For Sean Levert

I don’t know how many of you will remember this song by the Commodores, but it’s a wonderful song about missing those whose music moved you. In the case of the Commodores, they were talking about Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson.

With the passing of Sean Levert, it seemed as good a time as any to post these words.

Marvin he was a friend of mine 
And he could sing a song 

His heart in every line. 
Marvin sang of the joy and pain 

He opened up our minds 
And I still can hear him say: 
Talk to me 
so you can see 
What's goin' on.
Say you will sing your songs 

Forever more 

ever more

ever more.
Gonna be some sweet sounds comin' down on the nightshift. 

I bet you're singin' proud 


I bet you pull a crowd. 

Gonna be a long night 

it's gonna be allright on the nightshift. 

You found another home 

I know you're not alone on the nightshift. 

You found another home 

I know you're not alone on the nightshift.

what you're doin' now? It seems like yesterday 

When we were workin' out.
you set the world on fire 
You came and gifted us 
your love 
it lifted us higher and higher. 

Keep it up and we'll be there at your side. 
Say you will sing your songs forever more 
ever more 
ever more.
Gonna be some sweet sounds comin' down on the nightshift....
Rest in Peace, Sean. You will be missed.

First Gerald……Now Sean………

Poor Eddie Levert. To have to bury 2 sons in less than 2 years. My heart goes out to his family.

I was a Levert fan many an eon ago. To think that there will be no more beautiful R&B coming from them hurts my heart.

Well…….guess that means I need to slide some Levert into the CD player and think back to when we were all young.

Built For Silence…..or Why I Am Not A Quaker

As most of you probably know, Earlham is a Quaker school. What some of you might not know is that ESR has an integrated relationship with Bethany Theological Seminary (the seminary of the Church of the Brethren). They both share the northeastern corner of campus, which Earlham College students call “the Holy Corner”.

With this integrated relationship comes many things. One of those things is the joint worship services that happen every two weeks in either Quigg (the worship space for ESR) or Nicarry (the worship space for Bethany). Today’s worship was in Quigg.

The worship service was very nice. What made it for me though was a comment made during the open part of the service, where someone said “what I notice every time  I’m in here is how much this room is built for silence. However it cannot hold back the sound when a group of people gather together and sing.” I was really glad that someone, besides me, talked about the acoustics of the room. It also made me really take the room in and try to determine why I’ve always felt uncomfortable in it. Finally it came to me; the room is too austere for my taste. 

When that person said something about the room being built for silence it made me realize why I will not ever become a Quaker: I am NOT built for silence. Nor I am austere.

I am a church girl. Have been all my life; comes with being a deacon’s daughter. So I’m always looking at what church spaces convey to someone who has never stepped foot in a church. Quigg really does convey silence (and to me a certain kind of coldness). Nicarry, on the other hand, conveys the most overwhelming sense of warmth. What senses do UU churches convey?

I am not built for silence. Nor austerity. What I am built for I’m still trying to discern.

Feeling Anxious

So…….I have a 2000 word essay due Monday. Right now I’m feeling a little anxious because I’m tongue-tied and not feeling quite eloquent. Is this something natural that happens during seminary; this feeling of being at a loss for words? How does one overcome it?

Things Learned During Spring Break

Now that I’ve actually been in Richmond a full day, I think I can write about what I learned (mostly about myself) during Spring Break.

1. My relationship with my mother has not changed. That was the thing I was most worried about in this move to Richmond; losing my connection to my mother. Well, that fear was vanquished within a day, as we fell into our patterns of thinking the same thoughts and reacting to them the same way.

2. I missed my two newest friends, E. and B. In many ways I couldn’t wait to get back to see them and find out what they did over break. This was my other concern, that I wouldn’t find friends easily. But life has a way of surprising people, me especially, and I’m glad I have been pleasantly surprised.

3. I enjoy seminary more than I thought I would. Earlham was a good choice for me.

4. St. Louis water is wonderful. It makes a really good pitcher of iced tea that has a really nice taste. I wish I had St. Louis water here.

While some of these things learned are big and some small, I’m glad I learned them. Maybe they ought to give us Spring Break more often.

I-70 Is A Great Highway…..or Spring Break Ends

Hello all. I hope everyone’s Easter was what you wanted.

At the moment I am sitting in the resource room at ESR and thinking that just yesterday I was in St. Louis preparing to come back here to Richmond. While technically Spring Break ended for Earlham College students on Sunday, since ESR doesn’t hold classes on Monday I decided that I would spend one more day at home. It was a good decision if the line at Greyhound yesterday was any indication. There were plenty of us coming East because of Spring Break starting or ending. Luckily there were no problems and it was smooth riding.

