The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

I don't have internet in my apartment yet.

I just wanted to briefly write about this whole seminary thang so far! But not in an annoying this-is-what-I-did-each-hour-for-the-last-five-days kind of way. Hahaha.

Wednesday – drove all the way up from the ENC in one very packed car, followed closely by Mom and Dad in another very packed car. Filling a whole apartment by yourself means you need a lot of stuff! And maybe had something to do with the fact that my entire trunk was full of books. Minor detail. Moved all the stuff into my apartment so it wouldn’t be sitting in our cars overnight, and went to Target to buy a bunch more things. Nearing mental breakdown, called it a night at 11pm.

Thursday – and IKEA showroom worth of furniture was delivered and assembled. Discovery of Casa Latina, my neighborhood organic taqueria – a good sign for life in Berkeley. Trips to Container Store, mattress place, and dinner at Cheesecake Factory, as a TO throwback.

Friday – mattress delivered, more life unpacked, more trips to IKEA, AT&T store (there was [until Wednesday] no cell service in my apartment) and other various errands. SO MUCH SHOPPING involved in moving to a whole new place. Kind of ridiculous. Classy dinner at Paragon, the restaurant at the historic Claremont hotel. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. And local, organic fare! I love this place.

Saturday – Hung all the stuff on the walls – including the glorious light-up Jesus from Grandpa – and it really started to feel like home. Took Daddy to the BART station (two blocks from my apartment!) and hung out with Mom for the remainder of the evening.

Sunday – Mama and I made a last trip to Home Depot, hung the last of the art on the walls, and she was off on the drive back to Encinitas. I finally put my books on the shelves and hung my clothes in the closet. I know, I’d been living there three days before hanging my clothes up. Pretty typical me. Hahaha.

So, here it is – Monday! It was the first day of orientation. Pretty fun so far! There are some great people in my class. And it’s crazy to see Paul again after two years! He was at LifeMatters with me in Seattle two summers ago, and here we are at PLTS together. It’s funny to talk about the other 15 people we met there, and that we’re all still semi connected and half of them are married, we’ve all graduated, some of us are in seminary – it’s funny how the Lutheran mafia works. And we were only together for 10 days there, yet it is a deep connection that we have, now, here. We know things about each other’s lives, families, theologies – things we won’t learn about the others for a while. We have a few years to get to know each other here, whereas we had only a few days in Seattle. I’m excited to know Paul in real life, haha. Oh, and one of the girls in my program, Maria, went to college with Logan, another LifeMatters attendee! Small world, as they say.

What was wonderful about today is how affirmed I feel. Ben and Emma, you’ll get this. It’s like sitting around a table with 30 people you’ve never met, listening to each other speak, and watching them all nod at the same moments you nod; agree with the same points you agree; be moved at the same words that move you; I could never have imagined so intentional a community. We spent this morning in sessions about what it is to be “home” at PLTS. We have eight dimensions of ministry excellence:

Disciples of Jesus Christ
Lovers of God and the people of God
Readers of cultural, political, and social issues
Tellers of the Christian story
Builders of community
Leaders of congregational community
Missioners reaching out to the wider community and world
Learners for a lifetime


And we are to look at these dimensions through four lenses:

Lutheran Identity
Multiculturalism
Public Sphere
Religious Pluralism


Umm, I probably couldn’t have written it better myself (except for including people of no faith as well as those of other faiths).

For the faculty to stand up in front of us in a classroom and say outright – on the first day! – that this is what we are here to do, not just a byproduct for those of us to whom it matters – that is an affirmation of my entire belief system.

Really.

It is a comfort to know that I am not going to be the crazy liberal. I may be the craziest liberalest, but I will not be the only one. That I will not be the only one to speak out in class about how something isn’t culturally and socially just – that is awesome.

This is a good place.

And I'm going to be annoying and post pictures of my apartment once my couch comes and my life is complete. :)

I love Facebook.

On Isaiah 58 and the Manhattan Mosque