By Thehil Russelliah Singh
Last Monday, I had the privilege of attending the Breakfast with Latin @Clergy, Lay Leaders, and Alumni/ae. In addition to Latin American pastors and alumni, many staff and students of McCormick also attended the event. To be quite honest I was mostly looking forward to the good food but I came away with more than just a great breakfast, I had received plenty of food for thought.
Dr. Leslie Diaz-Perez the Co-director of the Latino Center of McCormick chaired the event and her sister Rev. Gary E. Vasquez, Senior Pastor of Healing & Power Church in Berwyn, IL delivered the reflection on the theme Epiphany. She reminded us all on the importance of taking a moment “to breathe” in our ministerial lives and beautifully intertwined teaching with her own personal experiences.
Other special appearances by President Frank Yamada and Rev. Veronica Johnson, Senior Director of Admissions and Enrollment served to show why such breakfasts and gatherings of clergy, lay leaders, alumni and current students and staff of McCormick are so important.
Rev. Johnson led a group discussion on how the academy (theological education) and the Church can support each other. Some significant ideas that came up were emphasizing on community life, utilizing social media, understanding generational differences, holistic health, intentional cross-cultural dialogue, and creating spaces for God-talk. The entire conversation was immensely interesting and informative, for me especially as a student, hearing from experienced clergy and lay leaders. But my greatest takeaway is a statement quoted by Rev. Johnson: “You can be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good.”
I really enjoyed the breakfast and would recommend that more students take part in events like these. Great food and plenty of good conversation? Don’t miss it!