Saturday, September 24, 2005

Report from El Presidente...

This has been a very busy week for me as President of Bethel Theological Seminary's student senate. Wednesday morning we had a new student orientation called Genesis. We have the largest incoming class in the history of Bethel Seminary. It is fun to be able to be there, show people around campus, and help them get a feel for what life in the next few years has in store for them. The incoming class is generally very young, young enough that I felt a bit old around most of them. That isn't to say we don't also have middle age and older new students, but this incoming class has what I would guess to be a higher than average amount of people who have graduated from college in the past 2-3 years. Thursday we had two additional sessions of Genesis, students having the option to come to one of the three sessions. With our storm Wednesday night, turn out Thursday morning was understandably small.

Friday I had a meeting with Seminary Provost Dr. Leland Eliason, where we touched base about where we were going as a student senate. Dr. Eliason also was a speaker at two of the three Genesis sessions, giving a wonderful speach outlining the importance and uniqueness of our three centers of formation at Bethel Seminary. Dr. Eliason is one of the best speakers I have ever heard, and I always appreciate his insight and wisdom. I also greatly enjoy the fact that he regularly comes and sits in the lunchroom with students and just listens and shares in our community life. He is an extrodinarily busy man, but always finds time to keep an in-person presence around the school. I don't know how many other seminarys of this size where that would be the case. I am honored and priveledged to get to meet with him regularly and learn from him. I believe God is working in a powerful way at our Seminary, and that this will be a fantastic year. His leadership has been vital in the transformation of our Seminary into what it is today.

Today was our all Seminary retreat. An opportunity for returning students and new students to mingle, worship and learn from faculty and guest speakers. Dan Jass led the day off with a very moving message that was very appropriate for this setting. There were periods of free time with competitions in putting, disk golf, croquet, as well as time for getting to know people and relaxation. Students are encourage to bring their spouses to this event as well, so we get to know each other better. Lunch was catered by Famous Dave's, which always goes over great. I did have to point out to the Provost the irony of Dave's BBQ sauce "Devil's Spit" and their side item of "Drunken Apples" being served at a Baptist Seminary. Ourafternoon worship times were led by Joe Rogness, a graduate from Bethel. You can read more about Joe on this article about him at Christianity Today. I highly recommend him if you are looking for something like this for your church/event. Our guest speaker was author Chris P. Rice (not to be confused with the singer) who has an interesting perspective on reconcilliation.

For the most part, the rain held off all day (except of course while I was outside greeting students and directing traffic this morning). It was a great day, and I'm worn out.

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