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Seminarians of the Week

Meet Carol Morehead, seminarian for the week of December 12-18, 2011.

Carol Morehead, a candidate for holy orders from the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, is in her second year of study at Seminary of the Southwest, in Austin. Before seminary, Carol engaged in ministry in many ways for many years, most recently as the lay ministry coordinator at her home parish. She is a poet, writer, and sometimes musician who loves to travel and ask questions. The mother of three sons – two in college, and one in middle school – and wife to a psychodynamically oriented psychiatrist, she also has two cats and two big dogs. She and her family enjoy Led Zeppelin, jazz, soccer, and pizza!

Discussing this week's gospel reading, Luke 1:26-38, Carol said: "We live in a modern world, based on scientific hypotheses and observations. Even the most unscientifically minded of us is a product of the scientific revolution. So we come to this passage full of questions, seeking explanations, demanding that things make sense. Yet this is a story of faith. Gabriel, here for the second time in this first chapter of Luke, gives a birth announcement, much like that of Samson or John the Baptist. Only this birth is special, miraculous. Mary is confused at first, but Gabriel’s words reassure her: with God nothing is impossible. By accepting God’s initiation, Mary becomes part of the in-breaking of God into the world through the incarnation in Jesus. Mary accepts the unexplainable and offers herself to God’s service. What are the unexplainable things in your world today about which you seek answers from God? In what way may God be calling you to bring to birth some part of God’s kingdom?"

To view all of Carol's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Rae Hadley, seminarian for the week of December 5-11, 2011.

Rae Hadley is completing her first year of seminary at the Episcopal Theology School at Claremont, California, and attends St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Fullerton, California. She is a psychologist and works as a clinical case manager.

Discussing this week's gospel reading, John 1:6-8, 19-28, Rae said: "These sections of John talk about John the Baptist as a prophet, sent to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus Christ. People didn’t understand who John was, and suspected that he might be the prophet Elijah, who the Jews believed would return to earth before the Messiah came. Some even suspected that John was the Messiah. John knew that his role was to prepare the way for the coming of Christ, and clearly denied being Elijah or the Messiah. The religious authorities questioning John were not interested in actually getting information from him, but wanted to discredit him. This same sort of tactic would be used to try to trip-up Jesus as well. John was not deceived by their questioning and remained clear about who he was and was not, and what his purpose was. How do these passages speak to you and your own role in your community of faith? Who are the “Pharisees” in your life? How do they challenge your faith?"

To view all of Rae's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Kerlin Richter, seminarian for the week of November 28-December 4, 2011.

Kerlin Richter is a student at the General Theological Seminary in New York City and a candidate for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Oregon. Prior to coming to seminary, Kerlin was the editor of Hip Mama, a countercultural, feminist parenting ’zine. She is currently doing her field placement at Transmission, a liturgical house church in NYC. You can read her sermons at postulantmama.blogspot.com.

About this week's gospel reading, Mark 1:1-8, Kerlin said: "Advent is a time of good tidings, but sometimes what God considers good news and what we consider good news can seem very different. The good news of God will change us and challenge us, and we are called to join in with the work of lifting our voices. Where in the world most needs to hear 'good tidings'”?

To view all of Kerlin's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Grey Maggiano, seminarian for the week of November 21-27, 2011.

Grey Maggiano is a second year Masters of Divinity student at Virginia Theological Seminary, from the Diocese of Virginia. Prior to entering seminary, he was a Foreign Affairs officer with the U.S. Department of State and a Presidential Management Fellow. Grey and his wife Monica are expecting their first child during the first week of Advent, so your prayers are especially requested for all three of them!

Grey comments that "the readings for the First Sunday of Advent are a reminder of the constant cycle of sin and redemption that we, as humans and as believers, are party to. We strive for righteousness, fall short, beg God for assistance, are lifted back up, and then fall down again. It is only through Jesus’ grace that we achieve righteousness. These readings always strike a dissonant chord for me in the liturgical season of Advent; but as our professors remind us in seminary, Dissonance is good! Listen to it!"

To view all of Grey's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

 

Meet the Rev. Joel O. Atong, seminarian for the week of November 14-20, 2011.

