Friday, 10 April 2009

When did this happen?

There comes a point when something we are totally immersed in changes; yet we have been so immersed that we have not noticed the change. Parents experience it with children - they wake up one day and realise that their kids are adults, and they ask themselves, When did this happen?

This week I have enjoyed being at the Discendi Studio conference at PTC Sydney - a conference organised by the three theological colleges of the Presbyterian Church of Australia. I have had the "When did this happen?" experience several times. It happened when I listened to a theological student or recent graduate deliver a scholarly paper, and I had to remind myself that I was not at an international scholarly conference. It happened when I heard students and graduates wrestle with issues of ministry practice with a level of maturity and an ability to integrate several disciplines to the issues. It happened when I listened to the warm camaraderie between lecturers in the respective colleges, seeking to work together to do the task of theological college even better. It happened in the warmth of fellowship experienced. I have come away from the conference with great gratitude for what God has done in our midst and great optimism for the future. When did this happen? I guess it's been happening for a few decades now - slowly and steadily - but there's no doubt that theological education in the Presbyterian Church of Australia is coming of age.

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