We have a new Director!

Mike Pears

Today we were able to announce the appointment of Revd Dr Mike Pears as Director of IBTS Centre as of 1st August 2018.

Mike began his doctoral studies in Prague in 2011 and completed his doctorate in Amsterdam, being one of the first IBTS Centre students to graduate at the VU. As well as research interests in the use of ethnography in relation to theology, mission and urban theology his faith has been shaped and enriched through ministry and mission  in inner-city London, Vancouver, Frankfurt, Sofia, and Bristol. Along with Prof. Paul Cloke (Exeter University), he is co-editing and authoring a series of six books entitled Mission in Marginal Places currently published by Paternoster.

We are really looking forward to working with Mike. He believes that IBTSC is strategically situated, both culturally and geographically, to encourage research and learning of baptistic theology and spirituality across Europe, the Middle East and further afield. That’s a vision we share and are delighted to be available to support in the coming years.

Spring

In the words of the great poet Anonymous:
Spring has sprung,
The grass is ris’,
I wonder where
The birdies is?
We know the answer to that: the birdies (jackdaws) is pecking away at the edge of the roof outside our bedroom window, trying to find a gap where they can push in sticks to start building a nest. At 6am every morning, they sound like builders working with hammers and chisels, but so far (thankfully) without success.

 Now that the ‘Beast from the East’ has retreated, the daffodils and tulips in our garden are beginning to emerge very  cautiously – as if they are scared that the Beast might return and bite off their heads! It seems that the world-famous tulip displays at Keukenhof will be a bit late this year, following the long, cold spell. But Spring is definitely here – the canals have thawed, the grass is growing, the clocks have changed, the evenings are brighter, the bulb fields are beginning to burst into colour…

Even though I often complain about the cold or the heat or the rain or the fog, I really love the variety of the seasons, moving reliably through Spring into Summer, then Autumn and back to Winter. It always reminds me of God’s promise recorded in the book of Genesis in the Bible:
‘As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.’