Response Paper: Gladness, Need, and Vocation

For your first response paper in HIS290 (due by Moodle no later than noon on Monday, 2/6), I’d like you to take a first shot at writing about the theme of your final essay: “…how you would relate your interest in the past and your training as a historian with what you understand to be your calling or vocation.”

Buechner, Secrets in the DarkTo get at this big topic, I’m going to ask you to write approximately 250 words in response to the excerpts we read in class on Friday from Frederick Buechner’s sermon, “The Calling of Voices.” Some questions you might respond to:

  • In general, do you like his way of framing calling? Why or why not?
  • If you resonate with it… Does his description of “gladness” seem to fit how you respond to history? (Does studying the past leave you “with the strongest sense of sailing true north and of peace, which is much of what gladness is”?)
  • Tentatively, can you see a connection between that interest in history and how you might go “where [you] are most needed” in this world? (Or even to his closing idea of being called “to be Christs”?)
  • If you didn’t like Buechner’s approach, do you have an alternative way of thinking about vocation at this point in you time at Bethel?

Note that this is a somewhat unusual response paper. Unlike others:

  • You’ll work on it over the weekend (again, it’s due Monday at noon) — usually these will be due on Wednesdays.
  • I won’t share anything you write as a blog post here — this is a private reflection.
  • I’ll grade it pass/fail — so long as you do the assignment and meet basic writing expectations, I’ll give you 10/10 points.

One thought on “Response Paper: Gladness, Need, and Vocation

  1. Pingback: Don’t “Do What You Love” | Intro to History

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