just a few more days before we enter the new year 2009. for the reb, the year 2009 means a few things:
firstly, it means new responsibilities as academic dean in the seminary. the term is for 4 years and extendable for another 4 years. the academc dean takes care of all academic matters within the in-campus students, especially the undergraduates. this involves doing the time-table, scheduling lecturers for the courses, checking transcripts, advising students on what electives to take, chairing the academic affairs committee, taking care of the staff under the reb, attending STM Council meetings, planning academic activities like public lectures, semianrs, workshops etc. this is a new task and takes a bit of effort to get the whole academic picture into the reb's head. it will take at least a year to be familiarized with all the intricacies of the job.
secondly, it means additional responsibilities as pastor-assigned to taman ujong methodist church. after 11 years of helping out in churches in the klang valley and in the southern district like taman asean methodist church and wesley methodist church segamat, the reb has in a sense come home. tumc was one of the two churches the reb pastored with the late rev hwa chien in 1997 before the reb went into full-time teaching in 1999. yesterday the reb and family went to tumc for the worship service. it was like a homecoming. as pastor-assigned, the duties are not equivalent to a pastor-in-charge or a part-time pastor but nevertheless, the church expects some sort of pastoral oversight and pastoral visitation and the reb's OT sermon series.
thirdly, it means renewed responsibilities. with the two additional responsibilities coming next year, that means the reb has to balance time, effort, and commitment between family, STM, church, and studies. the doctoral thesis is still hanging there, still in the process of being edited and finalized for submission. 2009 is the reb's dateline to finish the long overdue thesis. somehow, by hook or by crook(?), the thesis has to be done.