This brings me to the title of this post; I-70 East is great. I had forgotten just how good it was until this trip. Illinois and Indiana have put their highway money to good use.

Anyway…..I have New Testament this afternoon. We’ll be talking about the Gospel of Matthew and telling our professor what our next paper is going to be about. I have decided to write mine on the healing of the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter. There seems to be plenty for me to work with from a variety of perspectives.

No Theology 101 today. Our professor is out-of-town until tomorrow. So we’ll have class just on Thursday this week. We’ll be talking about Gay and Lesbian theologies.

So until NT meets, I’ll be planning my trip to Boston and New York in May. It looks like I found a deal on a hotel in NYC, so I’ll be staying in the Times Square/Theatre District again. More on that later.

Jeremiah Wright Could Get Me To Drink Sand In The Desert

Some of you who read this blog have probably heard me say that Trinity UCC is my favorite church. The main reason for that is Jerry Wright.

I was lucky enough to hear Dr. Wright during Minister’s Days in Portland last summer. It felt sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good to be at a UU gathering and hear religion the way I grew up with it and hear words like Ma’dea and “sheeeeeee…”. I even got to ask him a question about how he got the members of Trinity to go along with something.

That man could get me to drink sand in the desert. And the reason for that is because he preaches from a black liberationist theology standpoint.

It’s a real shame that Barack Obama had to ask Dr. Wright to leave his role as one of his spiritual advisers. They have a real relationship that should have been able to withstand the showing of those clips. (my last life was in politics….so I do understand why it happened). The real shame is that the right-wing is going to have more of a field day with this than they were already having with Barack’s association with Trinity. Philocrites at his blog points to an article about Trinity and Dr. Wright. (there’s also a book review of The Audacity of Hopewritten by Dr. Gary Dorrien in the same Christian Century issue) If you’re interested in all the circus around this, take a look at the links he has.

A couple of weeks ago in my Theology 101 class, we talked about black liberationist theology. If you’re interested in my reaction to that class, scroll down to my post “Aunt Jemima Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”. And in a couple of weeks, we will be talking about womanist theology. All of this should make for an interesting discussion.

The Sun Will Come Out……..

The day started very dreary. It was grey sky and rainy. The weather seemed to suit the news…..a young woman at Earlham College died by her own hand last night. So yes, there was a real dark cloud over Richmond. I can’t help but feel for that young woman…..any of us who have lived in the depths of that kind of depression where suicide looks to be a blessing feel for her. And I also feel for her family, as they were probably preparing for her to come for a Spring Break visit. To be preparing to bury your child when you were looking forward to spending time together must be difficult.

It rained all the way to Indianapolis. The conversation between me and E., my Canadian classmate, was good and very heavy. I’m so glad that we had the chance to just be together. Makes me miss R. that much more.

After a hug with E., I went into the Greyhound station to pick up my ticket and stand in the line. Luckily, I got a seat to myself.

About 10 miles outside of Indy, the sun started peeking through. And I couldn’t help thinking about how the day started out dreary and yet was going to end (for me) on such a high note……the sun was going to be over the Arch when I arrived in St. Louis.

The sun coming out of the clouds really made me think of that young woman at Earlham. The sun won’t come out tomorrow for her. There will be no pretty sunrises or sunsets. There will be no coming out of that depth of depression. There will be no more talks with people like E. or R. There will be no more………….

As Holy Week is upon us, the message of both Maundy Thursday/Good Friday and Easter have real meaning. From the former, we get the darkest of darks. And yet….. and yet……the later shows that there can be something beautiful that may come out of the depths of despair.

May you have a Holy Week that gives you hope and beauty out of the midst of ashes.

It’s Up To You New York…..New York

I’m packing for Spring Break, which starts Friday morning (yay!) and making final plans for my trip to New York in May.

Right now I’m deciding on hotels. I think I’m going to stay in the Times Square/Theatre District area, although I might end up on the Upper West Side near R and family. So if you have any hotel suggestions, I’m open to them.

Anyway…..I’m going to go through the motions of class tomorrow and Friday morning. I’ve done all my assignments that are due before Spring Break, so all I have to do is show up in class. If I had been smart, I would have changed my plans to leave Richmond tomorrow instead of Friday morning.

So you might not hear from me for 10 days or so. Happy Holy Week to one and all.