Tag Archives: Hartford Seminary

Come talk to your Muslim neighbors

z063xu8dgfc92ofg0bsy_400x400The CT Council for Interreligious Understanding(CCIU), Muslim Coalition of CT (MCCT),  and Hartford Seminary will host another in the series, “Honest Conversations with Muslim Neighbors.”

Date: 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31 
Place: Congregation Beth Israel
Address: 701 Farmington Ave., West Hartford


If you’ve nothing better to do…

5345ce7a8b64d9971c8fe386cff181a2I’m on the Colin McEnroe Show tomorrow at 1 p.m. on WNPR, with newspaper columnist Tom Krattenmaker, author of “Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower: Finding Answers in Jesus for Those Who Don’t Believe,” and Brian Clark of the Hartford Seminary.

We’ll be talking about Christianity. I intend to learn a lot.

UPDATE: In case you missed it, here ’tis.

That’s my boy

FullSizeRender (1)Tonight, my son will attend his very-last law school class. He plans to take the bar exam in July.

Those two sentences don’t begin to encompass the work that has gone on to reach tonight. For the past few years (I don’t even remember when he started…1990?) my son attended night classes at Western New England University School of Law. Before that, he graduated from University of Colorado at Boulder, then he earned a certificate for study at Hartford Seminary, and got a master’s of legal administration from University of Denver.

For all his degrees and accomplishments, I always thought he should be a lawyer, because as soon as he could speak, he was charting out his arguments for why things should go his way. I am not kidding. It was impressive, if sometimes maddening to have to wade through the logic of a 4-year old intent on having a new action figure, and here is why. I remember standing in a store once while he ticked off on his chubby little fingers the reason the latest Teenage Ninja Turtle needed to come home with us. (I was a single mother. I was broke. I bet I bought it for him, anyway.)

Today, my son got up before dawn, briefly hung out with one of the kids (usually, his youngest son gets up to see his father before school). He packed a lunch, drove 45 minutes to work in Connecticut’s judicial system. He left to attend tonight’s class, and then he’ll drive home long after most of the family has gone to bed — except tonight he won’t have to stay up to read or write papers.

On the home front, he’s had furnace trouble (a continual issue is New England). Two of the kids came down with bad colds. One of his wife’s aunts was  hospitalized. And that’s just this week.

And still he’s stuck to it.

This is where I get corny: One of the biggest secrets of his success has been his wife, my beautiful daughter-in-law, Xiomara. She has essentially been a single mother four nights of every week during this long stint in school — and she’s sometimes been a single mother on the weekends, as well, when papers needed to be written, and case law needed to be read. This is a family with seven children — five from my daughter-in-law’s first marriage, and two from this one. Let that sink in a minute. My daughter-in-law had five children (including a set of identical triplets, who are now beautiful 15-year olds), and then lost her first husband to a drunk driver. My son came along, they married, and after much discussion decided to have a child together, only she had twins. Five. Then two. Seven — all on her those many nights when her husband was off getting his law degree. She has served as an ear, and as a heart as he pushed through.

When my son graduates, I’ve suggested he hand the degree to his wife. As much as he’s done the classwork, she’s done the homework. I am so very proud.

M.T. Winter’s event has been rescheduled

MT - Transformative Spirituality 001I wrote this for Mother Courant, which mentioned an event on transformative spirituality that was supposed to happen the next day. And then the snows came.

So the event has been rescheduled for Feb. 22.

Opportunities to pray (or just be) with your extended family

imagesThe Hartford Seminary is hosting an Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Peace at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the seminary at 77 Sherman in Hartford.

The program, organized by seminary students, should last about an hour, and will include

speeches by several student leaders, readings from letters by family members of recent victims, interfaith prayer, song and spoken word poetry. Guests will be invited to sign a banner with a pledge for peace and unity.

In addition, the Muslim and Christian Women of Hope is hosting a joint prayer Service (supplication- Duaa) at Saint Patrick-Saint Anthony Church in Hartford at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 22. The event is open to all.

Add to that “Speaking Love to Hate,” a special gathering at Charter Oak Cultural Center at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 21. This event includes reading from inspirational text, and a candlelight vigil. It is free and open to the public.

Are you interested in some honest conversations?

islamThe CT Council for Interreligious Understanding (CCIU), the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut, and Hartford Seminary are sponsoring a series of open conversations with Muslims. The first is Sunday at 2 p.m. at Farmington’s First Church of Christ, Congregational’s Porter Memorial Hall.

From the flier, all respectful questions are welcomed, including:

  • Why don’t we hear moderate Muslims speaking out against extremism ?
  • Why do some girls and women wear Muslim dress and others do not ?
  • What does the Qur’an really say about people of other religions ?

The event is free, but RSVPs are appreciated at interfaith@ccfiu.org.

RIP, Marcus Borg

160Marcus Borg, a leading theologian who introduced many — including me — to the historical Jesus, has died after a long illness. He was 72.

His scholarship was extensive, but I want to focus on just one book, “Meeting Jesus Again For the First Time.” I was originally assigned to read that book for a Hartford Seminary class. I don’t remember the class. I do remember the book. I read the book, and then turned around and read it again, because it presented such a cogent and thoughtful way of approaching the Bible. I still occasionally go back to that book, which sits on a shelf of books that are mostly for decoration because I read them once and that was all it took to glean everything. Not so Borg’s work.

I had been taught in my fundamentalist Christian church to question everything — within reason. I was taught to ask questions, but found that when I asked what to me were obvious follow-up questions, I’d stepped outside of the boundaries that everyone else seemed to just know and respect. Marcus Borg was all about asking questions, then follow-ups, and then further follow-ups.

I will leave it to the Biblical scholars to parse out his greater message, but what I learned from that book is that you can keep your faith and your intellect. The two are exclusive. You can, no matter how fundamentalist was/is your training, meet Jesus again for the first time. Thank you, Bro. Marcus. Thank you from the bottom of my fundamentalist heart.