we had an amazing day last tuesday at the first graduation celebration of cms pioneers. four years ago we had an open day. somehow from that day a pilot group was born that began the cms pioneer training course in september 2010. i have extremely fond memories of those early weeks as we began to discover just what kind of adventure we had got ourselves into. i’m not sure any of us knew exactly what was ahead or indeed the challenge of the journey. in the four years we have run a foundation degree, a certificate, added in an m.a., and gained approval from the church of england to let us train pioneer ordinands in a partnership with ripon college cuddesdon. in that time over 80 people have done something with us by way of a module or more. and about half have done something more substantial (several modules, a university award etc.).
it is the most rewarding work i have been involved in for my entire life. more than anything i have loved the gift that is the pioneers - dreamers who do - those who follow christ’s call in mission to see and build beyond business as usual with imagination and courage. it was incredibly exciting to get to a point of celebrating our first graduation.
we gave those finishing an object to takeaway that would symbolise the journey, a unique piece of art created by sculptor iain cotton - it’s a stone landscape in which a new unique journey has been hewn to make a way where there is no way. making a way in rock is tough but the path also looks like a letter or script and I love what iain has done by playing with this notion of a new language that is found in the journey. he describes it on his write up as a speaking in tongues, a language of the spirit (which of course was a language given so people could understand in their own tongue).
thank you to everyone who has shared the journey and supported it in any way, encouraged me through the blog or in conversation. we have an amazing team, cms is a great community to host it, and i am so inspired by and grateful to all those who come and train with us. we are proud of everything they have achieved and indeed the gift of who they are.