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WEST is entering into a unique alliance with another enterprise with a rapidly expanding vision, the Porterbrook Network. Both are involved in providing training for contemporary, reformed church leaders. The new arrangement between the two organisations is designed to provide a flow of training for church planters for projects in the UK, into Europe and beyond.
Porterbrook Learning and Seminary courses will be rebranded WESTPorterbrook and Steve Timmis, Tim Chester and Jonathan Woodrow of Porterbrook will be appointed to the WEST Faculty for September 2013. Steve and Tim are widely read authors both in Britain and the US, with such titles as Total Church and the recently published Unreached: planting churches in working class and socially deprived areas. WESTPorterbrook are pooling resources in order to deliver an entirely new training track for new church planters and those already involved in ministry.
Jonathan Stephen said, ‘All of us at WEST have sensed the clear direction of the Holy Spirit. As WEST and Porterbrook became increasingly aware of all we share in doctrine, ethos, vision and true Christian friendship, there seemed almost an inevitability about the process. In fact, at times we have felt like mere spectators as the Lord has opened up the way.’
For some reason, this year we are low on student numbers for January’s MA module on Popular Culture and Christian Worldview. As a result, in order to ensure the course goes well, WE ARE OFFERING THIS MODULE AT NO COST TO PASTORS, APPRENTICES AND OTHER CHRISTIAN WORKERS! Ted Turnau is a brilliant and much sought-after lecturer on this subject and those who have attended it in the past have found it to be one of the most useful, relevant and enjoyable learning experiences they have known.
The module runs from Tuesday 15th to Friday 18th January. There are 20 highly interactive sessions in all, and each day runs from 8.30am and finishes at 4 or 5pm (1pm on Friday). There are movie nights on Wednesday and Thursday. An excellent lunch is available each day at a cost of £3 per meal.
The only condition is that those who take up this offer should plan to attend the whole module, Tuesday to Friday. (excluding movie nights). Please let me know as soon as possible whether you would like to attend. You may also extend this offer to anyone else whom you think would be able to benefit from it. More details are below. Ted would be very pleased to have you along but mentions that it would be good if you could get a prior view of his highly acclaimed book Popologetics: Popular Culture in Christian Perspective. It’s surely not too late to request it for Christmas…
Dr Ted Turnau BA, MDiv, PhD
Ted was raised in Pennsylvania. In 1999, shortly after completing his Ph.D., Ted and his family relocated to Prague, Czech Republic, where Ted has been teaching cultural and religious studies at Anglo-American University Prague. He has also taught as a visiting lecturer at the Social Sciences Faculty of Charles University. In 2004, he helped to found the Christian International School of Prague, where he currently serves as Chairman of the board. He and his wife, Carolyn, host movie discussion nights for students and friends every fortnight. They have three children, the eldest of whom is off to university. Ted plays piano, though only by ear. He loves listening to jazz, blues and alternative music. He also enjoys watching movies and American football (for which he serves as a tireless evangelist to Europe). His children have recently gotten him hooked on Japanese anime.
The module explores popular culture and a Christian response to it from a Reformed theological perspective. Examples of issues which may be considered include:
· Why engage popular culture in the contemporary West? · Popular culture defined in terms of ‘texts’, namely anything that can be interpreted, such as song, movie, game, novel etc. · An introduction to worldview, and how popular culture influences worldview in postmodern societies. · Towards a theological understanding of the significance of popular culture. · A critical appreciation of a range of Christian approaches to popular culture. · How to interpret and critique popular cultural texts (song, movie, game, novel, etc.) by engaging the imaginative worlds they project (cf. Ricoeur’s le monde du texte). · Critiquing popular cultural worldviews apologetically. · A Christian, imaginative response: creating an authentically Christian popular culture (and what do we mean by cultural “authenticity”?).
There is also some accommodation available at WEST for a small cost at first come first serve.
TO APPLY please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
God has provided for expanding the number of faculty at WEST in other ways too. First, Cornelis Bennema, a Dutchman, currently Head of New Testament at the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies inBangalore,India, is joining in June this year. Also a new Pastoral Theologian, Phil Hill, a native ofWales, has been appointed for September. At present he is serving among Arab churches inIsraeland as Dean of Students at Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary. Both of these appointments add to the sense that the Lord is opening up a worldwide influence for the new WESTPorterbrook alliance.
But as international horizons open for this new initiative,Walesitself is not being forgotten. WEST is co-ordinating a team which is launching a major new church planting initiative into the needy areas of theWelshValleys. Originating in a vision of Dai Hankey, Wales Co-ordinator of the church-planting organisation Acts 29 Europe, the project rejoices in the name of ‘Valley Commandos’. The aim is to place ‘Valley Commandos’ in every valley inSouth Wales. Jonathan Stephen told EN, ‘It’s time to take back the ground we have lost!’ JEB
The grand old entrance to Bryntirion House is now the visitor’s first impression of the College via the new one-way vehicular access. The old chapel is a meeting/board room, alongside a smart reception area. The lobby opens on to the re-modelled and expanded library. T he study bedrooms in A-block have been refurbished. The well-equipped kitchen is back in use, and seven days a week, with an excellent full-time chef. A new boiler powers the heating for all the old buildings.