The Rev. Joel O. Atong is currently an M.A. senior student at Virginia Theological Seminary. The Rev. Atong is a priest from the Anglican Diocese of Mombasa, Church of the Province of Kenya, and vicar-in-charge of St. Paul's Kiembeni Parish. Since becoming vicar eight years ago, his parish has grown from about 400 members to over 1,600. He also serves three other daughter churches with an average attendance of 500 people. He intends to go back to Kenya once he finishes his studies in May 2012.

The Rev. Atong observes in this week's gospel reading (Matthew 25:31-46): "That the Son of Man will separate his people like a man separates sheep from goats tells of the similarity in difference that exists in God’s family, the church. Even though the goats and sheep look alike, and share a great deal in their characteristics, they are distinctively different from each other. Like the shepherd who is familiar with his flock and conscious of their unique differences, the Son of Man will separate the righteous from the wicked. Think of a moment when you performed an act of mercy to the needy. What were your presuppositions, or what was your attitude?"

To view all of Father Joel's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

 

Meet Jabriel Ballentine, seminarian for the week of November 7-13, 2011.

Jabriel S. Ballentine is a seminarian at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, from the Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands. He is also a writer and preacher.

Jabriel comments that in this week's gospel reading (Matthew 25:14-30): "God has entrusted each of us with various talents and His property, according to our ability, and He expects those talents to be made fruitful and multiplied. When He returns, He will demand an accounting from us, for what we've done with what was, and is, His. Will we be found to be good and trustworthy? Take time to realize and understand your talents. Have you multiplied them for His glory or have you simply buried them?"

To view all of Jabriel's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Matt Seddon, seminarian for the week of October 31 - November 6, 2011.

Matt Seddon is a candidate from the Diocese of Utah currently attending Church Divinity School of the Pacific. He has a strong background in Latino ministry and an interest in missional work. He has a wife and a 12-year-old daughter, and he honors his past as a college radio DJ by spending too much time downloading obscure ’80s punk rock on iTunes.

On this week's gospel reading (Matthew 25:1-13), Matt commented: "I am always amazed in this story by the utter foolishness of the bridesmaids. They seem to have so many opportunities to ensure sufficient oil for their lamps or, failing that, still meet their obligation of celebrating with the bride and groom. As the waiting drags on, they continue to burn their scarce oil. And finally as the alarm is sounded that the bridegroom is 'here' (v.6), they run off, more concerned with their oil/lamp than making it into the party. In other words, it is more than just a bit of poor planning, the story seems to highlight that it is monumental failure to meet their duty even when they had many opportunities to do so. But we can also be surprised at the bridegroom, who, for Pete’s sake, was so late that people fell asleep. Could he not be more understanding? Could not the wise loan just a little oil, could they not be a little more compassionate? It is a world of frustrations and foolishness, oil and overreactions. Maybe for we who watch for Jesus keeping awake is to look not only to our selves, but to those around us, to find out who is tired, who is missing oil, to ensure they too have the hope we find in the coming of Christ."

To view all of Matt's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Brian Pinter, seminarian for the week of October 24-October 30, 2011.

Brian B. Pinter is a graduate student in Bible at the General Theological Seminary, New York City. He is also a teacher of religion and the campus minister at Regis High School in NYC. Brian and his family are members of Christ the Savior Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Yonkers, New York.

Brian commented that in this week's gospel reading (Matthew 23:1-12) "Jesus pounds on one of his favorite targets for ridicule: those who think of themselves as pious and holy, those who make a show of acting pious and holy, and those who condemn others for not being, in their view, pious and holy enough. ... This gospel text can be taken as a call to self-examination, for us both personally and as a church. What might Jesus have to say to modern day 'scribes' and 'Pharisees'? What 'heavy burdens' do we place upon one another in the name of religion?"

To view all of Brian's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Kyle Oliver, seminarian for the week of October 17-23, 2011.

Kyle Matthew Oliver is a senior at Virginia Theological Seminary, where he coordinates the Forum Hour. Trained in engineering physics and technical communication, his interests include the conversation between theology and science and the ethical implications of technology. He administers the resource site Into All The WWWorld and blogs at Contraria Sunt Complementa.

