Bob Wild, Senior Friend of the Student Christian Movement of Canada, reflects on his personal history with the SCM and today’s challenge for the spiritual person.
I was fortunate that my father had an enquiring mind and led me into the same path. And I was doubly fortunate when a friend led me to the local SCM when I registered at McGill University in the fall of 1946. I found there an interesting mix of seekers with whom I could test my rudimentary questions about religion carried over from a youthful exposure to the church. And it was there that the person of Jesus of Nazareth took firm shape in my mind and heart as a revolutionary and liberating presence.
My pilgrimage since those days has been a continuous reworking of that early deposit from the SCM. As with many other people, I began my spiritual journey in the context of classical Christian faith; but eventually I encountered Bonhoeffer’s challenge to find a “religionless Christianity” and I began another time of radical questioning. This challenge initially came through the SCM at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, where I was the Anglican chaplain in the latter 1960s.
And still the journey continues. A contemporary reshaping of Christianity seems to me inescapable in response to three intellectual revolutions – in cosmology, anthropology and theology. What is the nature of the Universe? What is the true vocation of the human? What language can we use to speak of the Universal Sacred Presence? Already there are signs in many places that a new spirituality is emerging. And where better to take up this exciting task than in the SCM? Best wishes for a fruitful pilgrimage.