Theological students prepare for overseas plunge

“I smile every time I tell someone I’m going to Jerusalem,” said Kerri Brennan, a theological student from the Diocese of Ottawa. Ms. Brennan is one of three students preparing to serve with an overseas diocese as part of the 2010 Theological Student International Internship Program (TSIIP), coordinated by General Synod’s Partnerships department.

New theological student international interns William Ferrey, Kerri Brennan, and Robert Camara (L-R).
New theological student international interns William Ferrey, Kerri Brennan, and Robert Camara (L-R).

In May, the students will head off on their three-month placements: Ms. Brennan to Jerusalem, Robert Camara (Diocese of Montreal) to Brazil, and William Ferrey (Diocese of British Columbia) to Sri Lanka. They will learn about life in another Anglican diocese and support the ministry there as requested. Past students have led worship and Bible studies, gone on pastoral visits, and supported local development projects.

From Jan. 5 to 16, the students were in Toronto for a preparatory course organized by the Canadian Churches’ Forum for Global Ministries. They hopped into the multiculturalism of the Toronto area, visiting Aboriginal communities, a synagogue, and a mosque. They also discussed theology, cross-culture jumps, and global justice issues like human trafficking.

At the training, the students were joined by the Rev. Andrew Twiddy and his wife Sandy Cowser, who will travel to Belize for three months on Jan. 31. The Rev. Twiddy and his family are the first to participate in the piloted Continuing Education for Global Ministry program, which places active Anglican Church of Canada clergy with an international partner for three months.

The training was a time to ask questions like “How best to represent our church? How do you synthesize such a diverse church and give a proper representation?” as Mr. Camara asked. (Fluent in Portuguese, Mr. Camara has twice travelled to Brazil, where his diocese was once in a companion diocese relationship with the Diocese of Sul Occidental.)

It was also a time to reflect on this exciting opportunity. “I find myself really fascinated by different expressions of Christianity and especially of Anglicanism around the world,” said Mr. Ferrey. “I’m really excited to have this opportunity to go to the majority world and see how they’ve interpreted this tradition that I love so dearly and this faith that we share.”

Interested in learning more about the Theological Students International Internship Program? You can keep up with their correspondence on the TSIIP webpage or follow Mr. Camara’s blog. If you’re a theological student who’s interested in participating in 2011, get in touch with Clementina Thomas, program associate for mission education and personnel, by email or call (416) 924-9199 ext. 361.

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