Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hi its me...Im alive :-)

Hello everyone, it has been a long time coming this blog post and I am truly sorry for the delay. I am writing this from my home in Minnesota, I am here with the pugs next to me and I am loving being home (except for the cold and NO SNOW!!). Alot has happened since my last post, I have been working as an intern at the Episcopal Church of our Saviour in Mill Valley California and I am loving every second of it. I have been able to be challenged in ways that I never thought of, I have been able to preach at least once a month and I have been able to work with the fantastic children's program. I am not saying that it is all peaches and cream but to be honest I am really loving it! With field education as well as my 5 classes this semester there are some days where I can not catch my breath; but it is through this craziness that I have been able to continue the work on my pastoral identity.

As we are in the novena up to Christmas I went back and started reflecting on what has been happening not only in my life since I entered the official seminary process in general but in my life over all. I love this website called woot.com many of you know but for those who do not it is a type of GroupOn site where they offer a deal a day in different categories. I fell in love with the T-Shirts that they offer and many of them I have, they are funny or just silly and they serve for me a reminder not to take things so seriously. Well one day I looked and the T-Shirt was this image:

As I looked at this image I laughed a little but then I went into my "theology" mind and I looked at it some more. The first two weeks of Advent offer us scripture readings that talk about John the Baptist and his infamous cry from the wilderness to make straight the path of the Lord. I kept thinking to myself mmmm has Woot followed the lectionary in publishing this T-shirt? I was struck about how windy the road it and how it seems that it must take forever to get from one place to the next. I looked at this and realized what a wonderful metaphor for life!! I think at this moment I chuckled because I thought wow it has happened I am thinking way to in depth here.

I looked at this picture and realized that this is how our lives are; no matter how much we try there are going to be twists and turns no matter where we go. So how can we follow John's decree of making straight the path of the Lord and realizing that our lives are on such a twisted road? Well what came to me is that we try! This is our job in life is to try to live our lives and try to make straight the path when we can. No matter how much we try we are not able to make the path straight every step but we are to try.

During these past few months the advent of the Occupy movement had hit it stride and like you I would read the pictures that people had taken telling their stories and talking about how they are apart of the 99%. I was amazed and moved by many of the stories many of them lead me to tears; and these stories really made me take a look at myself and my life. I had been living my life the best way that I could with my husband and our kids (2 dogs 2 cats) and we were comfortable, I was making money and we were living comfortably. Then we decided that I was to take this leap of faith and head off to seminary. I did and the dynamics have changed. We are surviving and continuing to live our live the way we know how. We took this journey together and we do not know where we are going, will I have a job? Who knows? Will a job be open in Minnesota? Who knows? There are many different questions that we are going to encounter but we continue to walk this path each day step by step.

This takes me back to the image above, we all living a world where we are initiated with people telling us that this is the way or that way that we should turn on our journeys. Sometimes we follow the sign and sometimes we do not; the road we are on is our road and it is your road as well. Taking this journey is a scary one and there might be times were we realize after a while that we have made a U-turn and did not realize it. I know that as you are reading this you are asking where is the hope here?

Since I have been able to preach alot more I try to find hope in my sermons and to share that with the communities I am preaching to. So where is the good news in all of this? Well I think that the good news here is that what we are being called to do in our lives is to try and to be the best people that we know how to be. This is not to say that we can just him and hah and say well this is the best I know; absolutely not. But rather we will need to learn and continue to discern in our journeys. Sometimes we follow the signs on the road and learn something good or bad but we are learning. I do not think that John the Baptist was telling us that we need to straighten every road that we encounter but rather to work on those roads that we can; and know that we are doing what we can. No matter the journey I hold on to the hope in my heart that no matter the journey that I will arrive and that this journey will teach me alot and that this journey will help me to live into my happiness while I am on this journey and not just at the end of the journey.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year I am going to try to post more but to be honest I dont know when I will have the time to.

Thank you again so much for continued love and support of me and Matthew in this process and know that all of you are in my prayers.


Jason Lucas

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First day of a new semester

Hello there everyone, I want to apologize for the rest I took from writing on my blog this summer. I wanted to take a break and I knew that CPE would be very busy so that is the reason for my delay. I am going to try to be better about writing updates so please bear with me.

