On August 28 and 29th, we formally kicked off the 2018-2019 academic year here at RTS Orlando. They were action-packed days as we received new students with orientation, welcomed existing students back from the summer with a kickoff dinner, and launched the formal academic term with convocation.
New Student Orientation
On the 28th we welcomed dozens of new students. After we gathered over coffee and doughnuts (thanks, Covenant Pres!), we began with a short time of worship, with a homily from Romans 16 and music provided by Brad McMurray.
Prof. Glodo then gave a talk on “Succeeding at Seminary.” During lunch (Chipotle), we discussed Student Life, including Women in Ministry (presented by Chrissy Boone).
After lunch, our students divided into two groups to attend a session on the library and another session on the “People and Distinctives of RTS-Orlando” (where Swain, Allen, Swanson, Veldkamp, Conley, and Rev. Mike Osborne talked about various aspects of RTS life).
We concluded with my now-traditional fireside chat about “adulting” while in seminary (where I come up with different ways of saying, kindly, “This is graduate school”).
Fall Kickoff Dinner
Later that evening, we welcomed all students, families, and faculty/staff to share a meal together (this year catered from our favorite local pasta place, Panuzzis). It was great opportunity for new students to meet returning students, and vice versa.
Near the end of the meal, Melody and I handed out some pretty excellent door prizes: The Valley of Vision, some DVDs on Reformed theology, a few new Bibles, gift certificates to local retailers, some RTS swag, and, perhaps most importantly, framed portraits of Luther and Calvin (that we found in a closet somewhere).
Finally, the next morning we gathered for worship and convocation, which formally starts the academic year. Dr. Swain gave his presidential address, followed by Dr. Allen’s sermon on wisdom. We concluded with a litany of prayer for the faculty, students, staff, and families.
Afterwards, we gathered in the fellowship hall for a convocation lunch, catered by RTS-O alumni Caro-Bama barbecue.
We’re off and running!