Thursday, October 13, 2011

As of Yet Untitled

Tonight, at Princeton Theological Seminary, was the intercultural cafe. For the first time ever 5 student groups came together to put on this event. BGLASS, AAPTS, ABS, ALS, and WC but on an amazing evening, if I do say so myself (I helped with the planning). We had an open mic portion with performances of poetry, song and spoken word. My friends, Chad and Jason, preformed a short story written by David Sedaris which was phenomenal! Pam sang Mr. Cellophane (from Chicago) and Ryan read a poem in Spanish and English. There were many other truly amazing pieces as well.

I shocked myself by emerging from my shell and sharing a truly personal piece that I have written. The reaction to it was great from my friends that were there. When I stood at the mic I felt like my heart was chilling out somewhere by my toes and even after preforming I felt like my heart my come up out of my mouth. It has been a few hours since I preformed it and I am still nervous about it. I have never done anything this personal in public before. Since it has already been shared with the world, I might as well post it here.

They tell me that twenty two is too young to write
There’s still so much you’ve yet to see
You haven’t been married
You have no kids
What could you possibly have to say?
Twenty two may be too young to write
But me, I’m learning to start living life
You don’t have to read and you don’t have to care
But I have stories that I’m going to share
The story of a scared little girl
In a cold dark world
The story of the preteen who watches her beloved Daddy
Try to end his life
On the same same night her brother pulled out a knife
The story of a ten year old who runs away from home
Only to discover that no one knows
The story of a teenage girl clinging to anyone just to feel loved
I can tell you all about the day I walked through the metal detectors
To find the D, the Y, the K, the E carved into my locker
I can tell you about being a confused teen trying to be perfect yet wanting to love
I can tell you about the outsider in high school
The one who wore long sleeves and  pants in july to hide the wounds
About the college student reflecting on love
About being different in a conservative Christian realm
Where true thoughts are repressed to avoid the backlash
I have stories about being avoided because you’re gay
When you don’t identify yourself that way
But now, now  I have new stories
Stories of acceptance and of welcome
Tales of friends and truly amazing hugs
So yes, I have stories
Stories of pain and oppression
Stories of struggle and self-hate
Stories of acceptance and victory
Stories of growth and love
But of course, They say twenty two is too young to write

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

BGLASS Worship

BGLASS Worship was phenomenal. It was exciting to be a part of such an amazing worship service. We focused on the beatitudes and figuring out our roles as the salt of the earth. We read scripture, we sang and we lit candles. The amazing David Norse preached and his words truly touched me. After the service I told him that I had wished that the 14-year old me had been able to hear it. Heck, he talked about things that the 22-year old me is still fighting to deal with.
I think I truly appreciated that so many people turned out for the BGLASS worship because something like that would not occur in many other settings that I have been in. On top of that, just as the service was starting we saw police cruiser and a fire truck on the quad. I was worried that it would interfere with worship but people came in. The Seminary's President, a few professors and the campus chaplain were in the chapel worshiping with us. It is great to see and truly realize that I am in a welcoming and embracing community.
During the service, as our offering we wrote down what our personal goal is for the year, what we plan on working on, how we plan on showing our light. Personally for me, I want to learn to be more true to myself so that I can figure out how to show my light to others and help them do the same. I love BGLASS

Sunday, October 9, 2011


People laugh when I tell them how much I love seminary. I know it sounds a bit ridiculous but I am literally in love with this place and these people.

 Prior to coming to seminary I think I had an idea of what seminary would be like because of all the time I've spent with friends that were seminarians, and just hanging out at BU's School of Theology and Harvard Divinity School. I pictured seminary as a welcoming place. An accepting a place. A place where theological differences can be brought to the table and discussed in a respectful and meaningful way. More or less, I realize now that I dreamed it would be the polar opposite of my undergraduate experience.

Princeton Theological Seminary, thus far, has far surpassed my expectations. I have met so many amazing people here and I am meeting new people daily. I have found myself a group of friends that allowed me to come into their fold. I have found people that are warm and welcoming, opening and accepting, interesting and loving, intelligent and fun. I have found a community that comes from all kinds of theological backgrounds that are able to come to the table and have frank respectful conversations about where we come from and where we are going.

