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.