SENDing is a highlight on the Carey calendar as students and staff are celebrated and, for the past two years, I have been an observer while imagining what it will be like to be SENT myself.

SENDing heralded a change of seasons, much like the budding daffodils remind us that winter is ending and spring is on its way. Or like stage curtains closing between acts where the stage is cleared from what was in order to be reset for what is to come.

This current season or act has been one of “lasts”:

My last assignment submitted (thank you Jesus!).

The last time my cohort will all  be together in one room.

The last lecture, community lunch and chapel at Carey.

The last time I try and fail to make a fancy pattern in the steamed milk from the barista coffee machine in Carey’s Wharekai!

The last time my family and I cross the harbour bridge to Albany Baptist as my placement ends.

 

But it’s also a new scene or season of “firsts”:

The first leisurely and slow meander along the beach, because I now have free time!

The first day with no lectures or academic requirement to be met (a very strange feeling!).

The first time in three years to really catch my breath and dream about what the future holds.

The first documents received from a church looking for a pastor.

The first step in discerning what God is saying.

 

As I reflect on SENDing and my own journey to get to this place of being trained and ready for pastoral ministry, maybe there are others – perhaps even reading this – who sense a season is ending and aren’t sure what that means. Can I offer a word of encouragement from Psalm 104 which reminds us God knows what he’s doing, and if the season you are in is one of “lasts” it means you are about to enter a new season of “firsts”.

 

Julie Redwood

2019 Diploma in Pastoral Leadership graduate