I am writing this post after the first day of the semester. I was so excited to have an 8:00 am Systematic Theology class then go work for the chapel as a sacristan, then run to meet with my field ed supervisor, then back to the seminary to lead sung evening prayer and then do the bulletin for our upcoming community night. To say it was packed and busy is an understatement, but to be honest I would not change a moment of it.

This year I have a wonderful list of classes, I have Systematic Theology, Preaching, Field Education (internship in a parish), and Greek. I am continuing down the road of seminary and I am so thankful that God gives me each day to be here to study and pray. I am also one of the sacristans for the seminary; I am able to work on helping to set up liturgies for the seminary (this totally feeds my liturgical nerd needs). I know that to many of you this might not seem like a WHOO HOO type of thing but for me I am not only working for the community but I am able to learn about liturgy and the diversity of liturgies that we have in the Episcopal Church. I am also working as an intern at Church of Our Savior in Mill Valley. I have done my first "official" liturgy withe community and I am so excited and feel very lucky to be working with such an energetic community. I will be preaching, working in the parish as they need me and attending various meetings. This time is a sort of Lab time where I am able to try things in ministry in a safe setting, I know from this soon in my time there that I am going to learn a lot!!

I also wanted to give you an update about my CPE experience I had this summer. It was absolutely wonderful! I was able to spend a majority of my time working at a Children's Hospital in St. Paul as well as an "adult" hospital. I was stretched in so many ways. I was able to do the work and find some of my pastoral identity as well as to overcome some of my fears working in a hospital setting. I was challenged also to keep working on myself. I thought that by now I was able to have this all done and over with but I realized that one is never done working on themselves. I was able to be with people during times of great anxiety and it was such a blessing to have people open up the invitation to be with them. There were many tear and frustration but it was totally trumped by laughter and joy. I was also blessed to do my first funeral. It was for a young man and I was given the grace by God to do the service and it was wonderful, for the first time I felt like a priest.

Well sorry for the long post and I honestly need to get some sleep. Thank you so much for all your love and prayers; please know that I am praying you all.


Jason B. Lucas

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Where is God......

I am sorry again that it has been such a long time since I posted. I am writing this now as a person who has finished my first year of seminary. It is so hard to imagine how fast this went by!! It was a time of great transition both good and bad. I struggled in many arenas but I also excelled in many other arenas as well.

I am leaving tomorrow afternoon back to Minnesota to continue my journey. I have a few days off, heading up to Duluth for a few days before I get back to start my Clinical Pastoral Education in St. Paul. I am so excited but a little nervous for this chaplaincy but I am ready and willing to head out.

I titled this post where is God because lately that is how I am thinking about things in my life. I have had experiences and I start to ask myself where is God in this? Many times I am surprised that I had blocked God out of the situation and it became all about me (insert chuckle). I have learned that this is not all about me and that there are times where I have to let God be God, no matter how difficult it can be. As I started down the last few days of the semester I found that I was extremely overwhelmed and I was getting irritable and anxious. I sat down and asked myself where is God? I realized that I had not been praying like I should be and that I was not giving my anxiety over to God. I decided to sit and do Evening Prayer in my room and give my stress and my anxiety over to God. Now this is not to assume that God was coming down and writing my papers but rather I asked for help. I asked God to walk with me and be with me and to help me deal with this yucky feeling.

I am also a little sad to see the graduates leave. I have been so fortunate to build wonderful relationships this year and I know when I get back a large group of people I have come to know and love will not be here. I find great joy however in knowing that these people will be my peers throughout my career and I can turn to them in times of need or support. This is a really interesting part of seminary that we build such intense relationships and then we seem to disappear. We do not disappear but rather we leave here ready to hit the ground running in our various ministries. Again I ask, Where is God? I see God in this arena as giving us a great network of friends and peers that will be able to support us no matter where we are in the country. This group of people will be there and able to help me see things in my ministries in very different contexts.

So to all of you who have prayed and loved me through this year I give you my heartfelt thanks. I would not be able to accomplish this without the love and support of my partner Matthew, my children (Princess Patty, Princess Lucy, Nadia, and Julia) my family in Minnesota and Arizona and without the love and support of my friends and prayer partners. Please know that I keep you in my prayers!

