Last week my wife and I took a walk through Hyde Park, the Chicago neighborhood LSTC calls home. As a senior in the M.Div program, I’ve lived here before, for my first two years of seminary, but we’ve been away on internship. It was time to get reacquainted with our old/new neighborhood.
We had forgotten the trees. Leafy and full, they line the avenues, standing like sentinels in front of brownstone apartment buildings, allowing just enough of the evening light to dapple through. Crossing the street, we enter the campus of the University of Chicago, full of gothic architecture and gargoyles galore, with shoulders as big as this city’s.
Approaching the edge of campus, we find the neighborhood already beginning to change. Construction crews crawl over the towering skeleton of the university’s expanding medical center. In its shadow, a few small, storefront businesses hang on.
Beyond this porous border lie the other neighborhoods that make up this city, spreading out like puzzle pieces in every direction but the big blue of Lake Michigan. In my time at LSTC I’ve had opportunities to learn and to do ministry in so many of them, in congregations and in the wider communities that surround them.
My heart full of memory, I pause for a moment, and give thanks: for what has been and what is to come, here in this place, here amid a kaleidoscope of cultures and a patchwork of people, here in Chicago. --Matt Keadle
Born in California and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Matt attended Valparaiso University before deciding to explore a call to seminary. He chose to attend LSTC in order to study urban ministry, and over the last several years he’s had an opportunity to do just that. After a study abroad program in Mexico City and a pastoral internship in Seattle, Washington, he is in the midst of his final year at LSTC.