From Bournemouth to Bolivia

Have you ever wanted to study theology and explore ministry contexts all over the world?

We give our students the opportunity to experience a five-week long block placement in their second and third year of study. This helps them develop their skills and giftings; discover new opportunities; and apply their theology within an intensive, practical context. We chatted to a handful of our students to hear where they’re travelling, and what they’re looking forward to in their placements.


Simon Howling image

Simon Howling, third-year campus-based student

“I’m going to Bolivia, to a city called Potosi. During the week, I’ll be serving with the charity Compassion in a centre working with vulnerable children, helping with their education, leading Bible studies and mentoring. Over the weekend, I’ll be working in a new church plant called Villa Mecanicos Church where I’ll be leading youth work and outreach events. I’m most looking forward to seeing God move in a different culture and to meet other Christians across the world as we love and worship God together. Serving in Bolivia will enable me to carry on developing skills and knowledge of working in mission in a real and practical way. It’ll allow me to continue seeking God’s calling on my life in the country that he has placed on my heart.”


Emma Taylor image

Emma Taylor, second year campus-based student

“I’m off to Hope Church in Luton, somewhere I’ve never been before and I won’t know anyone, so it’s going to be an adventure! I’ll be doing a lot of community outreach such as helping at a homeless food kitchen and working with a charity called FACES (Faith Against Child Sexual Exploitation). The charity go into local schools to create awareness about child sexual exploitation and give greater empowerment to faith communities, helping them prevent and respond to abuse. I’d love prayer for knowing the right words to say when speaking and evangelising to people from all ethnic backgrounds; to grow in confidence in my own ability; to gain great lasting relationships with the people I meet and that I make a positive impact on my church community.”


Lucy Richmond image

Lucy Richmond, third year campus-based student

“I’m super excited to be serving God’s Kingdom somewhere new, and getting involved in wherever they need a spare pair of hands! The focus of my time out in Melbourne, Australia is to focus on children’s ministry in church, with playgroups and TRIBE on Sunday mornings. I’m aiming to learn from people’s different styles of team leadership with the children over the five weeks and I’m aiming to take these ideas forward with me into my future ministry! Please pray that I can get over the jet lag/time difference quickly, and that I make really great friendships with people out there!


Jacob Tyers image

Jacob Tyers, second-year campus-based student

I’ve decided to come to complete my block placement in Bournemouth. I wanted to stay local as I’ve developed a real heart for the area. I’ll be working with Coastline Vineyard Church and will be supporting missional work in the community, as well as meeting up with people in a one-to-one and discipleship capacity. Whilst I’m on block placement, please pray that I’ll be a part of seeing God changing people’s lives through the power of the Gospel for the glory of his name.”


You’ll also find our students in places such as Germany, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Estonia, Belfast, Plymouth, Lebanon, Sunderland, Bristol, Berkshire, London and many more national and international locations.

Please continue to pray for our second and third year students as they take out time from lectures to serve Christ across the globe. We’re very thankful for their service and look forward to hearing their testimonies upon return.

Bursary in memory of Brenda Brady

Long grasses

A college-wide bursary has been set up in memory of Brenda Brady, Principal Steve Brady’s beloved wife, who passed away at the end of 2017. The Brenda Brady Student Bursary provides financial support for students who require help with funding during their studies.

There are three ways of donating monetary gifts to this worthwhile cause:

  1. Send a cheque
    made payable to ‘Moorlands College’ to us at Sopley, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 7AT.
  2. Pay via bank transfer
    Please give us a call on 01425 674500 to request our bank transfer details.
  3. Purchase a copy of Steve Brady’s latest Lent book, Towards Jerusalem: A Pilgrim’s Regress and Progress to God’s Holy City, via Moorlands College, and the profits will go into Brenda Brady’s Student Bursary. Please post us a cheque for £8, including a note with your name and delivery address, to Moorlands College, Sopley, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 7AT.

