Tuesday, November 10, 2009


In the last chapter I wrote pretty candidly about our short ministry at First Baptist Church Vancouver.

It was a disaster in some ways: not that the church suffered (I think only a few families left - most didn't know what was going on)... But one of the side-benefits was a gift from a well-to-do friend of $10,000 Canadian to pursue Doctor of Ministry studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.

So I commuted from Vancouver to Los Angeles for a year then attended more seminars back-to-back during the first three months of our little family's journey home to Australia. Jan 'homeschooled' Amanda and Lindy but those girls had a wonderful time swimming in a pool at the visiting students' quarters . We lived in a faculty member's home while they were away. A very rich experience.

Back to the DMin. It was a terrific program, and as I could attend as many seminars beyond the basic requirements as I wished, I did just that. I got to know some special people - Dr. Arch Hart (whom I later invited to come to Australia - which he has done regularly since, to speak to pastors' conferences about Stress and Burnout in Ministry), Richard Foster, Roberta Hestenes, Ray Anderson and many others.

I finally did a major study of the first century church in Antioch - there's a simplified summary in my little book published by the Uniting Church, 'Your Church Can Come Alive'. The gist of it is on our website.

Another privilege was to teach, sometime in the 1980s, the DMin intensive on Spirituality for Ministry, until Eugene Peterson was available. Some of the chapters in my devotional book High Mountains Deep Valleys were written by those students.

More to come...

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