New Students Dive Right In

The Fall learning circle of the Educational Ministry Year began today.  As you may know, theme years at CCS are offered on a rotating 3-year cycle, which means that for any given year there will be some students for whom this is their first year, some for whom it is their second, and some for whom it is the third.  The 2013-2014 theme year boasts an unprecedented number of new students.  This year twelve of the sixteen students are entering their first theme year learning circle today.

To help the  new students get their bearings, Ted Dodd and Scott Douglas organized an orientation pre-event yesterday, including a tour of Woodsworth House; an introduction to the staff; a review of the learning circle schedule, assignments schedule, and external course policies; an introduction to the library; a scavenger hunt of the neighbourhood; an opportunity to make connections with other first-year students; and (hopefully) a chance to ask questions and reduce anxiety.  An invitation to share about a recent time when they have experienced the presence of God revealed that these new students are more than able to speak deeply and passionately about their spiritual experience.  At the end of the day the students were joined by third-year students Hubert Den Draak and Anita Rowland (and Integrating Year student Jamie Bradshaw by Skype), who offered their wisdom, advice, and stories of how the CCS program has shaped and changed them.

First year CCS students (plus Ted Dodd and 3rd year students Anita and Hubert)
First year CCS students (plus Ted Dodd and 3rd year students Anita and Hubert)

The Educational Ministry learning circle proper started today.  For the next sixteen days, students will be exploring educational theory, theology, worship, and other topics.  The learning circle will be meeting at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church (about a block from CCS) until this weekend, to make space at Woodsworth House for the CCS Central Council to meet for three days of strategic planning.  On Saturday there will be a joint lunch (or as Maylanne likes to call it, a “bun fight”) for the students, the members of Council, and the students attending the second session in the Anglican diakonia course.

If you are part of congregation or parish, I’d invite you to pray for the students who are meeting this month.  (And if you’re not, I’d invite you to wish them well in your heart.)