• Chips and More Chips

    Not the edible variety but electronic chips. In Amsterdam a chipkaart enables you to use the metro, trams buses and trains. You load lots of euros onto the card and it gets subtracted each journey you make. It feels like traveling for free and it’s only when you have to recharge your card that you’re reminded it isn’t. In the Student Hotel you are given a round blue key fob. You don’t need a real key as the chip inside it opens the doors from the public area and the door to your bedroom. To buy anything at the hotel’s restaurant (called The Kitchen!), you can only use a debit…

  • Feeling Welcome

    Simon Oxley shares some of his impressions of the Colloquium: Two welcomes, one hoped for and one unplanned, were highlights the Research Colloquium in Amsterdam for me. The hoped for welcome came from the faculty and administrative staff of the VU. They turned out in force to meet us when we had a mass visit early in the fortnight. Then several professors came one by one to listen to and then discuss progress reports by students. It was very reassuring and encouraging to see the confirmation that IBTS is a valued partner. The unplanned welcome came in an urban walk, part of the students’ Migration and Dislocation conference in the…

  • Migration and Dislocation

    This is the theme of the IBTS student conference taking place in the middle of our doctoral colloquium. Great stuff, and lots of thoughts: about various situations of dislocation today; our own (personal and communal) attitudes, gut-level reactions and responses to migrants; our reading of biblical narratives – either to support  our position and defend the space we inhabit, or to accept the challenge they put to our reading of today’s realities. – Lina

  • Breaking the bread in Amsterdam and Prague: The Eucharist in two kinds and two places

    On Wednesday 22 January the traditional IBTS Wednesday Eucharist was celebrated in two places – physically divided in space and weather (dull and damp in Amsterdam, snow falling steadily and creating that special beauty of fresh-fallen snow on the Prague campus). In Prague a remnant met around the table in the chapel which has been the venue for such a weekly event since 1998. Meanwhile, the IBTS Research colloquia met for the first time to break bread in the Baptist House. Both groups were gathered around a simple table. Both gatherings used IBTS plates and chalice, both used wine from the vineyards around Mikulov, which the Anabaptists cultivated and restored…

  • New Beginnings in Amsterdam

    The Annual IBTS Research Colloquia has opened, not, as it has been over the past decade, in the Prague Campus, but in the Baptist House in south Amsterdam. The, as yet unreconstructed, Baptist House has been cleaned up by a volunteer team and we are now sat in the meeting room and worship room catching up with the life of IBTS “in transition”. The opening session featured input from the so-called “trinity” of Rectors – Keith Jones (1998 – 2013), Parush R Parushev (2013-2014) and Stuart Blythe (2014- ). Parush commented that whilst IBTS still believes in the Swiss Train theory of time keeping, experience in the Netherlands so far…

  • Not To Make You Envious, But…

    …we’re being spoiled rotten by our volunteer Sasha, who’s just returned from the Ukraine to help us for a few more weeks. Again, not to make you envious, but here are some photos. And yes, these are current photos – seems IBTSers can’t keep away from IBTS, even when they move to a different country!  

  • New Year, New Day, New Opportunities

    Happy New Year to all our blog readers! Skander, our MTh graduate from Sweden, used to repeat this pretty much each morning: “new day, new opportunities”. I thought about him this morning when Norbert (who had studied together with Skander) led us in our morning prayers reflecting on what may be awaiting us all this year. May we all look to the coming days of 2014 with trust in God’s goodness and love, and with peace and excitement for the opportunities and challenges that may be awaiting us. Here’s one opportunity you may be interested in: We are looking for a volunteer (or two) to help us out for a…