Tuesday, December 7, 2010

End of the Semester

I am sitting here writing and there are only 7 more school days in the semester.  I seems that this semester has just flown on by.  I have had a challenging few months here at seminary I had to get used to not having Matthew around, I then had to learn to be a student again including writing, to get a routine of being a seminarian and to get used to the warm weather (OK this is more of a joy than a struggle).  But I have made it, after this semester I feel that I will have much more self confidence because I have a history if I can do it once I can do it again!

This week I get to preach for the first time here at CDSP, I am talking about how important Mary is in my life and how she has taught me many lessons that I need and will need in the future.  In my sermon I am talking about my struggle with writing.  Mary was a symbol of humility and I had to experience that when I came to CDSP.  When I was working in the world, I was good at what I did, I knew things off the top of my head and I felt smart.  However, these past few weeks I have learned that I really do not know it all and that there are things that I continue to need to work on and even ask for help.  As many of you know I like to just do things myself and not always rely on help from others.  However, since coming to seminary I am realizing that I am not in this alone and that I can not do this alone.  I went and asked for help and they are getting me a tutor to help me with my writing. 

When I was home for reading week I had dinner with a great friend of mine, and she told me, "Jason you just need to ask for what you need!"  As hard as it is for me to do this it is true, no one can live on an island, it is vital to have a support network to walk with you in your journey.  I am so thankful that I have so many people here to support me through this journey.

Next Friday I fly back to Minnesota until January 23.  This is a long time that I hope will allow me to spend quality time with Matthew as well as to be able to see as many of you as I can and to spend some good snuzzle time with the animals. 

I ask for your continued prayers and support as I go down this road and please know that you will be in my prayers as well.


Jason Lucas

Monday, November 29, 2010


It has been an interesting November, I can’t believe how fast it has flown!!  It has been an interesting time that papers are due, studying gets ramped up and our obligations all come to a peak.  I have been able to work more on my writing.  I find myself pulling my hair out because I don’t know how much more I can do to improve.  I will not quit I am not going to let this get in my way.  This is easier to say than to do but I know that this is what I should be doing and that this is one hurdle I am going to have to clear.  No one said that seminary was going to be easy, but that is why I am here to get challenged and to learn those things that I do not know.

I have also been able to write a liturgy for the community.  I wrote a bi-lingual liturgy where we will be crowing the Virgin Mary.  It was so wonderful to be writing in Spanish.  I will even get to preach on December 9!

I was able to go to Arizona to be with my sister and my nephews over the Holidays, it was so wonderful to spend time with them.  My nephews are growing up so fast I can’t believe it.  Every time I see them they have doubled in height.  While I was there I was able to take a few days off from reading and to just be it felt to so wonderful!

I know that my last few post have shown how I am struggling at times while I am here at seminary and I thank all of your for your love and support.  It is true that this is tough and there are days where I seem to just be treading water but I know that even though it is small I am making progress.  I am looking forward to coming home to MN for a few weeks and to start my next semester.

I thank you all for your love and support of me and Matthew as we go through this.  I ask for your continued love, support and prayers.  Please know that you will be in mine as we..


Jason Lucas

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Speak Lord for your Servant is Listening...

Hi everyone, I am so sorry that I have not put up a new post in quite sometime.  It has been a crazy few weeks since my last post.  First I was able to head back to Minnesota for some wonderful time with Matthew as well as being able to see friends and family.  While I was in MN I also had my interviews for my CPE this summer.  CPE is in essence a chaplaincy internship at a hospital.  I was told that the spaces fill up really quickly so I should get on this right away.  I was able to meet with three hospitals and  I was able to get offers at each one.  After some prayer and discussion with others I decided to pick the CPE program at United Hospital in St. Paul.

While I was in the interviews I told the story about how when I was a kid I used to run around the house screaming "GIVE TILL IT HURTS!!!"  I thought it was just funny, but one of the interviewers said to me, Jason it is interesting that you put this in here because of what you are sharing with us seems to me that you have continued to give to God even in those times that hurt greatly.  This really stopped me and made me think about what had been going on in my life and the influence that it has had on my life to help me become who I am. 

After I returned back to California I hit the books again, school has become challenging at times mostly because I am having a great difficulty in writing in this style of writing.  Going to business school the writing we did was completey different than what is happening here.  I have been so blessed though to have a great academic adviser that is helping me to work on this skill to become a better writer. 

