Archive of entries
Jane Robson, previously a member of our church, is currently training for the ministry at Regent's Park College, Oxford, and is working with Kingswood Baptist Church, Watford. Keep up with Jane's news here.
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Sunday 31st October 2010
Looking back on the week I see that it has been quite eventful! Having led the Bible Study Wednesday afternoon, the Church Secretary and I headed off to Borehamwood's independent cinema to see "Africa United". This is an excellent small budget film, along the lines of "Slumdog Millionaire", which I can highly recommend. It's a feel-good film (although I did shed a tear at one point...) with lots to make you think. I then found my way to Cambridge on Thursday to visit my aunt and cousins after the church coffee morning (£115 raised for a charity called 'Hope 4 Children') and tried to get together with a local pastor for coffee on Saturday morning. After waiting outside Starbucks for nearly half-an-hour, I gave up and came home...he rang me at 1 o'clock to apologize profusely for having forgotten! Never mind, it had been a lovely bike ride in the autumn sunshine.
Squeezed in between all those events were the other things you'd be expecting me to do. The drive to college had been quieter than before (half-term to blame I think) and so I was able to fit in half-an-hour's extra study time in the library before classes started. I now have an essay and a project assignment to complete before the start of Hilary Term (10th January) so together with preparations for leading the class in a discussion on Isaiah 5:8-24 on Monday 8th (Nov) the college work is starting to increase. There has been some pastoral work to get involved in this week as well as planning for Advent and Christmas services at church.
I meet my college tutor this week (Tuesday) and support minister (not connected with either Kingswood or the college) on Saturday. It'll be interesting to hear what they both have to say. And I'm taking a day off this week to go Christmas shopping with Brenda; not the most relaxing way to spend a day off, but these things have to be done. And thank you for all your prayers - they are such a support - more than any of us will ever know I suspect.
Sunday 24th October 2010
I nearly had a photo to add to today's blog...of a fox...sitting in my back garden warming himself in the sun when I got in from church this morning! But he'd gone before I could get to my camera. How unexpected. Which had been the theme of that morning really. With two of Kingswood's members away on holiday, I wasn't expecting my largest congregation so far - but God obviously had other ideas. There were nine adults and three children there - how amazing was that! I might have to start preparing more child friendly services (hurrah).
The rest of the week by and large fall into the recognized pattern of church and study although a day's (optional) conference at college on Saturday - two very interesting lectures on Baptist History and Heritage (strange what you discover you're interested in when you get the chance to find out) - took up rather more of my study time than I had anticipated. (A learning moment, I think). So, I'm a bit behind with study - what, already I hear you cry?!
My day off found me at the dentist again (root canal treatment now two-thirds completed...ouch) and then spending a very enjoyable lunch and afternoon walk with a friend - and how good it had been too to see four other church friends around and about as well. Mind you, it did make me feel a bit 'homesick'... Next week we have a coffee morning at church and then I'm off to Cambridge to visit my cousins and aunt, so I don't expect to bump into any of you then. I'm also hoping to see 'Africa United' - I'll let you know if I do.
Sunday 17th October 2010
The big let down of last week was the news late on Tuesday afternoon that we didn't have to matriculate after all...anyone want to buy a cap and gown? A mistake had been made - so there will be no fancy photo of me all dressed up. In contrast, everything else about the week has been good - mostly. Three lectures, each of 50 minutes in length, one after the other on a Tuesday morning is probably not going to be the high-light of the week: even allowing for the fact that it's a privilege to be there! And you're not allowed coffee (or any hot drink) anywhere in the building...what!
I think I'm still at the blissfully unaware stage of what really lies ahead of me academically, so I'm making the most of it, but we have been set our first piece of work in Old Testament studies - leading the class for 10-15 minutes on a passage from Genesis, Deuteronomy or Isaiah. (For those who really are taking this blog seriously, my passage will be from Isaiah 5-7 on Monday 8/11). Two essays are also looming however - gulp.
Three firsts this week: A pastoral visit to a lady back home after a hip operation; a Bible Study on Wednesday afternoon - we're following the BU book "LIFEsize" which is aimed at small churches (although I get the feeling that the small churches they are thinking of are not quite as small as Kingswood) and this morning's service included communion - and there were 10 in the congregation. I've also tried to sort out holidays, days off, Sundays off (yes, I am allowed some time off) for the rest of the year - this has proved to be a much more difficult exercise than I thought it would be. I wait to see if the church are OK with what I've suggested.
I've also enjoyed a very delicious meal with Debbie Harvey this week (Maire's daughter who lives less than 3 miles away in Abbots Langley) and have managed another ride into Watford - to buy an A4 pad of writing paper and other such exciting things. I've also purchased some book-shelves, but they lie at the bottom of the stairs waiting to be constructed....another day. Time does not permit me to ramble anymore, so until next week...
Sunday 10th October 2010
There has been so much that has happened since I last wrote, it's difficult to know where to start. I guess the easiest thing to say is that all has gone well in my first '0' week at college. We have looked at 'Leadership and the local church' over four days with all 28 ministerial students from all three years working and studying together. The time has been well blessed with prayers in chapel each day and the opportunity to share in the chapel service at the end of the week. (This is always on a Friday before 'formal hall' and as I shall normally be at college only on Monday and Tuesday, I won't usually have the chance to experience that.)
'Formal hall' is dinner on Friday night when everyone gets dressed up and wears their academic gowns! The tutors all sit on 'top table' and if you leave or enter the room whilst they are at table, you have to bow or curtsey! Sounds awful in a way (especially when you've just spent a week talking about servant leadership!) but was actually great fun. One photo gives you some idea of the table at which I was sat and the other shows me and two colleagues enjoying pre-dinner drinks in the MCR (Middle Common Room - for post-grads and mature students).
On a more practical note, I find I am blessed with a room mate who doesn't snore and who brings me a cup of tea in bed each morning! Ann (my room-mate) and I share the flat with Vanessa from the second year and Jennie from the third year, so we are also blessed with having two 'old hands' to pester with our deep theological questions such as, "Where do we get milk for our tea/coffee/chocolate from?" They have been really good people to have around.
When I'm not feeling slightly apprehensive about all that lies before me, I find myself thinking how privileged I am. I am being taught by some amazingly clever people who are also my brothers and sisters in Christ and who have led me in worship this week. I look out of the chapel windows (not all the time!) and give thanks for this incredible opportunity that I have been given to study and serve a local church - and be paid to do it as well. More blessings.
However, just to bring me and you back down to earth, chapter one of "The Elements of New Testament Greek" is calling - before I go to a 'Christians Across Watford' prayer meeting this evening: if I can find it...!