Jonathan will continue working part time for Bethany Christian Trust and combining that with studying two days a week at Cornhill. His study is complemented by partnership with a church placement at Refuge.
Jonathan was keen to study at Cornhill because he discerns a call to the ministry of the Word. He will therefore be using his time at Cornhill to continue to confirm this sense of calling and to prepare for what lies ahead.
Jonathan has shared his sense of calling with the leaders at Refuge, who have readily affirmed that he should continue to pursue this calling—we recognise that he has the giftings to do so. Indeed, Refuge as a church family have already provided affirmation in recognising him as an elder.
Jonathan has been an encouragement to many, not least to Stuart and Peter (as fellow Elders) and to those in his Community Group. His gifting in teaching and preaching is apparent and has benefited us all.
Someone once offered the following advice with regards to identifying someone who is suitable for eldership or being a minister: to look out for those who are already, somewhat humbly, doing the job; who are already shepherding their family well; someone who is already praying for the flock; someone who is already adhering to sound doctrine and showing a desire and ability to teach. We can affirm these things in Jonathan.
We recognise, too, the gift that his wife, Alise, is to Refuge—the example she sets in loving Jonathan and her family well. She is an encouragement, in particular, to the ladies in Refuge and her enthusiasm and love for the children of Refuge shines forth.
On Sunday, 2nd September, the elders laid hands on Jonathan and Alise, to mark his embarking on the study of theology at Cornhill, as Stuart prayed for them, and blessed them with the words of Psalm 121.