The beginning of another academic year brings a flurry of activity for the students, staff, and faculty at Concordia. And, of course, the desire is to get the devil out of the details so orientation, registration, first classes, etc., run smoothly.
This year is no exception. Last week students began checking into their options for courses, getting settled (or resettled) into the area, and digging out books, notes, or whatever to get ready for the first full week of classes, beginning 9 September.
The Wednesday evening BBQ at Queenston Heights Park on September 4 provided the first organised social event for new students to meet returning ones and especially for the returning vicars, who had been off campus for the past year, to compare notes on their parish experiences. CSSA President John Nieminen organised cooking, set-up, and clean-up crews to provide the meat and beverages. Others brought salads and desserts. As usual, no one went hungry!
Orientation and registration began Thursday morning with a review of programme changes, a chapel service, and an opportunity to meet with academic advisors. This year there are 11 pastoral (MDiv/Diploma), 2 MTS students, and one Brock undergrad studying at the seminary.
That afternoon the annual student-faculty retreat began at Mount Carmel Spiritual Retreat Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario. In addition to time for worship there are sessions reflecting on the theme verse for this year, shared with Edmonton’s seminary, from Ephesians 2:20, “Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone.” And as usual, more time seemed to be devoted to eating than to sleeping!
Sunday, 9 September, marked the official beginning of the year with an opening service in the chapel at 4 pm. Special awards presented during the service went to Rev. Ronald Towriss from Port Moody, BC, as the Emeritus Crucis (Veteran of the Cross) bestowed upon parish pastors for faithful service as recommended by their districts. Unfortunately, Pastor Towriss was unable to be present, but his biography was read as an inspiration for the students. Academic awards for their achievements went to Milton Lam, Andrew Cottrill, John Nieminen, Jeremy Richert, and Andrew Preus (in absentia).
Following the service, refreshments were provided by the Seminary Guild.
And to round off all the opening activities, the Board of Regents met Monday and Tuesday.