Student Address from SENDing 2022
Written by Julie Chamberlain (Presented at SENDing 2022)
Ko Julie toku ingoa.
My name is Julie, and I speak on behalf of my friends.
Together, we acknowledge God who created all things for his glory, created people to flourish in loving relationships with God and one another. We acknowledge Carey Baptist College has been a place of flourishing for us, a people and place of significance in our collective story.
We thank National leader, Charles Hewlett and the Baptist Union of New Zealand, for receiving us as newly minted Pastoral and Youth Pastoral leaders. If we can be half the leaders that you and others at Carey are, we will be doing well. Thank you for generously subsidising leadership training. We look forward to serving God and God’s people alongside you in the Baptist whanau, and hope we inspire others to train.
We are grateful to Carey’s Principal John Tucker, the directors and Board, who made the audacious decision to let Jonny and Sam make Pastoral and Youth Pastoral Leadership training available to the regions. I don’t know how they managed to get it through a board meeting! It was a mad idea, and I bet you were holding your breath, but hey, it seems to have worked out!
We stand before you ordinary people with extraordinary experience, having been formed by the fabulous Ministry Training team – Jonny and Sam, we know you have people behind you who make you look good.
But Jonny, your constant adaption makes this programme ever fresh. Thank you for rebuilding your experience to maximize pastoral leadership training by your ongoing listening and learning.
Sam, you exemplify a leader who solves problems creatively, equips the church with passion and party.
But we attribute much of the success of the programme to Morgan and Jess. Thanks for the pastoral care, the admin, and the lovely spaces you have created for us to be in together.
Within the programme we have been strengthening by an abundance of amazing Carey lecturers and staff, specialist teachers, and Pastors who have shared their wisdom, expertise and experience with us. We are all the better for you, thank you.
Thanks, too, to the sending and placement churches, supervisors, mentors and prayer partners who have supported us with encouragement, opportunities to serve, and resourcing. Your collaboration with Carey has equipped us to serve the collective church. That’s so Baptist!
Apparently, a cohort is a group of people with a shared characteristic, but we claim two.
First, we were guinea pigs, lab rats, a huge risk. With half of us onsite and have online, we endured all manner of technological trials, inventions and interventions – selfie sticks in our hands/ear buds pushed in our ears/remote mics under our chins, and cameras in our faces. The only place left unexplored were our noses. But we emerged the original Roomies and Zoomies.
And that is our second characteristic – enduring COVID. As risky guinea pigs, our trials resourced all of Carey’s teaching programme to go online within a few days of lockdown. We claimed its success and marvelled at God’s incredible timing.
Technology has been a frustration, but also helped our friendships to grow. Onsite and online we have celebrated three engagements, three baby announcements, and “attended” three weddings.
Technology also helped lonely, last minute essayists who messaged, “anyone still working on People of God?” (silence, then) “Ding!” followed by a flurry of late nighters cheering each other on.
Our cohort was enriched by fellow students Melanie Palmer, Grace Chamberlain, Julie Christie and Deb Riach who journeyed with us for a time (and we are delighted Deb is here to cheer us tonight). We acknowledge their courage in deciding to step out, and will always consider them part of this cohort.
And to our whānau, onsite and online – you have fed us, picked up after us, listened to us, and given us space to commit a lot to this lot, and at times, a little less to you. Thank you for being alongside us as we have attended to God’s call on our lives.
We stand before you, more fully ourselves because of all of you. Because of God, who made us for himself and who faithfully provides community with whom to love and be loved.
He honore, he kororia ki te Atua.
Honour and glory to God.