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September | 2011 | The 'CURE' for your Vocation

Archive for September, 2011


Welcome back to Pigeon’s Corner everyone! Today, I’ve got some new neighbors I want you all to meet, Norae and Sunae. Norae reminds me of Falcor from the NeverEnding Story, except she’s not as shaggy and she doesn’t drool near as much as that flying dog has to! They’re cool dudettes, they take walks with me and D.D. when mom is out of town so we got to know them a little better and I had to feature them on here!

So, tell everyone your names and your breed?
Norae (노래) which means Sing in Korean. A karaoke bar is a “Norae bbang” in Korean, and I was named after that! (not by my mom and dad, but a silly Canadian at the shelter!). I’m a mixed breed, with maybe some chihuahua and corgi and other stuff all thrown together.

Norae, aka Falcor

Sunae (수내) which is an old Korean name, and I’ve been told it means shy. I’m a chihuahua mix.

Sunae


Who are your humans?
Wes Pitts and Liz Whittington


Where are you from?
N: Daejeon, South Korea. My family got me at a shelter just before it was shut down.

S: I’m from the same shelter, but I lived with another family first. They couldn’t take me back home to Hawaii, though, so I got to move in with my best friend (and possibly sister?!?), Norae.

Tell everyone a little more about yourself. What makes you so interesting?

N: Not many people have met a dog from another country, so that makes me pretty special. I also love most people that I meet, though I get shy sometimes – especially around kids. I love to give constant kisses. I don’t like feet – put yours near me and I’ll find myself another place to sit. I’m also not big on sitting in folk’s laps, I much prefer to sit next to you and rest my head on a pillow. I love chasing squirrels, deer, birds and anything else that looks fun to chase (including bikes and runners).

S: I’m really reserved when I meet new people. Norae will greet you and I just bark. I’m a tiny dog but I have a really big voice! It takes a little time for me to get to know new people, but once I do, you’ll find me to be really loving.


What’s the best part of your day?

N: Going on walks. I love to be outside in any weather except the rain. I can sit and watch people in the park for hours. If you walk me by the tennis courts at Nichol’s park I’m liable to want to watch and bark at the tennis balls flying all around. I love it when my mom and dad let me walk around with out my silly old leash, I prefer my own space.

S: I like sleeping and making lots of noise. My absolute favorite time to play is first thing in the morning when my mom and dad wake up.


Do you have a favorite toy?

N: I haven’t been big on toys ever since my sister came to our house – she ate all of them! Now I have her to play with. I do like the occasional tennis ball or stick, but I won’t bring it to you – it’s mine!

S: I have some stuffed animals that I like a whole bunch – there is a mouse and a bear and a duck. The mouse and bear make squeaky sounds, but I ate the squeaker right out of ducky. I also like playing with my sister. 

Do you have a favorite kind of treat?

N: Since I have a sensitive tummy I don’t get to eat just anything. When I’ve been a really good girl I get some of mom and dad’s food, but not too much. My favorite things that don’t hurt my belly are apples and baby carrots. If you have a food dehydrator and want to make me dehydrated sweet potatoes, I love those too!

S: Since Norae can’t eat all the good stuff, I don’t get it either. I don’t have a sensitive stomach, but I am really picky. I usually like carrots, but never apples. I’m weary of eating food from strangers or anything that may have my heart worm pill in it.

Where’s your favorite place to sleep in the apartment?

N: I love to sleep any place soft. During the day mom and dad keep me locked up in their room, but I have a bed that I always sleep on. When they are home, I sleep on the sofa. You’ll find a lot of my hair there even when I’m not, because I shed a lot! At night I get to sleep with mom and dad!

S: I typically sleep under the couch or I find clean laundry to sleep on.


How are you liking being a “seminary pet”?

N: I really like the people I’ve met so far. Some of the other pets are okay (I really like Molly!), but mostly I like the people. We get more visitors than we used to. I’ll like it more if you come and play with me!

S: I’m starting to get used to it. It takes me a while to get used to anything new, but I am starting to make some friends. I like Molly, too, and even let some of the humans touch me.


Any social commentary that you want to share with the community?

N: I’ve enjoyed getting all of this new attention and making so many new friends. Thanks for making me feel welcome!