This challenge though presented me with a great deal of drain on my self-esteem.  I had always been proud of the fact that I excelled at most of what I did for undergraduate school and now I was being told that my writing was just not good at all and needed alot of work.  I felt that I was dumb, not teachable, and downright embarrassed.  It has been a hard couple of days as I start working on the plan to fix this situation as well as giving myself a break.  There have been times where I worry about being able to do the work but I know that God and the community have seen a call in me and that is why I am here to explore that call.  I know I can do the work I know that it is going to be a little harder than what I was expecting. 

I know that this post seems very broad and I am sorry for the delay I am going to try to be more diligent about writing.

I ask that you please pray for me as I continue this road that I might improve my writing as well as help me to be able to be the person that God is calling me to be.


Jason Lucas

Friday, October 22, 2010

Heading Home for a week....

It is really hard to imagine that the semester is already half over and I am now on my way home for our fall break.  I still have homework to do but I am so excited to be with Matthew and the animals.  I did not know that grad school was going to be so hard emotionally.  I knew that it was not going to be easy but I just thought that it would be all good and everything will be fine. I will say that this week it hit hard that it gets lonely while I am in California.  I had been studying for a mid-term and trying to be sure that I am doing all the homework I need to be successful.  I would get frusterated and overwhelmed and I would turn to tell Matthew and he was not there.  I did not even have the pugs to make everything better.  Then I turned to the cards....I kept all the cards that I received during my going away party as well as the cards that I received while I was in California.  I felt the love and support that I am receiving from everyone and it really made me feel less lonely.

When I come home things are going to be different, Matthew has started living his life and he is getting used to me being gone and I worry that I am going to feel like a visitor in my own house but I will see.  All I care about is that I get to be home with him and we can be a "real" rather than a virtual couple for a week. 

Both Matthew and I knew that when we started this journey that it was not going to be easy but honestly I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful community of support as well as an extremely supportive husband who is in my corner cheering me along the way.

God has blessed me and at times it brings me to tears because I am so lucky to have people who love me.

Thank you all!


Jason Lucas

Monday, October 18, 2010

Well overdue update....

It is hard to believe but the semester is already half over!  I will admit that there are times that it seems that the days are just rushing by and other seminarians have told me that this will continue to speed up as the years go by.  I will admit that I am excited that things are going fast because then I will be back home with Matthew and I will be on to where God is calling me.

This last week I was asked to read a reading in Spanish at the installation of the new Dean at CDSP.  The liturgy was beautiful. I was even mentioned in the sermon by the new dean.  Many of you know the story but for those of you that don't here it goes.  When I was little I would use a blanket and turn it into a chasuble and run around the house screaming "Give till it hurts!"  I would then hand out Eucharist (tortilla chips and iced tea) to my dog and others (stuffed animals) that were present.  There were three fellow seminarians mentioned and I was the last one and it was received with great laughter.  After the service I did have some people come to me and share their stories of how they used to play church.  I think it was the Holy Spirit working through the story to be able to help others remember their childhood.

This weekend was a bit of a challenge for me.  Since I have been here at CDSP I always had something going on for the weekend and this weekend I did not.  I also did not have my regular friends around to try to do something.  It hit me that I was feeling lonely, I really was missing home and my community back in Minnesota.  However, I was forced to be ok with just being with myself and thanks to my co-president Elizabeth was able to go for a drive into the neighboring towns as well as going to a church that I would not have been able to get to since I do not have a car here in Berkeley.  For this weekend, I felt that I was a regular person again, not worrying about school and church but just being a normal person out in the world.  I know that there are more days like this in the future and this is when I turn to those things that remind me of home to make the distance between here and Minnesota seem less.

This Friday I do get to come home to Minnesota for a week.  I am so looking forward to getting a break from the routine here at school and just play with the dogs and spend some time with Matthew.  I know that this time with him will be short but I just am going to love to be with him and go through the normal everyday routines that we had before I left on this adventure.  I hope that when I am home I am able to see some of you. 

While in Minnesota I will also be talking with hospitals about their CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) programs.  Since there are not many hospitals the spots are really few and I needed to get ahead of this before June.  I will be working with people in the hospitals and from what I have heard it offers me the ability to see ministry from every angle possible; from births to deaths and everything in between.  I will admit that i am a little nervous about this but I know that God will be with me during the process. 

I think that is about it for now, please remember that each of you are in my prayers and I ask that you please keep me in yours.


Jason Lucas

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

St. Francis of Assisi

Yesterday (October 4) was the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.  The Roman Catholic Church I grew up in was the St. Francis of Assisi Parish and I remember asking my mom once, "Mom why are they so mean I don't think that St. Francis was a sissy." 

