Friday, March 05, 2010

Spring Optimism

by Harvey

March feels like the beginning of the year to me. This spring brings me a fresh start. I have not been able to do much since the turn of the year. Circumstances, usually beyond my control, have forced me to take some sort of a break to rest, though more often than I would have liked. I guess the body, sometimes, gets to a point where it must rest, whether one wants or not. Even though I have generally taken good care of myself, I have gone nonstop for the past good number of years, without a proper break: from heavy duty missions work in Central Europe to doing an MA in England while working full time, and then connecting straight to the PhD at Luther.

But this one has not been an eventless break. I have managed to attend several conferences, one in session right now. We have helped plant a Vineyard church in Saint Paul. Tameika has clocked seven months now. And above all, my wife has taken her BAR exams in New York last week, after which we had to drive back from New York to Minnesota, as flights were cancelled due to a snowstorm in the Northeast. To our wonderment, we arrived to melting snow in Minnesota! (Foreign lawyers are allowed to take the BAR exams only in NY and CA).

The conference that I am attending this weekend is for the Society of Pentecostal Studies. Yes, there goes the P-word ... again. Having sat through several sessions at Luther in the past three months that had no kind word for Pentecostalism whatsoever, one of them a very good demonstration of ignorant arrogance, I began to wonder if at all, Pentecostalism has a place at the table of ecumenism. (If not, it means excluding over 25% percent of world Christians from the conversation!) This is my first SPS conference, and I have seen a part of American Christianity that I had no chance to see before, one whose existence I was remotely aware of. I am glad I decided to attend. There is always great wisdom in listening, even to those that others think don't deserve an ear.


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