On our gospel reading for this week (Matthew 22:34-46), Kyle observes: "When asked about 'the greatest' commandment, [Jesus] gives a safe answer by quoting Deuteronomy (6:4-5). Indeed, this is the answer that the people of Israel were to keep in their hearts, recite to their children, and talk about at all times and in all places (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). But then he says that a second commandment 'is like it': 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' As he says, much 'hangs' on these two commandments and their interrelatedness. In what ways is love of God like love of neighbor? Do we do the second as a form of obedience to the first? Or do we do the second because it is indistinguishable from the first?"

To view all of Kyle's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Rhian Roberts, seminarian for the week of October 10-16, 2011.

Rhian Roberts is a 23-year-old seminarian at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. She grew up in Philadelphia and is supported by the Diocese of Pennsylvania. She has lived in Israel and studied Judaism at Smith College.

Rhian observes: "In this famous passage [Matthew 22:15-22], Caesar’s image is on a coin, but God’s imprint is on people. This is one way to sum up Jesus’ clever response to the Pharisees who are trying to trick him. Even though they attempt to manipulate Jesus, Jesus shows everyone that he is in control. He confronts the popular Pharisees and then he does a couple interesting things. One, Jesus affirms their Jewish doctrine. Jesus does not theologically disagree with them. The law is a manifestation of God’s goodness, therefore Jesus is never against the law itself. The second interesting move that Jesus makes is that his response goes beyond the Pharisees’ question. Jesus does not give us concrete boundaries as to how to spend our money, but he gives us an important truth, God permeates all aspects of life. What a beautiful freedom and burden it is to be left individually responsible to figure out what it means to give what belongs to God to God. It is up to us to discern the distinction between what is for and of God, and what is not."

To view all of Rhian's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Brian Pinter, seminarian for the week of October 3-9, 2011.

Brian B. Pinter is a graduate student in Bible at the General Theological Seminary, New York City. He is also a teacher of religion and the campus minister at Regis High School in NYC. Brian and his family are members of Christ the Savior Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Yonkers, New York.

On this week's gospel reading, Matthew 22:1-14, Brian said, "Jesus affirms that many are invited to be a part of the kingdom of God, even though the invitation might not be taken seriously. God desires to share the banquet. And among the guests will be some unlikely choices, at least from our point of view. Furthermore, remaining at the banquet is not guaranteed. ... What events/circumstances/people in our faith life have tested our willingness to persist as guests at God’s table?"

Meet Jenny Landis, seminarian for the week of September 26 - October 2, 2011.

Jennifer Landis is a candidate for holy orders from the Diocese of New York and a third-year Master of Divinity seminarian at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. Prior to seminary, Jenny worked as a lobbyist and in government relations in New York City. During her time at Yale, Jenny has experienced a growing interest in parish ministry along with hospital chaplaincy and mission work in Haiti.

Jenny asks, "Who do you imagine you are in this parable [Matthew 21:33-46]? Do you feel like a persecuted messenger? Have you been the persecuting tenant? Do you wonder if you are producing fruits of the kingdom or falling and stumbling all over the cornerstone? Today’s readings illustrate from a variety of perspectives a desire for and resistance to relationship with God. God’s people throughout the ages, not only in the Bible have rejected God, Christ and God’s other faithful messengers."

Read all of Jenny's comments and study questions on this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Joslyn Schaefer, seminarian for the week of September 19-25, 2011.

Joslyn Ogden Schaefer hails from coastal North Carolina and is completing her Master’s of Divinity at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A graduate of Davidson College, she continued her liberal arts education through work in government, business, and non-profit sectors before discerning a call to the priesthood. Her interests include ministry with Hispanic peoples, pastoral care related to trauma, and homiletics.

Joslyn comments that in this week's gospel reading (Matthew 21:23-32), Jesus "tells a parable, which reveals that his authority comes from the kingdom of God and casts judgment on those who have too much at stake in the current system to consider the call to repentance. Imagine that you are one of the temple authorities. Can you remember when you have had too much at stake to answer a question directly? What or who were trying to protect? In retrospect, were you like Jesus – helping people to see truth more clearly – or like the Pharisees – purposefully evasive in service of self- or institution-interested power?"

To view all of Joslyn's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Catherine Owens, seminarian for the week of September 12-18, 2011.

Catherine Owens lives in Massachusetts and is a part-time student in the Master’s of Divinity program at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This represents a radical change in direction for Catherine, who had spent many years working in biotechnology and the computer industry, as both a technical writer and project manager. As she tries to discern God’s dream for her, she is increasingly drawn toward ways of facilitating conversations about faith among the un-churched and de-churched, and among those of different faith traditions.

