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1/27/2014 - Half way through the second year!
It was so nice to see all of you this past winter break. Thank you all for the warm wishes, love and prayers. I apologize for not posting as often as I'd like to. One of my goals this semester is to post more often so expect more regular updates. (I hope!)
Without further ado, let me tell you all what has been going on.
1) 75th Anniversary:
This past year (2013) the seminary celebrated its 75th Anniversary. We had speakers and visitors from all over the world come to the seminary. We also celebrated with two big events: a special Liturgy at the OCA Chancery honoring SVS, SHS and STS and a gala event where seminarians, alumni, faculty and so on…were honored for their hard work and achievements. I helped the seminary by formatting special commemorative USB flash drives while Lindsey was involved in the silent auction. She also offered a photography package free of charge (which someone did buy). Here are some pictures from the events:
2) March For Life:
Last week, the St. Ambrose Society (SVS Pro-Life Group) made its way to the annual March For Life in DC. Lindsey had to work, so I became the seminary’s photographer. Here is a few pictures:
Classes went well last semester. I did fairly well. Some classes I would have desired to do better, however, I am pleased with my grades. The first half of the 2nd year is definitely the toughest. Last week I took 2 winter classes for a credit each. They were a blast. One was the first part of 3 winter classes to be offered every year. I will only end up taking two of them but they are just a practical elective course. The course is Dr. Hinshaw’s Pain and Suffering course broken down into 3 years. It’s a good class on dealing with the medical industry and palliative care. My other class was a Science Fiction and Theology class with Dr. Kate Behr (Fr. John Behr, our dean’s wife). Another fun class. We read Ender’s Game, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, A Canticle for Liebowitz and a series of various short stories. The class was designed to explore religious themes in sci-fi literature and media. I did a presentation on Star Trek and Deep Space Nine character Benjamin Sisko. You can see the Prezi (it is like Powerpoint) presentation here: http://prezi.com/mzevs614mmal/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy
This semester’s courses:
Systematic Theology 202 (Dogmatic Theology of the Church)
Liturgics for the Orthodox Church in America - LI022 (The class that teaches us the rubrics of the Church services as deacons and priests)
Sanctification of Life – LT202 (This class deals with the issues of Penance, Marriage, Death and Anointing of the Sick.)
Homiletics 204 (The first of two classes on giving sermons. We actually start giving sermons at this point.)
Composition and Arranging Church Music – LM373 (My favorite class this semester. I convinced Dr. Reeves to offer a class in Music Composition and many of you know that this is what I did my undergrad in.)
This school year I’m the seminary’s chapel Sacristan. I have the most important job at the seminary, but its also the most work. I make sure the chapel is set up for all services, including that the priests, deacons and any visiting clergy (including when we have hierarchal services) are prepared with everything they need. I change the lamps, vestments and candles based on season. I make sure that when my classmates are scheduled to serve (something I also do) that they know exactly how to serve that particular service. I also oversee that the cleaners keep the chapel clean after every service and the prosphora bakers make enough bread for each liturgy (and we have a lot of extra liturgies). I pretty much manage the chapel under the direction of Fr. Alexander Rentel. My assistant Sacristan, Michael and I have become very good friends. We work great as a team. His wife and Lindsey have also grown close and we hang out with them (movies, dinner, etc…) when we have free time (although we are pretty limited in this regards). While this job is a ton of work, it does offer a huge huge huge advantage over my classmates: I get tons of extra hands on training of conducting the services. In some cases, I am required to know the services better than the priests/deacons. All in all, it is the best community service job to have at the seminary.
5) Diaconal Ordination:
Since I am speaking about learning the services, it’s probably a good idea to speak about ordination process that goes on at the seminary. I have a blessing from His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin to begin the process of becoming a deacon. I've started with the pliminary steps and as soon as I have more information, I will provide with another update on this. At this point, I ask for all of your prayers as I head into a very important step in my career with and in the Church. Everything is in God's hands and I trust in His all-knowing Grace.
6) The Fun Stuff:
So life is not all work here. We do get a chance to get out every now and then. In October, Lindsey’s cousin flew out to see us and go to the Vikings/Giants game. Here are some pictures from that visit:
We also had a chance to go to Baltimore and see the Vikings get cheated out of another win. Haha, just kidding. It was fun. Here is another pic:
We also had a chili cook off in October. Lindsey and some of the ladies here organized the event. It was a huge success and Fr. Alexander won first place. Apparently he loves to brag about this achievement to all the faculty members with their vast amount of academic degrees and what not.
And that is about it. Things are going well. Lindsey, Bently and I are all doing great. We miss you all. Please keep us in your prayers and thank you for all your support. God Bless.
Stephen and Lindsey Osburn