A GROWING ALUMNI COMMUNITY

Working, walking

 

Friedrich Nietzsche might not seem like the obvious source of a title for a late-twentieth-century book on Christian discipleship, but Eugene Peterson thought otherwise. The result is his 1980 classic – A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society.

 

It’s not just a great title—that one line captures much of what Venn is committed to. In a culture of superficiality and transience, we want to work and walk with alumni—those who have attended a Summer Conference, or graduated from our internship programme—over the long-term. This journey is about strengthening the community of alumni according to a vision of faithful participation in God’s mission in the world—to bring life and blessing to creation.

An educational journey

 

We’re calling it an Educational Journey and it lies at the heart of who we are. Focusing so strongly on education brings with it a temptation for Venn to become solely an events-focused organisation. However, we are using “education” in its broadest sense—it is not simply about the delivery of content and information, but the formation of people. Thus we are constantly reminding ourselves that we work on behalf of a community committed to growing in their connections, their character, and their capacity to bring life and blessing to Aotearoa New Zealand.

 

We seek to journey with our alumni across New Zealand through continued educational experiences, regular gatherings, weekend short courses and web based learning.

Our work with alumni:

CONTINUES to explore the breadth of the gospel vision for creation in relational learning environments, where conversation and hospitality are deeply valued

FACILITATES the continuing development of the skills, competence and capacity alumni need to bring life, imagination and possibility to their communities and wider culture

FOSTERS regional and nationwide networking for the purposes of personal, vocational and cultural transformation

Think not forever of yourselves, O Chiefs, not of your own generation. Think of continuing generations of our families, think of our grandchildren and of those yet unborn, whose faces are coming from beneath the ground. // T.S. Eliot

CURRENT ALUMNI HAPPENINGS

Venn seeks to responds to the needs of our growing alumni community—therefore our hope is that the types of programmes and events we offer will change and adapt as our alumni age and mature.

Mentoring

For those alumni desiring sustained guidance in figuring out how to translate the gospel day-by-day into their workplaces and lives, Venn staff and partners offer ongoing mentoring.

Alumni Initiatives

Many of our alumni are already involved in other initiatives and organisations designed to bring life and blessing to Aotearoa New Zealand. We seek to support our alumni in these initiatives as appropriate and where possible, with teaching and organisational support.

Vocaré dinners

Vocaré dinners provide an opportunity for alumni to connect with other professionals seeking to creatively integrate the gospel vision into their work practice. Great hospitality and relationship are of central importance to Vocaré. Current groups include: business, media, the arts, politics, and law; with more on the way.

Short courses

Short courses, run over one or two days, provide alumni the opportunity to re-engage with the ideas foundational to our Summer Conference and Internship curriculum. The topics covered vary from broader ideas and theories, to sessions specifically designed to advance the practical skills of alumni in living out the gospel faithfully in the world.

Conversation evenings

Conversation evenings—normally involving wine and dessert—provide space for connection (building the sense of alumni as a community of learners), the generation of ideas, deep conversation and the delivery of content.

Internship Alumni weekend

Every year we hold a retreat weekend, bringing together internship alumni from all over the country, to re-engage with the people and ideas they encountered during their time with us.

Not Alumni?

Come along to the next Summer Conference and start the journey.