New baby, new book, new business!

This summer involved many new things in my life. As I finished my first sabbatical, my second child, Miriam, was born. Ending a period of time away from the regular demands of teaching and committee work was restorative. To have Miri (as we

Miriam Joslyn-Siemiatkoski

Miriam Joslyn-Siemiatkoski

call her at home) enter the life of my family at the end of that time was a special blessing. Now some four months later Miri is growing before my eyes. I have learned a lesson from my kids that applies to life in a community like CDSP: we are always in a state of change yet we also retain something special that makes us, whether a person or a community, who we are.

During my sabbatical I also put the finishing touches on my first book, Christian Memories of the Maccabean Martyrs. Writing a book is an arduous process. Even when you are done with actually writing and re-writing many drafts, you still are not done when the book is sent off to the publisher. There then is the whole process of dealing with copy editor’s comments, arranging the compilation of the index, and dealing with the many moving pieces of launching a book. The entire process was new for me. While I already have half a dozen ideas for more books, I certainly will not undertake my next major writing project lightly.

I had one other important new experience this summer – attending General Convention. I went to Anaheim to participate in the annual board meeting of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church in my capacity as the book review editor of Anglican and Episcopal History. Along with Jane Shaw of Oxford University, I delivered an address to the society on the future of the study and teaching of Anglican history. (Our joint address will appear in the December 2009 issue of AEH.) While in Anaheim I was able to observe the deliberations of General Convention and stroll the exhibit hall. I also kept tabs on all the doings of our new liturgy professor Ruth Meyers while she did tremendous work on the Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music and for the Chicago Consultation. Elizabeth Drescher, the director of the Center for Anglican Learning & Leadership, also did a presentation on the use of social media in the communities of faith. My time at General Convention also gave me time to have conversation with prospective students at CDSP. To be at General Convention, even for a few days, is like trying to drink from a fire hydrant. Nonetheless, I was completely taken with the bustle and business going on all around. It made me wonder how I could somehow be of service during this triennial process.

New baby, new book, new business – my sabbatical and summer has indeed been a rich time. And now, on to the new semester, new students, and new studies!

~ Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, Assistant Professor of Church History

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