Thursday, February 19, 2015

Why BYO?

As a Uniting College, we invested last year in Big Year Out (BYO). It’s a one year program for young adults. It can be done alongside work or University. It offers teaching in discipleship and leadership, mission immersion and young adult community. Tonight at an information evening, I was asked why a College would get involved in something like this.

First, it fits with our mission. We as Uniting College have a mandate to grow life-long disciples and effective leaders. We have a highly talented team who have gathered a wealth of resources. So to offer that team and teaching into a young adult space makes total sense.

Second, as a Uniting College we’re in a partner relationship with Adelaide College of Divinity. The sole purpose of ACD is to be an ecumenical space, bringing different denominations to learn together. So last year the BYO had young adults from Baptists, Uniting, Churches of Christ and Catholic churches growing together. That’s a really rich learning environment. Sometimes people say to me “Why doesn’t the Uniting College go alone?” And my response is to point to the richness offered by an ecumenical space.

Third my story. I left school intending to be an auditor for the Government. Anyone who knows me well knows that would have been a disaster. By some act of mercy, I decided to pause the scholarship I’d been awarded to study and take some time to think about my vocational path. I found myself in a young adult community, that mixed discipleship and leadership challenges. It was transformative. Who I am now owes a lot to those experiences, not that I would have known it then. So I pray that the BYO has a similar impact on the lives of young adults like me, searching for purpose.

Fourth, it is good for the College. That might seem a bit selfish. But we need the energy, passion and vibrancy that young adults bring. Last year I arrived at work to find a pair of boots sticking out a car window. I could not see a head or body, just a pair of brightly coloured boots – black, with purple, yellow, white stripes. It was a BYO student, preparing for a lecture. We as a College need people like that – free and willing to be themselves.

BYO starts in a few weeks. The BYO Coordinator for 2015, Danica Patselis, has done a fantastic job of planning and organising. She’s available to talk to anyone in Adelaide who wants to know more – danica dot patselis at flinders dot edu dot au.

Posted by steve at 09:33 PM

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