S: As much as I don’t want to admit it, I like the new folks I’ve met too! And even if I haven’t warmed up to you yet, give me time, I will!

Well folks, there you have it. I hope you enjoy and be on the lookout for next week’s blog. I’m not sure what Shelley has planned for it, but it’s sure to be a good one!

Peace and PAWS,

Pigeon

Good morning McReaders! Today’s entree comes to us from one of my friends and classmates, EunJoo Ryo, or as many of you at McCormick know her, as Angela. Angela is a second year student here; she walks the halls with a bright smile and typically with coffee in hand. Recently, I was in class with Angela and I heard a part of her story. We all have stories, and once I heard only a little of Angela’s, I knew you all should hear it and a bit more, and she was gracious enough to share it with all of you.

Listening to her story makes me think of the song, “City of Immigrants,” by one of my absolute favorite artists, Steve Earl. It’s a song about all of us: immigrants from somewhere else (unless you of course are a Native American). Even the latest translation of the Bible, the Common English Bible, uses the word immigrant in its translations because it is such a relevant word. This word is one that touches everyone in some way. We all came from somewhere else. I came from immigrants from the southern most part of Sweden searching for land to farm as well as French and Scottish peasants attempting to escape religious persecution. We all have a story of how we got to where we are, and here is Angela’s story. I hope you enjoy.

So, tell us your name, what year you are, and which degree you are working on.

My name is Angela Ryo.  My legal name is EunJoo, but Angela is more of my ministry name since I started as a children’s ministry director, and not many children could pronounce my name right.  Angela seemed close enough to my Korean name, EunJoo. (If it takes me this long to tell you my name, it slightly worries me as to how long my other answers will be…) I am in my second year of the MDiv program.

Can you tell us a little about your family?

I am the youngest of five girls.  Initially, they were going to keep going until they hit jackpot (i.e. a son), but I guess they (wisely) decided that I’d be their last disappointment.  Okay, as resentful as that may have sounded, I really am not.  My parents have told us time and again how grateful they are to have five girls—that they would NEVER trade any of us in for a boy.  (Wait, did that sound pretty bitter? Ugh!  I’m just digging deeper, aren’t I?)

Now, I have a family of my own with an uber cool designer-in-training hubby and two children, Luke (9) an Love Lee(8) (I just had to tag on the last name!).  Luke is an aspiring comic book artist/shop owner and Love wants to become an artist, a vet, a horse trainer, and a gazillion other things when she grows up.

What brought you to McCormick?

My husband, David, had attended McCormick several years ago and it totally rocked my boat at the time.  Having grown up in an evangelical family and church, I considered everything David was learning from McCormick as outright heresy.  Naturally, I blamed McCormick for David’s cross over to the “dark side” (after all, he IS Luke’s father…).  However, when it came time for me to acknowledge and follow my own calling, McCormick stood out above the rest.

First, it was a PCUSA seminary (I grew up in the PCUSA church); second, I finally came to recognize the transformation in David as being absolutely remarkable (and thus embracing the good work McCormick was doing); and third, I wanted to be theologically challenged as an Evangelical Christian and yet fully affirmed and empowered as an Asian American woman in ministry (I knew McCormick could do both for me.)

So, tell us a little more about you…

Hm…where to begin? Before coming to McCormick, I had been a high school English teacher in various suburban as well as urban public schools.  I really do miss teaching.  I still get to teach ESL at my old high school during summer school which I absolutely love doing.  More than teaching itself, I think I really enjoy connecting with those crazy teenagers (God only knows why!) and uncovering their hidden potentials.  I’d like to consider myself a…potentialist?  (Hey, what do you know–I just made that one up!  Definition:  one who excavates for potentials in people.) Currently, I serve a small Korean PCUSA immigrant church in Des Plaines as an English Ministry pastor for mostly young people in their twenties.  I love it!  =)

So, a little bit more about me (that’s right!  It’s all about me!).  I came from Korea to live in Skokie, one of the northern suburbs of Chicago, when I was nine years old.  After about two years, we had overstayed our visa, and our family was out of status with no way of becoming “legal” again.  It’s funny how I can talk about this so freely now because for nearly twenty years of my life, our immigration status had been the primary source of our family’s grief and shame; it was the greatest secret that weighed heavily on my heart for so long.  It feels somewhat liberating to talk about it!  Thanks for the therapy session! =)  So, let me just ramble on a bit more, if I may (in need of further therapy, I think!).

