Thursday, March 3, 2011

Starting the Journey

Hi! I’m Kate, a junior at Boston University, studying English literature, with a minor in religious studies. I just returned from a semester in London, where I studied British literature, with a focus on spiritual allegory in the dramas of T.S. Eliot. Denominationally, I affiliate with the United Church of Christ, and plan to seek ordination with them in the near future. The UCC’s unapologetically liberal political stance and social justice work entices me. I am from Amherst, New Hampshire, and while I love the place in which I was raised, Boston, London, and the other cities I’ve been to, afford me much of the experience I rely upon for my theology today. I am very enthusiastic about starting a journey of discernment with Marsh Chapel, along with Rebekah and Bethany. A year ago, I decided to stop ignoring what I consider a strong call to ministry. I’ve given this rather life-altering decision (in my case) an extensive amount of consideration and reflection, and I hope this remarkable internship will expose me to many different paths of ministry, some I’m already interested in and would like to pursue, and I many I am not even aware of yet.

One of the aspects that most interests me about studying ministry is discovering the different ways people view God. I made a friend in London named John, who explained God to me as a man with an ant farm. He imagines God as a guy who protects His ants, puts their home by a sunlit window, gives them water and food, and treats them occasionally with a drop of sugar water or an orange slice. John’s God, however, does not know the name of every ant on His farm. His God is not a micro-manager. He does not allocate the Oscar award winners, nor does he dole out car accidents. To John, God provides the means, and the limitations, of life, and people use His resources to thrive or deteriorate. Just last weekend, I heard a man argue that God is logic, using the question, “Can an all-powerful being create a rock it can’t lift?” His reasoned, in short, that an omnipotent Being cannot act or create anything illogically, putting It under the authority of logic, inferring that logic’s ultimate power must make it “God.” I have friends who view God as a spirit, as a man, as a woman, as a pal, or even as an animal. The endless range of ideas about God undeniably causes conflict in out society today. Ultimately, however, I believe, the spectrum of opinions keeps people striving for a better understanding of not only spirituality, but also humanity, in a positive way. Over the next eighteen months, I’m excited to learn about religion’s cultural affect on the society I encounter every day. Engaging closely with my peers here at BU, I hope to learn more about the ways twenty-somethings use God in congruence with their lifestyles. It’s going to be a great year!


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