Towards Jerusalem: A pilgrim’s regress and progress to God’s Holy City by Steve Brady

God has an agenda for cities.  Steve Brady is convinced of it.  The Bible is full of significant cities and the biblical story is full of imagery of cities—culminating in the Holy City, birthed in and through his people.  Towards Jerusalem is a unique Lent book,  a call to live for a vision bigger than ourselves, marching to a different drumbeat towards ‘Zion’, God’s new Jerusalem, and all that this means in transformative terms for today’s Christian believer.


We greatly value your contributions and support for the bursary. If you have any questions relating to the bursary or Steve’s book, please give us a call on 01425 674500 or email us on enquiries@moorlands.ac.uk 

Breaking down the barriers

Bench image

Recent news reports revealed that Bournemouth Borough Council had chosen to install metal bars on city centre benches to prevent homeless people from sleeping on them. The resulting public uproar, including a 20,000-strong petition opposing the move, called on the council to reverse its “inhumane” decision. Thankfully, within a week, the council had bowed to public pressure and agreed to remove the bars.

Alice Green photograph.

Alice Green, one of our Midlands Regional Centre students, reflects upon the decisions initially made by the council. Do their actions reflect those of Christ? And, how does Jesus call us to respond? 

Of this, I am convinced. Barriers on benches would be barred in heaven.

Bournemouth Borough Council recently decided to attach barriers onto benches to stop the homeless population sleeping there. The news has been littered with this story and the same council has fallen under speculation twice before this scheme. Firstly, in 2016, when one-way train tickets were bought and given out to rough sleepers, encouraging them to move out of the area. Secondly, in 2015 when the council paid to play the sound of bagpipes from speakers outside Bournemouth coach station between midnight and 6am, preventing homeless people from sleeping nearby.

When reading these news stories, I can’t help but think of how much this opposes Jesus’ exemplification of living. It demonstrates the attitude rife within modern-day society; if you can detach yourself from the problem, then the problem ceases to exist.

The truth is that God is not in the business of shunning people away. He created humankind for communion with him. He is not a vindictive, cruel, hard-hearted law enforcer. He is a perfect father. He is not characterised by segregation, prejudice or indifference. But instead displays restoration, redemption and reconciliation. It’s this that God calls us to be part of; to get caught up in his loving pursuit of humankind.

Jesus taught this whilst in his ministry on earth. The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:28–37)  highlights what God’s love ought to look like; to love your neighbour as yourself. The ‘expert of the law’ questions Jesus. He wants to know who exactly our neighbour is. His question seems to come from a belief that there are some to whom love doesn’t apply. He implies that God’s love is limited and emphasises the worthiness of the object of love, rather than on the attitude of the one who is to do the loving.

The love God calls his followers to have is not a matter of theoretical discussion but of practical demonstration. In this parable, it is the despised Samaritan, a man of mongrel race and a polluted religion, who is praised for not theorising love, but acting it. The Jews and Samaritans were not groups that would have interacted with each other. But Jesus engaged in the lives of people from this race (John 4:4–42). This reminds us, as followers of God, that prejudice can separate us from helping people in need. Instead, Christ calls us to demonstrate his love; a love that breaks down division and stands in the gap for those unable to stand up for themselves.

I’m so glad the decision has finally been made to remove these barriers in Bournemouth. God is merciful in his nature. Barriers on benches are not a demonstration of mercy. They are ruthless. God is loving in his nature. Barriers on benches are not a demonstration of love, but of exclusion.

The challenge that Christians face today is to love in this bold, counter-cultural way. Love boldly.

Alice Green is a BA placement-based student at our Midlands Regional Centre. Click here for more information about our centre, the placement-based BA programme, and how you can be a part of it. 

Locating the place of Jerusalem



President of the USA, Donald Trump, recently provoked tension at his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem—and, by doing so, declaring the ancient city as Israel’s capital.

As Bible-believing Christians, we see a crucial role played by Jerusalem throughout the timeline of Scripture. But what place does Jerusalem have in the world today? Should we support or object to the view that it’s the legitimate capital of the state of Israel?

In this video, Moorlands College lecturer Dr Chris Sinkinson lays out the two common responses held by Christians around the world. Are either of these views the ‘right’ one? And if they are, how do we tell?

