This time of year is both exhilarating and nerve-racking for our Integration Year students as these four prepare for their United Church final Candidacy interviews. One of the tools that helps them prepare is the Credo assignment, which asks them to write a one-page personal faith statement and a 10 page explanatory paper on what informs their theology and understanding of mission and ministry. Alongside this academic tool, students find support in connecting with each other, their mentors and staff, and knowing they have a wide CCS community who are walking with them. Please hold them in your prayers, with the candidates from other streams as well, this next month.
Next week, Integration students and staff will gather for the first of the Integration II learning Circle. A 6-session online circle focused on church polity and Contextual Theology book studies. This monthly circle also provides an opportunity for students to check in with each other about their personal learning plans, and maintain those learning-in-community connections.Having students spread across BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, & Manitoba and staff in Ontario – we give thanks for Zoom!
As the Integration students are busy with their reading, writing, and personal learning goals, they are also working on not just doing things, but doing things differently: preparing to make the transition from diaconal student to diaconal minister. This might include establishing a new spiritual practice routine, looking at how they track their hours and being intentional about Sabbath time, engaging with colleagues or the wider church structures, and always – reflecting on these experiences themselves and in community.