At the time of this writing, America has undergone yet another public mass shooting - the most recent, occuring just four days ago in Orlando, Florida, which is the largest mass shooting in modern American history, leaving more than 50 dead. By some definitions, we've had 133 mass shootings so far this year alone.
In reading the Book of Common Prayer, I came across an oft cited but rarely expounded upon phrase in The Great Litany, which usually precludes the Eucharist:
In the Spring of 2004, I went on a mission trip to Ecuador through Taylor World Outreach, a program run at the college I attended. We spent a few days in Quito at the beginning and end of our trip, but the bulk of our work was centered around Shell, where we stayed in the hospital built by Jim Elliot and Nate Saint, whose story is chronicled by Elisabeth Elliot in Through the Gates of Splendor. The above picture is of the bridge we crossed daily to reach the hospital and village.
In past years, I have celebrated Lent with some form of fasting. Initially, it was simply giving up meat (no small matter for my appetite) and/or other dietary things. I had not celebrated Lent in any meaningful way until I had entered Seminary and attended a Free Methodist church which followed liturgical seasons. The fasting was difficult and at times mundane but served as a continual reminder to the season of Lent.
As a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, I've been regularly asked by various friends about if they or an acquaintance should attend Fuller or another seminary. Depending on the context of the question, they might be asking about some aspect of a particular school (ie, is there a strong linguistics program), but otherwise I usually begin the conversation with asking what they are intending to gain from going to seminary. This post as such is not so much about how to pick a theological school as general reflections from my experience and some common advice I've given as a result.