Context Hub starts for the new Academic Year
The first session of the year for the full-time contextual pathway got off to a great start.
We have more students on the full-time pathway and we have three associated students in the group. All the new students and exisiting students have been paired with mentors. Mentors are students that have been recently ordained and are ex ERMC students. They were not present today, but have been in touch with ordinands and last years cohort already have some good, discerning ministerial realtionships developing. There is a whole pedagogy around this, which I won’t chunter on about now – but it’s great to be developing ex-ERMC students in theological education and in the nurturing of training ministers. They will be present at other sessions this term.
New supervisors were well-inducted and we explored theology of community, body theology and identity, symbolic respresentation and Benedictine and Ecclesiogenesis models of community in relation to theological education, which was biased of me, but gave them something to grapple with in terms of what theological education is really about and how best it is engaged with. We have a psychotherapist joining us for various sessions this year to offer support, to challenge assumptions appropriately and help make sense of some of the deeper issues we explore theologically in context (such as prison last year). She has offered to see students one-to-one if they want at the centre sessions. We debunked the prejudice of psychotherapy and agreed that often the most integrated ministers make use of it so they learn how to manage conflict, name issues and model appropriate boundaries so that ministry can flourish in the right places.
This term we are going to Bedford School Chaplaincy – exploring theology of childhood and poverty, boys spirituality and the historical development of children as members of community in the church, hosting a discussion / debate on Hate Crime and Embracing Diversity in the Local Community with Beds Police and local Inter-Faith Leaders, exploring what mission is and how we move beyond church to be missional and respectful as builders of peace, we discuss with RC mission focussed ministers and Church Army mission focussed ministers, we examine end of life pastoral care with a visit to local undertakers and we have begun to think about MAPs in the local context and what the local project will be for each minsiter and their training supervisor. Last years projects were brilliant and made a big impact on the local communities.