Living as an undocumented immigrant in a rather upscale neighborhood, I felt humiliated, ashamed, and more than anything, misplaced.  Mastering the alphabet alone was a tearful experience for me.  I think it took me at least several weeks!  However, social reclusion was harder to bear than learning English.  My greatest defense was to flash big, empty smiles and just eagerly nod my head “yes”; I learned quite early that it was always better to agree than to disagree.

I became very much involved in a local Korean immigrant PCUSA church.  That was my form of escape; the church made me feel “legal,” free, hopeful.  However, two conflicting and disparate identities began to torment me.  At school, I was no different than other second-generation Korean-Americans who were fully immersed into the American culture.  But at church, I was one of the “FOB’s,” those who had freshly stepped off the boat.  Our youth group exclusively spoke Korean to the point where I would be shocked upon stepping outside of the church to discover that I was still in America! I didn’t know how to reconcile these two identities.  Do I fully and truly belong anywhere?  What does it mean to be a Korean-American?

These different cultural experiences, however, really gave me the opportunity to exist in a liminal space. Now I realize how fortunate I am to belong to this in-between place of neither here nor there, this nor that.  I enjoy this place because I believe it gives me the power and creativity to think differently.  My hyphenated identity which I had once considered a curse became one of the greatest blessings; it has empowered me to see things from different perspectives and granted me the insight to criticize and analyze both as an insider as well as an outsider.  It’s a great place to practice some of that good ol’ “prophetic imagination!”

What are you hoping to do after you graduate?

Hopefully get a job that would sufficiently feed and clothe my children.  Then again, the Holy Spirit quietly reminds me of Matthew 6:25:  “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.”  If that’s the case, I guess I can hope a little.  Here goes:  Travel all over the world and preach the good news!  Okay, find a little balance between the two, you say?  I think three things I would really like to be included in my future ministry would be preaching, teaching, and counseling within the context of cultural diversity and social activism.  I am not quite sure if a job like that exists—any ideas?  I’m hoping that my MDiv degree and ordination in the PCUSA would equip me well and take me closer to the heart of my vision.

What are your favorite foods to cook? Eat?

I must admit, I don’t cook much.  I don’t think many Koreans would be proud to claim me as one of their own since I don’t even know how to make Kimchi!  I used to love baking, but alas, it was a passing phase.  I think best dishes I’ve made really came from using eclectic left-over ingredients from my refrigerator and the pantry.  When I used to room with one of my sisters in college, she would not allow us to go grocery shopping unless we completely depleted our food supply.  So, we’d be left with a little bit of kimchi, a slice of cheese, couple of eggs, and some left-over spaghetti.  Oh, and did I mention half a bottle of mustard?  The challenge would be to create a dish using ALL of those random ingredients (I hope you are not eating as you are reading this!).  Yeah…I should have just left at my first sentence, “I don’t cook much.”  On a happier note, I love to eat EVERYTHING other people cook for me (except maybe my sister who would actually make a dish using all of the above ingredients!).

What are your favorite things to do with your children?

Going to the park, taking long walks, going to the library, reading together, eating together—really, anything that engages us in some deep conversations about life and God because they say the darnedest (and sometimes wisest) things!  Besides, none of the above things cost me anything other than time and love which I have plenty to go around!  (well, maybe not the former but definitely the latter!)

I want to thank Angela for her willingness to talk openly about her story and who she is!

Well, there you have it. As the Wailin’ Jennies say, this is the sound of One Voice. One voice within the walls of McCormick. There are more, and they all have stories. They all sound different, because they are and they help make us who we are here inside the walls of 5460 and outside in the wider world. The important thing is that we offer room to tell those stories and we listen and take something away with us.

Until Friday when we’ll be bringing you more of Pigeon’s corner!

Peace~

Shelley D.

