Yesterday I went along to SCM’s National Gathering at the Pioneer Centre in Cleobury Mortimer, near Kidderminster. Although I only went for the day, I’m very tired now but it was definitely worth it – not only was it a brilliant event (lots of praise for the organisers!) I got to see friends I haven’t seen for a long time, and it was also nice to be feeling well enough to go after having had to cancel plans a few times recently because of feeling particularly unwell.
The day itself consisted of a Bible study on the Book of Ruth, one of my favourite books in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, a keynote talk from Rev Kate Harford (a minister in the MCC, an openly queer affirming denomination), various workshops and a panel discussion (on vocation). It made for a very long and intense day – I haven’t had to use my brain that much in a long time! It was really interesting though, particularly Kate’s keynote (an opinion definitely not just based on her perfectly coordinated pink hair and tights!) She was talking about identity and mental health/mental illness – topics which I think are particularly important. Anyone who mentions Julian of Norwich as a key theological writer is going to win me over!
One of my favourite things about SCM events, and yesterday was no exception, is how I’ve always found them a really welcoming place. Even being one of the older attendees (I started university back in 2010!) I didn’t feel out of place. My first SCM event was the National Gathering back in 2011 and I had that same feeling of belonging then.
I have a busy week ahead; tomorrow I’ll be going to a funeral, and later in the week I’ll be going to the Harry Potter studios and then on Saturday it’s my coffee morning for the Brain Tumour Charity – so today I am doing as little as possible, but yesterday reassured me that I can do long days without bailing on them!
I also got these from All We Can, who ran the workshop I attended! New aim: not to lose it…