Posts Tagged ‘Bible college’

It is interesting, I always thought of my furlough into post secondary teaching full-time was going to be a prolgue into my next book of life. That tranistion period of discernment, before hte next big aha.

What is that old colloquilism about while we make plans?

I am coming up on my 3 year anniversary since the vocational pivot, have some great colleagues some have become friends. Over 2022, with one friend/colleague, began discussing teaching as ministry. Some may say well duh, but then take a step back, as I am not talking about my teaching in churches, or Children’s, Youth & Young adult ministry discipleship, spiritual formation. Or even the teaching in the bible college (though that is an aspect of my pivot, teaching at a bible college). This is in regards to what some would call “secular” vocational or tech colleges. Those places of higher learning, that has a direct correlation to employment outcome from learning.

Some have asked why I do not currently puruse work in universities? And it is because there is something that resonates with working with these first, second, third or even fourth career folks as they discover and ignite their passions in their studies, and how it connects to the work they are called to do.

These thoughts come together, after a PD Dinner, where a colleague led us through a reflective practice workshop that raised questions out of Parker Palmer’s Courage to Teach (it has been years, if not a decade or so since I read this work, but have re-rdered from the Library to remiliarize myself with it, as both this evening and a staff orientation at anohter school I teach at mentioned it). The questions raised wre intriguing, and percolated some extra thoughts here from me.

The first was our call narrative to teach. I had to chuckle, as in my previous life book, teaching was the side hustle that supplemetned my non-profit ministry salary, I never really saw it as more thant that. Then as long time readers now, 6 years ago, a health crisis happened, and as I emerged into 2020 all that was known was I could not go back to what I used to (was not medically cleared). One PhD psychologist suggested teaching, and I stepped into a contract role half way through a term (always a tumultous time for learers to have a new instructore halfway through). Then 3 weeks in, a global pandemic. Talk about learning curve over load.

Was it a calling? I viewed it as a nother way to aid, and to continue to support mys family. There was no deep theological reflective thoughts around it when I jumped in, or really over the years since. But as we shared moments during the workshop of the blessings of teaching, those meoments when we thought why do I do this (and for me, the question popped upwhat caused me to go back after that moment?), the connection to the 2022 conversations wtih my colleague connected.

I was able to see connections unseen previously. Years ago when I was undergoing official discernment in a progressive denom for ordination, there was 3 tracks- Sacratement and Word (what one thinks of with a Reverand); Diaconal (Justice/service and teaching), or designated lay minister (which is where most of my ministries were regardless of denom). Many readers know the story of walking away before the final vows, as the sponsoring congregation had issues with my son and his exceptionalities. At dinner though, the connection between the two books of my life hit as a lightning bolt (like when Billy Batson or Teth Adam say Shazam if you will).

The discernment process was accurate, I had spent the majority of my life in justice-service work, and 3 yaears ago was formally told I could no longer, yet service continues in the second piece of the vocational calling- teaching. I could fully articulate this teaching as ministry.

Now onto securing full-time continual/tenured role, and re-reading Palmer’s work.

2023, a new chapter of our life books has opened, what new ministry or current aspect fo life has had hte fog lift to clearly see as ministry, are you in?


Whew…I knew when I sat in the 102 boardroom at my “going away” party on August 23, 2012 that the ginormity of the leap of faith my family was taking would not hit me the next day.  See I had taken my last week’s holidays and some OT to be able to take a week off before my last official day. Last official day you say of what?

The ministry God has blessed me with in walking alongside people growing hoping, building community and supporting change for the last 13 years at The Mustard Seed…where I have served on a college crew, dinner crew, volunteer, ran a youth ministry, worked as full-time Street Level Staff, relief staff, Street Level Manager, a Case Work Specialist, a prayer partner, donor, and my last call was as a Community Living Properties Team Lead helping to facilitate community in our two buildings, our Permanent Supportive Housing program and renewing our Missional Housing program.

Things were trucking along grand. I still remember it was about 11 years ago praying the rosary when I heard God’s voice calling me to renew the church. In my Bible College days with church plants all the rage I thought that’s what God wanted me to do. It was not, it was truly to be an agent of renewal.

