We have just returned from Chicago where we were celebrating the graduation of a dear one from the The Divinity School of the University of Chicago and from the Disciples Divinity House. These were days of true community celebration. Yes, the individual graduates and their close family and friends celebrated. But in this particular instance, I was moved by the depth of community celebration. Those students who live and study in Disciples Divinity House (an institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)), live in a supportive community throughout their time in the Divinity School. Whether they are Disciples House Scholars or Ecumenical Residents they have lived together as a household through this time of study and formation for ministry.
In the DDH Convocation on June 7, the homily was given by Hubert G. Locke, DDH Trustee and Professor of Public Service Emeritus, University of Washington. Referring to Ephesians 2:19-22, Dr. Locke spoke of our being “members of the household of God.” He reminded those gathered that a household includes more than those with blood ties. In the time the text was written, “household” included servants and slaves. Households throughout the centuries have included many different people in different relationships.
As he spoke, I could not help but think of the relationships that form and sustain us: family – yes, but so often we are formed by relationships with friends, mentors, employees, employers, neighbors, caregivers, colleagues. Not members of our immediate household, but certainly members, along with us, of the household of God. On Thursday night, as I watched the Disciples House Community celebrate, I saw people who have not only received an academic education for ministry, but people who have lived in a formative community throughout this process. Having lived and studied a number of years ago in the Disciples Divinity House at Vanderbilt University, I give thanks for the gift of education in a “household” that helps to form our understanding of Church and ministry.