rooms and offices feel like they are 1600 degrees. I have my window wide open and a fan on and I am still very hot in my room. They could just turn the temperature down...but no. This dormitory wastes so much and it makes me sad.
I am considering applying for the eco-stewards program. It would be an oppurtunity to be with other people (young adults) that care about the environment and our role as stewards of the earth. I would also learn a lot from some amazing people. Oh and it's also a chance to spend time with Rob, Becky and HEATHER LUCAKS (who I haven't seen in years). I have learned so much from them in the past!
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
so far on my plate is: The World Communion of Reformed Churches. June 12-28. Grand Rapids, Michigan. I am so excited because I get to meet people from other churches in the USA and also people from around the world. We are all Christians of different denominations within the reformed faith. I am going to learn so much and meet so many great people. I cannot wait! It is at Calvin College which means I will also get to check out the Seminary while I am there.
Then In July I head to Indiana. I am going to the Presbyterian Youth Triennium at Purdue University as a member of the work crew. I get to help out with anything that the leaders of PYT need. I get to hang out with different PCUSA and cumberland people from all over the country. When I was at Synod in October, Byron Wade (vice-moderator of the PCUSA) and Andy James ( a pastor in NYC Presbytery) both said they will be there...so I am pumped. THe group from Boston Presbytery will be flying from Boston to Indianapolis and then taking a shuttle from Indianapolis to Purdue. July 20-24.
August- the second week of August I'm spending at Camp Wilmot volunteering at Challenger's camp. This week is probably the highlight of my year. I get to spend a week working with mentally challenged adults in the woods doing all kinds of fun things. And the other people I work with are amazing and fantastic as well. I can truly see the face of God in every single one of the campers.
That's what I have planned so far. I want to add more things though. I would love to attend General Assembly but I don't see that happening this year unfortunatly :'( It is the summer before my senior year of college. I want to get as much amazing things into this summer as possible. I want to add more presby things, more conferences, more events. I want to spend more time in the woods. more time learning things. more time camping. more time on a river. I want to do so much this summer!
I went to a workshop on evangelism with Eric Hooey. I meant Bruce Reyes-Chow and attended his social media workshop. The workshop with Bruce was one of my favorite but I also enjoyed the workshop put on by Katie Holmes from the Environmental minitry office. I learned so much in that workshop. We were given a couple different resources that I still have. I learned so much that I would love to utilize. Unfortunatly our church is on the poorer side financially and therefore Solar panels aren't likely to happen in the near future. Once I get my own house I 100% plan to use what I learned.
I really want to get more involved with environmental issues. Unfortunatly the people on my campus don't really seem to care about anything involving the environment so that resource that people would ordinarily have is out. So I left to find my own ways to get involved...
My boyfriend, David, is an Eagle scout. His sister is a girl scout. His mother is a girl scout and a BOY SCOUT. She was a scout master and therefore became a boy scout. His father: a boy scout (Eagle Scout) and a girl scout. They come from a line of scouts. Grandfather & uncle are eagle scouts and on and on and on. You get the idea?
I was allowed to be a girl scout for a few months and then that stopped. I'm not 100% sure why. Probably because of money. No one ever tells me anything. but I digress...
I love the camping and the working for patches and all the things that scouts consist of.
I wish I had been more involved with things that interest me. I have recently learned about different programs like teen wilderness adventures etc that I would hav loved to be involved with.
Friday, February 26, 2010
I apparently am an expert at confusion. I am currently a Junior in college. My junior year is almost over and yet I feel so confused. I feel like I should have stuff figured out by now.
I know I want to go to Seminary. I know I want to get ordained. but I think that that is all I know.
For the longest time I wanted to do camping ministry. Not too long ago if asked, I said I wanted to be the Female Rob Mark. For those that don't know, Rob Mark is the former Camp Director of Camp Wilmot (Wilmot, NH). Super guy, amazing director, and knows everything environmental. Camp has played such a huge role in my life and in my faith journey. I love camp, I love camping, I love learning about nature, teaching about nature, being in nature and working with kids.
But lately I have been thinking about it and maybe I am not supposed to be headed down that path. I've been thinking about it a lot and chaplaincy has been piquing my interest. We will see what the road brings...