The Mutual Exchange and Encounter for Transformation (MEET) Programme offers a variety of exciting opportunities for students at Queen’s to gain experiences in understanding our place in a Global Church. The following principles undergird all the opportunities offered:
- Mutuality or reciprocity. The MEET programme is about more than theological tourism. It is about partnership. This requires all concerned to share the experiences as both hosts and guests.
- Learning and formation. The primary purpose for any visit offered under the MEET programme is to learn and be formed. Encounter is where what is unfamiliar and strange becomes the means for deep reflection. Such reflection can expose deep vulnerabilities, demanding resilience, and therefore requires both preparation, support and ongoing reflection after the encounter.
- Learning for transformation. Bringing the learning home, discovering what we have to learn for our setting, brings the demanding and difficult task of cross-cultural learning, contextualisation, along with humility and openness to receive from the other. The profound experience of encountering oneself as ‘other’ can open new vistas for formation, one that cannot remain individual, or ‘private’ to the group that has shared it.
MEET opportunities vary from year to year, but typically involve our links with the Theological College of Lanka (an ecumenical theological college in Sri Lanka), and with the Methodist Church in Rwanda. Trips have also included parts of Europe (including ecumenical experiences in Rome) and Israel/Palestine.