Oh, what a week! My brain has just about recovered from an intensive and exciting week of training in the form of the Make Good module delivered at Cliff college, as part of my CMS training. So, an exciting course, delightful surroundings, good food, and hot weather – what’s not to like?
Seriously though, as I reflect on the week as a whole I have been trying to think of a ‘one word summary’ of the course and finally, I have got it; passion.
Amongst a cohort of 18 pioneers, it is easy to imagine innovation, excitement, dedication and more. All of those qualities were there in abundance but what really brought the week to life was the passion with which every single person on the course viewed their particular dream. As they spoke about what they had done, were doing, and planning to do in the future the air became almost electric.
There was one particular incident which sums up exactly what I mean. We were talking over lunch and one of the students was telling us about the work she had done in an urban project. By a combination of networking, cajoling, innovation and sheer determination she had managed to do way beyond anything she had anticipated and all that she felt was left to do was install a toilet block at the project. So, until midweek, her plan was to pitch for a funds to facilitate the toilet block when we closed the course with ‘pitches’ on Friday morning. A chance conversation with one of tutors uncovered that whilst this was all very laudable and sensible, what she really wanted to do was something entirely different; as she spoke of her real dream she was absolutely transformed! The shy, reticent person became a dynamo! The tutor encouraged her to go with her heart and her passion and change her planned pitch. I left at that point, so wasn’t really prepared for the ‘pitch’ on Friday.
Wow, did she pitch! Her presentation closed to rousing applause and enthusiasm and really was one of the high points of the week. Why? Because she had followed the tutor’s advice and gone with her heart and in doing so had translated that passion into action. Ah, I can hear you asking, what did she pitch for? You probably won’t believe it, but a life sized inflatable church, complete with inflatable vicar (in her words, full of hot air!) so that she could re-imagine what church might look like to those in her project.
I guess what I have taken away from this week, quite apart from the really innovative and exciting teaching, is that as pioneers we are driven and fuelled by our respective passion. We lose something of ourselves and our God endowed vision if we try and conform to others’ expectations of what we should be doing and we need to hold fast to that dream, even if sometimes others don’t get it. They possibly aren’t meant to, you are!
I wonder if Moses would have expected the sea to part? Or for bushes to burn and stay burning? Doubt it.
Jane Gray, CMS Pioneer Student