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
“Mommy, I need to go to the potty.” That was the statement our four-year-old daughter made repeatedly throughout our eight day journey across the country in August 2012. She resisted leaving Seattle, the only home she knew, and all of her close friends, especially her best friend from across the street. The only thing that motivated her to get to Cambridge was the brand new Curious George store that had just opened in Harvard Square. Continue reading
No milestone ever fully marks the completion of a journey, and development doesn’t stall out when a child reaches her adulthood. I had begun mothering and pastoring at the same time, both ministries of ephemeral moments that are over in a flash, fist steps and first sermons. The work of parish ministry—worship, discipleship, and pastoral care—all disappear in a weekly cycle, along with the hours spent in preparation. At times, the densely packed milestones of child development felt so close at hand, while my own development sometimes seemed like a distant memory. I knew I needed to grow. In the middle of my career, and the middle of my parental journey, it was time to prepare for the next stages. HDS has been a place of tremendous growth of the intellectual framework of my ministry. Continue reading
My path to Harvard Divinity School was circuitous at best. Waylaid from my eager graduate school plans after college, I found myself falling in love and getting married, spending several years taking care of my terminally ill mother, and getting further entrenched in Buddhist practice. While I loved my job working with college students at my alma mater, I knew that somewhere between Buddhism and counseling there was another career path waiting for me. Continue reading
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I see Harvard Divinity School as a spiritual community, within which there are many distinct spiritual communities. HDS is full of kind, caring, altruistic people, because that’s who the school attracts. Classmates, faculty, and staff have all ministered to me and supported me through difficult times. I often have conversations with people that inspire or challenge me to be my best self (like a good sermon). The Divinity School, like we say at my church, is “a place where we practice being human.”
Community Tea on Tuesday afternoons is like “Coffee Hour” at church to me. It’s when Continue reading
The notion of ‘fit’ was central to both my excitement and trepidation before arriving at HDS this fall. I knew from perusing the course websites and extracurricular offerings that, formally at least, Harvard Divinity School would be the ‘right’ place for me. I was more than ready to dive into the enriching array of learning opportunities that stood before me, both within and outside of the classroom.