Thursday, September 4, 2008


Another hurdle down: I've officially been oriented and convocated. Tuesday was a long and overwhelming Presession, and the Convocation ceremony was Wednesday. I've discovered that one of the interesting perks of going to a Lutheran seminary with a long history is that you get a seminary hymn: (for those of you extremely familiar with hymn music, the tune to this is AURELIA)

Serene upon her hill-top,
She reigns these many years,
A mother of God's prophets,
Preceptor of God's seers.
Afar her couriers journey,
Her watchword on each tongue:
"Ecclesia Plantanda,"
From sea to sea is sung.

About her walls the thunders
Of warfare filled the world,
Among her circling treetops,
The smoke of battle curled,
But at her pitying threshold
She bade all strife to cease
Within her walls ruled mercy,
Within her gates dwelt peace.

In love her children gather,
Upon her wooded hills,
And with the oil of wisdom,,
Their lamps again they fill,
O, may they ever find her,
When seeking her they come,
A fount of life and blessing,
Their mother and their home.

-Elsie Singmaster Lewars, 1926

(As an aside, the phrase "Ecclesia Plantanda" means "The church is always being planted," the motto of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, patriarch of American Lutheranism. This information was provided to me along with the hymn in the good Lutheran tradition of leaving no Latin untranslated.)

Classes have now begun at the seminary, although I'm not taking exactly the schedule I signed up for. I'll give a rundown of the classes and professors in my next post.

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