Reflections on starting OMC
I have been asked to share a few of my reflections, and have gathered some from my fellow students, on the range of impressions, feelings and emotions that have washed over us in these first few weeks of starting the Oxford Ministry Course.
From the very beginning we have felt nurtured. Each Tuesday the College feeds us physically, then spiritually, and finally intellectually. This has been so important as there has been a sense of crashing through the day, fitting everything in and trying to finish work, jumping in the car and driving through the rain. And then the College appears on the brow of the hill with the lights on and we arrive to a welcoming fire burning in the grate and the company of our fellow students. I have been very impressed with the speed that our names have been memorised by everyone on the staff. You make us feel valued as individuals and we are aware of your desire to provide us with quality pastoral care. The systems that are in place such as local tutors and their teams, augment and strengthen what we receive in College from our personal tutors, buddies and in our prayer groups. Your concern for the welfare of our partners and families acknowledges the demands that our training is having on them and there is care for those who are single and also need support.
Everyone that I have spoken to has valued the fellowship of our fellow students. It is a great privilege to share this journey with such a diverse and caring group of people. From the first day I have been bowled over by the capacity to love and support others that my fellow students demonstrate. We come from a wide variety of backgrounds and bring to the group richness of experiences and churches. These different traditions have meant that from the very start of the course we have been learning how to respect each other’s opinions in a non-judgemental manner. It is an enriching experience and the cross-pollination of ideas is producing fascinating insights and results.
There has been an element of the intellectual rollercoaster about these last weeks. Being excited and pleased to be starting the course, yet anxious about the newness of the experience, and of once again being a ‘new girl’ – but at an advanced age! At times it has been overwhelming and I wonder what have I got myself into this time? And then, as someone said, I find God gripping me through the process of training for the ministry. At other times it is challenging to stop the brain being addled and to carry on working into the night. Yet the quality of the lectures have been high and the material stimulating and varied. It is a credit to the teaching that we have had some basic assumptions knocked down, shown how things may not have been what we had imagined, and you have taught us to be suspicious. Indeed, as another student said, ‘it is good to see that there is life outside the evangelical bunker!’ We are a co-operative group of individuals and I marvel at the way we do as we are told – even writing essays!
Starting OMC has been a very positive experience and I feel privileged to be undertaking this journey, in this place, at this time, and in the company of such a superb group of fellow pilgrims.
OUR APPEAL - WAYS TO GIVE
There are lots of different ways you can help our Appeal, from online gifts through to spreading a donation over a fixed period.