The opening of a new academic year at the seminary is a good time to emphasise to students and the church that pastoral formation isn’t just academic. As we welcome new students and their families into the community each September, there’s a happy routine we follow that touches many sides of Christian life.
The joy of families and children stands at the heart of the opening barbecue, held at a local park with plenty of playground space.
The students then “retreat” with their teachers to Mt Carmel Spiritual Retreat Centre in Niagara Falls for prayer, study, worship, and socialising. Each of the three faculty members addressed aspects of this year’s theme, held in common with our sister seminary in Edmonton: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you” (Jn 20:21). Singing Matins and Compline in Mt Carmel’s Victorian neo-gothic chapel is always a highlight. A brisk walk to see the Falls counteracts the rich food on offer.
Then, as we welcome the Board of Regents and members of area churches into the seminary’s chapel, we officially open the year with preaching, prayer, and praise. At the 2019 Opening Service we were privileged to give the Emeritus Crucis (“Veteran of the Cross”) award to Rev. Tom Prachar, who recently retired from serving 19 years as LCC Central District President and was a parish pastor for two decades before that. Rev. Prachar was also a member of the seminary’s first graduating class and later served on her Board of Regents.
As the students now dive into the routine of classes, chapel services, homework, and field work, we ask you to keep them in your prayers and support their formation with your gifts.
More photos are available on the Gallery page of the seminary website.