Greetings from the dog bed of me, Pigeon. Well, the birds are here too and DiDi is sniffing around somewhere in the house, but that’s besides the point. I’ve got another new four-legged friend that I need you all to meet. her name is Pearl. She’s the newest owner of Megan and Alex, two of our students living here in Hyde Park. We got together over a bowl of water and hung out for a chat. Here’s what she had to say:

Tell us your name and what breed you are.

Sup dudes, I’m Pearl.  I’m a 75lb. Akita mix.

The Pearl of Chicago

Who are your humans?

Megan (I’m bigger than her) and Alex (I’m smaller than him).

How did you come to get your humans?

I was in this weird, loud place with lots of other dogs for a stupidly long time.  The place was actually not too shabby; it was called Paws Chicago or something of the sort.  My peeps picked me up from there.  It was love and belly rubs at first sight.

How do you like the living arrangements?

Our place is pretty sweet, minus the hardwood floors. Slide city.

Favorite place in the apartment?

I really dig the couch.  You can usually find the whole fam on there cuddling it up and when they’re gone I definitely sneak up for some zzzz’s.

Favorite treats?

Well, I have this weird stomach thing, so my humans make me sweet potatoes and carrots a lot of the time.  But then, sometimes I get these really rad peanut butter treats. To die for!

What do you think about being future preachers pets?

I’m stoked on it.  I like time to myself on Sunday mornings.

How many toys do you have in the apartment and which ones are your favorite?

I have quite a few, I like to keep them all organized on my bed.  There is this one, in particular, we call it Lovebug, it’s a stuffed VW Beetle, I just gnaw on it.

Favorite way to pass the time?

I am a total cuddle monster.  If I could spend all of my time cuddling with my fam I would, but when they’re not down for that, I like to spend some time with Lovebug or do perimeter checks to make sure we’re all safe.  I also enjoy taking walks to the 1400 building porch and occasionally eating rocks or a Korean bbq bone, DELISH!

Any words of wisdom you want to share with everyone?

Nah Dawg.

Well, that’s Pearl. Check back next week and you’ll be meeting two little dogs who came all the way from South Korea by way of Atlanta to get here. Talk about well traveled.

Until next time. Paws and peace,

Pigeon

Frank Yamada ain’t no fool.

Welcome back my fabulous readers! Today we’re bringing you an exclusive interview from Rev. Dr. Frank Yamada, McCormick’s latest president to take office. Now, I tried getting an interview with this man while he was still one of our professors, but to no avail. But it seems as though all my pestering and begging has paid off, I got my interview! Man, I feel like Barbara Walters when she gets one of those exclusive interviews with celebrities that only speak through their agents, but that’s not Frank. So without further ado, here’s Frank!

Your Name, Title, and what you do at McCormick?

Frank Yamada, the 10th President of McCormick Theological Seminary.

Who makes up your family?

Michelle is my spouse of almost 21 years. My two children are Stephen (20) and Adam (17), and our dog, Roy.

Frank and his super-awesome wife, Michelle

Michelle and their two sons

Roy, just after getting a summer shave

Where did you grow up? Go to school?

I grew up in Huntington Beach, CA (yes, the same city that one this year’s Little League World Series). I went to one grammar school and one high school (Marina H.S.).

I was one of the students lucky enough to have you as my small group leader in PIF, and I remember you telling us about growing up in a Buddhist family. Can you tell us a little about that and how that has shaped your views as a Christian and as a leader in the church?

I grew up in a nominally Buddhist family. There are twice a year Christians—those that go to church on Easter and Christmas. We were twice a year Buddhists, which means that we went to church (yes, they called it a Buddhist church), when someone died or got married. In both instances there was incense involved.

Being Buddhist was synonymous with being Japanese American for me. I didn’t really think of Buddhism as a religion that informed my day to day living; but it very much shaped my sense of cultural identity and ethnic belonging as a child, even if I never would have identified it as an influence. Mostly, I associated Buddhism with big family gatherings on big moments in our my family’s life.

Buddhism and being Japanese American shaped my views of being a Christian leader in the same way that being an American shapes my view of the world. It has always been there in the background. When I served as a jundosanim (youth pastor) at a small Korean immigrant church, working with second generation or 1.5 generation youth, I began to realize as an adult how ethnic churches and religious communities play such a crucial role in affirming and shaping a young person’s identity.

