Reflections on Jewish Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Similar to my previous post on my reflections on Catholic Mass, I also visited a Jewish Kabbalat Shabbat service in which they made preparations for the Sabbath.  It was also an amazing experience and I found myself wishing for a permanent identity to a culture.  Again this is a paper from my MC500 class.

Religious Tradition Experience: Jewish Kabbalat Shabbat Service

In preparing for my visit to a Jewish service, I researched online first for the locations and found the Pasadena Jewish Center close by. I found that their website very informative with quite a bit of text and some pictures that are organized very well. There is an emphasis on the content as the website included many drop down menus and explanations for each of the different parts of the Jewish Center that shows the history of how they came about. I reached out from the contact page by email to Rabbi Joshua Grater, but received an out of office response that he was on vacation that provided another email contact. I emailed Bruce and asked about the service and what to expect, as well as what their congregation wears as there is some variance from one Jewish community to another. Bruce and another assistant to the Rabbi’s office promptly replied to me, letting me know how Cantor Ruth helps us along in the service through a prayer book and that the dress code with collared shirts and no shorts work well in the setting. They also informed me of the kippah, a small head covering that is a sign for the reverence in the presence of God. The Kabbalat Shabbat service serves for them as a preparation and welcoming of the Sabbath and they invited me to a short blessing over the wine and bread and dessert reception after.
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Reflections on Catholic Mass

This is a paper I wrote over the summer describing my visit to a Catholic Mass for my MC500 class. Part of the assignment was to make observations and see ways that there are similarities and differences in the way we worship. It was a wonderful experience and eye opening for me as it was my first time visiting a Catholic Mass.

Ethnic Church Immersion Experience: Catholic Church Visit

Coming from a rather ethnic Asian church and having seen various churches on the Protestant side, I decided to go to a much more structured and traditional service by visiting the Catholic Church. In preparing for the Catholic church visit, I started by thinking back at some of the classes I took for church history, systematic theology, and talking to some of my Catholic friends. Some of them told me of their past experiences and jokingly suggested that Catholic Mass is an exercise of standing, sitting and kneeling. In reaching out to one of my Fuller Catholic classmates Kristen, I arranged to visit Catholic Mass the coming Sunday at the Holy Family Church.

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Advisor Appreciation Recording

Advisor, counselor, and past adviser appreciation took place on 7-15-2012.  Since a few advisers and counselors had to leave early, decided to test out recording feature on my Samsung Galaxy S2 and recorded the speeches and other festivities.  Ended up with  relatively decent audio for what it is though not world class.  For those who missed out, here it is in the link below.

Advisor Appreciation Recording 7-15-2012

Wedding, Reflections, Live Sound, and School

The days have been interesting leading up to my intensive classes. Post somewhat a bit of random thoughts and tech and wedding stuff

my brother with a sword

Phil prior to marriage

My brother Philip got married to Carol in St Louis. I ended up getting more gadgets like a video camera and bringing more cables and tech stuff than clothes in weight to be prepared. Always nice to have things ready to go like cables whether they be rca to 1/8 inch or hdmi or random connectors. So in bringing all this stuff and preparing for the slideshow, I guess my mind somehow slipped the fact that I needed to bring a dress shirt as I thought my brother was trying to match up colors or whatever beyond the suit I was bringing. A bit of miscommunication and assumption I guess but luckily our torso/neck and shoulder sizing are relatively close and I was able to borrow one of his other ones once I got over to St Louis at his place.

After hitting up the bachelors party which was pretty tame the night I came in, I ended up prepping the next day and going around to Phil’s place, the store, restaurant, Church, and then a rehearsal dinner thing. Didn’t make it out to the restaurant to test out the A/V for slideshow and what not until the morning of the wedding which definitely cuts it close with little contingency. Luckily things were relatively simple to connect despite the odd placement of 2 unlinked flat screen TVs in the front and one in the back and not knowing the overall equipment the DJ was bringing. After a few tests, slideshow and other random things were ready to go and I headed off to get ready for the wedding.

wedding rehearsal

wedding rehearsal

So people have been asking me how was the wedding and what not and I guess it all went kind of fast even from the rehearsal to the actual ceremony. Maybe it was sleep deprivation or just how surreal it felt (I can imagine it being that much worse? for Phil), but it went pretty quickly overall. Not really the super emotional type like my dad or anything and I guess just steady in terms of my emotions overall? Pretty happy overall I suppose that my brother got married and getting another sister although it has not fully sunk in yet probably due to the distance as he’s been in St Louis for around 10 years now. Anyhow, it was entertaining and fun dancing around and what not getting to see family and friends. Amusing DDing and just chilling and seeing people from different walks of life all converging again after all this time. Ended up averaging probably 5 or 6 something hours there per night and just felt like an old man as I took the rest of the week once I got back to recover and rest up. As a reminder from an article “The Costly Loss of Praise,” a big praise to God for my brother and Carol’s marriage and that everything went relatively smoothly overall.

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Carol and Philip Wedding slideshow

Here is the wedding slideshow from Philip and Carol’s wedding.  This is a web version at 540*360 resolution.  Full 1080p version after the break (click fullscreen button first before  pressing play for that).  And if you want full wmv version, can leave a comment.

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Affirmations have definitely been interesting lately whether it be through things I have been learning in class or through talking to different people.  Finding my past intersect with the present has been interesting lately at the most random places.

Simple lanyard sparking conversations

Simple lanyard sparking conversations

At food distribution this past week, I had my name tag on and was there passing out numbers at the start.  I had replaced the string lanyard with a Sony PlayStation lanyard to make it easier to remove and untangle from the rest that I had gotten some time back at E3 2011.  Funny how fast time is flying these days and it has almost been a year since then.  While at food distribution, one of the people who I passed a number out to started chatting and asked me about the Sony lanyard and if played any games.  It was the second person to start talking to me about it so I found it interesting that I could somehow relate to some of these people simply by virtue of gaming and my past experience with doing the game design minor while at USC.  We talked a bit about Street Fighter and some of the games I played in the past as well as some of the games on PC and PS3 and how some of it evolved before talking about how I am now at Fuller Seminary studying for the M.Div.  Definitely quite a shift, but also an affirmation to see how some parts of my gaming life is being used to strike up conversations and talk about the way God is moving in my life going from work to seminary.  It reminded me that we often think simple things from our experience and past as insignificant, when it is often a way that God uses to help us relate to others in our vicinity.

Wisdom has been a topic of late in my Old Testament Writings class and I feel this strongly correlates with affirmations and how we relate with others.  While I am 3 quarters into Fuller, I find it scary sometimes knowing that people are asking me for advice on different things like schedule or degrees as I represent Fuller as a Fuller Ambassador meeting with perspective students for lunch sometimes.  However, it has been an interesting journey as well as one of my friends from class who was debating between switching programs asked me some questions in which he felt was affirming when we talked through his thoughts.  In some ways, it was a learning exercise for me in just listening and talking through some of my perspectives and reasoning while trying to be encouraging as well.

Stopped by my high school band director’s retirement celebration today and got a chance to celebrate the legacy and reflected some on the fact that eight years have passed since I was there.  Seeing the old faces and the new brought a sense of continuation almost as if the time I spent in marching band was not wasted, but part of the process in shaping who I am today.  Shall see as time goes on how these things correlate and intersect.


picture looking into my computer case

my computer case

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