Reflections on my chrysallis: part 2

Once I decided that I wanted to acquire a dual degree M.Div/MSW my next step was to determine which seminary I'd go too. The School of Social Work was a given, so no searching there. But the seminary was a concern for me, and to get at what that was all about I need to fill in a few pieces of my past.

When I was 15 my family and I were living in Ft. Worth, Texas. A freshman in high school, the year was 1971-72, a time of great transition in this country. It also became a time of great transition in my life. For one thing, my family decided to leave the church. Being the prodigy of pioneers who risked life and limb to travel west for their faith, this was a big deal. But at the time it didn't seem that way. It just seemed like the right thing to do, given who my immediate family had become.

As a result, I wandered for the next 16 years without a church. I still continued to believe in God and I still talked to God all the time. But I was quite convinced that being a Christian was not for me. My experience of Christians, from my childhood church, had led me to think that "they" were all narrow minded people who knew a very small, narrow, God. And to me my experience of God was clearly something other than that. Over time, after exploring a variety of religions and new age spirituality, I came to the conclusion that I was Christian. I mean, I was baptized and celebrated Christmas and Easter, with the same intentionality as a person of faith, not just as secular holidays. So. I had to admit - I was Christian. Now the task was to find a Christian church that I could live with, and one that could live with me.

At about that same time I got engaged to the man who is now my husband. He and I went on a search for a church to marry us. He, being a divorced Roman Catholic, did not want to go through the process for an annulment. To make a long story a little shorter, we ended up at a UCC church, one I had gone to for friends weddings. They were very cool at this church, very. The male pastor I went there for was unavailable for our wedding date. But they had a woman pastor, would she do? D and I thought she would do just fine. We ended up having 6 months of intense pre-marital counseling with her. And she, although a UCC pastor, was raised in the Episcopal Church. She is the one who directed us to TEC. It took D and I a few years after the wedding to decide to go to church. But within a year after our daughter was born we began attending the near by Episcopal Church.

My journey, from our first Sunday at that church to pondering seminary, took almost 5 years. Not much time for some who was a newbie to organized church life, and for one who intended to represent the church in the world...deep inside I knew that I did not want to go to just any seminary. I wanted to go to the local Episcopal Seminary. But, when I inquired with the registrar about a dual degree M.Div. MSW I was flatly told, "No." Which left me with a dilemma...

Comments

Oh, what a cliff hanger. Since I know the area, I'm very curious to learn what you chose.

Interestingly, Rev. Kate, my associate priest, has the same combo of degrees--M.Div. and MSW. She did hers at U. of C. and then did an additional year at Seabury. Do many priests have that particular combination?
mompriest said…
no, not many of us....at least not many who are Episcopal Priests....maybe in other denominations or, as I intended in non-parochial calls
dilemma schmemma... God's pretty awesome at getting us where God wants us...
hip2B said…
What an interesting story..go on...!
mompriest said…
yes, I'd agree with you HC...but at the onset of that one it certainly seemed like a dilemma...well, I mean, doesn't it always...until hindsight gives us some idea of how God is working....
Kievas said…
Thanks for sharing your journey...looking forward to part 3!
Barbara B. said…
yes, thanks for sharing this!! I'm really looking forward to hearing more!
Diane said…
this is great! I can't wait for the next installment.

Chrysalis is the name of a resource center for women here in my state. I think it's been around since the 70s. Now I know a little about why they chose it.
Jan said…
Looking back certainly shows where God was working. . . how interesting that the UCC minister had been raised in the Episcopal Church and pointed you there.
Andy Guo said…
At first I was marveled to see such a blog.Your blog is sparkling. It has a great appeal. How are U able to cope such a lot.

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