Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
The annual reception party for graduates, faculty, and regents went wonderfully last light. The weather was perfect and the conversations and laughter went on longer than past years. Now we wake up to a totally full day of graduation events.
While the seminary graduation ceremonies take place tomorrow, tonight we will be hosting a reception in our side yard for graduates and their families/parents. I looked out our bedroom window when I got up this morning and got a reminder of what's ahead.
Yes, the yellow tent went up yesterday!
Every gator and every person down in environmental services showed up to raise the tent. Well, nearly everyone, someone had to stay behind and answer the phone and deal with vendors.
First the massive cover was laid out on the ground in order to pinpoint the stake markers.
It was hot and muggy yesterday so Ferdie found a cool spot to watch the proceedings, right in the way, of course.
While the marker search was going on two of our student workers had some fun. It is last day of classes afterall.
End poles go in
This isn't easy.
Stakes get pounded in and tied.
Now comes the center poles
Then all the poles have to be tied to stakes, someone holds on while another area is secured.
Ferdie enjoyed watching.
Now all that's left is to get the show on the road. I'm always entralled by this tent raising.
For the past 6 years or so, the pastor and members of Village Church- Lutheran in LaCombe, Louisiana, have made a May trip to the seminary to put on a Cajun feast for students, faculty, staff and families. They work so hard preparing and setting up all the food and it is one of the most looked forward to nights of the year. Today was the day for Jambalaya Fest 2014.
There were piles of beads on every table and the kids went wild for them
It's an amazing thing to see how nature works. A mother duck laid her eggs 20 feet above the ground down in the maintenance area of the seminary. A perfect and safe place that is. But. As soon as all the chicks are hatched the mother is ready to get them down to the ground and moving to the water, which in this case is our campus fountain pond. I mean, seriously, those new babies are 5 minutes old and she is telling them to jump. To say they were reluctant is putting it mildly. Finally Kirt, one of our workers, climbed up on the ledge and shooed them all down and off they went, following mom through the shop area, up the back sidewalk, across a street, through some grass and into the pond. They all got in, surrounded the mother and began a slow, languid, float across the water.
If you click this picture you'll see one baby jumping halfway down while some others watch to see what they're in for.
And they're all down, some looking a bit worse for wear.
This is so cute
Right past Kevin, JB, Gayle and Kirt
Kirt kept them in line all the way
I got up to the road before the little family could get there and stopped traffic so the ducks could cross. The best thing I've done all day.
They're all standing on the pond ledge telling the mother, please no more jumping!
Last night Charlie Brennan brought his Book of the Month Club program to the seminary and approximately 150 people were in attendance to hear his talk with author Curtis Sittenfeld. The event was held in Koburg Hall.
The sponsors for the evening were Schlafly's and Old Town Donuts of Florissant and Cottleville. At first it seemed a odd combination of refreshments for those in attendance-donuts and beer! But it was soon proven that these things were very well received!
By the end of the night...
I got a big kick out of this and it has to be said that Old Town Donuts sent over so many boxes of donuts that even though many many were eaten and even taken home, there were still many more left over. Charlie was kind enough to give them to me for our students. And, lots of beer was also taken. No one had the coffee that I saw.
Ok. Back to Curtis Sittenfeld and her book, Sisterhood.
Charlie asked her questions about the book. It turns out she now lives right here in the neighborhood next to the seminary and this book has many local and St. Louis references.
Afterward she signed copies of the book and the line was long.
And then back to the donuts and beer. :)
Fun night. Charlie is always so complimentary about the seminary and so congenial with everyone he meets it was a pleasure to have them here last night.
KMOX's Charlie Brennan will be in Concordia Seminary's Koburg Hall tonight taping his Book of the Month Club program. This live event is very popular with St. Louisans who enjoy being able to see authors in person. Tonight at 7 he will be interviewing Curtis Sittenfeld, a female fiction writer who (surprise!) has a new book out, Sisterhood.
Sittenfeld grew up in Cincinnati, but spent her high school years at the private Groton School in Massachusetts and her college years at Vassar and Stanford. With no connection to St. Louis I can find, her latest novel, Sisterhood, is set in St. Louis which is probably why she's here tonight. I haven't read the book, but reviewers' synopsis's hint that earthquakes and innate psychic abilities concerning future events are involved.
Charlie held one other Book of the Month Club show here at Concordia and it was fun to see all the technical people at work throughout and more especially to see Charlie because he is one very nice man and has been glowing in his public mentions of the seminary.
Yesterday afternoon the seminary had a vicarage service for those 2nd year students to learn where in the country they will serve their internship year and in the evening a Call service took place for 4th year graduating students to learn where their first congregation will be.
No rain! and lots of familes present.
Here comes the vicarage processional
I wasn't able to take a processional picture during the evening call service because I was in a seat. Here are some candid student shots.
And the dinner we hosted for the Distsrict presidents between services.
One of our seminary students is doing a police chaplaincy program which involves weekend riding with a St. Louis city policeman during night patrol. The things he's seen would make most of us turn away, but he does not hesitate to get involved and attempt to help. Here's his short write up on last night.
"Tonight has been rough. First a 17 year old gun shot victim who was in critical condition. Talked to his mother- which was hard. Now a 57 year old woman who was run over three times by a hit and run. I talked with a 7 year old boy crying who saw it. I'm glad he was sad. It means not everyone is jaded by seeing evil everyday. Got to pray with him."
A few weeks ago he also posted this:
"As once you welcomed those cast down and healed the sick, the blind, so may all bruised and broken lives through us your help still find. Lord, join our hearts with those who weep that none may weep alone. And help us bear another's pain as though it were our own." -O Christ, Your Heart Compassionate. A beautiful hymn that reminds us to bear one another's burdens. To be there with the broken, as we ourselves are broken. Praise be to Christ who took every broken thing on Himself."
He is one of the many reasons we so love our students here at Concordia Seminary.