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AUGUST NEWS 2020

This semester in chapel we are going through the book of Hosea, perhaps one of the more confronting books of the Old Testament. In it, we see that Hosea’s own household was to be an object lesson for the people of Israel. His marriage to a prostitute and subsequent births of illegitimate children reveal sin and dysfunction, and also the lack of integrity, fidelity, and devotion that ought to exist between a husband and wife.

The ‘whoredom’ of Hosea’s wife Gomer starkly paralleled the faithlessness of Israel to the Lord God. So far had the nation strayed from what it meant to follow and be devoted to him that they had even lost basic knowledge of his word (4:1--12). And while it was each person’s own responsibility to live a life of faithful obedience to God, there was also a particular charge brought against their priests throughout the book. The priests were the ones responsible for the spiritual welfare of the nation and so were rightly held to account for its behaviour. They ought to have been leading Israel in her devotion to the Lord, but instead they were a snare to the people, leading them into disarray, dysfunction and distorted worship (5:1, 6:6).

This is all a sombre reminder of the weight of responsibility that falls upon those in leadership, a responsibility held by today’s leaders too. At Bible College SA we are very aware of this as we work to train the future leaders of our churches and ministries here in Adelaide and South Australia. One of our core commitments is to not only ground our students in a deep knowledge of the Scriptures, but also to develop them as faithful believers who have understood what it means to follow God with wholehearted devotion. Our prayer is that the people of God in our generation would not be like those of Hosea’s day, but instead would be humble, obedient and well-led by the under-shepherds who teach and lead them in the ways of Jesus, for the glory of Jesus.

PRINCIPAL'S REPORT
Tim Patrick

Like educational institutions around Australia—and around the world—last semester we shifted to online teaching and learning as a public health necessity during the lockdown. And while our operations team did a magnificent job of getting all the tech up and running for a relatively seamless transition, we soon found—again like much of the rest of the world—that life online is draining and full of drawbacks. One thing the pandemic has taught us is that there really is no substitute for face-to-face learning!

In God’s incredible grace, we find ourselves unusually blessed in South Australia with the virus largely kept at bay to date. This means that we have been able to begin semester two with our students on campus again—albeit with appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols in place, and video links available for those who cannot physically be present to join in a given lecture. From the first day back we have been loving the chance to interact with each other again. The classroom energy is great, the break times are fun, and all of the little interactions in between are priceless. We cannot thank God enough.

Of course, it not just for personal preference or experience that we’re grateful to be back together again. It is mostly because we know this is the best environment for student formation. The energy in the classroom translates to better learning, the laughs at break times deepen relational bonds, and some of the incidental interactions have real pastoral significance. Even if we end up needing to return to lockdown learning later in the semester, we remain so thankful for all the weeks we have been having together making great relational and ministry investments as we study and learn.

 
 
Can you please tell us a little about yourself?
Faced with the daily challenges of a household of eight people, one large dog and the recent addition of a turtle, I decided this year to take on the new adventure of full-time study! This year has had me wondering whether obedience to God means complete and utter madness, particularly during this face of unprecedented year of craziness. I am fortunate to be blessed with a full and joyful house of big and unique personalities leading to ongoing fun, excitement and drama. My wonderful husband Richard and I contend with six fabulous children ranging from 9 to 23 whom all live at home. Currently containing six students (whether that be school or university), we had a house full of zooming during Covid restrictions and plenty of mess and noise. I love reading, watching movies, travel and spending time with people. My beautiful family occupies a lot of my time, and I am pleased to have a wonderfully supportive family. My husband owns and runs a family business, a successful hospitality training college with venues both in Adelaide and Sydney, which forms an important part of our lives. I belong to Trinity Brighton and have enjoyed becoming more involved as a minister in training this year.

What are you currently studying?
I'm currently studying a Graduate Diploma of Divinity but have decided I will continue on to do the Masters of Ministry or Divinity.

What do you like most about studying at BCSA?
I have enjoyed meeting new people at BCSA and found a welcoming, respectful and supportive environment. It was fabulous to recently return to face-to-face learning and catch up with everyone again. Returning to study after many years as a primary school teacher has been greatly challenging. It has pushed me to grow, expand, and persist when things are difficult. Surviving the first semester, particularly during the Covid madness, felt like a massive achievement. It has been a long time since I have completed any formal study and have resorted to seeking assistance from my high school-aged children on multiple occasions. 

In what ministry do you hope to work when you finish at BCSA?
I am trusting in the plan God has for me. I have known for a long time that God has called me to some form of vocational pastoral ministry. I am not sure how that will look or where it will lead me. One thing I am certain of is that God does know the plans he has for me, and at this moment, trusting God and being obedient in all I need to do.

What is one thing you are learning at the moment that is particularly insightful?
In looking at Saul's transformation during studies of the Early Church, it was interesting to think about how Saul truly believed he was doing what was right. Meeting God on the road to Damascus changed his understanding and view of what right actually was. This led me to think about the many impactful encounters with God in my life. The many times I think I am doing what is right – however, it is God's full understanding of who I am that can change me, expose me and transform me. For this I am truly thankful.

PRAYER POINTS

• Pray for all of us in leadership positions, that we would lead and teach those under our care with faithfulness and integrity, causing all to follow God with wholehearted devotion.

• Give thanks that students have been able to return to campus for Semester 2, and have had a good start to their studies. Please pray that new students will continue settle in quickly to study.

• Pray for the faculty, that they will continue in faithfulness in their teaching, and maintain good stamina and endurance throughout this semester in what has been a very unusual year for teaching.

• Give thanks for our many financial supporters who do so much to uphold the ministry of Bible College SA. Please pray for our upcoming Partnership Dinner – that we would see many more financial supporters raised up as a result of this event.
 

Please pray for our sister school – Presbyterian Theological College in Melbourne, and its principal Peter Hastie. Pray that they will continue to navigate well the frequent changes they face as a state due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that they will continue to faithfully teach their students during this semester.
 

BCSA OPEN DAY 2020
Saturday 10 October   I  10.00am -12.00pm
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