Friday, June 22, 2007

Collegium: Thrusday, Sending Forth

Collegium: Thursday

As usual I get up at 4:30, shower, walk, pray and call Cathi. I tell her about the gardens. She is looking forward to visiting the Pacific North West with me in the future. I find myself taking everything in. This is it. I am ready to go home and still, the redwoods, flowers, mountains, volcanoes, sure beats soy and corn! I watch the shipyard activity, I go to chapel and then off to breakfast.

Breakfast is wonderful but we are all eating less. I think our plan is, if we eat less the last day then none of our gorging the previous week counts! Works for me.

After breakfast we go to chapel for morning prayers. I am going to miss this. The chapel with its Scandinavian-Japanese look, the music, our spiritual directors, this is great stuff.

Then it is off to our Disciplinary Groups. I suspect I am in a different place because this feels productive. We are integrating a great deal of information into our fields. However, the question of academic freedom continues to pop-up. I am so happy that I do not even question my academic freedom, I feel totally supported by my department and school environment. I guess I should not take that for granted.

After break we go to our Small Groups. We discuss an article in As Leaven in the World on marginalization. I find this article interesting. This is very Franciscan, this is Francis and the Lepers. However, in this article it is a reciprocal relationship, the church needs the marginalized and the marginalized needs the church. What I find interesting is that given enough time all of us middle-class white males can join their ranks. The biggest percentage of the disabled in this country are disabled due to age-related illness. We better be caring and humble because we are gonna need others. However, that should not be the reason to be a servant. This is a good book and I look forward to read the chapters on spiritualities.

After our session we all meet outside for a series of photos and then it is off to lunch.

After a nice break we meet again in our Small Groups. We are now talking about preparing for home and what we will take with us to our campuses. This reminds me of returning from a Red Cross mission. People will ask what it was like but they really do not want a long description, familiar territory. We all write out “gifts” for one another e all take this seriously. For me this is a time of beginning to say goodbye. This has been a great group, a smart group, a funny group and a darn good-looking group.

After the session we go to Chapel for our “Being Sent” service. Each small group walks up to the alter. They form a circle and each member holds up a candle that is lit by the group leader. Then the leader speaks to each of them and give them a private blessing and then, with arms out raised we all give them a blessing. After this beautiful service we have Eucharist.

Afterwards we have a reception outside. It is beautiful. Then we have an elegant dinner followed by toasts, readings, jokes. Theresa steps up and reads my poem to the entire group, it is well received. However, the best part was the company. Afterwards we have another social but after a short time I need to go back to my room to complete my packing. The collegium is almost over for me and I can feel myself changing gears.

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