“I really don’t know how I got here!” I said to Jane as I looked out the window onto King Street, Newtown. “I know I caught the m52 and then the 430, but to be contemplating College …”, I trailed off.
I was mid-way through my final semester of completing my Bachelor of Arts at Macquarie Uni, and after being invited to continue on to a Master of Creative Writing, was preparing my portfolio for my UAC (University Admission Centre) application. I was flattered to be asked by my professor and excited at the prospect of being mentored by her. As I stood in our kitchen, my laptop open on the island bench, finalising my portfolio, Scott* (name changed) quietly said, “Remember, next year will be the third year of our five-year plan.”
Two years prior, as we meandered our way back from Noosa to Sydney after celebrating my brother-in-law’s 60th, we’d begun to muse about how we’d spend the next phase of our lives. The details were fuzzy, but it was clear that Scott didn’t want to remain fully immersed in the business world. He returned to work, I returned to university and we continued in our commitments at church. Six months later, another road trip, more time for musing. We picked up our conversation where we’d left off. As we drove through country towns, we noticed the churches—brick and substantial, small and wooden. We chatted about the possibility of living out of Sydney.
“What if we moved to a country town, joined a church, and hopefully are useful to the minister?” I said.
“Funny! I was just thinking that,” Scott said.
Like a couple of newlyweds, for the rest of our journey, we dreamed and schemed and plotted a plan. The following year, Scott enrolled in Moore’s online Diploma, and I enrolled in my final year at university.
Scott’s quiet words—“Remember, next year will be the third year of our five-years plan”—stopped me in my tracks. It dawned on me that I could always do Creative Writing online, but the opportunity to study at College face-to-face was one I couldn’t surrender. Without another thought of the possibilities of what could become of my writing, I started investigating studying at college. I contacted Jane and we set up a meeting.
About the same time, an open invitation to a MTS (Ministry Training Strategy) information evening was announced at church. After the service, I found our senior minister.
“Can someone my age do MTS?” I asked.
He rubbed his chin and said, “I don’t know why not. Come to the info night. I’ll let them know you’re coming.”
I lost my nerve. I felt ridiculous applying for MTS at my stage in life.
That same week as I was walking along the Parramatta River with my friend—a member of staff at church—we chatted about Scott’s and my plans, MTS and study.
“If we’re going to be really useful to a minister, would it be a good idea to have a sense of what ministry is like?” I asked.
She thought it would.
“You know,” she said, “What if you did college and MTS together, over two years? Ask Jane and see what she thinks.”
My gaze came back from looking at King Street to Jane. “I know it was God who brought me here … I never thought I’d be here,” I said. We talked about study and MTS, and with Jane’s encouraging words and my head whirring, I made my way home.
Now Scott and I are both Moore students. He continues in his day job and studies part-time online; I divide my time between part-time study and part-time MTS. Where will we end up? We don’t know! That’s part of the adventure.