Sunday, February 15, 2009

14 February 2009 – Valentine’s Day

Today is the wedding anniversary of my parents. With my father being deceased for 33 years, it’s tough to know that my mother has to be reminded of the date. Her memory continues to fluctuate between decades. I don’t see her quite as often as I did while on sabbatical. That now seems to have been treasured time to spend with her as she struggles to adjust to living in skilled nursing care. Her preference as she states it, “…is to be well enough to do for myself.” But the strength and the energy is no longer there. It’s a hard reality knowing that I am officially an elder in my family.

I hadn’t realized how getting back into the full schedule at the seminary would totally readjust the time expended on activities I’ve grown to like. Writing this blog is one of them. My newest time consumer has been ‘facebook’. As an introduction for some students in the Media and Technology intensive course in January, I’ve ‘acquired’ 109 ‘friends’ in the one month I have been in facebook, while I have not actively tried to acquire any.

In the past month I’ve celebrated the inauguration with friends who had all served in the US Virgin Islands. We noted that while we served there, in American territory, we were denied the opportunity to vote for any presidential candidate. We had good reason to celebrate this year. I’ve also received notes of joy from the LTI campus as those who studied there from a multitude of countries celebrate with the US, our new President Barack Obama.

I share with anyone who reads this an ongoing concern that continues. The students from Zimbabwe have dual concerns, one for the conditions in their homeland, and a second for their personal support of their educational endeavors. Even the South African students are expected to cover increasing amounts of the costs of their theological education. After 38 years the US Lutheran church has found that to be an increasingly difficult burden for those who wish to serve the Church and their Lord. As I have told the students, gifts that I can raise are being sent to my Bishop to be sent to be forwarded to the Bishops of the African churches for support of their students. Should you be able help, Thanks.