October started out with a fantastic boost for SCM!
With 32 attendees, the national SCM Fall Retreat ‘Turning Tables’ was a great success! We cooked, ate, played music and sang, wrote liturgy to guide our worship, shared workshops on everything from campaign planning to Bible study, watershed reconciliation to cultural appropriation…
Our theme was ‘Think, Pray and Love’, which we lived in our gathering times, cycle of prayer, working together, learning, and commitments to enact at home in our communities.
One highlight was the opportunity to learn and sing the classic ‘Poisoning the Student Mind’, now with several new verses thanks to the creativity of Mike & Rebecca (Summer interns 2015 & 2016, respectively) and Esther (SCM Toronto coordinator).
You can see a scan of the lyrics – and you might notice that we continued to edit as we sang – Poisoning the Student Mind!
We didn’t do it alone
Thank you to our ecumenical partners in the United and Anglican Churches and the Ecumenical Chaplaincy of University of Toronto, KAIROS, and the SCM coordinators and friends who helped to plan, offer workshops, and bring people.
While our ecumenical planning group had been meeting for months to prepare and fund the event, the attendees were brought into it from the first evening, as we created a community covenant based on shared values and our need to build respect and create space for difference.
Everyone was assigned a ‘table group’ which would be responsible for preparing one meal for the rest of the group. We had a diverse group, with students and young people naming communities of faith that included Anglican, Ecumenical, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches.
For bringing so many people together, thank you to the chaplains, priests, ministers, Senior Friends, best friends and distant relations who mentioned our retreat in announcements, emails, mic checks, Facebook and birthday cards!
By the look of the feedback it was a great success and something we hope to repeat to reach new friends and offer training and support for leaders in the ecumenical student justice movement!