Lots to report; I’ll just try to hit the high points.
Went to synagogue for the second time this past Saturday. High holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) are coming up, so the liturgy is starting to reflect that. Talking to some synagogue members revealed that this time of year is like Christmas and Easter for Christians; in other words, people come to synagogue for these holidays who don’t come at any other time of the year.
On Sunday, I went to Divine Liturgy at St Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church with Dan Greeson. This was a “hieratical” liturgy, due to the presence of Bishop Antoun. After two liturgies and (now) two weeks of Shabbat services at West End, I’m really starting to see the way that the synagogue liturgy influenced early Christian liturgy. What I’m seeing is far removed from anything else with which I am familiar.
Also, this week I discovered a mid-week prayer service (courtesy of Mac Ice) at the chapel of the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville. (Scarritt-Bennett used to be a womens’ college associated with the United Methodist Church, but is now a retreat/conference center located a couple of blocks from Vanderbilt and, perhaps best of all, is right across the street from the Disciples of Christ Historical Society.) The service was held in the absolutely beautiful Wightman Chapel @ SBC (all of the campus buildings are done in a sort of English Gothic style). It was short, including prayers and hymns drawn from the new (to me, at least) United Methodist Hymnal (I’ll have to get a copy…) and concluded with Communion. I found it to be a worthwhile experience and plan to go back as often as I can.
Some random reflections on my first week at Lipscomb:
1) I went to Convocation earlier this week. I always relished going to Convocation at Furman — the academic regalia, the organ filling McAlister Auditorium, the mace — I loved the pageantry of it all and the way it hearkened back to the mediaeval university. The official beginning of Lipscomb’s 116th academic year was a good effort. I got the sense that they haven’t been doing Convocation very long; most of the kids didn’t seem to know how to conduct themselves (maybe it was just the group I was sitting next to — pointing and laughing at the choir performance). My wife pointed out to me, though, that our first experiences with the event were probably similar; maybe I’m just not remembering.
2) Rules and regulations for undergraduates. Lots of them. I tried to think back to my Furman days. I can only remember one rule like that (help me out here, Mark): namely, that you couldn’t have a member of the opposite sex on your hall or in your dorm room after a certain hour at night (9? 10? 11? I don’t remember…). That appears to be just the beginning of the rules for undergraduates here.
3) The library. I must have had one of those (if there is such a thing…) “you know you’re at Lipscomb when…” moments the other day. I was browsing the current periodicals, seeing lots of standard scholarly journals, when what should appear? The Gospel Advocate. My first thought was, “Who put this here?” Followed quickly by, “Oh. Right.”