Well here we are one and a half days out from my first exam at Varsity. The last few months have been full on moving Islands, entering the seminary, going to varsity.
Whilst I imagine there are still adaptations to be had moving into this new life, those things that first were most obvious to me as different and quite frankly just wrong, have either disappeared or I have reached a state of neutrality.
I still miss the sung Eucharist, snow and frosts, but the sounds of crickets no longer annoys. The tropical insect life is not a fav I would have to say yet the tropical rainfalls I have come to enjoy.
Varsity has been interesting, and I find myself becoming increasingly conservative under their influence. How so you say? well at the beginning I was fairly liberal but nothing compared to what I have experienced there. In fact there have been days when I wonder if Jesus is ever going to be mentioned in a School of theology. I have enrolled in a paper 'Jesus the Christ' next semester which I am pretty sure should! mention JC.(grin)
What I have enjoyed the most at varsity is the general education paper we must take, my choice was one called 'Pandemics Past Present and Possible' the benefit has been that we have had over 25 different experts come to talk on subjects from Bio terrorism, the Black Death, Obesity and Swine Flu to Poverty and the Spread of Disease, Medical History and Town planning as a cause of contagion. I have exam for that on Monday.
The college is split into four if you like. There is the Methodist College, and Under the Anglican Church there is the the Polynesian Tikanga, Maori and College of the Southern Cross which covers Pakeha and a selection of students mainly from Africa.
Whilst I deliberately on an open forum watch my words when discussing the differences between tikanga ( it is not always politic to speak ones mind) I am aware especially with women in college of the difficulties and stresses placed upon certain groups.
One of the things that has made my time here in the last month a little easier is engaging in those things that bring me peace and engage me in the community so for the last couple of weeks I have begun an icon group. One of the tutors here is very much into icon history so she is taking a teaching segment each week on a relevant icon to the season then I lead in prayer some basic teaching then we paint. We have nine women in the group from all different ethnicity's and backgrounds which is exciting.
We have also started gathering aside from daily chapel to meet as students weekly to pray for transformation and hope in the college. This has taken some work yet to see more and more people begin to engage in prayer with each other as a way of building trust is something special. Of course coming from all different styles of worship and theologies this is interesting so for now we are structuring it with both structured and extemplary prayer. New things for us all.
Blessings to you and yours I am off to study if you think of it pray for me Saturday morning as I approach Greek my greatest challenge.