Candidates’ Tasmanian retreat

tas retreatCandidates at Pilgrim Theological College and faculty staff spent five days in Tasmania last month experiencing ministry and the life of the Church in the island state.

It was the first field trip of its kind arranged with a presbytery.

Head of College Rev Dr Jenny Byrnes said it was a golden opportunity for candidates to imagine themselves in a ministry setting outside of metropolitan Melbourne, where many of the congregational field placements typically occur.

The candidates were guests at Tasmanian churches and also attended the 18 February Presbytery of Tasmania meeting at Kingston.

Candidates were billeted with church families on the Saturday night before being involved in Sunday worship services.

Local ministers also travelled with the group in Tasmania and acted as mentors.

Dr Byrnes said the Tasmanian trip had offered real benefits for both the candidates and the church in Tasmania.

“I would hope that it has proven enjoyable and informative for church members to see who their candidates are and to be involved in their education,” she said.

Synod liaison minister Carol Bennett said the immersion was an ideal opportunity to provide students with an insight into ministry outside of metropolitan Melbourne.

“We certainly hope it has helped open the students’ minds to perhaps considering placements in Tasmania and other rural areas following the completion of their studies,” Ms Bennett said.

She praised Dr Byrnes for driving the initiative.

Candidates also visited the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress’s (UAICC) Leprena facility, in the state’s south, where they were shown the community building work being undertaken.

It is a formal requirement that candidates develop an understanding and engage with the Church’s commitment to the Covenant and the preamble to the Church’s constitution.

Last year candidates had a three-day engagement at the UAICC’s Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre, near Geelong.

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