Conversation with King’s grad Paul Batz!

In this episode Paul Batz describes navigating student life at King’s, including struggles with chemistry and a transition to being an English major.   He also reflects on the church and his move to the Orthodox Christian faith.  Most importantly, he picks three faculty members to be on his forthcoming interpretive dance team.  Paul is thoughtful, energetic and kind.  I hope you enjoy listening to this conversation as much as I enjoyed sitting down with him to have it!

Download Episode here: Paul Batz Conversation

Stream Episode here:

 

Confined- a Blogpost by Dr. Mark Sandle

Santo Tomas.jpg

 

Find linked here an incredibly thought-provoking (especially given our current circumstances) blogpost about forced confinement in a WW2 internment camp by King’s historian, Mark Sandle: Confined, Mark Sandle

Before you head over to read it, however, I invite you to read it devotionally.  Slow down.  Read the 1 Corinthians 11 passage below before you go to the blogpost.  This is a famous passage that is often misunderstood–what is Paul really concerned with?  Read the 1 Corinthians passage again when you have finished the blog post and engage in the questions below, if you’d like.  

 

In what ways do you “eat” with separation between you and your sisters and brothers?

Sit with the thought that Jesus not only waits to eat with you, but sets a place    specifically for you at his table.  Remember that you didn’t earn this place and therefore you don’t have to hide your brokenness in his presence!  How do you feel at his table?  Look around, who else is at the table?  What is the spirit of the feast?  How do you enjoy this spirit now?

How do Mark’s concluding thoughts/questions and Paul’s passage relate to the two viruses of Covid and racism infecting our world?  What would a faithful church or Christian University look like in this time?  What should we be concern with?

 

1 Corinthians 11 (Message Version)

17-19 Regarding this next item, I’m not at all pleased. I am getting the picture that when you meet together it brings out your worst side instead of your best! First, I get this report on your divisiveness, competing with and criticizing each other. I’m reluctant to believe it, but there it is. The best that can be said for it is that the testing process will bring truth into the open and confirm it.

20-22 And then I find that you bring your divisions to worship—you come together, and instead of eating the Lord’s Supper, you bring in a lot of food from the outside and make pigs of yourselves. Some are left out, and go home hungry. Others have to be carried out, too drunk to walk. I can’t believe it! Don’t you have your own homes to eat and drink in? Why would you stoop to desecrating God’s church? Why would you actually shame God’s poor? I never would have believed you would stoop to this. And I’m not going to stand by and say nothing.

23-26 Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Lord’s Supper and why it is so centrally important. I received my instructions from the Master himself and passed them on to you. The Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said,

This is my body, broken for you.
Do this to remember me.

After supper, he did the same thing with the cup:

This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you.
Each time you drink this cup, remember me.

What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you reenact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt.

27-28 Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe.

29-32 If you give no thought (or worse, don’t care) about the broken body of the Master when you eat and drink, you’re running the risk of serious consequences. That’s why so many of you even now are listless and sick, and others have gone to an early grave. If we get this straight now, we won’t have to be straightened out later on. Better to be confronted by the Master now than to face a fiery confrontation later.

33-34 So, my friends, when you come together to the Lord’s Table, be reverent and courteous with one another. If you’re so hungry that you can’t wait to be served, go home and get a sandwich. But by no means risk turning this Meal into an eating and drinking binge or a family squabble. It is a spiritual meal—a love feast.

The other things you asked about, I’ll respond to in person when I make my next visit.

Conversation with King’s Purchaser Cathy Jol!

Cathy Jol has been on staff at King’s since 2004.  She is a gentle, hard-working person of prayer who loves connecting with students.  In this episode Cathy is very open; she shares stories from her life where God challenged her and her family, in hopes that these stories might encourage others.  One of my favourite parts of our conversation is when she describes being a “blood cell.”  Enjoy getting to know Cathy better!

Download Episode here: Cathy Jol Conversation

Stream Episode here:

 

 

Conversation with Dr. Melanie Turgeon!

