The core SEI staff – Linda Harrison, Michael Hull, Richard Tiplady and Anne Tomlinson – enjoyed an ‘Awayday’ earlier this week. Having said that, such a title might be challenged under the Trade Descriptions Act, the ‘day’ being simply from 9.30-14.00 and the location no further ‘away’ than the Edinburgh Diocesan Office!
The intention of the event was amply fulfilled however: to afford the four staff a chance to meet together in person, to ‘check in’ with and pray for one another, and to have time and space to reflect on their work, away from the press of emails and routine tasks. The venue itself was hugely contributory to the success of the meeting, Edinburgh Diocesan Office staff having recently refurbished ‘the back room’, transforming it into a lovely meeting space. We thank Simon Filsell, Diocesan Administrator, and Miranda Heggie, Communications Officer, for their kind hospitality.
The gathering focussed on the theme ‘Supporting ongoing growth at SEI’ and was designed around 1 Corinthians 3, 6-16. With so much expansion going on, such a discussion was both timely and necessary. Together we sought to find ways of ensuring that systems and staff structures were robust enough to support the growing plant. Topics addressed included how best to promote, manage and support the ever-expanding MA programme; the development of SEI’s Lay Learning offerings; next year’s scheduling and staffing; and developments in Moodle, the learning platform used by SEI which, under Linda’s skilled supervision, supports all our modules.
Mindful that ‘so great a task can be carried out only in the power of the Holy Spirit’, the gathering was infused with prayer to ‘God who gives the growth’. And we ended by asking for the grace to carry out our ministries of teaching and pastoral care, of accompaniment and administration, responsibly, wisely and carefully, as good colleagues and friends .. and above all as God’s servants, working together with a common purpose.
Photos courtesy of Edinburgh Diocesan Office and Richard Tiplady