Monday, November 26, 2007

We're Back...

I pulled into the church parking lot this morning and felt like I was visiting a foreign country. I love vacation and time away from the everyday, but it sure is hard getting back into the routine. I'm sure the natural question on everyone's mind is "How was Seattle?" We have gotten that questions dozens of times since our return and the response has yet to get old. Seattle was amazing.

We really did LOVE Seattle while we were there. Mandy had never been there and I was pretty young when I visited, so we didn't really know what to expect. We had received mixed reviews from others, with some saying they loved Seattle and some ranting about the terrible weather and the depression that follows. Well...we loved it.

It rained all day when we arrived, so that part wasn't much fun. The weather was pretty good, though, the rest of the trip. Most of the time the rain exists in the form of a mist that doesn't really get you wet, so it was not annoying at all. The temperature was great! In the winter the average temps are in the 40s and in the summer the 70s with very little rain. I think I will love the outdoor opportunities that abound in the Greater Northwest.

We had canceled our rental car just days before our trip, so we were at the mercy of public transportation during our stint in Seattle. It worked out great though. We saved a ton of money and were able to ride all over Seattle with ease. We were very impressed and plan on only having one vehicle when we live there, while taking the bus nearly everywhere.

We were able to relax and enjoy the city as well. We ate fresh seafood (including the best Clam Chowder I've ever had) in Pike Place Market. We surveyed Seattle from the summit of the Space Needle. We took a ferry across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island. I climbed the 65' climbing wall at REI. We went to church at Mark Driscoll's church, Mars Hill Bible Church. Mandy and I loved the time we spent with each other, enjoying the city and discussing our future.

Mars Hill:
The point of our trip to Seattle was to visit a seminary there called Mars Hill Graduate School. Mars Hill is a cutting edge seminary that seeks to prepare students to deal with their own stories so they are able to minister to others, regardless of the culture they find themselves in.

The school was perfect. It is located in one building, an old, four-story luggage factory in downtown Seattle. It is one block away from Puget Sound and is sandwiched between a ritzy hotel and a low-income employment agency. The school has sought to preserve the warehouse feel, keeping its wood floors, vaulted ceilings, and garage doors for classroom walls. The building is full of art from the nearby Seattle Art Institute and student projects.

Our time at the school was filled with great information to help us make our decision. On Friday morning I went through the interview process. On Friday afternoon and Saturday was the actual Campus Visit Weekend. We got to hear lectures from current faculty, staff, and students, get information about academic programs and financial aid, meet other prospective students, and ask tons of questions we all had.

It was a great weekend and Mandy and I really feel called to go to seminary at Mars Hill. The question for us is when? Please be praying for us that we would sense God's timing about when to move on to the next season of our lives.


  1. Is Mars Hill affiliated with the church of the same name?

  2. The school is not affiliated with any church or denomination. They are actually quite opposite to Mark Driscoll's Mars Hill Bible Church which is staunch Calvinist. They are closer in theology to Rob Bell's Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI. Rob recommends Mars Hill Grad School to people in his congregation, but they are not affiliated in any way.

  3. Don't know if you remember him but Jayme Helgeson went to Mars Hill Grad School.