My Second Age began with an unusual event: at age 26, 1 was converted to the Christian faith … a faith, in my First Age, I thought belonged to the “haoles.” It began this way. When I became a Christian, I realized with a sudden awakening that I now had a precise historical memory – that I belong to a community of people with a particular memory, with a history, and a vision. The memory is about God who is always involved on behalf of his creatures. A God of liberation and empowerment. This memory is also about Jesus of Nazareth, through whom we receive a whole new understanding of our relationship to God. Since God makes himself vulnerable in caring ways for his people, we are now called to make ourselves vulnerable in caring ways for others.
My Educational Experiences and my Professional Vocation
I attended two years at our University of Hawaii, then on to Drury College, Springfield, Missouri … Mrs. Waterhouse alma mater. While in college, I knew what I wanted to be: a teacher, especially, a Professor of Religion. In those days if you wanted to be a Professor of Religion, you had to attend a theological seminary. So I spent some seven years doing seminary work: first at The Chicago Theological Seminary, then at The Union Theological Seminary in New York where I worked with Paul Tillich, one of the great minds of the 20th century. While attending Chicago Theological Seminary, World War II erupted. I was asked to return to Honolulu and serve the Congregational Church, now known as the United Church of Christ. I served two churches, one at Puunene, Maui, the other at Kapaa, Kauai. After my six years of church service, I returned to New York to complete my advance degree work. In 1956, 1 arrived at the University of Hawaii, to develop a new Department of Religion. After 39 years, wonderful years, I still teach a course on Death/Dying each Fall semester. In my years of teaching, I tried to focus on two significant teachings: a) what I’m talking about is enormously important and alluring and exciting. And b) I wish you knew more about it.
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