Multireligious Service

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Over the entire course of my first year at HDS, I would say that the Multireligious Service of Thanksgiving was the event that captured HDS in a nutshell. Yes, the invocations, readings, and benedictions from varied religious and spiritual traditions contributed to that feel of HDS—a reading from the Lotus Sutra followed immediately by one from the Qur’an, a benediction from the Humanist tradition followed by a prayer by Thomas Merton. HDS is a place where people of multiple traditions not only exist alongside each other, but also interact with one another on a regular basis. But those varied readings alone were not what made the service seem exquisitely HDS. It was also many other, perhaps less obvious things—like the streamers. Continue reading

Class Speaker Reflection

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I have only one memory from my Presbyterian confirmation class. It is an image of my sweet mother – also the pastor of the church – exhorting a room full of sixth graders: “Grace is a gift that you get, but that you do not deserve! YOU. DO. NOT. DESERVE. IT.” This was the takeaway lesson, meant to sink in and frame every moment of our lives.

I have been asked to reflect about what it means to me to be the 2014 HDS Commencement speaker, and I feel like the ten-year-old trying to understand reformed theology. Being the graduation speaker is a gift that I do not deserve. Continue reading

The HDS Charity Ball

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HDS has a lot of cool events that take place every year, and I would like to highlight one of them. The Charity Ball, or HDS Prom, as some of the sassier members of our community call it, is an annual tradition at Harvard Divinity School that happens toward the end of Spring Semester. The event is sponsored by the HDS Student Association (HDSSA), which means that they pay for everything so that all the money from ticket sales goes directly to charity. Continue reading

Baking for Charity

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The prestigious award given to the winner of the annual HDS Bake Off. Photo by Aisha Ansano

The prestigious award given to the winner of the annual HDS Bake Off. Photo by Aisha Ansano

There are a lot of words I would use to describe the people at HDS: passionate, caring, enthusiastic, studious, silly, impressive, well-rounded…the list goes on and on. But after attending the annual HDS Bake Off this year, I have to add another descriptor to the list: cutthroat. Continue reading

Putting Down Roots

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Photo by Katelynn Carver

Photo by Katelynn Carver

When I started at HDS, some of my fellow incoming classmates wondered aloud if there was any point in trying to make friends if we were only go to be here for 2 or 3 years, before moving on to something somewhere else. I’d say: make friends. You’re going to need friends in grad school, and you might even get to keep some of these friends for life. Like most prospective and admitted students, I didn’t know where I would end up after HDS (and I still don’t) but I’ve found it enormously beneficial to put down some roots—and like a plant that naturally puts down roots as it’s growing taller and fuller, you just can’t help it. So if you’re coming here this fall or thinking about coming here in the future, it might help to start thinking about what’s important to you in settling in. Continue reading

HUUMS

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When I applied to Harvard Divinity School, I didn’t know anything about the strong Unitarian Universalist history woven into the foundation of the school. I was raised UU, and considered that to be one of many descriptors I used to identify myself, but finding a place with an active UU community was not on my list when looking at graduate programs. When I attended the HDS admitted students day, the Harvard Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Students (HUUMS) hosted a get-together after Community Tea. I joined them, figuring that it was a good way to meet people and because I wanted to be involved in student organizations, more than out of a need for a religious community. It was a beautiful spring day and we sat outside on the grass and talked about nothing in particular. I didn’t know it at the time but I was meeting many of the people who would become my closest friends at HDS. Continue reading

The HDS Religious NONEs

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An atheist in Divinity School. A Urantia Book reader who wants to create community for the unaffiliated. Someone who loves attending high church services who identifies one day as spiritual but not religious and the next as agnostic and the next as questioning and the next as a potential Unitarian Universalist and the next as confused. A humanist who is in the process of fellowship for ordination as a Unitarian Universalist minister. What do we all have in common? On the face of it, nothing. And we call ourselves the Nones. Continue reading

Life in the Cambridge/Boston Area

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The Cambridge Common at night. Photo by Chris Alburger

The Cambridge Common at night. Photo by Chris Alburger

Having spent past five years of my life in New York City, I was a little worried about moving to Boston. I was worried that my lifestyle in this new city would be without the abundant options in food, shopping, and entertainment that NYC offers. However, since moving to Massachusetts in fall last year, I have found to my delight that I was wrong about the Boston area. Continue reading

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