How did you come to McCormick?

I actually taught as an adjunct at McCormick while I was still a Hebrew Bible/Old Testament professor at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston. I had also taught in the Taste of Seminary program when Laura Cheifetz was the director. When Seabury declared financial exigency, David Esterline, who was then Dean of Faculty, invited me to submit my application to be the Director of the Center for Asian American Ministries. The rest is history.

With the 2011-2012 school year kicking off, what are you hoping for in regards to the students of McCormick? Faculty? Staff? Etc.?

I told the students at orientation last week that they should expect to be stretched. Behind that statement was my desire that I have for all students, that is, I want them to learn and to grow. I want and expect them to be leaders. God has not called them here to just get a degree. God has called them to become leaders. That doesn’t start after seminary. That starts now. That starts with their learning.

My hope for the faculty is that they regain their love for what brought them to McCormick in the first place—their love for teaching, learning, and scholarship. The financial crisis in our nation during 2008 was hard on all of us in higher education. My hope is that we rekindle our passion for learning and for theological education—something that we never really lost. After hearing the faculty begin to take on the work of revising the Masters level curriculum around our mission/vision at our last faculty conference, and the energy and creativity that they brought to this work, I was very, very encouraged. This is a great faculty, who cares a lot about what they are doing. It was fun to see the generative spirit in the room.

We have a very talented and committed staff. We have had a lot of changes in the past couple of years. Transition can be a very exciting time, but it can also be very unsettling. Our staff, however, has not been rattled. They take things in stride, and they have been very supportive of me in my transition. Most of our staff is here because their work at McCormick is more than a job, it is a vocation. We are more than co-workers, we are a community. So, my hope for the staff is that they continue to thrive in their work, as they support our mission to educate and train leaders for their ministries.

The seniors and middlers know you as a professor and there’s a different relationship that professors have with students than administrators do (most of the time); how do you see this working out with the role change? What are some of the advantages/challenges you might expect ahead?

Didn’t you ask me the same question when the students were interviewing me as a candidate? J Yes, my role will be different as a president. However, I was a down-to-earth professor (at least I thought of myself that way). I don’t expect that will change now that I have become president. I am and will remain a people person. I still intend to win our version of Iron Chef. Oh wait, that makes me more competitive than approachable. I also realize that my new position means that I have a different set of priorities. As a professor, some of my best time was spent mentoring and getting to know students. I will, of course, still get to know students. However, I will miss not being able to advise and mentor them.

In my relationship with students, are there advantages to being president? Yes, now that I am the president Marsha always makes sure that I have a fresh box of tissues for my visitors (That was an inside joke. If you weren’t at Feast of Fools last year, ask someone who was). Are there challenges? Yes, I am a little worried about the aforementioned event as the new president, especially with this senior class.

What are some things/projects that you are looking forward to?

I am looking forward to my inauguration (Save the date: Feb 8-9, 2011 with the actual inauguration service being on Feb 9th), which is a project of sorts. I look forward to working with our development team to create a plan for McCormick that will sustain our work for the upcoming decades. I am also excited to build new initiatives. I have already had a number of exciting big-idea conversations with local and national church leaders. I am very excited to hear from our alumni/ae to find out how we can do what we do better.

So, you’re a facebook guy. Last summer when I was working with the Youth Theological Initiative at Candler Seminary at Emory, they kept talking about what it meant to be a public theologian and social media got brought up, a lot. How do you see facebook, twitter, or other social media outlets as being important to being out there in the public for you and for the students who are coming up? Or do you?

Bruce Reyes-Chow, the former Moderator of the PCUSA’s General Assembly, is much more of a “Facebook guy” than me. Watching him use Twitter and Facebook as “the Mod” taught me a lot about how to be a public person via [social] media. What we tend to think of as social diversions actually have a ton of potential for organizing people and movements. Obviously, recent world events have shown us how social media can facilitate radical change, even revolution.

Ultimately, I believe that the phrase, “public theologian” is or should be redundant. We do theology for the sake of transforming society for the greater good. Social media has changed the platform by which one can go public with one’s thoughts. One must remember, however, that the line between public and private blurs on Facebook. One must always know that you are public-self on social media. To use the theological phrase, in social media you are always bearing witness to the truth.