However St. Francis I think has been playing a part of my spirituality from when I was a child until where I am now.  St. Francis is know for his love of animals; this weekend I was at an animal blessing and I was so happy to see how many people really love their animals.  Now in the urban world of Berkeley there were no chicken, cows, horses etc but I could see how much people really love their animals.  Many of you know that I am a big animal lover, my dogs and cats bring me so much joy and there are so may times I miss having them fall asleep next to me.  Animals offer their owners unconditional love, OK maybe not cats, but generally animals are there to be companions for the lonely, to help the sick and to bring us a good laugh when the day is really bad. 

When I am talking to Matthew or he is talking to me and we are having a bad day we always say, "Go and cuddle with the pugs and they will make it all better."  I can't tell you how true it is.  Personally the dogs give me a feeling that no matter what they are going to love me and they also offer me a place of peace.  My spiritual director (the one in Minnesota who is now in California--I think God was telling me that California is the place to be) has animals and she has a dog named Short.  From my first meeting with her Short was there to help in our spiritual direction meeting.  Short knew when things were getting rough for me to talk about and Short would come up and place her head in my lap and look at me with the eyes saying, "I am here to make it better, and since I am here you can pet me if you like." 

I thank God everyday for the love that my animals provide to me as well as for those animals who help to make other peoples lives better. 

Saint Francis however is not only known as the animal saint but he said an amazing quote that I try to live my life through, "Preach the Gospel at all times...if necessary use words." 

I had someone once tell me well Jason you want to be a priest so you have to be that way.  However, I think that this message is not just for people in religious life but I think this is a call to ALL people.  We are all called to love each other, treat each other with dignity and respect, and to love our God.  This, in my opinion was the message of the Gospel and this is the message that St. Francis is telling us. 

So how can we preach the gospel?  Well I have a few ideas, we need to be advocates for social justice, to help the poor, and to help those in need; however, I think we also need to look closer as well.  Personally for me, I feel that I am preaching the gospel by sitting and listening to someone in need or even just going and helping someone move a box.  To preach the gospel does not mean that we need to do huge things rather it is doing things with love no matter big or small that I think is preaching the Gospel.

Jason Lucas

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Today is the feast day of Saint Michael and All Angels.  The sermon at today's liturgy make me sit back and thinking about the angels that have been in my life.  The person who gave the sermon talked about how there were millions of them around him and this made me think of how many really have there been in my life. 

My family, friends, community are all angels to me, especially as they are supporting me through this process.  However, what about those angels that we might not see right away?  When I was in high school I volunteered at the senior center and I used to go with my Godmother and take meals to the home bound.  There was one person that I would love to go and see, we would talk, play cards, and just enjoy each other.  As I remember she was one who challenged me to be more than what I already am.  Unfortunately, I lost contact with her and the last time I saw her she was in a nursing home, but I know that when we were together and even now that I do not know where she is that she was an angel to me. 

I think that an angel is a person or a voice that challenges us to grow closer to God while protecting us sometimes from others or even ourselves.  When I start to beat myself up over something or I feel completely overwhelmed I hear the voice of the lady I just talked about and she would say "Jason, now you know you are better than that! You are a child of God." 

So the question I place to you is who are the angels in your life? 

Personally, I want to thank everyone that has been an angel in my life, because it is because of you that I am the person I am today and I could not thank you enough for helping become who I am.  I am also excited to meet new angels down the road, because no matter how old you are angels are always praying for you and loving you.

Jason Lucas

Monday, September 27, 2010


Every time I think of the work Grace my mind goes to the National Lampoons Christmas Vacation movie where they ask the elderly aunt to say grace.  The aunt replies, "Grace Died 40 Years Ago!"  I know that this might sound silly but for me I think that there might be times when I feel that grace has died for me.

I have been at seminary now for a month and there have been times where I felt that grace is not there.  I have felt lonely, scared, frustrated and at times down right stupid; but during those times I am finding there are people around me to minister to me.  This is where grace comes in.  I know that without grace this adventure would not be possible and that I would crash and burn rather quickly; but thanks to all the prayers and grace I am so far so good.

I have worked in a church setting for over 12 years and there is something that is really interesting for me, I am wonderful at ministering to others when they need to be ministered to however, it is so difficult for me to get ministered to.  I sometimes feel that I am needed to be perfect and that I am not going to make mistakes while I am here and during my ministry and I always felt that if I made a mistake it was a disaster and that everything was going to crumble.  This however, is not true, rather it is what have I learned from this mistake and how am I going to use this in the future. Again, this learning and understanding that making mistakes is a normal thing is an example of grace.