Say hello to our new Christchurch council

We have recently elected our new Christchurch council members! (Or, to use the full, tongue-twisting name, ‘Christchurch Campus Community Council’.) Each year, our campus-based students step forward to represent and support the student body. They ensure our students are guided spiritually, pastorally and relationally whilst growing the hope of Jesus to those outside of Moorlands College.

So, who are the new council members? And how does serving our community help to benefit them personally?

Chair and Vice-Chair

Chair and Vice-Chair

Above: Sam Norman (Vice-Chair) and Callum McKay (Chair).


Callum McKay

Callum McKay (Chair)

I’m very excited to have this opportunity this year. I love being able to serve the campus and lead my three teams to do the best we can for our community and the people in our area. My aim for this year is centred around Romans 12:1–2, which reads:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:1–2.

It’s tough being a Christian, and so it’s vital we encourage each other daily to be the best people God has made us to be and to do everything in worship to him. Rather than being people who follow the ways of this world, we strive to be examples of Christ to the people in this world who don’t yet know Him and his graceful love. This role is a great opportunity for me to put into practice the leadership skills I’ve gained during my time here whilst being supported by friends who’ll encourage me but also give me honest feedback on how I’m doing.


Sam Norman

Sam Norman (Vice-Chair) 

I’ve always felt in my element when coming up with ideas and seeing them come to fruition. As Vice-Chair, I aim to help the council function effectively, helping make our ideas a reality, and ultimately improve the students’ overall experience. As a council, we hope to do three main things: the first, to glorify God in everything we set out to do, and to see him reign over everything in our lives. The second is to make the students experience a life-changing time; a time of challenge and fun. To build towards a closer relationship with God. And finally, to spread the hope of Jesus to those outside Moorlands College, for his glory. Being Vice-Chair brings about responsibility, and requires organisation and reliability. This role will allow me to grow in the area of leadership, working with and organising people, which will help me in the future in church ministry.


Community Events Team

Community Team

Above: Joy Giritharan, Beca Hamilton, and Liz Viney make up our council’s Community Events Team.


Beca H

Beca Hamilton (Community Events Team Leader)

I have a passion to see people become all they can be in Christ. With the busyness of college life, my hope is that this year’s Community Events Team will provide time for rest and time for fellowship; to allow campus-based students space to grow into all God has called them to be. As a Youth Worker in training, I know this year will help me to grow in my management skills as well as feed into my love of being creative. I can’t wait to see how God uses council this year to bring more of his Kingdom to our college.


Liz V

Liz Viney

I’m currently in my first year of the degree and have a real heart for people, so I’m beyond excited to be involved in such an active part of the community at the Christchurch campus. It’s wonderful to feel so embedded in the Moorlands College family after only one term, and I am already looking forward to facilitating the same warm welcome for first years in the new academic year; I know what a great springboard it has been for me into my course. It is so important to be able to work prayerfully as a team, from a budget and for the purpose of serving others; there aren’t many ministries where those skills aren’t helpful to practise!


Joy G

Joy Giritharan

Being part of the Moorlands College community is such a blessing. And supporting and helping the college community by being part of the council is an even greater blessing! My role on council allows me to be creative and have fun whilst doing so! I hope to create memorable and exciting events with my team members in the year to come.


Outreach Events Team

Outreach Team

Above: Will Gwynn, Rhys Poore and Pete Oram make up our council’s Outreach Events Team.


Rhys P

Rhys Poore (Outreach Events Team leader)

I decided to join the Christchurch council in order to bring creativity and logistics to the Outreach Team. I want to ensure that the outreach events are run to the best they can be to further God’s kingdom most effectively. I believe this will develop my character and heart for outreach when going into full-time ministry and my role in the council will continue to grow my passion for sharing the gospel.


Pete O

Pete Oram

In my role on council, I aim to bring energy, dynamism and creativity to outreach work within college life. I am very practical and won’t hesitate to get things going at college! I hope to see a breakthrough in our community and specifically within the universities in the local area. I feel I will also benefit from the practical aspects of planning and running outreach events.


