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Epiphany Greetings from our Seminarian

Epiphany Greetings from our Seminarian

by Hannah Smith on January 17, 2024

Happy Epiphany to the Good people of St. Dunstan’s!

I am writing to you from Camp Allen where I am attending Vocations Conference; a requirement for all students in the Texas Dioceses. As a Junior (first year student) I get the pleasure of attending meetings with our Bishops regarding the growth and direction of our Dioceses without the stress of interviews and exams like the 2nd and 3rd year students! It has been awesome to meet students attending other seminaries and get to know other clergy persons whom I have not yet. I have loved getting to hear all the ways God is working around the dioceses through the very specific gifts and personalities of those in our church. Our diocese is very relational and I’m starting to feel like I have a place in the web of relationships and ministries.

After the conference is over, I’m headed straight to Laredo where I will be doing border ministry with my January Term class. Our goal is to listen to stories of both migrants and Border Patrol with intention to humanize the people who often become talking points on both sides of our political spectrum. I covet your prayers for this trip and for the people who we'll meet along the way. Because of both of these trips I haven't had much of a break after the semester ended. Seminary is fast-paced without much time to reflect on the whirlwind after funneling out on the other side. Last semester I conquered my fear of leading the Daily Office in a room full of liturgy scholars. This is something I didn’t know that I would be afraid of until I got here. Despite chapel 3x a day, kitchen duty work study, and working conferences on campus, I still managed to get great grades, thanks be to God! I had a lot of fun in my liturgy class and am really looking forward to continuing to learn more about our special Liturgies and the organization of our Prayer book.

Another exciting thing that happened this semester is that I got engaged! My fiancé and I met at our home church, Holy Family Episcopal Church in Houston, and plan to get married at the seminary chapel this summer. I am eager for that day and for when he can move to Austin because long-distance in Seminary has been a challenge. The seminary is very inclusive of the whole family, and he is already planning for the ways he will contribute to this tight-knit community. We can't wait!

I want to offer my sincere gratitude to St. Dunstan’s for your continued prayers for me and for the ways you have financially sacrificed to make my time in seminary easier. Your contribution has paid for my electric bills and my groceries for my first semester. I am ever-grateful for the way your selfless-contribution will continue to bless my future family and my future ministry. I am planning to visit and worship with you towards the end of January or early February when life slows down a bit. I can't wait to check in with you all and hear about the great things that God has done at St. Dunstan’s since I was last there.

In Christ,

Hannah Smith

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