I am sitting in my room right now in the terrible heat (who ever said that Berkeley was cold was not telling the truth) with a hot water bottle on my back that I threw out today.  I still had to go to class and to be present in class so I carried the hot water bottle with me everywhere I went and I was able to sit in class and be present without my back hurting too much.  Again, this is grace!

God's grace is something that I always pray for all those in my life, the grace to love each other and the grace to love God.


Jason Lucas

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Now that I am about to finish my second week of classes the routine is really starting to kick in.  I really did not realize how important a routine was in my life.  I would go through my days in the secular world and it was just how it was.  I would take the bus, go to work, come home, do homework, go to bed and then start the whole process over again the next day. 

Going for having a regular routine to one where classes are one certain days at certain times as well as having chapel life really was hard for me to get into the habit of doing it.   Now however, I really am finding that I have a routine that is starting to take over and that it will need to be reviewed from time to time but for the most part it is going pretty well.  The chapel needed someone to come and open the chapel each morning at 7:00, I always loved doing morning prayer but I preferred morning prayer to be around 9:00 or 10:00, unfortunately that was not the case.  So I decided that I would take on the job, this made me accountable to be there every morning.  So now I get to wake up (some days easier than the others) and open the chapel.  Luckily my commute to my "job" is walking out of my dorm building across the courtyard and to the chapel approximately 57 seconds unless there is traffic.  Traffic is usually someone out walking their dog and of course I need to give them petting.  After I open the chapel, I get about 15-20 min to sit back and work on contemplative prayer.  Many of you know that me being quiet is not one of my gifts but at this time of the morning it forces me to work on praying and being quite. 

I also have a work study job, I am working at the front desk of the school.  It is really fun to be back in my "admin" role that I loved so much when I was working at Ameriprise.  I get to be back in the "corporate" world again and I think that I really enjoy that.  Now I have not started e-mail bingo here at Berkeley but I am sure that it might happen one of these days :-)

Homework is something that I thought I would do OK but here I really got the wake up call that here I need to keep in front of my homework.  I don't think that I have had so much reading ever in my life.  I will admit that there are things that I don't understand or just don't get but the faculty here are really awesome and will help you work through it.  I know that this evening I am headed back to my room after evening prayer and dinner locking my room and then hitting the books and not coming out until it is done. 

Life in a dorm is a really interesting thing.  I have made my little place at CDSP pretty cozy, I have my TV (this was not negotiable) but no cable but I really enjoy the space.  I really is hard to walk in my door and not have two little pugs running all over the place so excited to see me.  I have two stuffed pugs and they really could care less that I am there or not.  The people of the dorm however are just wonderful.  It is this little community that really looks out for each other.  This makes being away from my community in Minnesota hurt less.  I will say that I do miss having my own bathroom or having to get up in the middle of the night get dressed and then go to the bathroom is starting to get a little old but oh well.

I got a letter the other day from Sandy Puckett who is a member of my parish back home.  I was so excited to see something from home from someone I knew.  I don't know what it is but I always think that getting a handwritten letter is so wonderful.  The letter she sent me was wonderful, and I loved it very much.  When there are times I am starting to get lonely I pull the letter out as well as other cards that I have received from people (which I love just as much) and instantly I am back home in Minnesota.  Know I would love to send a hand written letter to all of you but God has blessed me with many gifts but good handwriting is not one of them.  Based off of my handwriting you would think that I should be in Med School or that I just finished a class in Hieroglyphics.  But I am working on it, I got a kit that will help me to learn calligraphy so hopefully soon I will be back in the legible writing game.

Finally, I want to share with you a link that I just thought was so cute.  I was in my Old Testament class and the professor said if we can explain a story like this little girl did about John the Baptist then we were golden.  I hope you enjoy.


I miss all of you so much!! Thank you so much for your love and support!!


Jason Lucas

Monday, September 13, 2010

One week of Class done many more to go....

Well I have finished my first week of classes and even finished my first paper, there is a lot to learn.  I spent the week sitting in classes and looking over the syllabus for each class and wondering how am I going to get it all done.  I think that the best I can do is to get my routine down.  Having this routine will help me to be sure that I am going to get everything done the best I can. 

This past week Matthew and I also celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary.  I thought that I was going to be doing ok with it becuae I was busy all day long, I had classes, I had community night.  However, it finally hit me that he was not with me and that we were spending the anniversary alone. Last night I was talking with my grandmother and she asked me, "are you doing what you want to be doing?  Are you happy?"  My answers to each of these questions was YES!  I do feel that this is what God is calling me to as well as this is what I need to be doing to be able continue to discern God's call.

