I bring you wonderful news from Concordia Seminary’s campus in nearby St. Louis, MO. I’ve just successfully finished the winter quarter. This quarter seemed much longer than the Fall quarter as we had a 2 week break after our 3rd week of classes for Christmas break. During those first couple of weeks I accompanied my fellow Student Association members on a trip to Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN. We left after classes on Thursday and stayed through Saturday morning. The purpose of the trip is to experience classes, atmosphere, and discuss growing issues at our seminaries. I attended five classes from a variety of levels of seminary. We also sat down to discuss communication and to provide some feedback on what we like/disliked about the setup in Fort Wayne, IN. In a couple of weeks, their Student Association will be making the trip down to St. Louis to do the same. We have very busy two days scheduled for the Fort Wayne guys including some visitation to outreach locations, meeting with a Synod rep, and seeing different church setups in the St. Louis area. We are trying to give them not only a look at our learning atmosphere, but also the community aspect CSL is teaching its seminarians to take into the mission field. Currently, I’m mulling over potentially running to become the Vice-President of the Student Association. Some of our current SA leaders and my fellow 1st year classmates have encouraged me to run as well. As I continue to pray about this, I ask that you say a special prayer for me on this decision.
As I mentioned before I successfully finished the winter quarter by passing my four Hebrew qualifiers and Greek Readings class. My appreciation grows more and more each day I read a new scripture. The languages truly open a deeper meaning in regards to the scriptures. Hebrew was an easier course than Greek in many ways, but its vocabulary was the biggest stumbling block for the majority of the class. For example, many words sounded the same, but have different meanings for example. The esteemed Dr. Paul Raabe taught us for the 10 weeks. I might also add this was the first time in years seminary had switched to the 10 week setup for Hebrew. Previous Hebrew was taken for a quarter and a half (15 weeks). I must tell you it was quite the adventure. I’ve spent my break reading scripture in Greek/Hebrew and reviewing flashcards so that I don’t lose anything that I have learned. The other class I took was Greek Readings with Dr. Jeffrey Oschwald. It was not a hard class at all, but it required a large amount of work to be successful in the class. This was led to great discussions on how various New Testaments should be translated. Finishing Hebrew marks the completion all Masters of Divinity language requirements.
Now this upcoming quarter (Spring), which begins tomorrow, gives me my first taste of seminary courses outside of just languages. I am carrying 15 credits this spring quarter. Here is the list of classes I will be taking:
Lutheran Mind – 3 credits Worship – 3 credits
Pastoral Ministry – 3 credits Hebrew Readings – 2 credits
Intro to Historical Theology – 3 credits New Testament Lectionary – 1 credit
I’m very excited to continue my education and formation at the seminary. I can’t thank you enough for the support you have provided me in both prayers and financially. Please know that you are included in our prayers daily that God continues his wonderful work through your congregation.
The rest of the family has been going strong. Hannah and Jonathan sang in the school choir at their Black History program called, “The Box”. Hailey recently turned the ripe old age of 6 years old and she has informed me that she feels different and older. Jocelyn continues to grow into her personality and continues to hold the position of baby of the family. On a side note the intramural team we are on this year, Jacob’s Lions, recently hit our stride and beat two top ranked teams en route to the Intramural Basketball title. For the year we have a sizeable lead on the rest of the teams. Linda continues to be very active in the choir and SWA board on campus. She also was very involved in this years Winter Ball. It was truly a time to be had by all that attend. What is Winter Ball you ask? Well it happens very close to Valentine’s Day and is best described as Prom for Seminarians and their wives/fiancées/ girlfriends.
Well, I’m trying to get a jump on reading for the next quarter so I’ve been reading over break as well. I’m currently reading the “Hammer of God” by Bo Giertz. Thus far this is a wonderful book which has caused me to challenge myself as I continue through my Pastoral Formation. So, I’d better get back to it!
God’s richest blessings to you all!
In His Service,
Eric Ekong (Linda & Kids)