Ok, these are the important ones…

Your favorite food AND place to eat in Chicago (these don’t have to be the same)?

Favorite food: Del Seoul’s spicy Korean BBQ pork taco with a side of gamja fries

Favorite place to eat: Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill

Those of us here at McCormick know you to love some good music. What are some of the artists on your playlist right now?

The Arcade Fire, Radiohead, and Dar Williams

I know you were trying to give up on the coffee a while back. How has that gone for you?

I come off of caffeinated coffee periodically. It gives me killer headaches when I do. Right now, I am back up to a Vente a day (iced of course). However, I worry that coffee could be bad when combined with stress, so I may consider giving it up altogether. We’ll see.

If you could live anywhere that you’ve never lived yet, where would it be and why?

Hawaii, I am thinking that my next job will be to start a seminary there. Why Hawaii? Because I could surf before I preach, teach, or run a meeting with the board.

If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

That’s a weird question. I guess I would want to be an animal that doesn’t get eaten by other animals.

Reading anything good right now? Any recommendations?

Theological books: I recently finished Walter Brueggemann’s Journey to the Common Good in preparation for a class that I was going to teach with Jennifer Ayres (but then this presidency thing came up). I particularly liked his reading of Pharaoh’s dream in the Joseph cycle—very clever, very relevant.

Others: I just finished an audio book by David Allen, Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity. This is one of the most practical and useful books that I have read/listened to in a long time.

If you could say anything to the incoming students for this new year, what would it be? You know, what are Frank’s words of wisdom?

Study hard. Studying at this level in the things of God is a real privilege that stretches back for centuries, even millennia (read Proverbs 1). Study hard, but live life well while you study.

Is there anything else you want to put out there?

Yes, so when are we going to start a flag football team and start taking it to those U of C students?

Well folks, that’s all for now. See you soon!

Peace ~ Shelley D.

Pigeon’s Couch: Lions and Tigers and a Bear! Oh My!

Greetings friends! I’m glad to be here writing to you about my fellow pets at McCormick! In case you haven’t met me yet, I’m Pigeon. I live in the Kimbark building with my human, Shelley who is a student at McCormick and runs this thing most days. I’m sure you’re wondering, “How on earth is Pigeon typing this? She has no pose-able thumbs!?” This is where the birds come in. The family of birds that live in our apartment, The Hiltons, type for me as I dictate. We’re working on their spelling abilities, so please bear with me. It’s not easy to educate birds…

So, this is my first posting for you all! Now, I’m sure now that we’ve moved on from the problem of thumbs you’re wondering, “who all is Pigeon going to interview?” Everyone. Well, any of those who fly, walk on all fours and other animals living in our community. I’m fine with other animals, such as cats. They are fine. I like them. They leave me alone and I eat their food. So, don’t be surprised that today, we have Bear, a very large cat who lives in the Kimbark building as well. She lives with Molly, the Min Pin. Without further ado, here’s the Bear.

Tell us your name and what breed you are.

I’m Effin’ Bubba Chicago Bear. The people call me a domestic short-haired cat, but I know I am the Mighty Soft Grey name you see up there. They think I’m a cat. I know I’m a bear!

Effin' Bubba Chicago Bear

Who are your humans?

Kathi, but I call her “food source” and “back scratcher” and “litter pan maintainer.” We both understand her role, and she performs her duties satisfactorily.

How did you come to get your humans?

Somehow I got away from my person and my GPS failed so I roamed around until another person caught me and took me to another person (these people are called Hyde Park Cats. I don’t know why because THEY ARE NOT CATS!!!), who let me live in their house until Kathi came to see me. I recognized that she would be appropriate to satisfy all the functions I needed, noted above, so I graciously agreed to let her take me to her house.

How do you like the living arrangements?

Entirely appropriate for a being of my nature. There is this little red colored thing I share the space with, I think she’s a dog–her name is Molly (what a goofy name for a dog!). At first she was beyond wild and so at first I simply exercised my superior intellect and capacities to stay out of her reach until she settled down. There may have been chemical agents involved in calming her, but I didn’t actually see them so…..Anyway, she has assumed her proper place in the household as well, and plays with me a bit when I invite her and otherwise remains quiet and leaves me alone. I get good food, the water is clean and plentiful and I get yogurt – a favorite – regularly. Sometimes, the human caretaker invites us, Molly and me, to play “chase the food bits”. It seems to give her great pleasure, so I agree to play. All in all, this is an entirely acceptable place to live.