This weekend the first year class went on our class retreat.  This was a wonderful time, it was at the St. Dorthy's retreat center in California.  We spent time in prayer as well as relaxing and it was such a beautiful place.  While I was there we created these things call Mandalas (not sure about the spelling) where we created artistic representations about our journey to where we are now. First I realized that Mrs. Hight was correct that there are some people that can do arts and crafts and that I was not one of them.  This helped me to be remember that this journey really has helped me grow.  The picture of it is below.  This shows that I have really grown from a small plant in the center to this wonderful flower.  My heart has grown so much, this process has streatched me and has helped me to grow.  I know that the stretching is going to continue but I am really starting to see how much I really have grown and become a new person.

Well that is it for now....more to come!

Jason Lucas

Monday, September 6, 2010

Time to start the study party.....

Well the orientation week has been completed and the Labor Day weekend is coming to an end, this means it is time for school to get going.  I have my books, my class schedule, my computer, and my desire to hit the road running.  This has been what I have been wanting for years yet there is a part of me that is a little sad.  It has really hit me this weekend that I am not at summer camp but that I am really here in California and Matthew is in Minnesota. 

The good news is that I learned about this wonderful thing called reading week and I get to come back to Minnesota for a week in October!!! I am so excited!  I will say that this time has made me really pay attention to what is important in my life as well as my identity as an Episcopalian.  There is the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and I will say that this is completely true.  The more time (I know it has only been a week but it feels like 10 years) I am way from Matthew I am coming to a new place in how much I really appreciate and love him.  Simple things like when I had to go to the doctor and he was not there, I sat in the doctors office and started to tear up because when I got home I knew that Matthew would not be there. 

I have also had the opportunity to attend services at a very High Anglo-Catholic Church and a very Progressive Church.  Each of these services have shown me the things that I really love about liturgy and what are those things that help me get closer to God, and feed my soul.  My Bishop has given me the challenge to attend as many churches as I can during my first year.  I thought that this was to find the church that I want to do my field education but it is also going to help me to get a clearer picture of what I am not as a potential priest but as an Episcopalian.  I will also get this during my education here; CDSP is apart of the Graduate Theological Union, which is comprised of many different faiths who house their schools here.  I have the ability to take classes at different schools; I thought at first that I would only take classes from the Episcopal seminary because I am an Episcopalian but I have come to the thought that if I take classes from other denominations it will help me to root my "Episcopal Identity" by seeing those things that will challenge my thinking and my philosophy and theology.  I think this is what seminary is about not only to train people to become leaders in the church but also the ability for people to find their identity not only within themselves but their religious identity.

So as I start classes I want to end my post for today with a few thoughts:

  • I am entering this journey not alone, I have a wonderful husband as well as a wonderful family and community.  I would not be able to do this without your prayers and support.
  • I am asking for your prayers for Grandma Joyce as she is having surgery on Thursday.
  • I ask your prayers for each other that what ever we need in our lives we will get it.  
  • Never be afraid to continully evaluate who we are and what our identity is; if we continue to look ourselves we will never stop growing.
I might not be posting as much as I usually do becuase I need to get my schedule and routine in order.

Thank you all again for your love and support.  Please know that you are all in my prayers!


Jason Lucas 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm here....

I am sorry that this has taken so long to post but things have been a little crazy since I landed here in California.  The weather has just been so beautiful!! I finally got my room (quite small) together and I have been going through two days of orientation with three more to go.  I have registered for my classes which, I think is going to challenge me to be a better student as well as allowing me to expand my horizons on my ideas about God and religion. 

This week is orientation week and I have been so lucky to be welcomed by both the staff and my peers through these few days.  Each of us brings different talents and gifts to the table that will compliment each other as we walk through this process together.  As with anything there is a transition time that needs to occur, I think that even thought I have settled in and am getting to know the people in my class I know that there will be times when it is going to get lonely and I am going to miss my home in Minnesota.  This is why I am so grateful to have a wonderful support network back in Minnesota as well as my family in Arizona.  Knowing that there are so many people who are cheering for me really is going to help me in those times when I feel low and lonely. 

This time that I am being blessed to spend in study is going to be a time that I will need to hit the books hard and to open my mind and heart to listen to what God is saying in my life. 

So for now everything is ok, more details to follow.

Thank you for reading and supporting me!


Jason Lucas

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2 more days to go....

