We’re at the end of term at IBI. All week there have been many farewells, hugs, thanksgiving prayers, plenty of big sighs of relief among students after an intense last few weeks of study. Staff have a bit to go yet with loads of marking and a 5 year university review coming up … but I ain’t expecting or looking for sympathy!
It’s a double-edged experience, this parting of the ways: On the one hand, ‘job done’, ‘task accomplished’, ‘year over’, ‘courses passed’. On the other hand, friends departing, goodbyes, a real tinge of loss.
Students have formed communities of friendships with each other and staff – yet by definition this is a transient temporary community. 2009-10 is now coming to an end. We all have been engaged in a common working together for a specific time and for a specific purpose.
We’ve studied, taught, discussed, presented seminars, written papers, debated, reflected, prayed, sang, cried, drank gallons of coffee, encouraged, been discouraged, listened, struggled, worried, risked, worshipped, eaten countless meals together, learnt, laughed, shared lives, been stressed out, rejoiced, served, annoyed others, judged others, repented, forgiven and moved on.
In short, a Christian community; fallible, imperfect, ordinary people, yet wonderfully marked, in my view, by the presence of the Spirit. A vibrant, diverse mixture of people, touched by the grace of God, for a while walking alongside each other before going different paths again.
So to my question, especially for students (and I have my own ideas but I’ll hold off on them for the moment):