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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Time for a short commercial break

This graphic found on the internet, unattributed to an artist.

I was informed yesterday that I have been awarded the position of Procter Scholar at The Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the Spring Semester 2011, January - May.

I am honored and thrilled beyond the telling.

The award includes full tuition at courses offered through the BTI (Boston Theological Institute, which includes Harvard, BU, etc.), room and board, and the opportunity to work with a faculty adviser.

It's an absolute dream of a sabbatical time for me. I had been working on a proposal for a Lily Foundation Sabbatical Grant and know of some clergy who have gone off for three months to cooking schools in exotic places.

That sounds really great, too, but this . . .well. . .this feels like an itch in my soul that has just begun to be scratched. I'm already hearing something deep inside me saying, "Ahhhh!"

I have two projects I'm planning to work on during my sabbatical.

The primary one is an expansion of the work I started during my doctoral thesis, which defines the spiritual landscape of the process of 'coming out' - which I learned in the early 80s from a stellar faculty of People with AIDS at 'The University of Hospice' - and offers it as a gift to the wider church as a way to heal the ancient rift between spirituality and sexuality.

I think I want to narrow that focus a bit and speak more directly to LGBT people, inviting the wider church to listen into the conversation, if they wish. My working title is, "The Church is not for Sissies." (And, ain't that just the truth!)

The other project? Oh, that would be some rest. Mostly that will take the form of getting off the 'Liturgical Ferris Wheel" for a season and enjoying other people's sermons and liturgical innovations.

I'm looking forward to entering into serendipitous conversations with students in the refectory, and there are a particular few folk on the faculty whose intellectual brain cells I intend to pick in conversations I'm already excited to even begin to think about and imagine. I actually spent about an hour with my thesis last night, writing down questions in the margins.

Excited? Me? You betcha!

I've informed the bishop who is rejoicing with me, and there's already some initial positive buzz from my wardens and vestry who were told late last night, so the news can now officially go forth.

It's going to be a great sabbatical!

I am deeply grateful to the Episcopal Divinity School for this amazing opportunity.

(You may now return to your previously scheduled blogging.)

39 comments:

klady said...

Hallelujah!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

You got that right! And, may I just add, Woo hoo!

suzanne said...

Doing the Happy! Happy!, Joy! Joy! dance for you.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I can hardly sit still, Suzanne

Fran said...

This is unbelievably GREAT NEWS!

It is me Fran, at work, too lazy to sign out of work gmail and into personal account!! I mean too busy!!

So happy for you!!! My verification word is wooku, which sounds celabratory to me!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I'm so glad you took time out to rejoice with me, Fran. We'll have to plan a visit in Boston. You'd LOVE EDS.

Jim said...

mozel tov!

You will stay in touch right?

Congrats!


FWIW
jimB

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Try to stop me from blogging, Jim. ;~)

Fran said...

Elizabeth- let me simply say that we do think alike!! That thought had already taken root in my mind the minute I read this. And rejoicing with you I am indeed!!

Mary-Cauliflower said...

Congratulations! I'm about a 20-minute walk from EDS and often stop by to use the library and attend events. Perhaps our paths may cross.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Oh, I sincerely hope so, MC

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Congratulations! I had a great sabbatical at EDS in the fall of 2008.

Suzer said...

Wonderful news, Elizabeth! Congratulations!!!

preacher1 said...

What wonderful news, Elizabeth. Your plans sound like they'll feed your mind, body and soul. And I'm intrigued by your project. Woo Hoo!

Elaine C. said...

First,Congratulations and HOORAY!

Second, I want to read both your earlier dissertation and this work ... where do I look?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Preacher1 and Elaine - Well, I have been very careful about my dissertation because I was warned by the faculty that original thoughts like this are special prey to plagiarism. It is published and I have a copy and one is in the library at Drew. As soon as I get the work finished and accepted by a publisher, well, you'll hear it here first.

Kirkepiscatoid said...

(does the HUGE Happy Dance!)

Woo Hoo! TBTG!

IT said...

Good for you! Hope it is a productive and rejuvenating time!

I get a sabbatical next fall (first one in 17 years of faculty service). I am going back into the lab so I'll be in residence, just not teaching or administering. And I plan to switch off the voicemail on my phone. (Alas the days of being able to swan off to Europe for one's sabbatical for a year are mostly gone, since my spouse doesn't get sabbaticals and my university will only pay me for a semester).

Janet Detter Margul said...

Congratulations! That is fantastic news... lucky them, too!!

Allie said...

Congratulations, Elizabeth.

I'm sure you'll make the best use of this opportunity possible. Blessings and most of all, have fun!

Now for the hard part: having to live life as usual until it starts!

Muthah+ said...

Yea, verily!!! You deserve this one! Glad my seminary has the good sense to do this!

alicia said...

mozel tov

whiteycat said...

I've been away all day. Just turned on the computer and got this good news! FANTASTIC!!! Lucky you! Many blessings and congrats!

JCF said...

Kudos & Congrats!

Bruce said...

Another happy dance here--sissy style as well! This is great news and I am particularly pleased for you. Ten years ago I actually got a winter sabbatical for 3 months in the south and came back wonderfully refreshed and well-read. All hail to you!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I am looking forward to reading some of your published work. May the Holy spirit guide you in your endeavor.

Christopher said...

This is great news, Elizabeth! I hope your time at EDS is even better than you're imagining.

-- Chris V.W.

MarkBrunson said...

I give the solemn and sacred

HUZZAH!

Erika Baker said...

This is wonderful news, congratulations!
I hope you won't give up blogging during your sabbatical?

pansyliz said...

Congrats. i am too, looking forward to your work and words in a published form. Would love to know your reading list for preparation and such when you get to that stage.

lesbolover said...

Congratulations! I look forward to reading your thoughts on spirituality and sexuality.

Padre Mickey said...

¡Felicidades, Reverenda! This is great news.
I have a daughter and several granchiles in Boston, so we may be in the neighborhood sometime next year.

Grandmère Mimi said...

"Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!"

Well, I came close, didn't I?

Congratulations, dear Elizabeth. Oh, what fun! Of course, you'll need to do a little work from time to time.

Seriously, your work sounds exciting. People's stories carry such power, if only the wider church will listen.

SimplySuzi said...

Wow! Well done!

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Hallelujah and prayers for you dear Sister!

Catherine said...

Well, don't try to sit still--get up and dance with joy! You deserve it.

Joanna Depue said...

Yeeeeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaahhhhwwwww!!! So very happy for you. This break came at a very good time ... and you will soak up all that the changed environment will offer!

Laurel Massé said...

Many congratulations, Elizabeth, from a new reader of your wonderful blog.
Blessings,
Laurel

Lindy said...

That's fantastic. Congratulations.