Sunday, June 29, 2008

Odds and Ends

Last weekend was our final residential of the academic year. I am officially halfway through the course! Wow! Rightly so the emphasis of this weekend was the Leavers "passing out" parade following their receiving of their Northern Ordination Course Certificates. We were staying at the Wakefield Police College again and the service took place at the beautiful St. John's church nearby. It was a wonderful occasion for the ordinands, their parishes, families and friends. The service was very moving and at one point it really hit me. "This time next year this will be you!" I was singing in a small Taize based chorus, so was able to put all my energies into that in order to stop myself falling to pieces with the enormity of it all.

Following the service we paraded back to the college escorted by the Metropolitan Police brass band, with police closing streets to traffic on the route. We won't get that next year, I suspect, and it only happened this year because one of the leavers is a serving officer. One of the other leavers has recently retired from the Royal Air Force: it was only poor cloud cover that stopped an R.A.F. flypast!

Next year will be quite dull in comparison.

Last night I attended my school's leaver's prom. (There's a bit of a theme going on here.) This was also a poignant moment for me as my little crowd passed out. I am a Year 11 form tutor: I start the year with no students at all and slowly my form is created as various youngsters are designated as beyond the pale for one reason or another by their former tutors and they come to me. At the peak I had fourteen students. Some never made it to registration (nor to lessons very often for that matter) so I hardly saw them; some were given restricted timetables so were not always in school anyway; some were regularly excluded for poor or antisocial behaviour and one was banned from the premesis and most of his final exams for an outburst which interrupted a whole examination, involved verbal and physical abuse of several members of staff and physical restraint. At the end of the year I had eight left. Three were banned from the prom for inappropriate behaviour. Last night the surviving five and I partied. I was so proud of them: they had had a difficult year, they got their act together, behaved beautifully, took their exams and were a delight to look after. Last night we celebrated!

Further thanks to those who pressed the donate button on the side-bar. This year you have enabled me to buy:

Christian Mission by Stephen Spencer
Emerging Churches by Eddie Gibbs and Ryan Bolger
Transforming Mission by David J Bosch
The Study of Liturgy by Jones, Wainwright, Yarnold and Bradshaw
A Readers Guide to Transforming Mission by Stan Naussbaum
The Apocrypha
Religion in Britain Since 1945 by Grace Davie
Lo and Behold by Trevor Dennis
Myth and Reality in the O.T. by Brevard S Childs
O.T. Theology in a Canonical Context by Brevard S Childs
A Rabbi Reads the Psalms by Jonathan Magonet
The Living World of the O.T. by Bernhard W Anderson
An Introduction to the O.T. by Walter Bruggemann

Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity. The Lutheran Church in Great Britain is seriously strapped for cash so this is much appreciated.