Several years ago, I was attending Southwestern Michigan College in Dowagiac. I had signed up for a history class with one, Tim Smith, and appeared two morning out of every week in the front row with a large coffee. (Not that I was bored, mind you. I was just exhausted, as most college students usually are.) I sat on the right hand side of the front row and a relatively quiet young man, named Jacob Prahlow, sat on the left hand side of the front row. That particular semester, we also ended up in a biology class together. Jacob made himself useful by wielding the scalpel when it came time for us girls to dissect anything gross. He obligingly cut stuff up while we made notes and tried not to gag. I noticed several things about Jacob. First of all, he was serious. Finding serious-minded young men in the halls of SMC was a practical impossibility. Second, he read a lot. Where most of the student body had their noses in their phones, Jacob usually had his nose in a book. Third, his reading material often centered around theology, philosophy and the like. I thought that was splendid. We got to know each other a bit, discovered that we were both in the family of God, and parted ways after Jacob left SMC but continued our online acquaintance. The years passed. I watched, green with envy, as Jacob went off to Oxford for a semester. Shortly after that, I began giving music lessons to a few of Jacob’s younger siblings and was around while the family prepared for a wedding in which Jacob married his sweetheart, Hayley, and moved away to continue his education. We kept up on Facebook, still. Mostly, I spent a lot of time reading all the articles he frequently shared on Facebook, because the subject matter fascinated me. (I recently complained to his mother that Jacob needed to stop posting all of those interesting articles because I lack self-control and have frittered away hours of the day reading them. But I guess that depends on your definition of “fritter.”)
Recently, Jacob contacted me with a request. He and several good friends were looking to start a blog which would, to quote from the blog’s mission statement, “exist as a collection of theological conversations, journeys of faith, reflections on Christianity, and commentary on current events from a Christian perspective. Conciliar Post promotes edifying dialogue that informs, encourages, and challenges people around the world. The authors hail from a variety of Christian traditions and use this website to host an intentional community in order to facilitate the true exchange of ideas and to encourage loving action. We believe life is a journey whose end is union with God and every day is given for this end. Conciliar Post functions as a place where those journeying toward God may humbling, faithfully, and dialogically reflect on important issues, bolster meaningful dialogue, and grow in our relationships with Christ.” Would I consider being a contributor at Conciliar Post? Without much hesitation, I agreed. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity.
Conciliar Post goes live on June 16, and I hope you’ll take the time to investigate it. Watch for my article, “The Gray Hair Stays.”