Catherine observes that in the gospel reading for this week (Matthew 20:1-16), "Perhaps the Kingdom of Heaven is not only where the expected order of things is turned upside down. Perhaps it is also where God challenges us with God’s radical love, and gives us the opportunity to turn away from our tendency to be selfish and judgmental. Instead we can move deeper into our relationship with God as we live a God-centered life of generosity and forgiveness. If you find yourself in a situation that makes you angry or judgmental this week, might you think of it as an opportunity to live in a manner 'worthy of the gospel of Christ'? What might you do differently as a result? How might that change your relationship with God?”

To view all of Catherine's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Amy Cornell, seminarian for the week of September 5-11, 2011.

Amy Cornell is a senior at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. She is a cradle Episcopalian from the Diocese of New Jersey. While commuting for classes, she also works full time as a bookseller at Barnes and Noble. Amy loves the music of her church and spends any available free time reading.

Amy asks us: "In the gospel reading [Matthew 18:21-35], both slaves ask for patience and mercy. Is it easier or harder to forgive someone who shows remorse? Talk about how different you might feel about the actions of both the king and the first slave if they had not been asked to forgiveness. Does God still expect us to forgive someone if they do not ask for it?"

To view all of Amy's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Jadon Hartsuff, seminarian for the week of August 29-September 4, 2011.

Jadon Hartsuff is a senior Master of Divinity student at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, where he is also specializing in spiritual direction. Jadon is a postulant from the Diocese of Los Angeles and All Saints’ Beverly Hills. Originally from Michigan, Jadon studied economics and management before moving to Chicago, then California (Monterey, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles), where he has worked in sales and operations management and consulting as well as doing a few years of military service.

Jadon points out that Jesus' instructions in this week's gospel reading (Matthew 18:15-20) "reveal themes from our earlier readings. The Jewish Passover celebration that continues to this day, inspired by the Exodus event, requires that members of a family who sit together at table be reconciled with one another before bread is broken. Similarly, in our own practice, the gathered congregation corporately confesses its sins, asks for forgiveness, and exchanges the peace before sharing our own Paschal feast – the Eucharist. Doing so is an expression of our Christian love for one another – the fulfillment of our obligations to God, as Paul has affirmed for us in Romans. During our Eucharistic celebration we are reminded of a different sense of time, not the immanence of something yet to come but the experience of all that is happing now – binding past, present, and future into one moment, as the community experiences the love of Christ through the sharing of a holy meal. Think about the people in your congregation, or family, or maybe even your workplace – people who may have wronged you. Do you think you can be as bold as Jesus seems to call us to be? What are the dangers? What might be the rewards?"

To view all of Jadon's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Cathy Kerr, seminarian for the week of August 22-28, 2011.

Cathy Kerr is a senior at the General Theological Seminary in New York City and a candidate for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Pennsylvania. Her home parish is St. Philip's Episcopal Church in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and she spent this past summer serving at St. James the Greater Church in Bristol, Pennsylvania. Before going to seminary, she was communications manager at the Pace Center for Civic Engagement at Princeton University.

In reference to this week's gospel reading (Matthew 16:21-28), Cathy said, "Jesus warns his followers that discipleship is going to cost them. Anyone who wants to follow him, he says, must also be willing to 'take up his cross.' This was shocking language, for crucifixion was the method of execution reserved for the lowest classes of society and the worst type of criminals, so to die in that way was not only excruciatingly painful but also shameful.  In our own times, however, the cross has lost its power to shock us—we even fashion it into pretty jewelry. We might wear a cross to make a statement about what we believe, but we certainly don’t expect to be crucified for our faith. What is the cost of discipleship in the 21st century? Has our world really been made safe for Christianity? Are we fooling ourselves if we think there’s no reason we can’t aspire to 'gain the whole world' as long as we identify ourselves as followers of Jesus?"

To view all of Cathy's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Joshua Rodriguez, seminarian for the week of August 15-21, 2011.

