Transition: Coffee, Study and Books

biblereadingWhat does a staff worker do all day?

Drink Coffee.
Study the bible with students (Christian and those seeking)
And read copious amounts of books…

There is more to it then that, but in a tight nutshell, you could boil the years as a staff worker down to those things and throw in the travel that goes between them.

It has been a privilege to have the time and space to do those things. To spend hours preparing a bible study that will help my students gaze upon Jesus. Looking intently at scripture, opening commentaries and praying for insight as we prep notes and ideas to help students engage with the text. I love the fact that my job is to read the bible…

Now drinking coffee is important. It has to be good coffee. It’s the only way to get through the day, especially the afternoon. Coffee shops became my office and my students knew it! If I asked to meet up with them, they knew it was going to be in a certain coffee shop in town… Welcome to my office. It got to the point where I would walk into the coffee shop and they would know my order before I even asked! Coffee is indeed, a pleasing aroma…

I don’t know how many books I have read over the years, but I have a whole bookcase of books that have been generously given to me and most of them I haven’t read yet! But its been wonderful to have the space to sit and read and get into good theological books, making my brain hurt and fuelling good conversations with friends. Some of my favourite books over the years have been:

  • The Good God – Mike Reeves
  • Serving without Sinking – John Hindley
  • A New Name – Emma Scrivener
  • Popologetics – Ted Turnau
  • Desiring the Kingdom – James K A Smith

Wonderful books that have challenged me, shaped me and it was part of my job to read them! Although none of these things need to stop next year, I just wanted to share my appreciation of having this opportunity and also all the free books. Thanks IVP!

 

Transition: Conferences

NWA1I remember my first real conference. A conference where I was a punter but also part of the team. I was a relay worker and was about to embark on a two-week conference. Lanyards were around our necks, instant coffee was steaming in the corner, nervousness was filling the air. Good times.

Conferences are a strange place. People who look like each other gather together to listen to talks and buy books and drink bad coffee. Sometimes people camp together and it nearly always rains.

I haven’t always enjoyed the conferences I have been to over the years, but the Lord has certainly taught me a lot through them. I have met amazing people and I have heard amazing people speak. I remember listening to Mike Reeves talk about the Trinity for the first time at Forum and I thought my world had collapsed. It was amazing.

I have been a part of the team that serves behind the scenes or in yellow jackets telling herding Christians where to sit and being rather surprised by how angry and rude they are when they can’t sit where they want. The heart spills out, eh? I have also been on a planning committee, working out how a conference should fit together, how best to serve the people, how to problem solve and praying that the Lord would change hearts. I learnt that conferences take a lot of time and effort.

I have been a speaker, opening the bible with people and sharing Jesus, doing group work and seminars. Spending months in prep and prayer. I loved having that opportunity.

nextleadersI have loved conferences where I can meet up with fellow staff workers and chat and pray together, sometimes not seeing each other until the next conference which is months away. I love the randomness, the sharing of rooms and the cake eating.

I love it when students come to Forum or ForumSW and they encounter Jesus. They start to see afresh what the CU is about, they start to catch the vision and then they start planning.

Also conferences are a chance to say goodbye. It is currently Relay 3 as I write this and the relay workers are saying goodbye right now. I remember that and the reality of not staying in touch with people afterwards, but glad of the opportunity to say goodbye. On staff we have final team days next week, a time to say goodbye and thank you. It is good to have time and space for that.

Conferences are a strange bubble. I often find it hard being away and being so close to people that you can’t find any time to just be alone. But conferences have been a huge part of my life over these 6 years and I am glad I have been to them. So thank you for that opportunity.

Transition

flowersI am about to enter a huge transition phase of my life. Things for me are changing, two of which are fairly huge – leaving my job and moving house.

Last year a friend of mine did several transition posts which helped her reflect on her time as a UCCF Staff Worker and also process what is happening next. I thought I would do the same. I am going to look at it all in three areas: past, present and future while thinking through some of the highlights and challenges that I have been through and some that I will face in the future.

What Ali wrote in her post was really helpful and I will use that as a template:

Things past….(think back on your time)
What have you done? Who have you met? What are you thankful for? Do you have any regrets? What have you learned? How have you grown and changed personally and spiritually? What have you loved? What have you struggled with?

 Things present…(think about the months left )
What people, places, situations do you need to say goodbye to? Who will you keep in touch with and how? What do you need to hold on to? What do you need to let go of? What will you miss? How are you feeling about leaving?

Things yet to come…(think about life after)
What are the next steps? What do you need to do before then? What things will be different? What will be the same? What are the uncertainties? What are your fears? Hopes?

My hope is that it will help me process and celebrate this transition and it will also give you an insight into the life of a UCCF staff worker as well as help you process things, incase you are also going through a time of change as well.

So over the next few months I will putting these posts up in and around other posts I will be writing. I very much welcome comments as I write these posts. Thank you!

JPOD Staff Worker Version 2.5

Not long ago I read JPOD by Dougles Coupland, which I really enjoyed probably because I spent a year in IT support at University and can relate to the randomness of this book and at heart I am a geek! During the book there are pages full of random quotes and sentences that just add to the surreal life of Ethan and his JPOD companions. How far from reality is JPOD? Probably not that far off, although no one seems to sleep and they go on random trips to China (which hasn’t happened to me yet). But perhaps in the fiction there is a base of reality that highlights the mundane and splashes it across absurdity. So it occurred to me that for fun I could write my own page of JPOD but relating to being a UCCF Staff Worker. And of course it is meant to be weird and not taken seriously.

STAFF WORKER version 2.5
Year 3 upgrade
Please press any key to continue..
FILTER COFFEE GOSPEL and a muffin.
“Come and have Breakfast”
Fish and Chips after death.
Freedom. Gospel. Grace. Love.
Are you a miserable Christian?
I Blog. I Think. I Drink...
Mac books are in Heaven?
I wear Fat Face. I am not Face Face. Face Fat. Book
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I Create. I Dream. I Believe.
That is a good question…………………………………………………………..?
We have ink on our faces.
TRINITY. LOVE THE CHURCH.
It is good to be a Christian. 
JOY. PRAYER. LOVE
South West Team. Soup.Fellowship
Welcome to Exeter. Plymouth. Falmouth. Bristol. Bath
3:16.8:1.2:20.5:1. Genesis. ADAM. CHRIST. APPLE. CROSS. FREE
Snapshot of Cross Culture.
My morning drink is Exodus with a sprinkle of Romans.()()(()()()()()()()()()()

Living for Jesus. Speaking for Jesus.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Houseparty. 3 Block. Seminar. Ear Plugs.
Diving into the Gospel. Team Days. CAKE!
Forum. Tents…with a splash of sunshine please?
Reforming the heart. EDWARDS. OWEN.
Jesus is beautiful.

 

Lets have beautiful feet. 
            Feet need to walk and share good news. 
                    Good news needs to be in our hearts. 
                              Our hearts need to know Christ. 
                                                       CHRIST IS ALL.
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####RELAY. Run the Race. Drink the coffee. Open the bible.#####

 

iblog, iread, idream, iknownothing.
  • Relationships. Tears. Goodbyes. New pages. Chapters unfold.
  • Be creative.
  • Don’t wear socks and sandals.
  • Do Enjoy.
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ALT, CTRL, DEL. 
ESC.
STANDBY until HE Returns.
+++++OUT OF CHEESE ERROR+++++