I hope to keep blogging through the summer.

I love you all and thank you!


Jason Lucas

Friday, April 1, 2011

You cant go home again....or can you????

I am back from my travels throughout the country and I have finished my first week of class after spring break. I left on March 15 to the Seminarians of Color conference in Alexandria, VA. I was able to connect with other seminarians of color as well as for me to get a better perspective of who I am and how I fit in my own skin. Many of you know I am Hispanic but I don't look like it by any means. Having an Anglo father and a Mexican Mother, plus adding the fact that I lived in Minnesota I look really white. However, deep down inside I am Mexican, it is my roots, the way I was raised and who I am.

After the conference I left Virgina and went off to Arizona to spend some wonderful time with my family there. I was able to spend time with my nephews and sister but also to spend time with my aunts and grandparents. The time that I spent there was just wonderful, when I walked into my grandmothers house she pointed at the vent in the floor and said, "do you remember what this was for?" My aunts and my cousins turned and said, it was the telephone. When we were kids we would scatter around the house and use the air conditioning vents to play telephone. As I was in her house a flood of memories came to me. Where I sat on Christmas while we opened gifts, the stockings that were on the wall, and my favorite Noel candle holder on the bar in the house. I went back to being 8 years old again. It was wonderful! I also went to visit my mom and while I was there I saw a picture on the wall of my great grand father and I. I must have been 5 or 6. When he would come over to our house I would sit on his lap and put his baseball hat on. I still remember how they smell. This was a picture of me in his hat and him holding me. I still get a little teary when I think of that picture.

While I was back in Arizona it really hit me that it does not matter how white I look on the outside because who I am is both external and internal. I am a Hispanic man and this trip helped me to get solidified in my roots.

I then got to spend some wonderful time in Las Vegas with Matthew. He was so wonderful to me by driving from Minnesota to Las Vegas so I can have a car while I am at seminary. I quickly realized that I am needed to have a car while I am here in seminary and he was so wonderful to bring it to me.

As I write this I am so amazed that my first year of seminary is almost over. I will return to Minnesota for 3 months to do my Clinical Pastoral Education at United Hospital in St. Paul and then I will come back to California for my second year of seminary. It is amazing how fast it is going.

We are now smack dab in the middle of Lent. Each day of Lent I am reminded of what I am being called to be and to serve God's people. There are days where it gets lonely and I get blue but then I think of many people who are supporting me in this process. Without the Grace of God and the support of all of you I do not think that I would have been able to make it through this first year.

Today I read an article about the pastor in Florida who had threatened to burn the Qur'an on September 11 held a mock trial against the Qur'an and the punishment for the Qur'an was to burn it. He soaked the Qur'an in flammable liquid for an hour and then burned it. As I read this I could feel the pity for this man in my heart but also I felt shame that this person was a Christian just as I am a Christan and he is doing these terrible things. How can a person be Christian and speak hate? We live in a very diverse world and even though we might not agree with everyone around us we need to listen to the words of Mother Teresa and to "See Christ in everyone." How??? now that is the question of the ages. This evening at evening prayer I prayed for this pastor and for the people who were involved with this trial. There are times in our lives were we need to pray for people that we do not agree with at all. Jesus asks us to pray for our enemies and this is much harder than we think. As I was praying for this pastor and his congregation I could feel the anger in me grow and grow. However, as I prayed for him out loud I could feel the anger drop and I was filled with pity for this person. I ask for you to also pray for these people as well as to pray that there may be reconciliation from this divisive actions.

Well this has been a much longer post that I thought it was going to be. Please feel free to email me with any prayer requests that you have.

Please continue to pray for Matthew and I as we continue down this journey and know that you are in my prayers.


Jason Lucas

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I write to you on the eve of Lent, good old Ash Wednesday. I received a couple of emails after my last post so I think I should clarify whats going on.