Joshua Rodriguez is a rising senior at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. A postulant for holy orders in the Diocese of Northwest Texas, Josh is a member of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Lubbock, Texas, and serves as the seminarian intern at Trinity Episcopal Church in Seymour, Connecticut. Before seminary, Josh spent a year working as a chaplain at Covenant Health System in Lubbock, Texas. Josh is a student member of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars.

Josh says that in this week's gospel reading (Matthew 16:13-20) "we see the paradox of our Christian faith demonstrated. None of us, not even St. Peter, ever manages a perfect confession of faith. At our best, we offer Jesus imperfect, fragile rocks upon which to build the church. The miracle of this passage and of our own faith is that Jesus accepts these poor building materials and transforms them into a foundation over which not even the 'gates of Hades' can triumph. Where is the 'rock' in this story? In your own life? Who do you say that Jesus is?"

To view all of Josh's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Brian Pinter, seminarian for the week of August 8-14, 2011.

Brian B. Pinter is a graduate student in Bible at the General Theological Seminary, New York City. He is also a teacher of religion and the campus minister at Regis High School in NYC. Brian and his family are members of Christ the Savior Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Yonkers, New York.

In reference to this week's gospel reading (Matthew 15: 10-20, 21-28), Brian said, "This story serves as a challenge to the closed religious mind – those who see faith as static and not subject to development. Jesus exhibits a willingness and ability to change and take on a new perspective. Are there any areas of your faith life where you might be closed-minded or short-sighted?"

Brian's study questions and comments can be found on this week's readings.

Meet Brandt Montgomery, seminarian for the week of August 1-7, 2011.

Brandt Montgomery is a rising senior at the General Theological Seminary in New York, New York.  He is a Candidate for Holy Orders of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, from which he is being sponsored for ordination by his home parish, St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Talladega, Alabama.  Before his enrollment at General, Brandt served at St. Michael and All Angels' Episcopal Church in Dallas, Texas, as their 2007-2008 Pathways to Ministry Intern, and at St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Indian Springs, Alabama, as their director of Religious Education for Youth from 2008-2009.  During the 2011-2012 academic year, he will serve as the seminarian as St. Thomas Church (Fifth Avenue) in New York, New York.

In reference to this week's gospel reading (Matthew 14:22-33), Brandt said: "It is important that we not let fear get the best of us, for if we do, we will be like Peter and sink down into a sea of despair. The voice of Jesus is the voice of hope, comfort, and reassurance, an everlasting help in the time of trouble. May our gaze always be fixed upon our blessed Lord Jesus, for His call to us has the power to 'soothe our sorrows, heal our wounds, and drive away our fears.'"

To view all of Brandt's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Jakki Flanagan, seminarian for the week of July 25-31, 2011.

Jakki Flanagan is a postulant in the Diocese of Vermont and a second-year seminarian at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Her previous non-profit advocacy work included supporting universal health care/environmental health, LGBT civil rights, as well as supporting children and teens, and survivors of domestic violence. She is currently doing her Clinical Pastoral Education at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California.

In reference to this week's gospel reading (Mattew 13:31-33, 44-52), Jakki said: “We are human. We ache, we suffer, we hate. When we feel we have nothing, when we feel we are nothing, can we look to God?  Seeking God’s face, remembering through Jesus Christ, that, yes, we are human, and God loves our humanness deeply, can we remember the depth of that unimaginable love and give our terrible burden to God? Can we give our nothing to God, in the hope that God will do something with it?”

To view all Jakki's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Eric Gregory, seminarian for the week of July 18-24, 2011.

Eric Gregory is a second-year student at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. In the fall, he will begin serving as a seminarian intern at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in New Britain, Connecticut. Eric and his wife, Cindy, have been married since November 2008, and their home parish is Christ the King Episcopal Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

In reference to this week's gospel reading (Mattew 13:31-33, 44-52) Eric said: "Familiarity can breed contempt. For many Christians who have grown up in church, the parables of Jesus are some of the most recognizable texts from the Bible. The mustard seed, the lost sheep, the prodigal son - these are all very well known, and all of the gospels have many of these in common. Because of this familiarity, we may believe, like the disciples in today's reading, that we 'get it' - we understand what Jesus is saying. But do we?"

To view all Eric's comments and study questions, please see this week's lectionary readings.

Meet Jessica Abell, seminarian for the week of July 11-17, 2011.

