General Voices: Weaving the Tapestry of Formation – Michael Horvath

Michael Horvath

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M.Div. ’17

When I started to look at seminaries to attend, I found that its history, its deep commitment to holistic formation, and its alumni contributed greatly to my decision to plant my flag at The General Theological Seminary.

In doing so, I looked forward to becoming part of the great tapestry of a Christ-centered community, its traditions, and its family of students, professors, administrators and alumni, past and present. As a current student at General, I experience people teaching, leading, and studying in ways that speak to a larger purpose than the Seminary's current inhabitants or its point in time. The tapestry of General is not static and does not exist merely for our present-day pleasure and use. Its warp and weft disclose centuries of love, conflict, hope, and achievement; and the threads of my experience now add to the rich design, as we continue to weave and extend the edges of General Seminary's tapestry for future generations.

I value the threads of administration and leadership that challenge me and my fellow students to think about the way lay and ordained church leaders are formed for a changing church in a changing world; I cherish the threads of teaching and rich intellectual experience that continue to be deftly and lovingly worked by a dedicated faculty; and I treasure the threads of loving relationships that are being constantly spun among members of our community. To be sure, General is not without its holes and imperfections. Wear and tear have weakened the fabric in some areas, and its design has had to be revisited, sometimes in very painful ways, as we have seen during the last academic year.

Unpacking and understanding the recent events at General will likely go on for some time, and I am honored to be part of this institution’s rebuilding, re-visioning, and future growth. It is fine to ask me about what it was like to live in the eye of a storm, to lose friends and fellow students, and, at times, to feel helpless. However, don’t forget to ask me what it feels like to have an increased capacity to forgive and to be forgiven, to speak from truth, to seek common ground among differing voices, to discover points of hope within myself and within my community, and to experience painful, but life-changing resurrection. For me, this is what formation is all about, and this is what I am taking with me as I embark on my ministry.