Wait-it can't be Labor Day!

But it is!  And it's back to school time, for me and for my students.  Tomorrow is convocation and the beginning of the school year at Pace University.  And I'm almost ready to go back.....my own classes ended last week, my fiddle lessons resume in two weeks, and, well, it's that time of the year!

Best of luck to everyone for whom September represents the beginning of the new year, and l'shanah tovah to everyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah, as we enter 5773.

Anne and I will be joining my father, sister and brother-in-law in Dayton Ohio for my dad's 379 Bomber Group Reunion.  At 91, he must be among the few surviving WWII vets from his squadron,  the 525th.  My sister and brother-in-law have been to these reunions before, but this will by Anne and my first.

And I begin my 28th fall semester, the second half of my 29th year at Pace University.  And this December I will mark my 44th year of working, pretty much non-stop since college-a few breaks here and there, for trips, or when I was laid off, but mostly working.  I have colleagues who weren't born yet when I started my first job.  And at this point in my life I'm old enough to be my students grandparents.  Kind of scary.

And yet, and yet.....I don't feel as though I'm done yet-there's more I want to do, more I can do.  I really enjoyed preaching this summer, and I look forward to doing more of it.  I'm taking a break from classes toward becoming a Commissioned Lay Pastor/Ruling Elder-Old Testament, New Testament and Polity are complete, education will be "waived," so all I need are preaching, reformed worship and sacraments, pastoral care and reformed theology.  Plus a field assignment.

So it's another busy year ahead!

Summer is for studying....

Right?  It is for me.  I completed one on-line course (New Testament) at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary towards my coursework to become a Commissioned Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) this spring. Now I'm taking two courses-Old Testament and Polity.  Everyone knows (or thinks they know) what goes on in the Old Testament class, but very few people have a clue about what polity is.

Let me just say that both my Old Testament and New Testament professors have us reading The Bible for Dummies.  This book has given me a new respect for "the dummies" series.  I have Religion for Dummies and have found that helpful; The Bible for Dummies is written by two theologians and it is good-simple and to the point.

Polity is the procedures by which the Presbyterian Church USA runs-it's what keeps us, if you will pardon the very bad pun, an "organized" religion.  Two weeks into the course and I already have renewed respect for those who organized the church in the beginning.  And I think I'm starting to understand what makes the reformed tradition different from, say Lutherans.

And if all of this wasn't enough, at the beginning of July I start fiddle lessons.  I love the summer-my first real summer off since the summer of 2007.  I know, I know, grownups don't get the summer off.  But they should.  The Europeans have the right idea.  Everyone should get at least six weeks of vacation.  It's a wonderful time for re-creation.  My meditation practice is flourishing, I'm doing sun salutations every morning (Peggy Cappy, I haven't forgotten my MDR, from two years ago at Kripalu), and I'm exercising every other day.  Is that a wonderful way to re-create?