Jessica Abell is an MDiv seminarian at Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) in Berkeley, California. She is a postulant from the Diocese of Chicago, where she will return after graduating in May, 2012. Jessica is active in Episcopal Relief and Development and Celtic Cross, the mission society of CDSP. She is a 2011-2012 GreenFaith Fellow, a former youth minister, a sometime yogi, and a constant pilgrim.

Jessica says, "'Let anyone with ears listen!' This week’s gospel reminds us of the powerful message that God’s righteousness will prevail. We must trust this for indeed, trying to act as God will cause harm." 

Jessica's study questions and comments can be found on this week's readings.

Meet Amy Spagna, seminarian for the week of July 4 - 10, 2011.

Amy Spagna is a rising senior at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. She is a postulant of the Diocese of Virginia. Amy is serving a field placement at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Cheshire, Connecticut, and is currently in the midst of a summer internship at the Church of the Epiphany in Richmond, Virginia.

In reference to this week's gospel reading, Amy says, "Part of Jesus’ point in telling this story is that sharing the gospel is not always about the sheer number of people who are genuinely converted to a new life of faith. The sower does not seem to be all that interested in getting the highest yield out of his bag of seeds. Otherwise he might restrict his planting to areas he is certain are fertile. What he is interested in, however, is the possibility contained within each seed he drops. Those seeds could take root anywhere, despite the presence of things which might impede their growth. He sows them anyway, with the hope that at least some of them will bear fruit and yield."

Amy's study questions and comments can be found on this week's readings.

Meet Emilie Finn, seminarian for the week of June 27 - July 3, 2011.

Emilie Finn is a seminary student at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, from the Diocese of Arizona. She has been an elementary school chaplain and music teacher, a Catholic Worker, a youth leader, and an Education for Ministry mentor. In the future, she hopes to serve the church as a parish priest. Emilie is a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Prescott, Arizona.

In reference to Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30, Emilie says, "There is a note of frustration in the words of Jesus at the beginning of this week's gospel reading. The Son of God and a major prophet are right under the people's noses, but no one sees them for who they are. Preconceived ideas can often prevent us from seeing something for what it really is. The more we learn, the more preconceived ideas we develop, and we need that knowledge to survive. But God almost never comes to us when or in the way we expect, so sometimes it is necessary to put down the heavy burden of everything we know and look at the world as if we have never seen it before. If we do, we just might recognize God in a place we never would have thought to look."

Emlie's study questions and comments can be found on this week's readings.

Meet Brian Pinter, seminarian for the week of June 20-26, 2011.

Brian B. Pinter is a graduate student in Bible at the General Theological Seminary, New York City. He is also a teacher of religion and the campus minister at Regis High School in NYC. Brian and his family are members of Christ the Savior Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Yonkers, New York.

In reference to this week's gospel reading, Brian asks, "Do we recognize those people that Jesus sends into our lives to minister to us? Jewish law had a well-developed legal tradition regarding emissaries. One text said, 'A man’s agent is like himself.' Jesus’ teaching here invests Christian ministers with a great deal of dignity and a sense that one’s ministerial commissioning originates with God. But this is of little use unless the minister is received with an open heart."

Brian's study questions and comments can be found on this week's readings.

Meet Stephen Hagerty, seminarian for the week of June 13-19, 2011.

Stephen is a postulant in the Diocese of New York and will be pursuing his Master's of Divinity at Yale Divinity School in the fall of 2012. He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, with his spouse, Fred, and two Chihuahuas. Stephen is also a contributing writer to the Sermons That Work series.

Regarding our gospel reading, Matthew 28:16-20, Stephen asks:
"How do you understand Jesus' clear command to 'make disciples of all nations?' Are you comfortable sharing your faith with others (i.e., coworkers, friends, family)? Does this feel pushy or too aggressive? How can 'evangelism' be reimagined?"

To read all of Stephen's comments and questions on this week's readings, see this week's RCL Bible study.

Resources
Tercer Domingo de Cuaresma (Año C)
Primer Domingo de Cuaresma (Año C)

Events

ECCC Annual Conference
1/22/2012  - 1/27/2012    - Camp McDowell, AL

NAECED Annual Meeting and Tapestries Conference
2/2/2012  - 2/4/2012    - New Orleans, LA

Why Serve 2012
6/6/2012  - 6/10/2012    - Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, VA

More Events

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