#CTSSelma

This weekend I attended an amazing conference. I would even consider calling it life changing. It was the Selma At 50 Conference hosted by Chicago Theological Seminary. I was excited to attend, because it was also a chance to get to know what is now my Seminary home as well. Going there on Thursday, I was quite nervous, but it turned out I had no reason to be.

I thought I understood the Seminary experience, having attended a Bible College in undergraduate, and Calvin Theological Seminary. The idea of a Christian community of learning had lost a lot of its appeal to me. Seminary was a path to ordination, not a vital part of the journey. My perspective has completely changed.

This weekend I encountered learning and community that has altered how I understand the role of Seminary in my life.

As I sit here trying to mentally unpack everything…I simply do not know where to begin.

I was able to listen and learn from amazing people and presentations.

I live-tweeted a lot of thoughts.

I got to meet some amazing people.

I felt welcomed.

I was encouraged to challenge thinking I have held my entire life.

I came away from this conference confronting my own privilege. I came away ready to radically push for change. Ready to put my faith into concrete actions.

Going to the conference, I thought I had a rough idea about issues of racism and white privilege. As I headed down to Chicago, I told myself that it was most important that I just listen and understand. It is so vital to realize that any individual’s life is not the norm, and I wanted to learn about other peoples experiences. I am happy that is the perspective I went into the conference with, because I feel so enriched by getting to hear others stories and perspectives.

I hope to be a force for change in the world. But I also want people to hear the stories of others. I will share more later, but this is what I leave you with for today. I need a few more days to let everything sink in before I feel I am ready to share specific lessons learned.

Blessings on you all,

Em

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