Will G

Will Gwynn

I’m on the outreach team because Moorlands College needs to be a light to the surrounding area and to make the Lord’s name known on all the earth. Within the role, I’ll develop leadership skills which are essential for church leadership of any kind. It’s easy in ministry and in the church to become all about ourselves, whereas we need to look outside of ourselves and worship the Almighty God.


Pastoral Team

Above: Bekah Jackett, Anna Hartwell and Thomas Burgess make up our council’s Pastoral Team.


Anna H

Anna Hartwell (Pastoral Team leader)

I applied to be leader of the Pastoral Team because I really want to see the community of our college grow and develop throughout the coming year. I have a heart for the people of this campus and know God does too. In my role, I’m going to help our students see this abundance of love from our Father. I know God is calling me to pastoral care in some form, and I’m excited for the practical application I’ll recieve through being part of council.


Bekah J

Bekah Jackett 

For me, pastoral work is about reiterating God’s truths to people in a moment of confusion, struggle, or both. Being on the Pastoral Team means that I am able to meet people where they are at, and offer guidance for their current situation. My passion is to encourage those who need it, and to lavish the word of God over them so they might be reminded of who they are in Christ, and that they have a faithful God who will never leave or forsake them.


Tom B

Thomas Burgess 

Being on the Pastoral Team seemed very natural for me to be part of. One of the biggest reasons is because I’ve always seen it as my duty to be there for people and to see how they’re doing. I never like to see people upset, stressed or even annoyed; I always just want to help! My role in the team will certainly help me in future ministry because it will allow me to comfort those who need it personally and through using scripture. For me, and the rest of the team, it is vital that the Word of God is our foundation.

 


So, there you are! Please pray for our student body as they continue with their lectures, essay writing and serving in placement churches and organisations. And pray for peace, clarity and decision-making for our council members as they organise and support our Christchurch campus as well as enjoying their degree studies. 

Group photo


Above: Our 2018 Christchurch Campus Community Council.

A New Year, a new thankful you

Sarah White

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

How are you feeling right now? Are you tired after the New Year’s celebrations? Stuffed happily full of festive treats? Expectant for the year ahead? Or perhaps disappointed that you haven’t had the magical ‘zing’ you crave at the start of a New Year?

I’m feeling all of the above. It’s quite conflicting!

On the way to work this morning, radio stations asked what our New Year’s resolutions were. They even wondered if anyone had already broken theirs! It can start to feel like the renewal of the New Year is short-term; perhaps a momentary, fleeting notion that fades throughout January and February.

At the end of the year, many people took to social media to reflect, post statuses about the year gone and share what they’re looking forward to in 2018. Some were grateful, some were expectant and others revealed that they’d really struggled in 2017.

Whether you’re going through a storm or are in a peaceful place, it’s important to reflect, be honest and thank God. In Colossians 3, we read about how we are to ‘‘do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” This verse has been a fresh reminder and has helped me put the New Year into perspective. Everything I do (in word or action) should be done in thankfulness to Jesus. For he allows all things to work together for my good (Romans 8:28).

Reflection shouldn’t just be over the New Year period. It should be part of our routine. So, reflect. Remember. Recognise Christ in your life. Present your requests to God by prayer and petition (Philippians 4:6). Be thankful and make it daily. Not just a status on New Year’s Eve.

I’m going to choose be more thankful this year. A New Year and a new, thankful me.

 


Here are some resolution ideas for the year ahead. How will you choose to enrich your 2018?

  1. Read Scripture daily (give it a specific time in your routine).
  2. Create a blog for your reflections and to encourage others.
  3. Speak to your church leader about volunteer opportunities.
  4. Make a reading list for the year and stick to it. If you want to go deeper into understanding Scripture, why don’t you add our suggestions to your list?
  5. Keep a thankfulness diary. Take five minutes to note down answered prayers and moments you were thankful for during the day.

 

Sarah White is Marketing Assistant at Moorlands College.