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Over my years in different church circles, I have often heard many seminary-educated church workers lament that seminary did not prepare them for this piece or that piece of their current ministry.
“Well, they never taught me this in seminary” is how the phrase often sounds. After being out in the world of ministry for the past year, I can say that, too. We never talked about the guinea pig funeral I presided at last spring or how to preach the lectionary with two and three-year- olds. But just because these topics were not listed on any syllabus does not mean that my time at CDSP did not prepare me for them.
What I did learn at CDSP was how to be grounded yet flexible. Through knowing the history and foundational principles of the Episcopal tradition, I am able to build on that foundation while I adapt to the quickly changing environment in the greater church and the world in which my students live.
CDSP also taught me that I am always learning and that as we continue to build new and different things in the name of the kingdom of God, it is my responsibility to share what I have learned with others. So in that spirit, I will share that a petty cash box decorated with paint pens can make a sturdy yet meaningful casket for a loved guinea pig.
The Rev. Betsy Carmody Gonzalez (M.Div. '10) serves as the Lower and Intermediate School Chaplain at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland in the Diocese of Washington. She currently serves on the Alumni Council.