Dietrich Bonhoeffer, born February 4, 1906, was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi, and founding member of the Confessing Church. Bonhoeffer graduated summa cum laude from the University of Berlin in 1927 and earned his doctorate in theology at the age of 21 with his doctoral thesis, Sanctorum Communio (Communion of Saints), which presented a significantly new way of looking at the nature of the Christian church and was praised by Barth as a "theological miracle." He was involved in plans by members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office) to assassinate Adolf Hitler. He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and executed by hanging in April 1945, 23 days before the Nazis' surrender. His view of Christianity's role in the secular world has become very influential. His book was published in 1937 and he addressed the demands Christianity might make on a person's life and the importance of obedience to Jesus' call.
According to Bonhoeffer, the road to faith or discipleship is obedience to the call of Jesus Christ. Christ calls people and they follow, which is grace and and commandment in one. Bonhoeffer says the one who has faith is obedient and the obedient have faith. The two cannot be separate. People must believe in Jesus Christ to be able to receive the call, and then they can act and be obedient to the call. In addition, only the call of Jesus makes a situation where faith is possible.
I agree with Bonhoeffer to an extent. I think that faith and obedience (or works) go together but not exactly in the way that Bonhoeffer explains it. If someone has faith in Jesus Christ, then they are alive in Christ. Obedience is a response to the faith someone has in Jesus Christ. People have the tools built in their hearts to be obedient to God and Jesus Christ. In faith we are led by the Spirit and the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The Spirit leads us in our faith to emanate good works. We are not under the law, as Galatians states, but we rely on faith to lead us to good works.
"Dietrich Bonhoeffer." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Apr. 2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer>.
The Spring Instrumental Ensembles Concert was March 30, 2012. This concert was a performance for the percussion ensemble and the concert band at Concordia University. Professor Aaron Isakson directs both groups and even plays with the percussion ensemble. The percussion ensemble started off the concert with a full group piece entitled "A Moment of Funk." The next piece, "The Ragtime Robin," featured Jacob Larson on the xylophone with accompaniment from other members of the ensemble. Next the Concert band performed four pieces. The first selection was a medley of big band jazz songs and was called "Big Band Spectacular." The band continued with a slow song, "Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral." The last two pieces were "Tarantella" by Alfred Reed and "Prairiesong" by Carl Strommen. At the end, the band received a standing ovation and played another piece called "Dervish Chorus" by Beethoven.
Concordia does not have a strong instrumental program compared to other colleges, yet students still find the time and motivation to participate in instrumental groups. As Martin Luther expressed, vocation does not have to specifically be a person's job. Other roles can be one of many vocations for people. This relates to the instrumental ensembles because not all of the students are music majors and are not required to participate in the ensembles. The students participate out of enjoyment. Professor Isakson expresses that he directs and leads the group out of his passion for music but also for praise to God. Vocations can be directed in a way that praises God and is also enjoyable for the person.
I am in the concert band and therefore participated in playing songs for the audience. I enjoy playing music and using my talents for the enjoyment of others and in praise to God. To prepare for the concert I spent time in rehearsals learning to listen to the other members of the band. Listening to the whole band is very important to create balance and keep time together. I am not a professional instrumentalist but I used my time and talents to learn the music and work with the other members of the band. I enjoy using my talents to be a part of the band.
On March 28th, 2012 the math and science department at Concordia University held the Sigma Pi convocation that focused on students' internships in their specific area of study. Hassan Masroujeh started the convocation speaking about the Mayo clinic where many Concordia students have had successful internships. The Mayo Clinic was founded by the Mayo brothers and is one of the top hospitals in the world. The clinic has a special Mayo program that is aimed towards juniors and seniors in college who want to be physicians. The program is a weeklong session and has three different sessions: one in June, July, and August. The Mayo program has a lot to offer for student participants including shadowing, networking, professionalism, personal connections, and more. Two Concordia students, Kara and Ted, then talked about their internships at the Mayo Clinic. Kara worked as a tech aid where she runs tests and makes spreadsheets to analyze data. She noted that science teachers always tell students to keep a very detailed notebook and she has to do that as part of her duties. Ted works in an environmental part of the Mayo clinic and noted that the internship gives students good experience with the non-academic parts of a job. Another student, Kaolee, talked about her internship at Children's Dental Services (CDS). CDS was established in 1919 and is a nonprofit dental service for children up to twenty-one years old and pregnant women. Many of the dentists working there are voluntary and the clinic is all green. She talked about her duties for the internship and all the things she has learned. Hassan then came back to wrap up the convocation with a talk about a research project called SPARE though the University of Minnesota. SPARE is a project focused on smoking bans. He talked about how there is a hypothesis that the majority of people h=who are not listening to smoking bans are health care employees.
