Monday, July 19, 2010

Nashotah Day One

I began my first day at Nashotah House where all days begin here: chapel. Getting used to Anglican liturgical practices provided me with my first great challenge juggling multiple books and attempting to interpret the unique codes of their hymn board and the varied rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer. Still, their worship is refreshingly solemn with a slow and deliberate flow that refuses to rush being in the presence of God. Sitting in an ancient choir stall surrounded by the richness of beautiful iconography, statuary and stained glass, there was a sense of being transported to another time, a simpler time. Anglicans surround themselves with history in a sense of unbroken tradition sadly lacking in much modern worship today.

My classes filled up at least six hours of truly stimulating intellectual study. Dr. Garwood Anderson introduced the field of the New Perspective, giving us helpful background on the principle players in this area: Sanders, Dunn, W.T. Wright, et. al. The class is small which provides more opportunity for discussion, and the students in the class bring a wealth of insight as they engage the professor in discussion. My second class with Canon Jeremy Haselock from Norwich Cathedral also did not disappoint. His lecture on worship in the Church of England from Henry VIII to Charles II was a good tour de force of English history and liturgical development during the frequently changing and developing landscape of the formative years of early Anglican worship. Although the class concerns liturgical change in the Church of England, especially from the 1920's forward, the class is going to be broad enough to incorporate other traditions, so I know I will be able to do some interesting comparisons with my own tradition as a Lutheran.

Based on today's schedule I can see that the next two weeks will be challenging and full. The hospitality of Nashotah helps you feel quite welcome, and interacting with students from other states and countries adds to the overall experience. However, I envy the ones from the Bahamas who seem unaffected by this horrid humidity and heat!

Well, tomorrow comes early again, so I best think of getting some much needed sleep.....

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