Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Homework delivered

Back from Grand Rapids I am glad to report that homework was acceptable!  The colloquium was organized with numbered tables so that on different days we met with completely different participants.  This made for six fairly intense table discussions on a number of pre-arranged subjects. My aim to stay positive in my posts means that sometimes I stay mum after such events!   However, this proved to be highly encouraging time. On our return journey of nearly four hours, we had time to reflect.  I rejoice in some highlights:

  • the warm introduction of Lauren the new Director to the 'powers-that-be' and my joy at meeting colleagues from so many seminaries across the US.  Some are old friends, others entirely new.
  • acceptance of me as the only 'retired participant'. A pioneer of the whole scheme (John Witvliet) congratulated me on my 'failed retirement'.  He said he was responsible for four failed retirements where professors found themselves back in vital service at Calvin College.  I rather like the term: failed retirement!  Not sure about Carol!
  • levels of honesty about areas of failure and concern that provided a surprising safe space to share our own inadequacies. 
  • flexibility in continuing program design that seems to  have built-in expectations that  beginnings are often rocky and original plans need adaptation. Oh yes!
We are still far behind many established players but we have hope that it's worth persevering. So it was worth flying across the Atlantic!

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