Monday, November 3, 2014

Thirty Years On - St John's College Reunion

An all-day event was not high on my priorities after five days of targeted radiation. However, having made preparations for a"nana-nap" if necessary, we rolled up at St John’s College “Thirty Years On” student reunion.  They had left the college not long after we had arrived there as a separate denominational appointment with no formal role in the College.

The turn-out of about sixteen was not large and only three of us were Methodists. But Bev and I were warmly drawn into the group, many of whom had similarly befriended us in 1982 when we were grappling with a very unfamiliar situation. All kinds of links were brought to mind in sharing conversations. It was interesting to discover that Bev and I, just by being on site three decades ago, seemed to have made more of a contribution than we would have thought.

From a ministry formation point of view, it was illuminating that hardly a person in the reunion group was in a traditional parish ministry role. This was not a requirement for Anglican students at the time, of course. But it may have been because those who did have Sunday responsibilities last weekend were not able to take time off for a Saturday event.

However, it may also say something about the variety of vocations that has opened up to those who have ministry qualifications by education, formation or ordination. And it certainly continues to press the question I first researched for an MA Thesis fifty years ago: what is the "calling" of “the minister”? How do we define it? How do we select and prepare people to do it?

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