Favorite place in the apartment?
In the windows. There are very many windows, and I have my choice. I particularly like the window that is near my feeder–I can sun, nibble, nap and watch the world. Very lovely, what!

Favorite treats?

Yogurt, cheese, chicken, hamburger, yogurt, bits of pita chips, the chase-able food bits, did I mention yogurt?

What do you think about being future preachers pets?

It will be fine as long as Kathi continues to tend to me in the manner to which I have become accustomed and Molly continues to show me the proper respect. By the way, what’s a preacher? And, for that matter, what’s a pet???

How many toys do you have in the apartment and which ones are your favorite?

I have a scratching post I am most fond of and Kathi has acquired for my pleasure a stick with a soft stretchy string for be to chase, tug on and chew. Quite lovely!!

Favorite way to pass the time?

Simply hanging out. I am a Bear of simple pleasures. Oh, and there is always chasing food bits with Molly.

Any words of wisdom you want to share with everyone?

Be kind to your food source. Whoever that may be!

Stay tuned for more pets and all that they have to say!

Peace and Paws~ Pigeon, the Blind Dog of McCormick

Wildflowers

Greetings again all you McReaders. I pray that this day finds you well and ready to take on what’s in store for you. At 5460 S. University Ave., we’re into full swing with the Fall 2011 school year. We have a new batch of students and they’re pretty good lookin’, if I do say so myself. They come from all walks of life and from all kinds of places. They’re like those wildflowers you see on the side of the road, the ones when you’re driving you want to get out and pick but there’s a sign that says that you can’t because they’re part of some wildflower initiative to make the roads pretty. Honestly, there is no saving the stretch of I-65 between Louisville, KY and Indianapolis, IN pretty… I’ve driven it enough, I should know.
Nonetheless, those wildflowers are there, in all their glory. They are many colors, many sizes and shapes. Some are tall with no leaves to stand in as their arms, some are shorter and fatter that look almost like weeds. No matter what, they serve a greater purpose in making our highways beautiful, right? I mean, I’m sure that’s what God intended them for.

God Spilled the Paint, http://www.patmoss.com/funpics/wildflowers.htm

Our student body is sort of like those wildflowers. Except we’re not here to make highways pretty, we’re here for the work God has called us to, and we’re all very different. Some of us get here kicking and screaming, others come quietly, and still others come with such excitement that no yellow submarine could hold it in. So, you ask, “what does this student body look like right now?” Well my readers, I have answers for you.
First off, denominations. McCormick is a PCUSA seminary. Meaning we are of the Presbyterian Church USA. We are of the reformed tradition, but we open our doors to all who seek to be a part of God’s community and who want to learn and engage. Our faculty and staff are of many denominations as well, but here’s a bit of a breakdown as to what our first year student body looks like:
PCUSA – The Presbyterian Church of the USA. This makes up approximately 35% of our student body for our incoming class.
PROK -The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, approx. 7%.
PCK – The Presbyterian Church of Korea, approx. 13%
Apostolic – Approx. 6% of our incoming students.
Assemblies of God – Approx. 4%
Baptist – Approx. 2%
Church of South India – Approx. 2%
CRC – The Christian Reformed Church, approx. 2%
DOC – Disciples of Christ – Approx. 2%
ELCA – Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, approx. 2%
Interdenominational – Approx. 2%. Now I don’t have a website for you here, but you’re smart readers, you can search this one…
Methodist Episcopal – Makes up approx. 2% of our student body. Check out the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church as well as the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Non-Denominational – Approx. 10% of the first year student body. Now, it’s non-denominational, which means we don’t have a website to give you, but let’s be honest, you’ll Wikipedia it anyways, so I’ll just go ahead and do it for you. Here.
Igelsia Presbiteriana de Columbia – Presbyterian Church of Columbia, approx. 2%
UCC – Approx. 2%
First, no. There numbers don’t exactly equal 100, but it’s pretty darn close. We don’t do decimals here at the CURE. But you get the point. Second, please remember this is only the new first year class. There are more of us from other areas in the other classes as well!
Now as far as age, you name the age, we’ve got it. We’ve got a few flowers fresh out of undergraduate, and we’ve got some second- and even third-career folks! You never know when God will come calling. Just like God embraces the wildflowers, we embrace all the different people that come our way to make God’s highway colorful. (You like that, right? Cheesy, I know. But you can’t blame me for it.)
Hopefully you’ve learned something new by checking out one of the links. If not, go do it. Now. You never know what you might have in common with someone else!
Be on the lookout for the first Pigeon’s Corner this Friday to meet the first of several new, furry friends here on campus. Also, our Dean of Students, Rev. Christine Vogel, will be joining us here on the blog to give us her take on things here at McCormick.
See you all soon!
Peace ~ Shelley D.

