This week, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church has become, briefly, the Charlotte Campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
That's because the seminary's permanent Charlotte campus is otherwise occupied this week hosting an exhibit for the Museum of the Bible. So they needed classroom space during daylight hours.
Classroom space that we have during daylight hours.
So we're sharing space with theological students from across the country and around the world. Through the years, Gordon Conwell has been the source of staff for our church, teachers for intensive short term classes at our church, and continuing education for lay ministers in our church.
One of the professors has even had me teach a couple of classes on the ministry of funerals and memorials for him.
In short, I've never thought it coincidental that one of the leading seminaries in the country has a campus less than two miles from where we sit.
(There is a sad irony in all this ... the University Senate of the United Methodist Church does not place Gordon-Conwell Charlotte on its list of "approved" seminaries for students pursuing ordination. Something about it not being "Metho-friendly" enough. The Senate made that decision without ever speaking to any of us who happen to serve and lead a United Methodist Church in closest proximity to the school! We'd have told them it is plenty Metho-friendly.)
This morning, our staff will have a "Basking Breakfast" downstairs while the Gordon Conwell students are upstairs.
What's a "Basking Breakfast"? A time to sit together and celebrate what God has done. Over a Dunkin Donuts meal, we'll bask in the glory God poured out on Grace Day and all the people who stood up to be "saved by grace" on February 5, 2012.