As a minister within those exiting poverty, as a vocal advocate to the broader community educating all of God’s children (regardless of religious or non-religious affiliation)…It was a very Franciscan call upon my heart as I spoke and acted in a way to make this corner of my world a little bit better.  Only time will tell if that truly happened.

As I sat with what true community is in ministry, a gathering of guests, residents, staff, co-workers, volunteers, and executives…looking at the gathering I had to smile for it truly was a Kingdom moment as someone who looked in at the gathering would be hard pressed to tell who had lived the experience and come out the tunnel of light, and who was called to walk into the darkness and accompany out of the darkness.

13 years ago I had no clue why God placed me at The Mustard Seed, with my social gospel and liberation theology ways…bordering on what some call universalism yet still knowing the Cosmic Christ resonating within my soul.

This was my ground of formation, but formation and learning in life are ongoing and life long. The seed was planted at the tender age of 8 to shake this world up and speak up/act for what I believe in…through my writing this became normative.

Then returning to the institutional church at 19 at the crossroads of crisis and hearing the still small voice letting me know it would be okay.

Then feeling the same voice as serving my first tray of food at the Seed to a former high school classmate and stating welcome home.

The seed was planted…

it now germinates…

The same still small voice calling me to use what has been learned to become equipped to journey with brothers and sisters as they reach the point of transformation in life.

So I have entered a time of sabbatical…to equip… for I am completing my Master of Divinity through Northwestern, then onto my Clinical Pastoral Education Unit so that I can become a chaplain to walk in hospitals, hospice, correction facilities, or extended care for in the heart of these places the Holy Mystery is working. Where I journeyed with those in healing, the germination of that planted seed is not learning and beginning the walk with those transforming.

Like a caterpillar emerging from the cocoon as a butterfly.

Official Alberta Bible College Logo

Image via Wikipedia

Okay so it is more like night one, and how you ask gentle reader did I wind up at Alberta Bible College‘s Emerge Youth Conference (Little known fact, I am actually an ABC Alumni shocking isn’t it?). But I actually wound up at the conference with my hunny, because I made a usual smart alec comment (astounding coming from Ty I know) to my colleague who was planning the event, and well she called my bluff so tomorrow I am speaking on walking and serving with God based on the Shema in Deuteronomy.

But I digress, tonight was the kick off and how my Alma Mater has changed… there was an electric energy from the students, an energy that maybe I wasn’t aware of, or did not want to be aware of while attending. The night kicked off with a high powered worship dance montage, then went into excellent worship provided by Grand Prairie Church of Christ’s worship band. The first speaker was Storm Moore from Kelowna, BC speaking on fearing and loving God another good set of worship, then small groups for those in attendance and by the looks of it the night will end with sumo suit wrestling.

So what is my reflection as I prayerfully prepare to do theology with high school kids and their pastors? Simple, that upon reflection too often we look at the age of someone and think we don’t need to go deep…yet for a true spirit of living life with God to “emerge” we need to take the opportunity to go deep with the youngest in our midst and affirm the calls God is placing on their hearts.

So what can be expected tomorrow? Another amazing day where I pray the spirit moves…

As for my chat, well we are going to do theology on the Shema…take life experience (and to be honest my ink and scars (interior/exterior) relate more to a life that equates to HBO than CW) add in one’s learnings in academia, crack open the bible and become open to the Holy Spirit for all this to work together to discover God’s will…

So take a swing by Alberta Bible College on Northmount Drive Tomorrow and see if there’s still room to register, and join the journey to Emerge into the love of God and living life out of this love…Let’s discover our call.

Prairie Bible Institute is finally trying to shake off the cobwebs and dust of decades of cover up (with the most recent being a rape of a female student that broke as a minor story circa 2000 that ended with her assailant being protected and her being expelled)…These decade long abuses of children and youngsters by students using the “Word of God” to protect themselves and silence their victims.

Unfortunately the RCMP states they cannot investigate without complainants coming forward…so please if you have suffered these desecration of your Holy Self, please be brave to come forward to your local RCMP detachment to break the cycle forever.

CBC’s Story Here.