Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Petri Dish of Seminary

To tell the whole truth about life at seminary and not mention the germ-sharing aspect of things would be impossible. Last year, our relative isolation, particularly from other children (since we shared an outside door with only one single priest and the bookstore employees and there was no organized educational playgroup as there is now) protected my kids from a lot of the illnesses that went around. This year, with the move to our more spacious digs, we're in the Lakeside buildings, the campus hot-spot for, well, snot. Ever since we returned from our Christmas vacation, at least one family member has been sick, and it has usually been H. or K.

I don't generally take my kids to the doctor unless they have a fever that lasts more than three days or really strange symptoms I don't know what to do about. Yesterday, though, I broke that general rule and took K. in because she's just been sick so many stinkin' times this semester. The nurse suspected strep and took two swabs (one for the rapid test, one for the culture, if necessary). She was right. So I'm glad I took her, because even though strep clears up on its own in 3-5 days, without antibiotics, the infected person is contagious for 2-3 weeks (instead of 24 hours after antibiotics). It's starting to get warmer, so hopefully this is our last round with serious illness for this year. I'm praying for all of our health, because, of course, she was contagious for a couple of days before she had any symptoms. So far, H. and L.L. seem fine, thank God.

What's keeping us busy these days (other than doctor visits) is organizing the Post-Presanctified Liturgy Potlucks (hosted by a different seminary family each week and held in the church fellowship hall), hosting a Lenten recipe swap for the women's group next week, and all the usual things like keeping a teething baby happy and fed and figuring out when in the world to shop for groceries. :)

I think I'd better be off to bed now. Said teether has already cried twice tonight since we put her to bed, so who knows what the night may bring.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Calm and Controversy

Being in seminary makes it feel a bit more like whatever goes on in the national church more directly affects us than it did when we were thousands of physical miles away in Texas and many steps removed, organizationally, from Syosset.

The way most of us found out about Metropolitan Jonah's leave of absence was rather odd, as it came in a sort of end-of-panikhida homily that didn't actually say what in the world had happened, only that something had happened (assuming, perhaps, that we all already knew), and that rumors were flying around the Internet, etc. We were encouraged to stay out of the buzz and keep our minds on the coming Memorial Saturday, our Lenten preparations, etc. Unfortunately, I think the fact that most of those in the church at the time hadn't a clue what had happened, much less what was being spread around about it, only served to heighten our wonder and confusion.

Of course, we all went home and looked at the usual sources (, OCANews, and now OCA Truth), but although we now knew what had happened, it didn't clear things up much. We talked to friends or family who were present for certain events. We talked to each other. But I wonder how many of us did the one thing needful?

We pray each day that God will confirm and strengthen [His church], enlarge and multiply it, keep it in peace, and preserve it unconquerable by the gates of hell forever. What I think we need to do now is to keep that prayer on the tip of our tongues and not let all the buzz distract us. Pray for our primate. Pray for our synod. As Met. Jonah is known for saying: do not react, do not resent, keep inner stillness.

A blessed Lenten journey to all of you. Forgive me, my brothers and sisters. God forgives and I forgive.