Those of you who know me or have read this blog before possibly remember that I spent probably one of the most exciting and challenging summers of my life working in Philadelphia at Broad Street Ministry. And if you have had the privilege (hah!) of meeting me since then, you likely have heard that church come up at LEAST one or two times. Because it was really extraordinary. It was hard, of course, being in a place where you are brought face to face everyday with everything that lies in the road on the way to the Kingdom, but it was also satisfying and powerful to be tackling those stones as a church rather than tiptoeing around them and pretending they didn’t exist ( I have experienced churches that DO that…. not so faithful, in my own opinion.)
Anyways, I am writing all of this because, as I sit here in the 30th Street train station in Philadephia, after an amazing weekend in the city (yes, I commute here once a month or so now, and always go to BSM… it really IS that good…), I find myself reflecting back upon those experiences, as well as wanting to share with those who might like a listen.
More importantly, I am writing to get the word out. Last year Broad Street began thinking and dreaming of a Seminary Immersion experience, a program in which seminary students could take a year off and live and work and learn in the melting pot that is BSM. It was a great idea, but a long-shot, but, as improbable as much of the magic at BSM, it has happened. Broad Street is now accepting applications for a newly minted Seminary Immersion Program, and I must say that I am jealous that I will no longer be a seminary student when it begins (if I were, I would have applied the minute the application was up). I had the opportunity to sit in on some of the planning meetings for this program, and I can vouch for the fact that it will be real and it will be life-changing. The folks running the program are amazing folks, the sort that every seminary student should have the opportunity to work and learn with, and they have some amazing plans in store.
Here is what BSM has to say about the program:
The formation that will occur during this experience will be unique for each participant, but will also bear the unique marks of the contexts which fuel it: an inclination toward collaboration, a taste for risk-taking, openness toward the other, and a holy impatience for the realization of the Kingdom of God. BSM House Alumni/ae will be unleashed with a sense for what is possible within local churches, and with skills and networks that will help them translate dreams into first steps once they graduate from seminary.
So if you are thinking of doing a full-time internship, or need a break from seminary for a year, or feel possibly called to check it all out, PLEASE check the program out. Or let your friends know, or your Field Education office at your Seminary. It is COMPLETELY worth considering taking the leap. I did it, and I have never been quite the same since (in a good way!)