I think that there are times in our lives where God calls us into a quite reflection. This is not a good or bad thing but rather a time period to sit back and take stock, sort of speak, of where I am in my life now and where I think I am going. I have honestly been hit the past couple of weeks by an emotional tidal-wave and I needed to unpack it and see how I can work with it. Well last Friday I got to officiate one of our "Black Friday" Evening Prayers and it was in that moment that I felt the Spirit coming upon me and re-energizing me. When we came to the personal intercessions, I said, "In thanksgiving for a renewed Spirit." I feel like I am on top of the world again. I am still not the bubbly person that I usually am but I have a clearer picture of what is going on in my life. I know that I am in the right place at the right time of my life. When I started the discernment process I was instructed to read a book called Listening Hearts in this book it talks about some of the signs of knowing if you are on the right path is that things seems to fall into place. I now have a writing coach to help me with my writing, I heard from Matthew about the wonderful people who have helped him recover from surgery, Lucy is feeling better after her surgery (well enough to destroy another one of my pillows) and I am being able to head to see my sister and my family in Arizona as well as taking a much needed vacation for Matthew and I in Las Vegas.

I have also been blessed to have many people step up in my life here in California to support me in ways that I could not imagine. Many times it is just someone saying Jason lets go for lunch you need to get out of here or someone realizing I have been spending way too much time on my Martin Luther paper and posting the 95 Theses on my door (Thanks AE You know who you are :-)) I feel that God sends people into our lives when we need them the most.

I have also been pondering about the future and what is laying in front of me. This summer I will be in a CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) program at United Hospital, next fall I will be getting my hands dirty and working in a parish here in California. I also get to start taking more electives in my course work to help me to get a broader experience of seminary.

The main thing that I feel I have learned from these last few weeks is that this is me growing more and more into who I am. This is not to say that I wont get down or upset ever again but rather each time this happen I am able to discern what is going on and see how to respond to it, if I need to.

As for Ash Wednesday, since I was small I used to love Ash Wednesday. I used to love to walk around with ashes on my head. It was this sign that helped me to remember that I was Christian and with this big black cross on my forehead there was no way of denying that. The other reason I loved this time of year was what the priest would say when they put the ashes on my head. Depending on the priest you got you would hear, "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel." or "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return." The first saying for me is what we are charged with for our whole life not just Lent. We should turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. This is not to say that we will never sin but rather when we do we can turn and continue to live the Gospel. The Gospel calls us to live in Charity, Peace and Love. These are very simple messages that we can live our lives by. I think that many times people get so caught up in the who is right and who is wrong that often the messages of Charity, Peace and Love are forgotten.

So as I start my journey into Lent, I offer this as my Lenten discipline, I am going to keep a positive focus for the next 40 days. I can sit and keep worrying about things that I dont have answers to right now such as, how am I going to pay for this after I am done, will I have a job after seminary, or where will Matthew and I end up living after this is all over and live in these ambiguous questions or I can choose to see the positive in the experiences that I am having here. I am going to try to live the Gospel in my life and my challenge to you is to try and do the same, this Lent and after.

I ask you to please keep me in your prayers and know that I will be keeping you in mine.

I saw the cartoon below and realized that part of our Christian life is that we should laugh. So in good fashion I offer you the Ash Wednesday Carton below.

I wish you all a very Happy Lent Season! Happy Ash Wednesday.


Jason Lucas

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why God? Why This?

Have you ever wondered why things happen in your life when they do? As I have started this semester and now a few weeks into it, I sometimes ask the question of why do certain things happen to others and to me in this part of our lives? Well from what I have learned and prayed about the answer is a clear, "I have no idea." I think I have a few assumptions but not sure.

Here they go:
1) It will hep you grow. True it will help me to grow as a person and to be a better human being, or a better student, a better husband or whatever it will help me grow.

2) It just is what it is. As much as I do not like this assumption I have to say that this is where I tend to see a much better answer for me. There are sometimes in our lives where things happen just because they happened. This does not mean I am being punish or cursed but it just needed to happen.

3) To test me. This is the one that I really do not put much weight into. I don't feel like Lot where I am being tested to prove my love for God. Rather the opposite is true.

