Saturday, December 07, 2013
Broken Hill bound: updated 1st communion
I’m off to Broken Hill for the weekend. It’s a town of some 18,000 people, some 520 kilometres from Adelaide.
I’m going for the Ordination of one of our Uniting College Candidates, Jo Smalbil. Three years ago, Jo embarked on an experiment with us. After discussion with her Presbytery, she crossed the border (Broken Hill is in New South Wales, not South Australia). She spent the first year with us in Adelaide.
But for the last two years, she has been studying with us from Broken Hill. In sum, after some initial relational building, she’s down 2/3rds of her training in her local context.
Study wise, she comes down for our intensives and does the rest by distance. Relational wise, we pay for her to travel 9 times a year, to our monthly Leadership Formation Days, up and back in a day. This gives her a sense of connection with candidates. Fieldwork wise she has worked in her local church and participated in Frontier patrol work.
It’s a fascinating, and in Jo’s case, effective experiment, the fruit of which is evident over the weekend.
The only down side is that the only flight for Broken Hill leaves at 6:45 am Saturday, and returns 7 pm Sunday. It makes for an early start and a long weekend.