Well it is now the month of May and exams are ended. Presently, I am looking forward to taking the summer course CPE. C.P.E is the acronym for Clinical Pastoral Education. Keep reading . . . .
My placing at The Pro-Cathedral of Christ the King was quite impressive. The adoption of a new church culture and assuredly the environment in which it resides, was very engaging. My observances of the Parish include:
The Parish is truly pastorally centered. Each day during the week,the Priests and myself visited not solely the confined or members of the parish. However, we visited those who were well and those who lived around the neighborhood. Their visitation and distribution of goods was not restricted to church going folks, but individuals who were in need and sought support. This method I believe is quite notable in that it conveys that ministry is, people-centered or as Christopher Cocksworth states, “Being for the other."
An additional observation while serving in the parish was that the Rector and Assistant Curate has a pleasant relationship. Seeing them both work together as a team was truly motivational. Collaboration is essential, and we must be prepared to, as clergyman and prospective clergyman not only to bring the best out of the congregations, to which we have been appointed, but we must bring the best out of one another as spiritual leaders.
Moreover, Archdeacon Bain and Fr. Adderley concentrate considerably on teaching. The members of the congregation appear to have some knowledge of the Christian and Anglican faith. I consider that we as a Diocese need to concentrate further on teaching to empower and equip our people to have a firm base in the faith. Without teaching, the minds of our people can be swept to and fro by any wind of doctrine. For that reason, it is our responsibility to educate and influence the minds of our communities and by our teaching they should be strengthened, modified and motivated for ministry.
In the aforementioned features of ministry I noted at Christ the King Parish, they all have confronted my view of Priesthood and ministry in itself. My placement there encouraged me to recognize that ministry and Priesthood is about people and if we as clergyman are not people propelled then we are defeating the purpose of its existence.
One day in class we discussed worship and our understanding thereof. There were a few definitions that were discussed. However, I subscribed to only one of the few, even though all of them are basically centered on one main thought; the fact that worship begins and ends with God. George Florovsky of the Orthodox movement states, “Christian worship is primarily and essentially an act of praise and adoration, which also implies a thankful acknowledgement of God’s embracing Love and redemptive loving kindness.” Christian worship definition also depends on the environmental determinants of the one who is interpreting. The Present circumstance indicates that the form of Christian worship states enough about a person's spirituality. An unidentified expert states “lex orandi, lex Credendi” which translates, as we worship so will we live. I define Christian worship as the capacity to recognize God and the ability to respond to such a presence.
Awareness and response. Everything in life has to do with awareness and response. It is the human tendency to leave out the latter part of the indicated as it pertains to the Christian Journey. The latter part being living a life of worship. Most Christians believe that worship is just going to church on a specific day and saying a few prayers and singing one or two hymns and they are granted salvation. Florovsky reminds us that it is more than that, it is about responding to God’s presence by living a life of worship. An anonymous author says, “Sometimes the only gospel people see is you!” Therefore as it relates to my understanding of worship, Florovsky challenged my life, he caused me to reflect and ask myself this question...am I responding to God’s presence everywhere by living a life of worship?
This question is what is facing me in Codrington at the moment and it is indeed a question that we all must ask ourselves as servants of God. The semester is going rather quickly, I guess it is because of the amount of work that has to be done. The 28th of this month is when classes will end. I feel excited, I feel relieved and I feel thankful to God for bringing me through another semester of learning and spiritual formation.
Along with the above Journal was a request from Dave to the Parish, contents of the email:
Sorry about the delay in the journal entries as I am preparing for my examinations. I am also emailing because i am seeking Financial assistance with the purchase of a bag for my travels back home on the May 23rd and also for a white Alb which the bishop indicated we need to get. What happens in the college is that during the summer breaks , Codrington facilitates retreats and the members of the retreats tend to stay in our rooms because they come from abroad. Therefore, when we leave for the summer break we have to pack up our possessions and place them all in one room. All of my stuff have taken up all 3 of my bags. Hence, I need an additional one to travel with back home.
On the other hand, the attire in our diocese for seminarians at official services is a white Alb and a black cincture band. I already have obtained a black cincture band, I am just in need of an Alb. I find that the price to obtain them here is much cheaper than home and in the U.S.
The price for bag- $70 U.S
The price for alb- $200 U.S( The material- 5 yards of Gabedine white- $80 U.S, The tailoring $120 U.S)
Thanks, I would really appreciate your assistance.
