There’s some career-related news I’ve been sitting on for awhile and it’s finally time to make it public. I am leaving my position as a social researcher Anglicare at the end of the year and taking a sideways career step to work with the Sydney University Evangelical Union!
I will be employed as part of the Howard Guinness Project, a two year ministry trainee program that will employ me as kind of an apprentice university chaplain. There are eleven other people starting this trainee program with me, and in 2013 we will be joining a team of eight senior staff and 5 existing trainees who are already on campus working alongside the student group. It’s going to be an epic two years!
I know there are plenty of people out there who have never heard of the Sydney Uni EU or the Howard Guinness Project. The student group (the EU) is an affiliate of the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students, which in turn is affiliated with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. Any overseas readers? I will be working alongside a group that is partnered with the Inter varsity Christian Fellowship (USA), UCCF (UK) and IFES-Nederlands (Netherlands). It’s a non-denominational evangelical Christian group, run by students and supported by graduates.
There is a list in my desk drawer at work with a list of things that will be awesome about working on campus next year. The list looks like this:
– get out of office
– can wear t-shirts
– experience seasons
– shorter commute
– work with awesome people!
– get to walk around and exercise
– see the sky more -> more vitamin D
– can cycle to work
There are also some serious reasons I am excited. I am excited to have two years to work with students in an important transitional period of their life. I’m hoping that there will be many opportunities to help Christians think about how to integrate their faith into their studies, passions and future work.I’m also hoping that I will get to share the gospel with many people who have never seriously considered Jesus as an adult. Personally I am expecting that the next two years will give me many opportunities to be trained in different ministry and “people” skills. I’m also looking forward to some experience of full-time, people-focused ministry work. I’d like to see if I can actually do it, whether this is a sustainable career option to consider in the long term.
Finishing up at Anglicare
In the midst of all the excitement there is also sadness about leaving my job at Anglicare. Even though I know that my geography brain is not going to switch off with this job move, I’m still going to miss being employed as a geographer. I will miss making maps, I will miss all my work friends, the Monday morning staff devotions, the way that there is always someone turning my attention to the marginalised. I will miss my access to the census database! I will miss helping churches and writing reports for the Diocese. I will even miss providing IT support to all the Emergency Relief social workers who struggle to use their database. I will be finishing up at Christmas so there’s only really a month to go before everything starts changing!
As part of my work I am collecting a group of supporters who will pray for me and the work on campus. If you are a Christian and are interested in praying for me in this new role over the next couple years, mention it in the comments or send me a private message and I’ll send you regular prayer updates by email.
So much excitement!