Thursday, February 25, 2010

Its All Getting Fuzzy

by Scott Dalen

What week are we in?

Three right?

Its starting to blur together on me. Usually we are at least a full month into the semester before that happens.

Not this time.

Of course, I'm in RTA this semester. I'm starting to think that it is the most in depth class, at least from a certain perspective. Had you asked me what the most in depth class was a year ago, I definitely would have said Creation and The Triune God with Paul Sponheim. That was a crazy class...good, but very time consuming. A LOT of reading. A LOT of writing.

Now RTA is different. There's a fair share of reading in this one too, but nothing compared to Creation. There's also a pretty large amount of writing for this one, but its focused writing and it's not every week. What's in depth about this one is a congregational study encompassing three lengthy papers.

First we took a look at the congregation itself. Main goal, how does the congregation view itself in terms of being a missional congregation. That paper's done (thankfully). Round two, due Saturday night) takes a look at the community that the congregation serves and seeks to identify potential audiences for the congregation.

I've got a pretty good handle on this one. It's not done, but the majority of the legwork (aka research) is done on it. The two sections I have left to write at this point are mostly reflection and application. To put it in a nutshell, there's no more research to do for this one, I simply need to apply the brain and apply what I've learned into the summary.

But the big kicker is how worn out I'm feeling already. Honestly, it's been my experience so far that I pretty well run on adrenaline for the first half of the semester (though I usually am pretty tired by about Thursday or Friday), and then I manage to settle into a groove for the last half of the semester that takes me through the end. Still worn out, but more manageable.

I haven't found my groove yet.

Granted, this week leading up to the due date of the paper has been very nice. Hebrew, my second class, is in a week of no new lessons and no conference call (praise the Lord I get to have my Friday afternoon back this week), but rather reading and posting. Because of this, I was able to have my regular weekly work done by Tuesday afternoon, freeing up the rest of the week to focus on the paper.

Between quite a bit of work Tuesday night and then a fair amount yesterday, I was feeling pretty good about where I was at for the week last night, and since it was Wednesday and we had a Lenten service, I was leaning towards allowing myself to slack off from homework last night.

But first the service itself. It was enjoyable. I do love those worship services. The funny part occurred about midway through. We were standing for a song, which had just gotten done. I leaned down to clear all the kids stuff off my spot in the pew, and I must have been in a semi bent over squat with my head sticking forward over the back of the pew in front of me. All of the sudden I took a shot on top of the head.

As I was standing there, the lady in front of me was also sitting down and our head's collided. It was no harm-no foul though. Neither of us was hurt and we got a good laugh out of it. So I guess that's all good. Laughter is a good thing after all.

After church was done we headed home and got the kids into bed. I sat and debated homework but in the end decided against it. Instead, we sat and figured out what we wanted to do with our tax refund. A pretty healthy chunk of it is going towards paying off bills. Particularly my wife's medical bills from the ear surgery she had right before New Year's.

That's exciting.

To be honest, I don't think we're going to play much at all with this one. But that's life I guess.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of us who are not seminarians, what does "RTA" mean?

2/25/2010 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Scott Dalen said...

Good call...RTA stands for Reading the Audience. It is a class aimed at identifying the audience of the community in which a church operates.

3/01/2010 09:53:00 AM  

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