With a thankful Spirit, and a growing Heart
Dave D. Thomas
It has been eight months now since I have participated in this new culture. This new culture brings about an alien spirituality, leadership and management. Anyone, if they had to experience such, would say that adjusting and adopting any new customs which challenges (not similar) your own, is extremely difficult and strenuous. Being who you are is where the difficulty lies. Mahatma Gandhi asserts, “a nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” The bible states in Luke 6:45b, “it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.” So then if my culture is in my heart then it becomes a part of me, it becomes who I am. My culture is in my heart, but being a part of a new culture calls me to readjust, reshuffle, reform and reconstruct that which I am in order to fit comfortably. The beauty in this challenging process is the construction of oneself. In other words, finding one’s place and determining what one may have to be to work successfully and comfortably.
This month in my journal I choose to take a different approach in its content and structure. This week I am focusing on myself and trying to establish myself in Codrington by creating a business plan.
What am I going to do?
While in Codrington I am going to obtain the best education and formation as I possibly can.
Why am I going to do it?
I am going to do it in order to fulfill my call and because I believe it is what God requires of me.
Who is going to do it?
Me, God being my helper
How does it fit into the overall mission and ministry of the church?
“The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.”
What revenue streams do I have?
The Diocese of the Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands, Family, Friends
What is my budget?
$300.00 a month which includes cell phone obligations, traveling, and personal pleasures.
What is my desired outcome?
To be a good priest in the Church of God.
What are the indicators of my Success?
The indicators of my success would be graduating from Codrington College and the U.W.I.
During this month of February I have remained notably busy; the work is as if it doesn’t desire to end. As I have asserted in the preceding update, we are enrolled in 11 courses this term, six pastoral and five academic. The titles of these subjects and the instructors are tabulated beneath
N.T Literature- Fr. Trevor Oneil
O. T Literature- Fr. John Rogers
Systematic Theology 2- Fr. Julian Campbell(Native of the Bahamas)
Foundamentals of Christian Ministry- Rev. Beverly Knight
Pastoral Counselling- Dr. Henrick Ellis
Evangelism 2- Fitz Burrows
Homiletics 2- Rev. Canon Devere Murrel
First Aid- Dr. Henrick Ellis
HIV & AIDS- Dr. Henrick Ellis
Pastoral Counselling- Dr. Henrick Ellis
Canon Law- Mary Haynes
The scholarly courses are recorded as the initial five, and the remains are the pastoral courses. The Present courses are identified as such because the academic subjects are those that we have to complete for the B.A. in Theology. On the other hand, the pastorals are those submitted by Codrington College for our Diploma in Pastoral Studies.
This semester is perceived to be the most intense semester. I have been ill for at least 12 days, owing to the appearance of mold in our bedrooms. Please be reassured that measures are being considered to refurbish entirely all structures which consist of the indicated. Furthermore, from the leakage of the ceiling in my room, water have gotten into my Laptop; hence I am in the process of buying a brand new one. Although this month has been furnished with countless challenges, I proceed to press on because of the prayers of men like you. Continue to petition for us seminarians, that we may prevail strong and staunch in the service of God and be persistent stewards in his vineyard. Also, Continue to pray that God will continue to raise up humanities Fit for the work of ministry in His Church.
May God uphold to bless you and yours as you proceed to bless others.
With a Ever Grateful Heart,
Seminarian Dave D. Thomas
Just an update on my journey. On Wednesday of the past week I arrived in Barbados, but didn’t reside in the College until Saturday, due to college rules as it relates to students arrival. Today marks the beginning of the new semester. The courses that I am enrolled in are as follow; Canon Law, New Testament, Old Testament, Systematic Theology 2, Evangelism 2, and the rest which ought to total up to 11, are pending. Pertaining to my spiritual formation, chapel remains 15 times a week, which is arranged 3 times daily; Morning prayer-7:00am, Midday Prayers-12:00pm, Evening Prayer-7:00pm. As one would observe the journey while being here is quite demanding, but extremely beneficial.
Currently, there are 11 seminarians in Codrington. Five Bahamians, two Guyanese, one Bajan, one Venetian, one Antigen, and one Trinidadian. The amount of lecturers for the semester is pending. All of which build up the community that we all are enjoying and embracing. On Sunday past I worshipped at Holy Cross Parish, nothing much have changed about the parish over the break. Holy Cross is the Church that all first year students are assigned.
Once again I would like to thank you for your contribution towards my spiritual and academic endeavors. Please continue to pray for the community, myself and the theological maturity of God’s Church. Also pray for the awakening in our community a missionary eagerness and the enhancement of pastors, missionaries and people dedicated to the cause of the Gospel.
P.S Today I will be going to the dentist to check my teeth as the water in these parts affect them greatly.