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.

Coincidence?

Have you ever met someone and just, like, had a feeling about him? Like, you couldn’t figure out exactly why, but you just needed to know him? Maybe not in any epic, life-changing way, but just…needed to? One of my fellow interns walked in this afternoon (he’s in a different group and our CPE paths will not cross again after this week) and I immediately felt this way. I didn’t know anything about him, he hadn’t said anything other than his name (Matthew), but I was intrigued. It turns out that Matthew is from a small town in North Carolina, and is an Episcopalian seminarian in Alexandria, Virginia. Why is he doing CPE in southern California, you might ask? Well, because he’d been out here before living at a Vedanta Monastery (right?!) and met a Sufi teacher there (obvi?!) and thought he’d come back out this way to live with her while he went through CPE. If I’d had to pick his backstory, I would never have come anywhere close to that. So, it turns out, Matthew is an initiated member of a Mevlevi order, and is, “living that tension” with his Episcopalian tradition, as he put it. He and I recalled experiences in Türkiye – cave churches in Kappadokya, Rumi’s tomb in Konya, Mary’s house in Efes – and expressed joy at finding another person so committed to a Protestant tradition but also enamored of Islam.

Matthew interviewed at CDSP but decided to stay closer to home – he sounded a little jealous of my life in the GTU, in the end. We said, though, that we will hang out when we can (like at lunch the next three days) and when I’m at St. Joseph for class (instead of at Mission for clinical) we’ll try to meet up. And he wants me to come some weekend for Dhikr. Alhamdulillah!

So, I wonder, what are the odds? That I would see Matthew and instantly feel a connection to him, and have it unfold that we are both reverent of the same outside tradition? And that we are both committed to the harmony of the three peoples of the book in our own ministries?

I am amazed.

This weekend was awesome.

A sad side of Twitter.