As I write this post, I’m an Anglican1 ordinand living the gap between completing a Formation for Ordained Ministry program at Wollaston Theological College, and (God-willing) ordination to the diaconate. The last few years have been very busy… and now I find myself, somewhat jarringly, with an abundance of free time. I’ve been gently exploring some new things; learning the ukulele (these efforts watched surprisingly appreciatively by my cat), reading a lot, baking and cooking, and gardening.

I’ve been a software engineer for twenty-two years. Preparing to leave the profession is no small thing. Software (alongside tinkering around with electronics) was a fun creative outlet for me long before it became my job… and so I’m looking forward to returning to seeing it that way – as my equivalent to playing with model trains in the garage.

The last five years of my life have been spent in theological training: a year-long introductory certificate that got me started, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Theology at Murdoch University. I’m now two units away from completing a Master of Divinity degree. On top of that, I’ve completed a three-year Ministry Formation Programme, and Clinical Pastoral Education at Royal Perth Hospital.

The formation programme at Wollaston teaches theological reflection; that is, reflecting upon matters in the light of scripture, reason, tradition and experience. Often reflections come out of pastoral encounters, but they can involve events from all aspects of life; or we might theologically reflect upon a book, a poem, a painting… if you experience it, you can theologically reflect upon it.

Prior to studying theology, I was unaware of theological reflection as a formal practice – but despite that, I was doing it. In the broadest possible sense, I might argue that theological reflection is essential to the human experience; most of us seem to be set up to not just experience the world, but to constantly ask the simple question: why? What is the meaning behind all of this?

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting a number of theological reflections to this blog. I’ve read some great books recently, which I will reflect upon. I’ve long found a particular enjoyment in works of speculative fiction, and it’s occurred to me lately that there’s something existential and theological at the heart of that genre. My first review will be of the first two of Becky Chambers' Monk and Robot novellas, focussing upon the first, A Psalm for the Wild-Built.

Cover image: Four sunflowers gone to seed, Van Gogh, 1887 (chosen as I’ve just planted sunflowers in the garden – my favourite flower)

  1. I live in the Anglican Diocese of Perth, which is part of the Anglican Communion. For folks in the United States, your equivalent is the Episcopal Church. ↩︎