“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” ~ Rumi
So who is this stumbler, this wanderer?
My name is Tracie Barrett-Welser and I am a Unitarian Universalist seminarian attending Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, Illinois. Meadville is a low-residency program which means I spend most of my time in my home area studying and communicating with my instructors and classmates via technology (phone, Facebook, videoconferencing, etc) and fly to Chicago once per term for intensives. These are exactly what they sound like…intense. Each class is one week and we meet from 9-5 each day. Depending on the term, I’m in Chicago for up to 3 weeks per term. The usual statement of “the whole family attends seminary” is very true because of these travels. Sacrifices are made in all of our lives for me to follow this path. My husband and stepson are slowly getting used to me holed up in my office studying or gone for weeks at a time in Chicago.
My path to ministry was not easy. I first received my call at 14 years old, but didn’t know what to do with that. In my 20s I attended an evangelical Bible college and studied youth ministry. I worked for about a year and half as a youth minister’s wife, but when that marriage ended, I felt my call did, too. Years later, as I moved through various traditions and careers, I found that the spark of my call was still alive. Finally, I decided it was now or never to answer that call.
So, thank you for walking with me on this journey. It’s not an easy road, but I feel it’s worth every step, whether I stumble or not. I feel we learn more from getting up when we trip than if we just walk with no worries. What can you expect from this blog? Photos I’ve taken with quotes that speak to me, musings about school and formation and tips I think are important to pass on. My hope is that if you also have a call to ministry that I can help you in your journey, even if it’s simply to light part of your path.