I came to Seminary and dove right into things. Since the semester started, I have joined BGLASS (and helped plan the opening worship), helped plan the intercultural cafe (which is this Thursday so anyone in the Princeton, NJ area should come out), and plan to get involved with the Interfaith Network of Understanding. In the past month and a half I have been to amazing places with the amazing friends I've made. I've been to churches in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I have been to a gay bar in Philly, I've been to a Menonite Hymn Sing in Germantown, PA. I've watched friends preach at their field ed placements. I've sung Karaoke at a bar and I've been to Broad Street in Philly.

I have connected with amazing people that I am so glad have become a part of my life. I know that Seminary would be a whole different experience without these people in my life. I've spent many nights up late into the night just talking with friends. I've spent many nights watching movies with friends. There are people here, that I have known for only three months, that know me better than people that have known me for years. I cannot wait for what the next three years have in store for me.

Where else do you hear things like "I may be a pastor but I make this look damn sexy" or "I was expecting a Bonhoeffer lecture and I got 'Don't rape your neighbor'!" or "Baptize me in holy resolve" or "only in seminary can you segue from Hebrew to Beyonce"!

Every new experience I have reminds me how much #iloveseminary

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Memoir

For quite some time now people have been telling me that I should write a book about my life and about my family. It's always been my really close friends but lately I've been finding that either my friends have shared with people they know about my life or I'll tell someone new something and they also tell me I need to write a book.
So I have decided to put pen to paper...well since this is a technological age, I have decided to put finger to key and write what I guess will be my memoir. I'm only 22 years old but apparently my interesting stories about childhood and adolescence will provide what I need for a memoir. And now I begin writing!

Pssst.... here's the beginning!

"The oddest place my father ever lived was my underwear drawer. Nestled between the panties and the nylons is his newest home. He spent his time living out of cars, living on someone’s couch and sleeping on people’s floors but I’m pretty sure the weirdest place is my underwear drawer. I wish I were kidding or just trying to come up with a clever story to pull you into my story but alas this is entirely true.  My Dad, or at least my allotted portion of him, lives in my underwear drawer, inside a Boston Red Sox Christmas tree ornament. Living in a dorm room there are so many places where you can put your father’s ashes where it will not freak your friends out nor get harmed in some unfortunate alcohol related incident. In a bout of cleverness, I decided that the best places to keep them would be somewhere hidden, out of the way, and where only I would see them, ergo he now lives with my panties."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Covenant Conference

Currently, I am registered to attend the 2011Covenant Network of Presbyterians Conference. I am very excited about this opportunity because I am a huge fan of the Covenant Network. The topics that are going to be discussed ("Reforming the Ties that Bind: Theological Virtues for Living Together with Difference",  ‚Reconciling Visions,“Moving Forward Together and Preparing for General Assembly”, “Wrestling with Scripture: Progressive Presbyterians, Biblical Authority, and the Ministry of Reconciliation”, "Reconciling Voices" and  “Reconciling Vocations") all sound so interesting to me. Additionally, the mod of the PCUSA  Cindy Bolbach is doing a presentation on nFOG and the worship services through out the conference sound amazing. Time for fellowship for the 'Young Adults' attending the conference is specifically built in to the schedule which I really like because it allows us to network with other young adults that care about similar topics that we wouldn't ordinarily get to fellowship with. And if I wasn't sold already, the description of the workshops pulls me in: "Workshops will explore the theme of ‘Reconciliation’ and its complexities throughout many arenas of faithful living. Standard favorites such as ‘What the Bible Says and Doesn't Say about Homosexuality’, ‘Marriage Rites and Rights’, and ‘The Legal Landscape in the PC(USA)’ will be offered as well.  There will be opportunities to engage with conference leaders and one another, expanding upon themes presented in the plenaries and sermons.  Participants will receive practical resources to help address issues at the congregational as well as presbytery level.  Now more than ever, the Covenant Network recognizes the importance of our founding commitment to support the mission and unity of the PC(USA).  How we live into this new reality, the tone and spirit of our work, is critically important in these tender days."

I'm already registered for the conference. Hooray for Network Presbyterians realizing that Seminarians are poor and making it free for us to register. Now I need to figure out funding for driving down to North Carolina, a place to stay and food for the meals that the conference does not provide. My bank account makes this difficult. Anyone want to sponsor a poor seminarian?