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March | 2011 | The 'CURE' for your Vocation

Archive for March, 2011


McCormick has a Farmer’s Market!

Greetings everyone.

Well, last week you all got to meet two of our super-cool students, Jeff and Chingboi. Jeff represents the comic-book-loving variety here and Chingboi is one of our international students that also works with us here in recruitment. She’s pretty much a giant blessing. Jeff is too, for that matter. Today we want to bring you all a few things that we’re promoting here at McCormick. The first thing is that McComrick is having it’s very first Farmer’s Market! You can see the flyer below and read a short description from Abby Mohaupt.

Second, we also want to make you aware of a pretty cool class that our Ethics Professor Jen Ayers is teaching this summer. Check out the link below to see the flyer for the class.

Enjoy!

Farmer’s Market

On April 2, 2011, McCormick will host a winter’s farmers market in the Common Room. It is co-sponsored by Student Session, Eco-Justice and Faith in Place, an interfaith environmental organization that works with congregations around Illinois to help religious people be good stewards of the earth.

Remember that caring for the earth is part of our call as Christians. Eating local food and supporting local farmers are part of that commitment. Don’t miss an opportunity to meet local farmers, taste local food, and purchase local items. There will also be Fair Trade coffee, chocolate and tea.

Need another reason to come? Everyone’s going. Invite your family. Invite your church. Invite your friends. Everyone is welcome.

For more information, please contact abby at amohaupt@go.mccormick.edu
*please note: while some farmers will be able to take debit cards, most take only cash or check.

MarketFlyer[1]

Christian Perspectives on Labor and Economy

Rev. Jeniffer Ayers, one of our beloved professors (she teaches Ethics), will be offering a class this summer, E313, Christian Perspectives on Labor and Ecomony, in conjunction with the Interfaith Worker Justice located here in Chicago. One of our Alums, Honna Eichler, works there now.

Students will be in class part of the time and the rest of the time, they will be attending the Interfaith Worker Justice2011 National Conference. If you have questions, you can email Jennifer Ayers at jayres@mccormick.edu.

E313Flyer

Meet Senior MTS Student, Chingboi Guite

Good afternoon folks. We return to you again from the Office of Student Affairs second floor desk (well, actually I’m on my break from Greek class, but who;s keeping tabs). Today we’ve got an interview with Chingboi, who is one of our recruitment representatives here. She is also one of our international students. One thing we’re working on here at the McBlog headquarters, is to get more international students and commuter students on the blog. Both groups make up a large portion of our student body, and we’re incredibly proud of them and want them to get a chance to speak up. So, without further ado, here’s Chingboi!

Name?

Chingboi Guite (Actually my full name is longer than that–Ngaimuanching Guite. “Chingboi” comes from the last part of my full name, “Ching”, and “Boi” is a term of endearment).
Tell us about yourself (where are you from, where did you go to school, anything else interesting)
I am from India, from the northeast part of India, a small beautiful state called Manipur. I grew up and did all my studies until college in Imphal, the capital city (town?) of Manipur. I finished my undergraduate (B.Sc. in Zoology) in Imphal and then went to Japan to study theology. More precisely, in Japan I was studying  Liberal Arts, majoring in Theology. I studied at Tokyo Christian University, which is one of the very very few (if not only) christian university in Japan that offers programs in English.

Anything else interesting…hmm…I guess the fact that nobody would ever guess that I am from India in the first meeting. I am always mistaken for a Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, etc, but never as an Indian (northeast Indian). I think that’s an interesting experience I have wherever I go :D

What degree are you working on and why did you choose McCormick?

I am in my last semester of the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program. I chose McCormick because it is unique and different from any typical seminary, and I wanted to be in a place where I will have more opportunities to learn through actual experiences and not just through books or lectures.

Can you tell us about your role as an international student?

An international student. Well, there are “advantages” and not so “advantageous” about being an international student. By advantage I mean that I/we are easily noticed, got others’ attention and people are ready to see and be helpful to us in areas we need, which I truly appreciate. On the other hand, you are at a place where you never grew up and many things you just face them and pick up along the way, and many times you are just not sure how to do. Other times it just takes time and energy and perseverance, if you would, to get “used to” and “master” some things. Sometimes you don’t do well, other times, you do fine.
So, I my role as an international student is to continue to try to bridge between the two–of being noticed easily (in a good sense) and the struggle to fit in or do well (which is sometimes just the reality even when you are surrounded by people very open and willing to help).

What about your role on session, who do you represent and what does your group do?

