Me in Latin

I have to submit information for graduate, already! The GTS diploma is amazaing and spectacular – all still roll-printed by hand and in Latin from nearly 200 year old plates.
So, we can have our first and middle names printed in English or Latin. What the heck, why not Latin!
Rovertum Leonem Griffith, Jr.
Robert: is an English name meaning “bright fame.” From Old German meaning “bright famous one.”
Leon: Greek form of Leo (Latin) meaning “lion.”
Griffith: is the Anglicanized form of the Welsh name “GRUFFYDD.” From Old Welsh “Grippiud.” The second element of the name derives from Welsh iud “lord, prince” but the first element is unknown. Gruffydd ap (son of) Llywelyn was a Welsh ruler who fought against England in the 11th century but was eventually defeated.
So, I am really Bright Famous Lion Prince, Jr. Or, something like that.
That’s kind-a fun. I cannot believe nearly three years have passed.

Finished

It is finished! All done with the final set with an hour to spare. The last set, the ethics question, however, was a total wash! I finally had to say that I had no clue, and I just wrote what I thought. The person proctoring our exams asked me, “Where is your bibliography?” I had to say, “I didn’t use anything but my own thoughts.” I am probably in big trouble.
Frankly, all I care about is that I’m finished! Now, to find a job.

GOE – Sets 3 & 4

I am brain dead! Our third and fourth sets are now over.
Each “set” relates to one of the seven canonical areas the Episcopal Church expects its priests to be familiar with. Each set consists of one or a series of questions to be answered in essay form. For half-day questions (6 in all) we have 3-1/2 hours to answer the question and are restricted to three single-spaced typed pages. For the single full-day question, we are given 7 hours and six single-spaced typed pages.
The seven canonical areas are:
+ The Holy Scriptures
+ Church History, including the Ecumenical Movement
+ Christian Theology, including Missionary Theology and Missiology
+ Christian Ethics and Moral Theology
+ Studies in Contemporary Society, including Racial and Minority Groups
+ Liturgics and Church Music
+ Theory and practice of Ministry
Tomorrow, Wednesday, is a day off. We resume the GOE’s on Thursday, which is the full-day set on the topic of Theology. Only two more days!!!

GOE Set 2 and the Law

I was a bit concerned about the second set (question) we had to deal with yesterday. We were allowed no reference materials whatsoever – nothing, just our grey-matter. I think I did well, but we shall see.
Two sets today, the first coming up in two hours. We have a tradition at GTS where the juniors make breakfast for the seniors during the GOE’s. They did a great job yesterday, and I’m about to have another round.
I’m reading through Romans right now, and I keep coming back to the Law, as in the Levitical Code. I simply see nowhere in the Christian testament where we are called to observe the Levitical Code. We are not under the Law! Jews, yes, Christians, no. Read Paul’s letter to the Galatians!
So many conservatives strongly desire that we adhere to set rules, as the Law prescribes, but as Christians we have only two: 1) Love God with our entire being; 2) Love our neighbors as ourselves. That’s it! In those two is the summation of the Law and the Prophets, but we are no longer bound by the Code. This is why, I think, many conservative Anglicans want to return to strict adherence to the 39 Articles.
In fact, much of the Moral Code will be lived out by default by simply living into the above two; the Law will be written on our Gentile hearts, so to speak. That is different than saying we are bound to obey the Ceremonial Law, the Moral Law, or the what is it called???. This means ambiguity. Some people simply cannot abide in ambiguity.
The other problem faced by those who say we are still bound by portions of the Levitical Code is the cafeteria-style manner in which they pick-and-chose which specific laws to demand obedience to and which ones to discard. Many say Christians are still bound by the Moral Law, which Jesus brought with him into the New Covenant. But, even if that is the case, which I do not believe it is for Christians, most conservatives will still pick-and-chose which of the specific moral laws to demand adherence to and which ones to ignore. And they do ignore many of them. It is too convenient, and too easy.
I’m not a liberal, but I’m becoming more convinced that I am not a conservative, either. A “moderate,” perhaps, but I really think all the labels are breaking down. And of course, those who cannot abide in ambiguity or change or uncertainty will not be able to accept anything breaking down.

change

This will be six months of radical change in my life. GOE’s are next week, and after that one more paper to end the last fall semester of my seminary experience. My future is wide open; I have experienced the provision of God too many times in my life to be fearful of a future that is completely unknown.
I was looking through my Amazon.com wishlist this morning after searching through the Alban Institute’s website for a recent study I heard about concerning the strategic position of Anglo-Catholic (not the reactionary sort) churches and church growth. I saw the books in my wishlist, and listened to some music from the CDç—´ I hope to buy when I can once again listen to music (too busy for that now), especially the band Sigur-Ros from Iceland. I added some books, and here is the rub. The books I looked through (a couple recommended by the Alban Institute) were topically completely different in many aspects from the books I would have chosen one, two, or three years ago. Change in my position, in my location, and in my invocation are all coming quickly.
I think I am returning to by experiential past as I more into what truly interests me with regards to future vocation. During lunch recently, our table was engaged in the normal conversation. ThD student Ron mentioned that one of the other students present was (or is to be) a liturgist. We went around the table and Ron voiced his opinion on what each of us would be. He referred to me as the å…Žvangelist.� That was quite surprising. Maybe, in some form, maybe. I think of myself, once again, as a é›»iscipler.� A teacher – one who calls people into a realization, and then to deepen the relationship that results from the realization. Perhaps, in the calling, is the evangelism.
The future is wide open, and despite what I said above it is a bit disconcerting. I don’t quite know how to navigate through a search for a position in this kind of work or this kind of church. I realized this morning that the method of spiritual-formation I am experienced with and good at, frankly, rests in Discipleship. Not so much the individualistic spiritual-formation methods that are popular today (nothing wrong with them at all!), but in the small-group structure of discipleship. Within the context of a trusted small group of people, discipleship takes on a very different dynamic. Jesus models it, or rather Jesus presents us with a model. Evangelicals are very effective in the use of small group discipleship, but lacking in a holistic sense of Christian spirituality.
So anyway, we can listen to the sounds of Sigur-Ros while… who knows what???

NY in NY

A New Year in New York has now set in. Happy New Year!
I went out with Ashton to a party of a friend of his – I was out until 2:30 am and didn’t get to bed until 3:30 am. I woke up at 6:30 am. This is not going to be a good day. While being a morning person has a lot of advantages, and I like it, times like this suggest that my internal body clock is no friend of mine.
We had a great time, and I don’t necessarily regret it, but it was a lack of judgment on my part. I simply have too much studying to do to be trying to function on three hours of sleep. Bret’s apartment is amazing and his friends are a lot of fun to be around.
If ever there was a time to be in Times Square for the changing of the year, last night was it. The temperature was in the 50’s – an absolutely beautiful night. Some guys who were in the square showed up at the party around 1:00 am. The crowds were large and they were shoulder-to-shoulder as they struggled down 8th Ave.
I am so tired. In six months, my life will be so completely different. I have no idea what to expect!