Well this waiting is starting to come to an end until I am in California.  This past week I have not worked, which I really could get used to.  As I have been home I have been doing the normal errands, but I also have had some time to really think about many things.  The one that is most on my mind is "Why am I doing this?"  Why am I changing my comfortable life, moving 1300 miles away from my husband and my family?  I keep telling myself that I have to follow where I feel God is calling me to.  There are many times I wish that when we are born we are given an envelope that tells us what our career and life is going to be.  This would make life much easier, or would it? 

I look back in my life and see how different I am now than when I was going through seminary the last time.  I have grown, I have matured, and I have been able to really sit back and dissect what I am thinking and feeling. 

Which brings me back to how do I know that what I am doing is the right thing to be doing?  Well I have come to the following conclusions:

1)  My whole life, I have wanted to become a priest.  I would dream of being up at the altar celebrating the eucharist as well as working with people where they are at in their faith journey.

2)  I heard this call being echoed through the discernment process.  For those who do not know what is involved in the discernment process first you meet with a group of people from your church for 12 months.  During this time they ask some set questions as well as any other questions that might come to them.  Next, if the local discernment committee moves your forward, you then get to take a medical evaluation, a full day psychological evaluation pull all the paperwork together for the diocese and then finally you spend three days with the diocesan discernment group.  I went into this discernment conference feeling nervous, but refreshed after spending 2.5 days on a silent retreat.  During the time with the diocesan discernment committee you have large group exercises, small group exercises and one on one meetings.  Finally, on the last day I met with the Bishop, I will tell you that I was so nervous but in the end I left there saying "I was who I was (thanks Popeye) and now it is in God's hands."  Well even though this sounds easy it was far from that, I came home and watched the Rocky and Bullwinkle show for about 3.5 hours until I got the call saying I have been moved forward.  Then the background check happens and you have to sit with another psychiatric evaluation. 

After looking back on what I have had to do to get where I am this shows me that I must be following God's call because I could not have done all of this without God's help as well as the support of everyone. 

3)  Finally, and this is a pretty interesting answer is that this is what I think I need to be doing right now.  My hope is that I would be ordained however, God might have a different plan.  All I can do is move forward and put the rest in God's hands.

People have been asking me "how I am doing" and I can honestly say that I am pretty surreal.  My stuff is in California (to be delivered tomorrow)  my ticket has been booked and I have said most of my see you laters, but there seems like everything is just floating on by.  I think Sunday will be a little different but the reality will hit me on Monday morning when I wake up and Matthew, the pugs and the cats are not there.  I know it will be hard but I also know that God will give me the grace to deal with the feelings and to move forward. 

When I first started the local discernment group, I thought that the end of the group would mean the end of the discernment.  However, as I continued in the process I realized that discernment never ends.  Right know it is looking at should I become a priest or not; but then it will turn into where is God calling me to work, to it is time to change what I am doing.  I think that discernment is not just a "holy" thing but rather what we all have to do in our lives; we just need to open our hearts and our minds to listen and act on what we are hearing.


Jason Lucas

Monday, August 23, 2010

What a wonderful weekend!!

This weekend was such a wonderful, but emotional weekend.  It started off by me saying goodbye to my working in the secular world.  I loved working for Ameriprise especially after I left my old boss, and it was hard to say goodbye to this group.  Each of them brought such wonderful gifts to the table and they truly loved working with each other.  They also enjoyed having fun at work, especially email Bingo!  It all seemed surreal, I was going through the day but nothing really seemed to be happening until I gave security my badge.  I depended so much on job, both financially and mentally, that to just up and walk away from it to start this adventure really was a challenge.  When I got home and my boxes were there with my stuff from my desk I realized that my work career for right now is over. 

Then on Saturday, Matthew and our friends Patty and Terry hosted a wonderful party for me.  It was wonderful to have people over to celebrate and to say goodbye.  I was ok until I started reading the cards, it was so wonderful to know how much that people care about me and it was so touching to read their support for me.  I then had to say goodbye to a wonderful friend of mine, Rosie.  I met Rosie when I was with the Crosiers and we have been friends since.  We meet often at the famous Cafe Latte for her egg bake and my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  She told me she was leaving and I went to give her a hug and she said we will book our breakfast for December.  This hit me that even though I am going to be in California for a few months/years my home really is here in Minnesota.   The party kept going on with me running like a chicken with my head cut off, because I wanted to talk to everyone.  After the party died down I sat near the bon fire we built with some people from work as well as Aunt Roberta and Maggie.  We laughed and laughed and had a wonderful time picking on each other as well as picking on me.  What a wonderful Saturday!!  As great as Saturday was I knew that Sunday was going to be hard.