The partnership with SaRangChurchis bearing fruit, founded on mutual trust. This remarkable Korean church has a vision for re-equipping the churches of Wales, particularly in the Valleys. The Porterbrook Network in Wales– focused on church planting – is now based at WEST and 40 of its students had already met that morning. UCCF (Wales) also use the School’s conference facilities for training
WEST is working withHighfieldsChurch,Cardiff, in order to deliver a placement degree. Plans to develop training for ministry through the medium of Welsh are progressing well. A Slovakian M-level student will hopefully be the first of a new wave of highly subsidised students. (The re-evangelisation ofEurope is a strategic priority for SaRang, with WEST as a launch pad!)
Mark Fisher has been ordained as Assistant Pastor (Evangelism) at HeathEvangelicalChurch, Cardiff. Pray for Mark and Miriam in their future ministry
Hugh Davis completed his degree studies in Theology this summer. He has accepted an invitation to be Pastor of Wetherden Baptist Church, Suffolk. Pray for Hugh, Helen and family.
Dan Dwelly also graduated this summer and has been appointed to the post of Assistant Pastor at Carey Baptist Church, Reading from 1 September 2012. Dan is regularly ministering in the Carey Westwood Farm church plant and with Carey’s youth ministries. Pray for him and his wife Emma.
Julie Gower has completed 2 years of the 3 year degree course. She has accepted an administrative post with UCCF in Oxford and continues her WEST studies part-time by distance learning. Pray for her in this new chapter in her life.
Matt Ingle completed his WEST studies in Theology this year. On 1 July he took up his duties as Youth and Children’s Minister in the parish of Winklebury and Worting in Basingstoke. Pray for Matt, Lizi and the baby.
Emyr James (Binary Course) is continuing his studies at WEST while working as Assistant Pastor at the Welsh Evangelical Church in Cardiff. Pray for him and his wife, Catrin.
Steffan Jones (Binary Course) has been called to be Pastor of Mount Elim Evangelical Church, Pontardawe in the Swansea Valley. Steffan’s Ordination and Induction service were on Saturday, 29 September. Pray for him, his wife and young family.
Joel Kendall, completed his undergraduate studies in Theology this summer and was called to be Assistant Minister at Christ Church, Westbourne, Bournemouth, Dorset from September 2012. Joel’s Induction service was on Sunday, 9 September. We wish Joel and Katie the Lord’s richest blessing.
Nathan Davies graduated last year and moved to work with a Church plant in Trevethin, Pontypool and set up a Christians Against Poverty centre in the Torfaen Valley and the Porterbrook training course across South Wales. Please pray for Nathan, Susan and their daughter, Grace.
Ralph Cunnington is Assistant Pastor of Aighburth Community Church, Liverpool and a former WEST and LTS student. He has been appointed as the new editor of Affinity’s theological journal, Foundations, a free online publication.
Andy McKenna, who has been working as Assistant Pastor at Minster Christian Centre, Cardiff, is moving with his family to engage in church planting in Market Harborough in the East Midlands. He will be Pastor of Christchurch, Market Harborough.
Jonny Raine was inducted to the pastorate of Pontrhydyrun Baptist Church, Cwmbran, Torfaen on Saturday, 8 September 2012. Please pray for him, his wife and two young children as they start this new role.
Peter Killingley was a Binary Course student. He accepted a call from Trinity Baptist Church, Gloucester to be their Trainee Pastor. Pray for Peter, Sophie and family.
Luke Moreno completed his undergraduate studies in Theology this summer and is continuing his work as Assistant with Student work at Park End Presbyterian Church,Cardiff. Please pray for him and his wife Sophie.
Darrin Gilchrist, has been serving as Assistant Pastor in CaersalemBaptistChurch, St Mellons, Cardiffsince he left WEST 18 months ago. He has been called to the pastorate of CaergwrleEvangelicalChurchnear Wrexham from Spring 2013. We wish Darrin, his wife, Rachel, and their little baby God’s blessing on this future ministry.
Jim Hillier studied at WEST from 1999 to 2002. He was pastor in Baldock, Hertfordshire from 2002 to 2005. Since 2006 he has been gaining life experience in the police force. On 1 November Jim returned to the pastorate atGraceCommunityChurch, Looe,Cornwall.
When two first edition 1620 Morgan Parry Bibles were ‘discovered’ at WEST earlier this year, it was soon decided to restore one straightaway and donate it to SaRang Community Church, as a symbol of our mutual commitment to the spread of the gospel in Wales.
This classic Welsh translation of the Scriptures united the people ofWales in their love for God’s Word and laid the foundation for our great heritage of revival and mission.
The volume was presented by Principal Jonathan Stephen to Senior Pastor John Oh at each of the five main services held at SaRang on Sunday, 30th September, with the prayer that the Holy Spirit would continue to use his Word in a similar manner inKorea. The gift was very joyfully received – and will become a centrepiece in the church’s new Global Ministry Centre inSeoulwhich is due to be opened next year.
Our Gospel Partnership is also about to bear fruit in another significant way. Both SaRang and WEST are very keen to help plant or revitalise twelve churches in theSouthWalesValleys. Do please pray for this initiative, which signals the School’s determination to be ‘arming the churches’ on the frontline of the spiritual battle.
This month a new translation of the New Testament has been published in Jamaica. The translators worked from the Greek text but the product was not English as we know it but the patois that is used conversationally on the streets of Kingstonand elsewhere.
Our own Bertram Gayle, who graduated from WEST several years ago, was a key member of the translation team. His hard work and skill honed by Iwan Rhys Jones and John Kendall are being well used today. Pray that the Scriptures in this easily understood form will be used by the Spirit of God to mightily bless the people ofJamaica. Pray for Bertram and his colleagues as they work on the translation of the Old Testament.
We are now able to share with the world wide web all of the teaching that has been taking place at WEST from our guest speakers.
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