My path to the Seminary began long ago, when I first discovered The Christian Community in Seventh Grade. I began attending the Children’s Service and then The Act of Consecration of Man every Sunday. For ten years I was involved in the Christian Community Summer Camp, first as a camper and then as a counselor. As a teenager I participated in every group trip and youth gathering available.
This was not because I was forced to attend by my family—as was the case with some of my friends—in fact, I would often walk alone to church on Sundays. I felt connected to the Christian Community in a deep and mysterious way—a way that I cannot describe in words.
I always knew that Seminary would be a part of my path one day. But I thought that “one day would probably not come for a long, long time”. It seemed that the Seminary was too big, too grand, too special for an ordinary young person like me. First I had other things to do (so I thought): travel, finish college, be- come a Waldorf class teacher, maybe even get married and have a family; that was my plan.
Then things changed. In February 2014, my life was turned upside-down when, at the young age of 62, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. It was the kind of cancer not easy to cure. I was devastated, to say the least. Would she live to see me graduate college or to be at my wedding? Would she live to hold my firstborn child in her arms—become a grandmother?
Needless to say, the months following the diagnosis were full of turmoil. How do we spend our time? Do we focus on researching methods of healing, or
do we spend quality-time together creating memories? When could we take
a trip abroad together? How can we feel light and laughter when faced with darkness? Suddenly, we were racing against the clock and it seemed as if there would not be enough time to do everything we so much wished …
That’s when the thought occurred to me: You never know how much time you will have on this earth! If you already know what you love and are passionate about, then why not just stop putting other things before it? Before it’s too late, do that thing you’ve always wanted to do! This thought lived so strongly within me, that within a few short months, my application was sent off to the Seminary.
I knew what had been living in my heart—what I wanted to do—and yet I had been allowing other things cloud it over. But that would not be anymore. Now the time was ripe for me to take hold of this desire to deepen my relationship
to the Christian Community. I would set aside time to study and learn what the Christian Community really is! Why did Steiner give the indications that he did for the service? What is the importance of the Act of Consecration of Man for the earth? What is the significance of the existence of the Christian Community? How can Christ become more and more a part of daily life, and how to harness the power from His endless sources?
And just like that, I became a student in the Seminary, studying alongside eight other passionate people who hold the same kinds of questions in their hearts. We are on a path of discovery. We look out into the world to find what is wait- ing to be discovered; we go into ourselves to discover the world inside. We learn more and more what it is to be walking the Christian path.
Sadly, I had to hug my earthly mother goodbye on September 26, 2014, just two weeks after the start of my studies at the Seminary. My mother will not be on earth to see me graduate college, to see me get married, or to become a grand- mother, but she did get to witness the beginning of my Seminary studies, and that made her very happy.
My mother knew it was a dream of mine to study at the Seminary. She always knew that it was a part of my path, and she was right. So far, it is deeply satisfying to be here. The Seminary is big and grand and special, but I am ready now to meet it. I am delighted and incredibly grateful that my path has led me to study at the Seminary just at this time.
Picture: Clockwise from bottom left: Vera Swift, Brazil; Cinzia Gior- danelli, Italy; Melissa Barton, USA; Olive Nicole Wells, USA; Dorothea Foerster, Germany; Linda Michaels, USA; David Buckner, USA; Bastiaan Baan, Seminary Director; Manuel Toro, Colombia.
by Melissa Barton