This semester of Honors focuses on vocation through the ages in the readings that are assigned for every Monday. In today's society, one vocation a person can have is their job. Most people view life in a similar way where a person goes to school for an education and then goes on to their job. Internships are an additional facet for education and learning towards a person's future job. People gain experience and continue their education towards their job or vocation. This view of vocation has changed drastically from the early times of Christianity. People used to believe that only the religious authorities had a true calling and vocation. Martin Luther was a major leader to help change that viewpoint. Luther said that everyone had a vocation and calling and could even have multiple vocations. A vocation did not have to be a religious leader and did not have to be a job either. A vocation could be fulfilling the role of a father or mother. Now, internships can be viewed as a vocation or part of a vocation of a student.
This convocation was probably very helpful for science students looking for internships in the future. This convocation helped me connect with the science community and realize what the community is doing. I also learned from the students that shared their experiences of internships that internships are very helpful and informative. I will be starting my fieldwork next year for the D.C.E. program which is similar to an internship. The next year I will be placed in a church for a real year-long internship. I am looking forward to fieldwork and internship but I am also nervous for the real world and applying what I have learned. I know that I have learned a lot and I am ready to demonstrate my abilities, but I still nervous for when the time comes.
George Fox lived in the post-reformation period and found his calling within a group called the Quakers. Fox felt his calling at an early age and found the church groups he encountered unsatisfactory in various ways. He believed that church was made up by the people and not the physical building. He refused to call churches by their name and referred to them as "steeple-houses." Fox believed that the church was made up of the people who had seen the "light." This inner light was available to everyone within themselves which was the living Christ who provides a reliable guide and religious truth.
Fox brought a new concept to the meaning of church. The church was not the physical building but was the people who had Christ living in and through themselves. This was good news for people back in the time that Fox was alive and continues to be a good message for every Christian. This means that people can still be called outside of work directly in the church. It also gives everyone equal opportunity to live out the living Christ within themselves. Things do not have to be reserved only to the physical building of the church. Ministry and faith life can happen anywhere because the people are the church. Fox provides a good example of equal opportunity when he speaks out against the priest and stands up for the woman. The priest would not allow the woman to talk because he did not agree with women speaking in the church.
I liked this reading because I felt like I related to Fox in many ways when I younger. I felt like the church was unsatisfactory in many ways. I felt like people had the notion that the church was the building and did not consider their faith anywhere else. Even though I did not come up with the idea that the church was the people and not the building, I felt like the church building restricted people to their traditional ways. Now my views have changed and I like some traditional aspects of the church. I do believe that a church building is not necessary for worship and praise to God but I believe it does help to have a church building.
This last weekend in the Westlund Blackbox, there were four performances of Arcadia directed by Concordia student Mina Souvannasoth. Mina won the contest for best student directed play last semester and therefore was given the opportunity to direct the whole play this semester. Arcadia was written by Tom Stoppard and has a complicated and sometimes confusing plot. The story begins in Derbyshire, England in 1809 with a young girl Thomasina and her tutor Septimus. Thomasina is extremely smart and is trying to figure out an equation to plot anything. Septimus is getting information from Thomasina, and at the same time has to deal with other problems like Mr. Chater and his poem, Mr. Noakes and his landscape planning, and Lady Croom trying to run everything the way she wants it to be done. The play then shifts focus to modern day with the characters Bernard and Hannah. Bernard is trying to understand what happened to Mr. Chater in the past regarding his poem and how Septimus and another friend Byron were involved with Chater and his death. Hannah's fake fiancé Valentine is involved in math and is trying to understand Thomasina's equation. As the play develops, the audience makes connections between all the people and the connections between the past and present. However, the play is complex and has many little aspects that help to bring the whole plot together.
Within the play, there are many different themes and concepts that are discussed. Thomasina is working with Fermat's theorem and is trying to create an equation. Valentine is also working with math analyzing his grouse and then he also works with Thomasina's equation. Chater writes a poem that Septimus reads and that Bernard and Hannah look at to discover what happens in the past. The story jumps between past and present which gives a sense of history. There are many other subjects covered in the play like music, archaeology, philosophy, literature, and much more. This relates to the interdisciplinary aspect of the Honors Program because the course brings together many subjects and provides direction and meaning to them. This is the same as the play because there are many subjects in the play and as the play develops, the subjects are brought together and provide more insight and meaning to the play.
