Yesterday was one of the highlights of my year. The class of 2013 graduated! As I was sitting there it struck me how as staff probably have about as long with a group of students as Jesus did with his disciples. We don’t have the intensity of experience I imagine that was but there are similarities in the journeys people go on. Looking along the rows of students I saw people whose lives had been changed forever by being together, by learning and by God.
Pete Ward was our preacher yesterday – he talked about taking the fragments that had been learnt at CYM and work with them and build on them because they are precious and you will need them when you go after the 99 as in many situations there is only 1 left in the sheepfold – a reversal of the parable Jesus told of the Good Shepherd.
As a staff team we spend a lot of time thinking about formation and holistic education and who students are is as important as what they have achieved. So many people can take credit for who they have become not least the students themselves but also the family and friends who have supported and perhaps made sacrifices, those in their placements where they discovered the reality of ministry and had the opportunity to put into practice their learning and also the wonderful MCYM staff team (including dispersed tutors too) who so often go the extra mile to help the students fulfil their potential. I am grateful that so many people share in the ministry of CYM – it really does take a community to produce a graduate! I also feel so immensely privileged to have such a wonderful job.
We were invited to write a final message for our graduates, this was mine:
The MCYM staff team feel blessed and encouraged as we celebrate today with our 2013 graduates. There are many stories that could be told of God’s grace, or perseverance, of laughter, of tears, and of mission and ministry. We pray God’s love, joy, hope and peace for them in the next phase of their journey.
We were given that few words but I would want to add keep in touch, we want to hear more of your journey and hope to see you at future events and training or even bringing someone else to an open day!
(You can just see me in the picture in the red gown chatting before the ceremony)