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Gray Baldwin

Diploma of Christian Studies (Manawatu Regional Learning Centre)
2014-2015 / Graduate Diploma in Theology (Distance Learning)

During my DIpCS years at Palmerston North Branch College, I went along to lectures with my wife-to-be Marilyn Baldwin (née Lauridsen). The Branch college principal Hudson Deane conducted our wedding. We are still married 35 years later.

During my GradDipTh years, I went on a one-week field trip to Raglan while doing the God, Ecology and Community paper. For the first time ever, I looked into a telescope during the night sky and saw Jupiter with all four moons. I was over-awed by the vastness of our creator God. I became inspired to get more active in environmental sustainability activities.

I went on to Otago University and did a Postgraduate Diploma in Theology. I got interested in ecumenism and completed a dissertation on the collapse of ecumenical bodies in Aotearoa (NCC and CCANZ). I then combined the interest developed at Laidlaw (creation care) with the ecumenical interests at Otago and in 2021 completed a Master in Theology. My thesis used extensive data from the World Council of Churches’ archives in Geneva. I managed to get home from Switzerland a few weeks before NZ’s first lockdown. The thesis is called “Creation Care: A New Direction for the Oikoumene.” I entered the three-minute thesis competition at Otago where you have to explain your thesis in three minutes to an audience unfamiliar with your topic. I won the Humanities heat, but lost out in the University wide finals to a science student who studied 43 individual leopard seals on the Otago Coast!

I’m currently dairy farming.

I am grateful to God for prosperity and safety in Aotearoa as the world seems to be collapsing into violence, indifference, sickness, and degradation.

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