A week ago today I moved onto the campus of the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia, more commonly known as Virginia Theological Seminary or VTS. Founded in 1823 it is the largest Seminary in the Episcopal Church. It is located in beautiful Alexandria, Virginia, and is on a magnificent campus adjacent to that of Episcopal High School, located together in the shadow of downtown Washington, DC.
But while I could tell you facts and figures all day about the school that would tell you nothing about the fantastic community that is found here.
From the moment I moved in and had several folks offer to help me move my stuff in the August heat, to this evening, where a few of us held compline in a dorm common room and celebrated one of my classmate's birthday, my time here has been one instance of welcome followed by another. Indeed, it's remarkable how close our class has become after only one week together. Birthdays are celebrated, help is offered, invitations are extended and company is enjoyed.
When I consider that fellowship, think on how interesting my first classes have been, and ponder the tasks ahead of me in the coming semester the prevailing thought I have is "I can't believe how lucky I am to have three years ahead of me in this place."
Times will change: classes will get harder, pastoral ministry will stress, strain will develop, difficulties will emerge, and there will undoubtedly be people that I at times "love to death bless his heart," but knowing that these difficulties lie ahead, I know just as much how fortunate and how blessed we as a class are that we will be facing them together.
I will aim to keep this blog better updated as this journey starts, blocking out time to write and keep, friends, family, fellow parishoners at St. Andrew's, and whoever else decides they'd like to read my writing updated. So check back, comment, ask questions, let me know if there's something you'd like me to talk about or cover and I'll aim to let you know what I'm doing, what I'm learning, and hopefully to occasionally provide you with media of the music and liturgy that helps keep me going up here.
Looking forward to the journey!