Now you are probably reading this asking, "Jason what the heck is going on in your mind right now?" Well to fill you in I have started my second semester of seminary and in some ways the polish has started to dull. The second semester you do not get to pick an elected and the "newness" of seminary starts to diminish. This is not to say that I am not happy but rather it is a different feeling. I will also admit that the loneliness is starting to really hit home this semester. Being way from Matthew and the animals really has been hard.

These past few weeks I have been asking myself, "what do I want to get out of Seminary?" Going to seminary I thought I was going to come out a priest and that is it. I will have to say that it is my job in seminary to be a better Christian who feels that God is calling me to be a priest. In seminary there are many challenges that one faces, budgeting time, homework, reading, chapel obligations, field ed, community life, and in my case writing. Each of these challenges brings me into a better place in my life. The challenge of budgeting my time is a valuable skill that I will need for the rest of my life. Homework and reading keep telling me that I never can stop learning, rather I must strive to learn more and more each day. Chapel obligations, for me this is where I have most fun. To come into worship to spend time in prayer with God and my peers is an experience that I love more and more each day. This for me feeds my soul to give me the drive to stay another day in the service of God and the Church. As some of you know I open the chapel 4 days of out 5 here at the seminary and I usually get about 15-20 min alone in the chapel before people show up for morning prayer. It is in this time that I have my talks with God. We talk about things that are on my mind, the happy, sad, good and ugly. As much as I would love to sleep in each day, being able to open the chapel and have that time with God is so valuable to me. Community life is something that we get here in the seminary in droves. As with any community we are a family, that means we are a FAMILY, we celebrate our lives together, be there for each other and sometimes argue with each other. This does not mean we do not love each other but rather we want to learn from each other, even though sometimes we completely disagree.

This past couple of weeks have been really interesting for me, I have been in a more quiet space in my life. I tend to be quite in many aspects of my life with many of you know is very difficult for me to do. I think that right now I am needing to sort many things out and that this quiet time will help me to get a better grasp on what I need to be doing.

Finally, I wanted to tell you about a wonderful gift that I got today. One of my fellow students was talking to me and I was telling her how much I had been missing home, Matthew and the dogs, and today I got in the mail a wonderful package with a Port-A-Pug kit (Picture Below). It was so wonderful that I started to tear up. This act made me feel loved and listened to. I am so appreciative for her, this gift helped me to brighten up my day.

I am so thankful for the ability to be here and even though the challenges God continues to bless me and I hope that he will bless you as well.

You are all in my prayers.


Jason Lucas

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Some days

Hi everyone, sorry about the delay in posting something. I have been back in action and classes are going ok. Lots to read but that is part of the program.

I wish I could say I was doing better today. Matthew had surgery on Friday and has been recovering at home in a lot of pain. He just called me this afternoon to tell me that Princess Lucy needed surgery (she had a nail get torn out and they had to knock her out to fix it) and now he and the one of the dogs are recovering. I am feeling extremely guilty that I am not there to help out with what is going on. I know that God has called me to be at seminary but that does not make things like this any easier. I keep telling myself, if I was home I could be fixing this and taking care of Matthew and Lucy.

But there is a lesson here, the lesson is that there are many people who are caring for us to go through this process. We have such wonderful friends who live downstairs from us that have been taking wonderful care of Matthew and now Lucy and I am eternally thankful for the love and support that they have given.

I also realize that this is a community that is in this journey with us no just Matthew and I. We have had support through Matthews surgery and recovery and we will continue.

With all that said it does not make things any easier for me. It is something I have to pray with and deal with but sometimes it just seems to hit me harder than others.

I thank you for your prayers, love and support.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Second Semester

Hello everyone, I am back from a very wonderful but cold break and I am ready to start the semester. I am entering this semester with a new tool to help me with my writing and that is a writing coach. I am so excited to be working with her and to be able to get my writing in gear.

The break was a wonderful time to spend with Matthew and the animals. I had a great time seeing friends and also realizing that when I am bored I will bake. I had the opportunity to preach at my home parish and this helped me to figure out who I was as I have taken on this new role of seminarian.

I have been back in California for a week now and I am so happy to be in warmer weather but I am also ready to just get going. I am excited to see what this new semester will bring as well as what new learning is on the horizon.

I ask that you please keep John Bauer in your payers.

Know that you are always in my prayers!

Jason Lucas