Some Up and Coming Events!

Greetings all you McReaders. We’re still taking off here in 5460, things are running smoothly and we’re looking forward to what this year has in store for us. Now, instead of your usual Friday pet blog, we wanted to give you some heads ups about a few things.

First, Fourth Presbyterian Church in downtown Chicago will be hosting a 9/11 Interfaith Commemorative Service in conjunction with Chicago Sinai, the Downtown Islamic Center, and Holy Name Cathedral. The evening is intended to be a powerful evening of remembrance and hope as well as a chance to come together as a community. The service will be held Sunday, September 11th, at 7pm at Fourth Presbyterian Church which is located at 800 N. Michigan Ave. in downtown Chicago. Check the website for more information.

Second, we’ve for some voting happening here at McCormick. In a few weeks, the first years are going to be voting for their Student Session and Student Deacons for their class. So get ready and start thinking about who you think would be a good person for this job!

Third, I need to introduce you to our latest contributor. Pigeon. Now, you might remember Pigeon from her interview a while back. Well, Pigeon and I were talking. She’s been a bit upset that I haven’t let her do much except for eat my backpacks, & clothes and use my bed as her own when I am in class or work, working to put food in her bowl. So, to ease the undue restlessness of Pigeon, she’ll be conducting the Friday interviews for our McPets here at McCormick. Don’t let her fool you. Shel might be blind, but she knows what she’s doing.

Look for us next week, same place!

Peace ~ Shelley D.

Look What’s Happening!

Welcome back all you McBloggers! We’re back and we’re in full swing. Most of us went different routes for the summer: some of us stayed in Chicago, some of us took jobs allover the US, some of us did CPE in various places. Either way, we’ve gathered together again for another school year. For the juniors (1st years), it means a new place, new home, new experiences, and new people! For the middlers (2nd years), there is field site (and for a few seniors as well). And for the seniors (3rd years), well, it’s senior year. This is it! Some of us are counting down the days (it’s somewhere around 250), until graduation on May 12th, 2012!

Here’s what you can expect from us this next semester:

*Pets! Pets! Pets! We’ve got some new furry friends that have now become part of the McCormick community and we want you to meet them! Look out for them on our Friday editions!

*Interview with Rev. Dr. Frank Yamada, McCormick’s newest President! He’s a cool guy. You’ll dig him. Promise.

*Some inter-seminary relations. We’ve gotten together with other blog writers with some of our sister seminaries here in Chicago on various topics and we’re proud to bring you some different viewpoints from the different denominations. If there’s something that you want to talk about or hear thoughts on, let us know!

*Student interviews. Who doesn’t love those. We’ll be bringing you more student interviews so you can hear all about them and all about why they came to McCormick!

*Alumni interviews! We’re tracking down some old McGraduates to let you see what it is they are doing now and how McCormick helped them get there!

* A follow-up interview with PCUSA General Assembly Moderator, Cynthia Bolbach.

*This year, we’ve teamed up with the Herald, McCormick’s student-run newspaper. It’s completely green (like us!) and between the two of us, we’ll keep you in the know! No yellow journalism here.

We’ll also be bringing you information about things happening at McCormick, the community and direct from the Office of Recruitment and Admissions. So, sit back, relax, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy the school year! Until we meet again, check out a couple of photos from the Labor Day cookout at the Point!

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