Today is Trinity Sunday. It is also the day of my commencement upon which I will be given the title The Reverend Doctor Steven Paul Thomason, Ph.D. Weird.
It is appropriate that this ceremony take place on Trinity Sunday, since the Trinity is at the heart of my dissertation. Of course, I defended it 11 months ago and can barely remember. It is titled Deep in the Burbs: A Participatory Action Research Project Exploring How the Social Trinity Impacts Spiritual Formation in Suburban ELCA Congregations. I invited eighteen members of three suburban congregations to go on a nine-month journey with me. We discussed the Trinity, spiritual formation, and the suburban context. They developed action projects in response to the conversations, and we tried to make sense out of what we thought God was doing in all of it.
We learned a great deal and realized that the dynamic relationality of the Triune God is the fabric of the universe. Everything is connected in dynamic, interdependent relationships.
I have spent the last eleven months trying to cultivate spaces in which people can grow in these relationships: with God, with self, and with others. Many of us have taken The Journey together, worked through Beginnings: The Books of Moses, OMG! Can We Talk about God?, or taken various courses at The Grace Learning Center.
It has been a productive eleven months, and now I am tired. Today the floppy hat will rest on my head and the poofy sleeves will dangle around my arms as they place the doctor’s hood around my shoulders. Then, on Wednesday…I go on vacation!
Happy Trinity Sunday, everyone. May you boldly approach the throne of Grace, through Jesus Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.