Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Day at School
February 22, 2012, 12:20 pm
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At the PSR chapel service, we honored Black History Month with some great singing, and sermon by the pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in San Francisco. The campus chaplain (a former senior pastor at that SF church) led communion and invited all to partake, in the spirit with which MCC began offering it back in the late 60s when it was founded. Introducing communion, the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, he said, “Jesus knew that religious people would have trouble with his message,” so before he left them he initiated this ritual meal in order to draw them back together in remembrance of him. What a great idea about calling back to first principles–and to fellowship–all those who follow his teachings or his churches.

My Asian cultures and faith traditions class did a review of our field trip to a Hindu temple, then welcomed a guest speaker from Indonesia. He talked about the religious diversity and religious history of Indonesia. I went back to the GTU library to start reading for next week’s class on Confucianism.
Then a quick supper in the dining hall. Two ministry students told me they would get up before 6 AM today (Ash Wednesday) to go down to the downtown BART station to offer imposition of ashes on the forehead of any commuters who wished it.

Then in the chapel I attended a talk by Dr. Liza Rankow, an interfaith minister and retreat leader about the late Rev. Howard Thurman, who founded the first interracial congregation in the USA, in 1944 in San Francisco. A profound mystic as well as pastor and activist, Thurman traveled to meet with Mohandas Ghandhi in India during that freedom struggle. He provided much of the spiritual framework and grounding for the leaders of the Civil Rights struggle in the 1960s. The 45 minutes of excerpts we watched and then talked about were quite profound. So I parted with $50 ($30 off the list price) and bought the 6 CDs of interviews and instructional material, “The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman: A Visionary for Our Time.” Hope to use it for an adult class sometime.


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