It’s been a joy-filled half term serving in Rochdale and studying at St Mellitus. I feel like I’ve grown and changed already in this short time of formation and learning. The busy nature of college life was a shock to the system and I felt that I needed to carve out some clear times of quiet. I have been successful in this and have begun to rejoice in the fast pace of learning but also feel secure in God’s gentle and quiet love.
Some of my favourite parts of the half term have been sharing faith stories with fellow ordinands. It is truly amazing what God is doing in each person! I have really felt safe and secure being open around my colleagues at college and at the residentials.
The residentials are a fantastic mix of learning, worships, and fellowship. On the Saturday evening after the lectures had finished and worship had been shared, my friends and I sat and played various games. Bananagrams are the favourite at the moment! It is great to relax and socialise after a long day of lectures! And in the midst of all this learning, worshiping, and socialising there is the experience of a powerfull spiritual encounter with the God that calls us all. I am already looking forward to our week residential in early December!
I am completely in love with my placement churches, who have gently let me spread my wings whilst supporting and nurturing me. I preached for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I had a real sense that this is where God is calling me to be, to serve, to learn, and to grow. I am excited about the coming years with my supervisor and the ministry team there. I am hoping to move closer to my churches before Advent. I’ve sold my house, dropping my nets and following Jesus! My supportive husband and my children are excited about the move so please keep us in your prayers over the coming month!
Last Sunday evening I participated in a baptism and confirmation at St Mary’s, for the wonderfully faith-filled Iranian Christians that shine brightly with Jesus’s love. As I cleared up after communion with my supervisor, after the Bishop of Middleton presided, I had an overwhelming sense of thankfulness for God who has changed my life so completely. As I cleaned the silverware and listened to the organ gently play as the congregation looked on, I knew that there was nowhere else that I would want to be. I knew that serving God’s people, at our Lord’s table, surrounded by the warmth of the spirit, is where I am called to be.
I am so grateful to be where I am, and I thank God for this every day.