I was one of the actors in the play and the whole experience was very rewarding. As I rehearsed with the other actors and actresses we all learned about the play and all the little details. We also had discussions around some of the subjects in the play and it seemed like the play was relating to our lives. One thing that I learned after the play, I heard from Jordan. He said that his character, Septimus, was having sex and doing dishonorable things the whole play and then the one thing that he does right at the end of the play ends up bad. He refuses to have sex with Thomasina and because he did not go to her room, she ends up dead from her room burning in a fire. I thought about that and thought it to be very interesting. I still do not know exactly what to make of it or how to apply it but I love different insights that make me think.
The Spiritual Exercises was written by Ignatius Loyola who came from a Spanish noble family. Ignatius Loyola led a life of asceticism after he was wounded in battle. People were then inspired by Ignatius' passions and formed the Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits. The group was soon approved by the Pope as a new order and quickly became leading missionaries and intellectuals of the church. This time period is during the Reformation where many new branches of Christianity were forming and making known their beliefs and morals. Ignatius states in The Spiritual Exercises that
This text is relevant to Christian vocation and service because it deals with making decisions. In today's society, people are pressing the youth to decide what they want to do for the rest of their life at a young age. When the reality is actually that many people do not know what they want to do even when they get into college. People make other decisions as well and sometimes these decisions are larger decisions that need more consideration. Ignatius provides a method to present decisions to God for consideration.
I personally enjoyed this reading because it presents a spiritual basis for making decisions. I know that it is hard for me to pray about the things going on in my life and present them to God. Ignatius provides an outline that is very helpful to follow. It is also hard to be patient for an answer from God and Ignatius expresses that patience is an important aspect. Personally I feel like I have many tough decisions going on in my life at the moment. I think I will try to use Ignatius' outline to present my issues to God, and even if I do not use Ignatius' outline, I have become more aware of myself and how I want to pray more about my problems.
The dinner started with a distinct laugh. The Pillsbury Dough Boy laugh. JoBe Cerny, the voice of the Pillsbury Dough Boy, joined the Honors Program students for dinner on the evening on Wednesday February 15, 2012. This dinner revolved around the idea of achievements, success, and finding passion in what one does. JoBe talked about his achievements such as working with Saturday Night Live, the voice of the Pillsbury Dough Boy, and most recently his audio Bible. JoBe then opened up the discussion and asked the students to tell him their dreams and aspirations so he could find any obstacles or help with finding their true passion.Lauren asked JoBe about writing and her aspirations to be a fiction novelist that also includes faith. JoBe told a story about his friend, a writer, who would get up early to write for two hours every morning. However, his friend would only spend those two hours writing because the rest of the day he would experience life because that is how he would come up with ideas. Jordan inquired about his passions for theater while also being a pastor. JoBe then told a story about a man carrying a small box who boarded a plane and sat next to him. JoBe told the story in a way to create suspense and make everyone think the small box was a bomb, but it really contained barbeque chicken. He illustrated to Jordan how acting can be used while telling a story and how he can combine his two passions.
JoBe discussed how the many interests and passions of people can be combined to have a career or be involved in something that is truly interesting to the person. He talked about his passions and he had the opportunity to combine them into one thing that he loved. This relates to the topic of vocation and what someone is called to do. The idea of Christian vocation has changed a lot over the years, but in today's society people think about what they are passionate about and how they can combine that passion with their talents. JoBe tried to help the Honors Program students with this dilemma. Some people have an idea of what they want to do with their life in the future, but have other passions that they do not want to give up. Other students still do not know what they want to do in the future and figuring out what they are passionate about.
The Honors Program students seem to be a unique group of students that are talented and passionate in many areas. I know that I have many passions and interests that I would not like to give up as I grow up. JoBe helped to shed light on how everyone can incorporate all the passions. I found it interesting that he said that each "project" he has worked on has highlighted an interest that he has. This made me think that I cannot always include all my passions into one route, but I can have many small routes along the overall main route that highlight my different interests. Another thing I found highly inspirational was that he gave advice to experience life. He explained that experiencing life gives people new ideas and thoughts as well as a break from their work. I believe this advice is very helpful because I find that many times I get overwhelmed and consumed by work that I do not take time to experience the world.