Seeing as I havn’t posted since Thanksgiving, I fgure ya’ll are entitled to at least a quick update:
The Barberg clan is doing fine, and settled into the new reality of our lives here at seminary. We really love our life here, yet our hearts also bear the anquish of being so far from the ones we love; our friends and family. We had a joyous visit home for the feast of Christ’s Nativity (we were in Buffalo for THANKSgiving as well), but have had our share of struggles. It is truly a “sorrowful joy” in following God’s call on our lives.
I did OK my first semester as I adjust to being a student again. I just got above the GPA I need to maintain to keep my scholarship, so your prayers are solicited as I struggle against laziness, scatterbraindedness, and a slow apprehension of Biblical Greek.
Great Lent is fast upon us, and as Lent is always a struggle, it will be even greater as I try to balance my course load and family life, along with all the extra services and other activities as we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of OUr Lord.
This term my studies include, a second semester of Greek, New Testament w/ a focus on the Pauline Epistles, Patristics which is focusing on the wrtigins of the Church from the 4th to 8th centuries, and Church history (8th century Iconoclasm to the modern era).
Besides mid-terms in the last week of February, I have 3 papers to write: An exegisis from a passage in Romans, a short history of the Orthodox Church of Finland, and a Patristics paper on St. Gregory of Naziansus’s approach to anthropology in his Theological Orations.
Along with the above, I have a weekly Byzantine chant class, choir practice for the Mens’ choir I sing in, a Litrugics class (learnign about the services and how to serve them properly), and a weekly integrating smeinar. I also am in chapel twice a day (Matins and Vespers) and serve at least once a week. I serve Sundays at my parish assignment in Brooklyn (about an hour away) an am asked occasionally to give the sermon. Phew…..
Kelley documents our life from her perspective at everythingdownthechute.blogspot.com. My classmate Michael offers a very comprehensive view into the life of a first year seminarian at orthodoxseminarian.blogspot.com.
I’ll post some papers when I get the chance!
My prayers in return for yours!
I forgot to caption the picture. This was December 7th, 2008 and the ordination of Dcn. Ephraim Alkhas, at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn (which was founded by my patron, St. Raphael) by the hand of Bp. ALEXANDER, the Antiochian bishop of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York.