Gratitude and Anticipation

August 24, 2017 by Lee Hinson-Hasty

“25 years ago this today, the LPTS Class of 1995 stated learning Hebrew from Johanna van Wijk-Bos.”

My seminary classmate, fellow seminary graduate, and friend Timothy Davenport-Herbst posted this on Facebook last week and tagged me and over a dozen other classmates including my partner-in-life, mission and ministry, Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty. There were over 70 of us that began seminary at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary that hot summer day in 1992, almost all of us graduated three years later with a Master of Divinity degree. Some went on another year to finish a second degree in marriage and family therapy. We continue to cross paths in ministry today in the PC(USA) and beyond as we serve as pastors, educators, campus ministers, mid-council staff, professors, counselors, denominational staff, and more!

Feeling nostalgic, I responded by tagging more classmates and commenting,

Those five weeks mentored by Johanna van Wijk-Bos were transformative individually and communally, I think. We sang, we danced, we cried, we carried around flash cards, we prayed, we played things like capture the flag, we ate together, and we survived! The cover of my CHATS paper was a photograph of our class in the Gardencourt Rose Garden dancing the hora and singing “Dayenu!”

The translation of the Hebrew phrase dayenu is something like “It is sufficient” or “It is enough.” The photograph was from after our final Hebrew class and just days before our final exam. The Rev. Dr. Wijk-Bos, who insisted we call her “Johanna,” led us in prayer that day in that place; a prayerful, joyful song and dance with one another and the Holy One.

My Facebook comment went on to say, “It was indeed, enough! It sufficed! We were enough. We were good enough.”

Johanna retired this year after 40 years of service… now that’s a biblical number!

In May, Johanna taught the LPTS board of trustees a song that I think is her prayer, theirs’, and ours, “Gratitute, deep gratitude. Indebtedness. Anticipation.”

Deep gratitude.

May that be our prayer as we live into the next 25 years of partnership in ministry in the PC(USA) and beyond. And may we include in that partnership something Johanna made her life’s work, an investment in and support of future ministers.

May it be.