We got to church on Sunday and I was already feeling anxious.  I had been the youth director there for close to 7 years and I love this congregation so much.  This congregation has been so supportive of Matthew and I since we started going there and I was about to leave.  Everything really was going normally until our priest Katherine+ called me and Matthew up front.  I she handed me a bag to find a tie-dye T-shirt that said "Property of St. Luke's-Minneapolis"  I could not help but to laugh, this congregation knew that this was a hard time for me and they wanted to be sure that I could laugh when I really needed it.  However, there was more, after Katherine+ tripped and fell (she wanted to take the spot light off of me) she handed Matthew and I two beautiful Pipestone crosses.  Pipestone is a rock that only Native American's can mine and sell, this rock is very sacred.  This is when the waterworks just started to flow.  It was so beautiful and it was at that moment that the church again was filled with the Holy Spirit.  The congregation started to say a prayer and I felt this level of peace fall over me and again I knew everything is going to be ok.

After the service we went into a wonderful coffee hour where the congregation signed my shirt as well as shared in a wonderful cake (decorated with chili peppers) as I was talking to people again I realized that I am not leaving forever, I will be back in December. 

I need to keep this mentality as I go through this process even though I am living in a different state Minnesota is my home, I am just taking a few months off at a time to be somewhere else. 


Jason Lucas

Friday, August 20, 2010

Saying Goodbye to one Chapter and Hello to a New Chapter

Today was my last day at work, the day seemed to be very surreal.  I went about my day and I walked out of the office and I felt at peace.  I am not saying that I did not like my job, in fact I really liked this department I was working in as well as my new boss. However, when I walked out I thought I would be in tears and upset that I am saying good bye but rather than saying good bye I said, I will see you soon.  It is true that I am leaving MN for CA but this is not my home, this is not where my family, friends, and heart are, rather they are here in Minnesota. 

If God willing, I am ordained a priest I understand that this means that Matthew and I will move around but I think that this will open us up to a world of new people and loved ones.  Right now I am the one leaving and Matthew is staying.  Being ordained does not mean that I am restricted only to Minnesota, I can work in any Episcopal Church it is all about where God is calling me.

Tomorrow, Matthew and our friends Patty and Terry are throwing me a going away party.  Again, I will be saying "see you soon" to more people and there will be times where it will hurt but this is why I have friends and loved ones to support me during this time.

When I got the blessing (pardon the pun) from the Diocese that I could move forward and head off to seminary I thought to myself that I have a wonderful supportive network around me what am I going to do if I leave and then I am by myself in CA.  This is in my opinion is when prayer is called for, no matter the distance I know that people will be praying for me and I will be praying for them.  Prayer does not have a distance limit it goes where it is needed. 

I also know that I will be joining a new community, in this community I will meet new friends and peers and with all of us being in the same "boat" we can understand more about what they or I are feeling and how we can best support each other.  I know that there will be times when it is lonely but I know that I have a wonderful community here in Minnesota, Arizona and soon California that will be offering me up in prayer.

Every morning I do morning and evening prayer in my commute to work.  I have this small booked called Pocket Prayers for the Commuter.  It is an abridged version of morning and evening prayer.  Each day it gives you a prayer a reading a meditation and then a closing prayer.  These past few days I have been having such a hard time praying because when I would my mind would wonder.  That is until this morning, I reached the opening prayer and this is what I read, "Lord Jesus Christ when I pray please accept my words, my silence, my confusion, and my questions as my prayer, and then guide me so that my prayer may be more like yours."

I sat in wonder as I read this prayer, I did not even get to do the entire "standard" prayers and readings.  I always knew that any time I can pray to God however, the prayer does not have to be structured.  I find that if I am not following a "formatted" prayer then I am no good at.  Right now there is so much in my mind that my confusion, fear, sadness, and joy are all prayers to God because as long as we are  keeping our minds and hearts open to what God is calling us to then we will be at peace with those things that at times are tough but that with prayer and our support networks they make them a little easier.


Jason Lucas

Friday, August 13, 2010


I am sure you see this heading and think, "really Jason?  Is this all you have to talk about right now?"  Well what I want to say is how wonderful technology has become and how it will help Matthew and I keep our relationship going while I am away.  I was downloading Skype today and teaching Matthew how to use it, I was so amazed that I can be on the other end of the country, or even the world and I am able to see Matthew, the pugs and the cats.   I think that it will help me to feel less lonely or being able to see my husband when things are getting tough.

