As I mentioned a few posts back, one great joy of seminary teaching is being reacquainted with former students. To my joy several returned to share in our forum. The best news they brought concerned their ministries in the years since. They shared, often with shining faces, what was happening in their churches. Mixed with much realism were glorious stories. Uplifting!
One student, John, who I hadn't seen for several years brought me a gift. It was a pack of six Penguin biscuits. He said that he never forgot how we finished each course with a celebration party and that Carol always brought Penguin biscuits from England. It was his introduction to these milk chocolate cookies and ever since they have been sweet reminders of the classes! (Actually, he told me how he had introduced others to the cookies whenever he found them on sale in the US!) What to be remembered for!
Another student, Kevin, presented me with a book: An Hour of Good News: The story of the Chicago Sunday Evening Club. For 65 years this hour long program, first on radio and then television became one of the most famous pulpits in the US and beyond. Best known preachers of the day shared in its story and a list at the back of the book includes so many names from the past. Kevin gave me the book because when I was teaching full-time at Northern the pulpit from this program was donated to our the preaching lab (which doubles up as a prayer chapel). Photographs in the book show the pulpit in use in the TV program. Today, a sign on the pulpit references its past and that many preachers such as Martin Luther King have proclaimed from it. Over the years each batch of students has been acquainted with the story as they preached their sermons! So, I was given another totally unexpected recollection alongside Penguin cookies!
Before I return to Cambridge we have been busy planning for the next Forum and I leave Northern with encouragement and, of course, continuing need of prayer