Hi, First Church! It’s Emily, your church’s seminarian and UCC Member in Discernment currently studying at The University of Chicago Divinity School.
I can hardly believe that just a year ago I departed Berkeley and began the first year of my Master of Divinity program. It’s been a whirlwind year of intense learning and growing intellectually and spiritually. I learned Biblical Greek (it’s hard, friends!) and got to read parts of The Gospel of Mark in its original language. I also took a bunch of other amazing courses, with the Theology in the Public Square course being my favorite of the year, as I jumped deep into texts at the intersection of faith and social justice like The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Dorothy Day’s The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist. I also read a selection of works by Martin Luther King, Jr., Thich Nhat Hanh, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Cornel West as part of the syllabus.
This summer, I had my Clinical Pastoral Education experience at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center as part of their chaplaincy internship program. This medical center is a comprehensive care and teaching hospital serving the needs of the diverse communities of Chicago’s North and Northwest Sides. I had the opportunity to provide spiritual care to a wide range of patients, including those in the Emergency Department at one of the highest-level trauma centers in Chicago. It was tough and often intense, but a huge privilege and responsibility to get to walk with individuals in some of the most vulnerable, transformative, and holy moments of their lives.
In just a few weeks, I will start the second year of my program and look forward to sharing in the December newsletter all that I continue to learn. Sending love across the miles to you all at FCCB!