I wonder however what it was like when couples did this without the technology that we currently have.  Letters would be a great way to talk to each other but by the time the other party received it it would be a week or more.  I think that this truly helps a couple to love each other more.  The saying, "distance makes the heart grow fonder" is something that is easy to say but when you are in the thick of it it might now always feel as easy as it is to say it.

This will be the first time that I have been away from Matthew for so long, and it makes me wonder how we are to keep our relationship healthy with me being 1,500 miles away.  My priest gave the suggestion that we go for a walk together, now I think that it might be very expense to fly home for a walk.  She told me that we call each other (thank God for free mobile to mobile minutes) and we talk as if we were standing next to each other. We can take pictures to show the other person what we are seeing and have the ability to get that communication that is so necessary for a relationship; and it is thanks to technology. 

Jason Lucas

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I met with my Spiritual Director today, which I just love her. She was telling me that I need to pray for surrender in what is going on right now.  Surrender that is a very interesting word I asked her for her definition and in true Spiritual Director/Therapist fashion she replied, "what do you think?"  Here was my response:

1) It could mean that I just throw my hands up in the air and say the heck with it all.
2) It could mean that I need to hand everything over to God and let God take care of it.
3) It could mean that this is the same meaning as the Al-Anon saying that this is beyond my control.
4) Surrender is that I am a looser and don't waste my time. 

After talking these definitions out I would say that 2 and 3 are where my mind should be.  Surrender is one of those words that really can mean something terrible or something wonderful.  I am such a control freak that to surrender, to me, is about being weak.  However, this is not true, there are times in our lives that we really need to hand whatever it is over to God because it is just to large and that we can not control it.

Matthew told me the other day that I need to "live in this moment now and don't worry about the what if of life until it gets here.  (Excluding retirement, Ameriprise still kicking in on me)  If I worry about the what ifs in life then I can never really enjoy the moment that I am in now. 

So to surrender is to just live in the moment now and to love those who I love even more as well as letting come what may in this exciting journey.

Jason Lucas

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Getting Ready.....

From today I have 19 days until I am on a plane headed out to California.  I am sitting here trying to even begin to put a list together of what I need to do to get ready not only my house in Minnesota but also my new student life in California my brain just spins in circles. 

I have been so lucky to have so much support in my journey to this place in my life now; the first would have to be the wonderful support of my partner, Matthew.  I still remember the first time I saw him and how I knew that he was going to be apart of my life.  He has been my rock through all of this and even puts up with my craziness and encouraging me those times that I wanted to just give up. 

Then I also have my priest Katherine; now I will be the first to say that I am so happy that she has been such a wonderful part of this journey.  She has challenged me to work on those things in my life that I might not have wanted to deal with.  She has also put up with my millions of questions that I have had through this process.  She has sat with me on the phone and in person for countless hours and walked with me through this journey from the thick and thin. 

My sister has also become a wonderful supporter of me through this journey.  There were times that we never got along and to be able to have such a wonderful sister is such a great blessing.  My nephews also have been so supportive because they are the best nephews an uncle could ever ask for.  (OK I am a bit biased but oh well) 

Then there is my extended family, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and my cousins.  I love that even though they are so far away they are supporting me throughout this process.  Thanks to Facebook I am able to get encouragement from my relatives.

Finally, there are the many friends and church community that I have been blessed to have in my life.  If I were to name each of you I think I would run out of space but honestly each person that I have to come to know in my life has helped me to grow as a person as well as be supported when I needed them. 

I can not thank all of these people enough for their love, support and prayers; I am so lucky and grateful to God for having these people in my life. 

So after sharing all this wonderful support you might be wondering; "Jason what is the big deal?"  Well a wise person once told me, "Jason some of our greatest adventures are those times when we are the most scared."  I know that everything is going to be OK, but I think that the next few weeks are going to be hard as I say goodbye to people here in Minnesota and start my school life. 

I think that this picture best explains where my mind is......


Jason Lucas

Monday, August 9, 2010

Welcome to my blog

I everyone, thank you for stopping by to see what is going on my world.  You are probably wondering why my blog is called the polar bears will thank you; well this is in honor of my past boss.  She is a recycling queen and when someone recycles she always said that the polarbears will thank you.  I loved this so much I decided to title my blog this.

As you all know I am leaving my home to go to Berkeley CA to go to the Church Divinity School of the Pacific.  I will be studying with the hope that I will be ordained to the Episcopal Priesthood.  This is going to be an interesting time and I thought that by setting up a blog will allow me the ability share with all of you what is going on in my life.

I am leaving to California on August 29 and I will be back in December.

Stay tuned to know what is going on with me, continue to hear about my random thoughts about life, God, and others.