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From left to right starting with front row:  Gail, Victoria, Zoe, Matthias; second row: Rev. Bastiaan Baan, Cheryl, Luis, James, Sarah, Joan, Rev. Patrick Kennedy

Dear Friends of The Christian Community Seminary in North America,

Click the “Donate” button, below, to contribute to The Christian Community in North America Seminarian’s Travel Fund.  A tax receipt will be issued upon request in accordance with government guidelines.  See below for more information and other ways you may contribute!

Spring 2017

Dear Friends of the Christian Community Seminary in North America,

In early June, the seminarians will travel to the Netherlands for the International Whitsun Conference. We will have the opportunity to hear and learn from priests and members of the greater Christian Community and Anthroposophical Movement in their keynote addresses and workshops and to meet members and friends from around the world. This will offer us the opportunity to engage with the worldwide community in ways that many of us have never had.  We are also very excited to have our housing adjacent to the students from the Stuttgart seminary.  You can understand why such a trip is an integral part of our training.

The seminarians have been fundraising throughout the year and have raised over $2,700 through donations and a rollicking fun Team Trivia Night held here at the Threefold Educational Center at Chestnut Ridge, NY.   This leaves $4,300 to be raised of the $7,000 needed to cover the expenses for the trip.  This includes our flights, accommodation and conference fee.

We would like to invite you to be part of this transformative learning experience by supporting us with a monitary donation. Here are the ways you can do this:

  • On-line: Donations may be made on the seminary’s website by clicking the “Donate” button on the News page. A tax receipt will be issued, upon request, in accordance with government guidelines (see above) or, visit our gofundme page, which will also document the progress made towards our goal (our progress report will include all “off-line” and “on-line” donations). Donations through this option are not eligible for a tax receipt and gofundme reduces your donation by  5% for their fees-visit https://www.gofundme.com/WhitsunConference2017.
  • By mail: Please make your check payable to The Seminary of The Christian Community and mail this to the seminary at 7 Carmen Court, Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977
  • By phone: You may contact the seminary directly by calling (845) 356-0972, during regular business hours, to make your donation over the phone with your credit card.
  • Special events: Make a donation to the seminary to honor a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion, in lieu of a gift, and a seminary director will send greetings with a card and special message to the person and occasion you wish to honor (the amount of your donation will not be included). Call, email or mail the name, address, and occasion and, if you’d like, your own special message to be included.
  • If you’re inspired, host a fund raising event! Like our Team Trivia Night here at Threefold!
  • For Donations from Europe: Please forward to Stiftung Die Christengemeinschaft in Deutschland IBAN:  DE 16 8502 0500 0003 6204 00; BIC:   BFSW DE 33 DRE; Kennword (Keyword): Seminar Nord – Amerika

If there is someone you think might be interested in helping us, please pass this information along to any and all.  Every gift will help us achieve our goal to participate in this wonderful opportunity to meet the worldwide movement for religious renewal!

Thank you for your consideration!

Students of the Seminary of The Christian Community in North America

In a Word, Yes.

Reflections on the Ordination of Emma Heirman

“What makes a priest a priest?” asked Rev. Laurens Hornemann at the opening of his talk on Saturday night in Stuttgart. The answer, in a word: the Priest Ordination. Well, in German it’s one word.  But then again, so is Traumneustartversuch – the (usually futile) attempt to resume a dream after having been roused. In many ways I find writing this reflection on the ordination of Emma Heirman to be a similar effort, for there was a certain dream-like quality to the whole affair, which I cannot attribute solely to jetlag.

Before the candidates for ordination enter, the already ordained priests file into the chapel dressed in their vestments. It is unusual in North America to see more than a few priests assembled at one time. To see them en masse is indeed a unique experience, because pictured before your eyes and soul in that moment is the priesthood itself.

I think back to the first ordination I ever attended, that of Rev. Carol Kelly in 2001. In beholding the group of priests seated together, a resounding yes arose in my soul, which was surprising, because I was unaware of any question being asked. That yes, upon further reflection, was a yes that the priesthood exists; a yes that it is a true picture of a spiritual reality; a yes to those souls who offer themselves in order to make that picture manifest for the rest of us.

Yes is a powerful word. Add so be it, and it turns magical, bringing a new reality into existence. The candidate for ordination speaks these words in relation to her own feeling of the seriousness of the future part of her becoming. The celebrant and assembled priest circle speak these words in an act of consecrating that candidate. As one in attendance, it is not uncommon to feel shut out in a certain way as the celebrant later processes with the chalice around the priest circle. A clear line of demarcation is drawn; the new ones are encircled into the fold; there is an inside and an outside.

And yet this inside would be meaningless without the outside, without the communities into which the priests are sent. Towards the end of the ordination, it is made clear to those in attendance that we have a yes to speak also, albeit inwardly. This yes is the recognition of those who have just been ordained. Without this recognition, their work as priests would be in vain.

At the close of the service, after the newly ordained have left the chapel, the priests all file out just as they had filed in. I recognized so many faces in that group this time around, other priests whose ordinations I have attended, souls I have come to know and am thankful for. And now I could count Emma as one of them. I could not wipe the smile off my face. Nor could I wait until the first time that I am able to attend a service that Rev. Heirman is celebrating, to add my yes to the chorus.

Contributed by Kate Kennedy

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