On session, I represent Global Community, a student group started at the beginning of last year. Global Community is a group that is primarily run with the initiative of McCormick international students but includes everyone in the McCormick community and even friends outside the McCormick community. Perhaps I should mention a little bit here how Global Community got started. I was on session last year as one of the representatives of Junior class. As I mentioned above, I represent my class yet at the same time, obviously I’m an international student, so when in the session there are questions and concerns about international students, they will naturally be directed to me. I saw that session, and McCormick as a whole has interests in their international students yet there are no proper channel that such communication can occur, except for individual levels. That helped me think that we need a group that will provide a platform for international students to participate and contribute more to the larger community, and at the same time for the larger community to be able to attend and helpful to the concerns and needs of the international students.
Last year Global Community organized a graduation party for international graduates. In the beginning of this academic year, we organized a welcome party for incoming students, and organized a winter retreat early this year. At present we are working on leading the community worship on April 6, to reflect the global community of McCormick and to enable the whole community to participate in a global worship. Besides these kinds of events, we address concerns of international students and serve as channel for communication between international students and Administration. And I think that since it started Global Community is well accepted and it is functioning very well to serve its purpose.
What is something that has surprised you about McCormick?
To be honest, I have been surprised by many things in McCormick. I come from evangelical background, fairly conservative, and I can say that this is the first time I am really exposed to the world outside of me. But, I am amazed at and admire how McCormick continues to hold its commitment to treasure and nourish differences, welcoming everyone and building everyone up.

What is something that you hope for McCormick, maybe something that you would like to see happen.

Again, I have to speak as an international student. I would really love to see an even more international/global community than we have now. I understand that finances come into play for this (since most international applicants trying to come to McCormick need financial help), but that is the wish and hope I have for our community.

Do you have any advice for prospective students looking at McCormick or any incoming students?

Advice…hmm…I would say, meet all the processes and datelines but do not hesitate to ask. I know that, from the time I was applying, and now working in the Admissions dept, the department is very very open and always ready to help in anything that a prospective student or applicant need.
To incoming students…I would say, please “watch out” because if you don’t, you will miss a lot of blessings that are waiting for you here.
Thanks again for the interview Chingboi!
Until next time!
Shelley D.

Meet first year M.Div student and comic book lover, Jeff Kline.

We’re back! We took a bit of a hiatus, but here we are again, in the flesh. Or, just on your screen. Sorry for such the delay, but sometimes you have to do a little clean up… We’re technically still working on the blog, but aren’t all great things works in progress?!

Also, some updates on our dearly beloved blog. First off, we’re switching out format a bit. We’ll now be coming to you on Mondays and Thursdays, each week. Our most recent format has been on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. As we are super busy here and the end of the school is approaching, it makes more sense for us to only write twice a week. Now, I know, you might be crying a bit. It’s okay, I understand the sadness. But we’ll still be bringing you the same quality you’re used to and more! If you have any questions or comments, just let us know!

Today we’re checking in with first year student, Jeff Kline. Jeff comes to us from the great college of Albion College in Michigan. Jeff is pretty cool. He has some amazing sweaters. Also, Jeff has some amazing side-burns. You should ask him about what happens when he shaves his face after Christmas break…

So Jeff, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I just graduated last year from Albion College in Michigan.  I was born in Illinois and lived there for seven years before my family moved to Michigan.  I  was a Spanish and religious studies double major. I was actively involved in college choirs and I played the string bass in orchestra for about a decade as well.

So, why did you pick McCormick?

I chose McCormick because it provided me an opportunity to study in a multicultural environment.  I felt that it would provide that necessary push that I needed to challenge myself personally.

What is something that has surprised you about McCormick since being here?

I was surprised at how easy it was for me to slip into the community. I didn’t feel an awkward period of adjustment, but rather moved into it very naturally into a new and exciting environment.

You live on campus; what’s your favorite part about that?

My favorite part of being on campus is being able to spend so much time with  my fellow students.  I love having the ability to go next door and spend time with my classmates.

What do you hope for McCormick in the future?

Jetpacks and flying cars.

What advice would you give to new/prospective students who are looking at McCormick?

Show up to stuff.  There is a lot happening here and it is easy to just hole up in your room studying.  Take advantage of the opportunities provided by the school.

I know you have a love for comic books, can you tell us a bit about that?

I grew up on the superhero cartoons of the 90′s.  Combine that with a nerdy father who has a lot of old comic books and you end up with a giant nerd offspring.  I absolutely love comics.  As I type this I am less than an hour away from leaving for the second day of the big Chicago convention.

If you could be any superhero, who would it be an why?

If I could have any super-power it would be super speed.  This is because it is an incredibly versatile power that isn’t so powerful that it’s unfair (I’m looking at you Superman).  If I could be any superhero I would be Iceman.  This is because he is young and fun loving.  Also, I hate being cold.  When you are Iceman you don’t feel the sensation of cold ever, which would make Chicago pretty nice in the winters.

Jeff and his amazing sideburns.

Awesome! Thanks for the interview, Jeff!

Well, see you all later!

Peace ~ Shelley D.

Updates to the McCormick Blog!

Good afternoon all you McBloggers. Sadly, this post is a bit late today. But fear not! We’re hard at work here in the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. We’re currently working on the blog, trying to revamp it and make it even more user friendly. We’re also looking for ways to provide you with more information, this being the age of information and all. Or, maybe it’s the age of post-information. My, how time flies! Either way, we apologize that we don’t have something to completely stimulate your neurons today, but we’re doing some remodeling.

