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Thinking Out Loud

“For the pleasure of writing the page well”

by Michael Jinkins | Jun 14, 2011

The title this week is a line from one of my favorite poets, John Ciardi. If you are a fan of Dante, you may have read Ciardi’s translation of The Divine Comedy. Or you may know Ciardi’s original work. If you don’t yet know Ciardi, I hope you’ll get acquainted.

This poem begins,

“One Easter not on the calendar I woke

and found I had survived ambition.

There was nothing I wanted more of. Time, yes,

if it was given. An unfinished thought

to add a page to, not for the thought’s sake,

but for the pleasure of writing the page well,

if I could write it well. Or if not, for the trying."[1]

This summer I shall be writing again though not on this page. I’ll be working on a book on the future of the Reformed faith.

While I immerse myself in this project, I have asked some friends if they would be willing to think out loud for us. They have very generously agreed to do this. So I would like to introduce you to our guest bloggers for the summer. As a group, they represent a wide spectrum of our Christian community. I know you will enjoy hearing from them.

I want to take this opportunity to welcome them to this blog, and to thank them for their willingness to share their thoughts with us all.

Our guest bloggers this summer are:

Susan Garrett (Professor of New Testament), Dianne Reistroffer (Director of Field Education and Methodist Studies and Professor of Ministry), Marty Soards (Professor of New Testament Studies), and Debra Mumford (Frank H. Caldwell Associate Professor of Homiletics and Associate Dean for Student Academic Affairs): all members of our own Louisville Seminary Faculty.

Conrad Sharps, Senior Pastor of Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama; member of our Board of Trustees; and alum (MDiv ’85) of Louisville Seminary.

Morgan Roberts, Honorary Life Trustee of Louisville Seminary, well-known Presbyterian preacher, and Pastor Emeritus of Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Angela Cowser, Louisville Seminary alumna (MDiv ’06); Associate Pastor of Multi-Cultural Ministries, Eastminster Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee; and Ph.D. Candidate in ethics, homiletics, and practical theology, Vanderbilt University Divinity School.

Arch Taylor, an alum (BD ’45; ThM ’54), long-time missionary to Japan, activist, and friend of the Seminary.

Jonathan Yarboro, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Wetumpka, Alabama, since graduating from Louisville Seminary in 2006.

Marion McClure Taylor, Louisville Seminary alumna (MDiv ’95), is Executive Director of the Kentucky Council of Churches and also served as director of World Missions for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

As I pack up my laptop computer, I want to thank you for your hospitality this year in welcoming “Thinking Out Loud” into your lives and ministries. I especially want to thank you for your responses each week to the various blogs and email blasts. See you in August!


[1] John Ciardi, “One Easter Not on the Calendar I Woke,” from Echoes: Poems Left Behind (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1989), 1.


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