2020 marks the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland (formerly Baptist Union of Ireland) in 1895. In February 1895 there was a “call to pray” issued to the churches, encouraging them to plead with God to move among the churches of the Union. Wishing to echo that sentiment the Executive Committee of the Association have issued a similar call: “unite to pray.”
Throughout 2020 the College will draw your attention to this call to “unite to pray” with a monthly “Friends of the College” blog post linked to the “unite to pray” prayer diary. The September notes encourage us to pray for a renewed sense of commitment to the life and ministry of the local church.
One key way of achieving this is by praying for the work of the College. In the task of training men and women for gospel ministry in a variety of contexts and settings the College strives to engender a commitment to the local church in students. While this summer has been a strange one, and not all that relaxing as preparations were being made for the new academic year, it thrills us at the College that September has arrived again.
September is the beginning of a new academic year and thus a time for staff and students alike to renew their commitment to the task of theological training for the sake of gospel proclamation. Despite the circumstances we are delighted to have 11 new undergraduate students begin studies with us, along with 10 new postgraduate students. There are also a handful of Baptist Youth interns and Day Release students sitting in on undergraduate classes. Evening classes continue to have new students joining each year too. The College have therefore been very pleased with the number of new students given the current circumstances created by the Coronavirus pandemic.
By the time you are reading this the new postgraduate students will have completed their study skills module and the new undergraduate students will have just begun their induction week. As you pray through the “unite to pray” notes for September we would encourage you to pray for a renewed sense of commitment to the life and ministry of the local church here in the College:
- Give thanks to God for an acceptable number of new students at all levels of study given the circumstances.
- Pray for the College staff as they work to facilitate face-to-face teaching in a safe manner.
- Ask God to equip the students to adapt to the new pattern of College life, and especially for the new undergraduate students who will be entering their College experience in less than ideal circumstances.
- Pray also for protection from Coronavirus, particularly that the College community will remain unaffected and remain open throughout the academic year for face-to-face teaching.
- Continue to remember our recent graduating group, and pray that God might open doors for service at the right time.