#SYNOD2017

Great feet of life-long learning

Those attending the Uniting Church of VicTas Synod 2017 on Monday afternoon were urged to seek out people wearing “three socks” on their chest.

The three socks were actually the three somewhat sock-shaped Ls on badges worn by Centre of Theology and Ministry (CTM) student, staff and supporters.

The Ls stand for life-long learning and CTM board chair Jill Tabart said that if Synod members approached someone wearing the badge a “fascinating conversation was assured” on that subject.

Dr Tabart said every Uniting Church member should have a plan for life-long learning if they were to follow the Basis of Union injunction “to be led to deeper commitment to the faith and service into which they have been baptised’.

In a lively and varied presentation, which had contributions from Pilgrim college ministry candidates, a lay preacher and ministers in placement, the range of CTM’s work in theological education and resourcing was outlined.

“Theology is part of all that we do,” was the testimony given by one of the 12 candidates for ministry who spoke about their studies.

Rev Fiona Winn, who is studying a masters at Pilgrim college, said she was doing three courses and had found both the materials and teachers excellent.

Rev Sandy Brodine said the Banyule Network had established a Pilgrim college hub with six people undertaking a unit of study mostly online but with an hour of tutorial/conversation each week.

An exchange agreement has seen Pilgrim staff teach at the Nanjing Theological Seminary.

CTM will become part of the new Mission Capacity Building unit and in concluding the report a special thanks was offered to Dr Jennifer Byrnes who was the last executive director of CTM and will head the new unit.

There was one previously submitted question to the CTM staff about the loss of staff focusing on youth ministry resourcing.

Dr Byrnes said the youth worker had only recently left and the work of resourcing youth would be folded into the new unit.