But here’s where you, the readers come in. We want to know what you think of the blog. What do you want to see? What did you like? What did you not like? We want to hear it! So, let us know! All you have to do is send us a comment here on the blog. Just use the comment box below and type in the subject line as BLOG! And we’ll read it, take your request to heart and make a move from there. Until then, please keep reading! We’re working our little fannies off here to make sure you are informed and interested.

Until next time, watch this amazing video of adorable kittens, here, or you can check out this adorable video of a puppy howling, here. We do love some animals here at McCormick.

Peace~Shelley D.

New Conversations in Old Places: Next Church Conference

Greetings all you McBloggers!

This past Monday and Tuesday many McCormick students, faculty and staff attended a conference in Indianapolis, IN called Next Church. It was the beginning of a conversation about where the church is being called and what it is being called to be. Needless to say, it was refreshing for many of us there and it really did start some amazing conversations across the board. We wanted to share with you some thoughts on this conference.

Monday morning began bright and early (after a long night for many due to bad weather); we grabbed our name tags among the throngs of people and our bulletins for the conference and headed straight for the coffee bar. God bless coffee, especially when you’re in seminary. After chatting together and running into MANY familiar faces from all across the PCUSA, we headed into the sanctuary of the Second Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis for worship together.

Tom Are, from the conference planning team, started off the morning with an introduction for the conference and really set the one for the time there. One of the most interesting and exciting things that he emphasized was that even as Presbyterians, we weren’t there to discuss how the church was going to become the Presbyterian Church, but how we are being called by God and the Holy Spirit to become whatever the next church looks like. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but we are a reforming church. Have you ever heard the saying “ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda?” Well, it means the church reformed, always reforming. So, maybe whatever the next church looks like, it will simply become the reform of the church that we are now. As reformed Protestants we really have to live into this idea of being reformed, continually.

Tom also said some other interesting things, here are some of my notes from the pews on the morning introduction:

~polity can’t create church, trust can

~the church needs to be responsive [to the world]

~If we fail at being church, everyone assumes that we are just like them. (this was in regards to the secular world)

~as ones who are called to be the church, we are called to new responsibilities in a new and changing world

~team jerseys are left at the door, we are one people of God

~our friendships determine the issues, not the other way around

~”The church is not dying, it is changing.”

~”Next Church will fail if it is about saving the denomination.”

~”Don’t confuse whining with being prophetic.”

~”It’s not about saving the church, it’s about being the church.” (this one is my favorites)

After Tom’s introduction, we went straight into worship. You know that feeling when you really know the Holy Spirit is present? I mean, you feel it in your bones, really present? Well, that happened for me. After our Call to Worship we went into the hymn, Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation. I come from a small church in the Southeast, and I attend church every Sunday at my field site, but I’m behind the pulpit with the pastors, so it sounds a little different. But standing in the very middle of 370 fellow Christians, claiming aloud that Christ is made the sure foundation of the church, was one of the most freeing and uplifting moments I’ve had in a really long time. All of us were there for the purpose of starting the conversation for making the church what it is being called to be, making it better and figuring out how to better respond to the needs of the world. Now, I’m not saying that this never happens, but it was something new, really big and really exciting.

After finishing up worship, we were treated to a talk on mission from the Rev. Andrew Foster Connors, followed by breakout small groups, a wonderful lunch and worship. Next, we heard from Rev. Dr. Joe Clifford (I have a special place in my heart for this man. He’s pretty awesome.), on vocation. One of Dr. Clifford’s emphasis’ was on young adults in the church. He made some really strong points and used the crowd as his example.After Dr. Clifford’s presentation, we moved back into new small groups on various topics and then came back together for a time of responses from participants. Afterwards, we had dinner and then, in various places, there were fellowship times. These were times of networking and communication in peoples homes.

Tuesday was the last day of the conference. It began with morning gathering and worship, followed by a presentation from Chicago’s own Rev. Chris Chakoian with a plenary discussion after more glorious coffee. The day ended with a closing worship and then lunch.

Now, I could sit here and give you my personal feedback about how this conference went (I believe you can read my bias above, honestly), but you should make the decision for yourself. What I can say is that it was a first conversation. Lots of first conversations happen… lots. But what was so exciting about this one is that it wasn’t like other first conversations. It was broad yet very clear about the issues we were and were not addressing and it really cut to some issues we’ve neglected as Presbyterians. So this wasn’t just a first conversation, it was a really good first conversation. The first of many to come.But like I said, check it out for yourself!

Here is what one McCormick Student had to say about the conference:

“The NEXT conference was the beginning of a good and important conversation. While not all of the most vital questions about ‘the next church’ were answered or the most urgent concerns addressed, I am grateful to have witnessed and participated, and I actively anticipate what’s NEXT. Also, I think seminarians and young leaders need to plan and host next time. Who’s with us?!”

From the reports, the next Next Church conference will be held in Dallas, Texas at the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. But I like this idea of the young adults getting in on this more! Take a cue from Joe Clifford’s video.

You can see all the videos from the conference here and you can find out more about Next Church online here and on Facebook. You can also follow the Next Church blog here. Please let us know what you thought! Until we meet here again!

Peace ~ Shelley D.

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