Enjoy this conversation with Dr. Melanie Turgeon!  Melanie has been conducting choirs from an incredibly young age.  She has been working with King’s choirs since 2002 and has been on a number of tours with them and the music department (including three European tours).  Melanie has a great sense of humour and is a favourite professor for many choir students. We have also included a couple beautiful pieces from King’s choirs in this episode, so enjoy!

Download episode here: Turgeon Conversation

Stream episode here:

 

Last Lecture with Dr. Dudiak!

 

In honour of what would have been graduation weekend for The King’s University class of 2020, we are reposting the “Last Lecture” given to this graduating class by Dr. Dudiak!  The “Last Lecture” is a tradition at King’s where the graduating class invites a professor to give them the final lecture of their King’s career.  Class of 2020 puts their wisdom on display by inviting Dudiak to do the honour.

This event was organized and hosted by the Alumni Office.  Enjoy Dudiak’s wisdom!

Download episode here: The Last Lecture

Stream episode here:

“The Next Right Thing” with Witty Sandle!

Thank you Witty Sandle for this great book review!  I am adding it to my list.  I especially appreciate your “final thought” at the end of the review.  

To any King’s people reading this review, please take this as an invitation to do what Witty has done for us and let us know what you think about what you are reading.

Respond to Witty in the comment section below if you are so moved.

Peace to you all today.

 

book review: “the next right thing” by emily p. freeman – shannan ...

 

 

Book Review

“The Next Right Thing. A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions.”

By Emily Freeman.

 What decisions have you made today?

Did your alarm go off, kicking you out of bed?  Did you choose toast or cereal for breakfast or skip it altogether? Decisions, decisions, decisions. Big or small, they require a degree of effort in their execution. Clearly, choosing your morning meal is not the same as choosing your major, and starting or ending a relationship carries more weight than what to have for supper. Nevertheless, all these scenarios beg the question, how do we make decisions?

“What if the way we make decisions is equally as important as the decisions we make? What if choice is one of the primary avenues of our spiritual formation?”  (Freeman. 17).

Let me introduce you to a wonderful book by Emily Freeman called “The Next Right Thing. A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions.” The title itself tells you that this is not your usual top-five-decision-making-tips list. There is plenty of helpful material of that ilk freely available and if you want some quick strategies, go ahead and google. This book gives us something different. I came across it when I was listening to Emily being interviewed on Suzanne Stabile’s “The Enneagram Journey Podcast.”[1] The two discuss Emily’s decision-making style through the lens of her personality type, (she is a 4 for those who know enneagram) and the wisdom found in the book is a focal point of their conversation.

What’s the central message? Let’s turn to Emily’s voice. “The magic is in the word “next” and not “right.”” This, she says, has proved to be a life-saving insight for her. Like Emily, we have all at some point, been overwhelmed with too much information, too many options and too many external or inner expectations, leading to paralysis. Like Emily, we have experienced that gut-level anxiety that comes with the fear of taking the wrong path, ushering in regrets upon regrets. And like Emily, we have all longed for lightening-in-the-sky signs that bring us clear direction. What Emily does in her book is provide gentle counsel that helps us to slow down, quieten the voices and step back so we can discern how to respond to whatever is before us. This book is part storytelling, captivating us with illustrations from Emily’s real-life examples and part contemplative guide with easy-to-follow practices at the end of every short chapter. You can read it cover to cover, starting with chapter 1, “Do The Next Right Thing,” and ending with chapter 24, “Wait With Hope.” Or you can scan the chapter titles and head right to the one that seems to chime with your situation.  Juggling with competing choices? Then chapter 8, “Know What You Want More” could help you out. Wondering how the wisdom of others can bring clarity? Try chapter 15, “Gather Co-Listeners.” You will find some excellent pointers. There is also an accompanying website and podcast[2] hosted by Emily which is worth checking out – a great resource for those of us suffering from decision-making burnout! This is a book to be savored and read meditatively. It’s a book to buy and keep on your shelf because you will want to return to it time and time again. It’s practical, it’s reassuring, and it’s dedicated to “anyone who’s ever made a pro/con list in the middle of the night,”[3] which is all of us.

