Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Writer's Workshop

Every Tuesday afternoon, I take Lake Shore Drive north to Evanston for class.

No, LSTC hasn’t added a satellite campus: Rather, LSTC students are able to take classes at 12 different seminaries in and around Chicago. If you think 12 sounds like a lot of seminaries, you’re right: I’ve often heard it said that there are more students studying theology in Chicago than anywhere in the world but Rome. (Second City, again… sigh.)

As you can imagine, this makes for some unique educational possibilities. The class I’m taking is at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a school of the United Methodist Church. Our professor is the Rev. Dr. Ruth Duck, whose work can be found in, among other places, our cranberry hymnal. The title of the class is Finding Words for Worship, and it involves creative writing for liturgy.

(above: a selection of books assigned for the class)

In our first class, we were to write a prayer in the “collect” form. A week later, we shared drafts with our classmates and professor, offering and receiving constructive criticism as we refined what we had written. I offer my own final draft below, a prayer for the Feast of All Saints, with gratitude to my colleagues.

God of power,
Your glory dazzles in the heavens above and shimmers in your saints below.

Reveal to us the pulse of your love flowing through your world and your people,

that we might be strengthened to live as the body of Christ in the world,

through this same Christ, the one who fills all in all.



  1. I took preaching from Clay Schmit, one of the authors of the books you're reading for the class, Too Deep for Words. Good stuff! Sounds like a great class.

  2. That class sounds amazing! I thought of doing my internship project on developing a Lutheran/Native American liturgy. I love creative writing, too. *Jealous!*