My week and a day in Connecticut went by so fast.
Yesterday was my twelve-hour travel day back to Amarillo. That's not the funnest experience (and, yes, funnest is a word), but it was sweet to see Michele when I got off that last plane.
Quick question: Does Chicago's Midway Airport just have short runways, or what? Landing there always feels like we're coming down on an aircraft carrier.
Anyway, here are just a few of the highlights from my trip, in random order and varying levels of importance:
1. As things turned out, I didn't take the course on "Judaism in the Time of Jesus." Sorry, nothing to report about that. However, if you go to the link for that course, you'll see another link that will take you to the syllabus, which is worth a look for those interested.
I hadn't realized until Monday morning that "Judaism . . ." was being offered as an afternoon class. I would have loved that one. But what I really needed was a morning class. I finally wound up going to a great alternative for me, a class called Reel Presence: Explorations in Liturgy and Film, taught by Dr. Teresa Berger.
Wow, what an interesting teacher. She's a German, Roman Catholic scholar, with two earned doctorates, who specializes in liturgical (worship) studies. As you might have guessed, everyone else in the class came from either Catholic or mainline Protestant backgrounds (Lutheran, Episcopalian, etc.). That's something I can count on at the Divinity School: always meeting up with people who come from places that are quite different from the places I know. That can be an education all by itself.
So, as it turned out, the movie buff in me got to learn a little more about reflecting theologically on the films we tend to watch as mere entertainment. Maybe I'll talk about that sometime. By the way, although most of what we actually watched in class were movie clips, one film we watched all the way through is called Whale Rider. Anyone else seen it? That could be a provocative one for churches, to say the least.
2. While in Connecticut, my kids and I got to visit some of our favorite places to eat, including this gourmet vegetarian place in downtown New Haven called Claire's Corner Copia. We followed that up with ice cream dessert at Ashley's. Woobie Doobie.
3. Over the weekend, Friday and Saturday, my boy and I got to attend the Northeastern States Men's Retreat, held annually at the Kent School up in the northwestern corner of Connecticut.
This year's speaker was J. J. Turner, a long-time leader among Churches of Christ and, yes, John Alan's dad. J. J. spoke about "activating Acts in the 21st century." In addition to presenting so many great reminders, he put his quick sense of humor to good use. It was good for me to hear those lessons, to sing with 250 other Christian men, to introduce my son to that experience, to see again so many church leaders from the Northeast.
Oh, and speaking of bloggers, late Saturday morning, as I worked my way through most of the items at the Kent Public Library book sale, I just happened to meet The Blog Prophet himself, Brian Nicklaus. Very cool.
4. Finally, last Sunday I had the exquisite pleasure of baptizing my son, Benjamin, into Christ. This was something he'd had on his mind for a long time, something we had talked about and prayed about and planned. How sweet. Photos to follow (when I can figure out how to copy them).