This Sunday [23 August] sees the start of a week-long programme of study and worship for the students at the Scottish Episcopal Institute. The ‘Orientation Week’, held annually at the start of each new academic year, aims to welcome back the continuing students and welcome in the new ones. Normally it is held in St Mary’s Monastery, Kinnoull, but this year, for the first time, it will be run online.
Undaunted, staff have been using every ounce of ingenuity they possess over the summer to make this a truly formational experience. Break-out rooms have been set up via Big Blue Button to allow small groups to meet and socialise, ‘flipped classroom’ teaching techniques called into play, and slides and recordings prepared for online worship. Continuing students likewise have been busy getting to know the six incoming students through Zoom meetings and on-line Compline, not to mention creating an on-line Ceilidh for the last evening of the Week.
Core SEI staff will teach modules on ‘Introduction to preaching’, ‘Developing preaching’ and ‘Mission and Evangelism’; Bishop Anne and the Principal will speak about ‘formation’; Canon Graham, Chaplain to SEI, will be present for much of the week, and the Revd David Paton-Williams, one of the IME 4-6 Co-ordinators, will meet with the Final Year students on the Thursday. And most importantly Linda Harrison, the SEI Administrator, will keep the virtual show on the road behind the scenes.
Please keep students and staff alike in your prayers through Orientation Week.
Rev Canon Dr Anne Tomlinson, Principal, Scottish Episcopal Institute