A final thought. How might a book like this come to our aid in this covid-19 season? I return to the title. As we are bombarded with information and advice, sometimes conflicting, and as we grapple with our fears, past, present and/or future, let’s pause, plant our feet on the ground beneath us and taking a deep breath, do the next right thing.

[1] https://www.theenneagramjourney.org/podcast/2019/episode57

[2] https://emilypfreeman.com/

[3] Dedication page of Emily’s book.

Olejuru Anozie Interview!

Olejuru Anozie (B.A. '19)

Some students stand out quickly at King’s because they are happy to “put themselves out there.”  Maybe they are a bit louder or simply involved in everything.  I don’t think that is Olejuru.  I picture Olejuru slowly walking through the halls with a calm presence, a joyful smile, and chatty friends around her.  Over time, her thoughtfulness, willingness to serve, and excellence in the classroom made her well-known in a number of different circles on campus.  One of her gifts is found in her writing.  I posted three of her poems below for you to enjoy.  

Enjoy this Community in Quarantine conversation with Olejuru Anozie:

Download here: Olejuru Interview

Stream here:

 

Olejuru’s poetry with explanation

Shadowy Spaces

Shadows. Spaces. Light. Dark. Grey. Constant noise, constant colour. Swimming in words, white, black, red. Breaking. The clock ticks, the people speak. I am a shadow; my eyes owned by the screen. How many like me sit and wonder, what is next, how many more, when will it end? Broken bodies become burdens. Stories intersecting in pieces, even when they can’t touch.

This is a prose poem I wrote in response to my being overwhelmed by all the coronavirus news. The inspiration was gotten from a reflection I wrote during the promptive writing period of my Narrative Medicine practicum workshop. The prompt was “write about the shadowy spaces around you”.

 

 Grandma’s House

Today I saw a man with two kids.

He scolded his son, told him to sit still.

He tickled his daughter, I saw her sweet smile.

He gathered his kids in his arms; they left

And floated away to Nana’s house.

This poem was inspired by a ride I took on the NYC subway. I saw a man interacting with his two young children, telling them that they would soon be at the stop they needed before walking to Grandma’s house. It was such a sweet interaction I decided to write a poem about it.

 

March 26

Remember me,

Remembering. You

Remember us

Remembering. I,

Missing you.

  • O

This was written a few weeks ago on March 26th,2020 as I was thinking about the two year anniversary of my friend’s death.

 

Thinking about Worship with Dr. Mike Ferber!

I had some technical difficulties last week with our Community in Quarantine podcast, so I thought now would be a great time to link to my friend Rev. Jonathan Crane’s podcast interview with our own Mike Ferber!

Mike is a great friend, a caring professor, and thoughtful scholar.  He joined Jonathan to, among other things, talk about Jamie Smith’s book, “You are What you Love.”  Jamie is a prodigious writer and was an I.S. speaker at King’s over a decade ago.  Interestingly, I did a directed study looking at spiritual formation with King’s grad Paul Batz a few years ago and he recently came across this book and wrote me a facebook message saying this, “Hey Tim! Have you read this book or recommended it to your students? It’s amazing. Wish it had been written so I could have read it during our study of spiritual formation.”  

If you are interested in what “worship in all of life” might look like, take a listen to this podcast linked below and possibly check out Jamie’s book.  (Also, if you are looking for an Anglican Church close to King’s, check out St. Augustine’s where Jonathan pastors.)

Ferber interview

James K.A. Smith's new book addresses the power of habit | Spark ...

 

Mike also maintains an incredible blog where he is regularly reviewing books.  After Easter he reviewed Andy Crouch’s book Playing God (Andy is another former I.S. speaker).  Check it out here:

Ferber Blogpost – Playing God