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.

Posted by steve at 06:11 AM


  1. Sounds like a REX flight!

    Comment by Sue Ellis — December 7, 2013 @ 8:50 am

  2. Yep. Rex-cel lent . Thought of you Sue as I boarded


    Comment by Steve — December 7, 2013 @ 3:09 pm

  3. Jo is a lovely lady. Its such a blessing to have her as part of the Uniting College community. Hope its a great weekend!

    ps. im kind of sad that you didnt charter a plane for everyone to attend, i suggested it to Jo in class so we could all be there for her, obviously the suggestion didnt make it to your desk 😛

    Comment by Nicole Mugford — December 7, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

  4. Jo will be a blessing in her new ministry role. I enjoyed her input into the media studies class I taught at UCLT.

    Comment by Duncan — December 8, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

  5. Yes, she’s good value.

    And her role – patrol minister – raises some really interesting questions around how urban colleges can expect to train rural ministers.


    Comment by steve — December 8, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

  6. chsnge “down” to “done”.., typo.. it reads better.

    Comment by Craig Mitchell — December 9, 2013 @ 12:15 am

  7. Yeah Craig, but I’m keeping it as an expression of my imperfection in the rush of the week. I don’t need to do everything 🙂


    Comment by steve — December 9, 2013 @ 7:37 am

  8. Great that you were able to get out of the suburbs and head inland, thanks for sharing your journey

    Comment by Jenny Brisbane — December 11, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

  9. Very good exercise for college team to be out and about and in the worlds of their students


    Comment by Steve — December 12, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

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