On 1 December Victorian Friends met over lunch at Deepdeene Uniting Church in Melbourne.
It was a time to meet new people, renew old friendships and hear about SCM’s past, present and future.
View more images from the gathering.
As we introduced ourselves around the circle after lunch, we heard from people who spoke of the impact of SCM on their lives, for example people who worked for the WCC, people who married after meeting at SCM conferences, and people who have just joined SCM in recent years. My favourite story of the movement's past was told by Irene, an SCMer whose house was visited by John Mott, convenor of the meeting at Ormond College in 1896 which led to the founding of the ASCM. At some stage during his visit Australia, Mott would have found himself without an umbrella - this is because he had left it behind with Irene’s parents.
There were three speakers later in the afternoon:
Sarah Martin spoke about her recently-published biography of Davis McCaughey (see the review by Wes Campbell in the Uniting Church’s Crosslight) and reflected on his role in the movement.
ASCM National Secretary Ann Ng reported on the current initiative by ASCM to build a relationship with SCM Timor Leste. SCM TL is larger in numbers than our own SCM but is also experiencing the same struggles to grow and serve the Christian tertiary youth community. As many ASCMers had benefitted in the past from our regional links, we recognise the wealth in continuing this practice.
In June this year Ann and Daniel Broadstock, a 22-year old La Trobe university student, visited East Timor and joined the study tour organised by Helen Hill (courtesy Victoria University) through which they learnt a great deal. They had also held discussions with members of SCM TL. Both groups looked forward to being connected more.
Normally SCM TL has their congress (similar to ASCM conference) in September but this year due to many of their leaders being abroad this had not eventuated. Our hope is to be part of their congress next year, so we will seek up to 4 or 5 students (partially funded) to go to Timor Leste (most likely September 2013) and participate in this congress as well as attend the United Nations-Victoria University bi-annual conference, and also a 3 or 4-day study tour.
Victorian Staff Pierre Kazadi Mwamba spoke on WSCF's Asia-Pacific Regional Committee Meeting, held in Bangalore, India in October this year. Further details about this meeting will be published on this blog but you can view a Youtube video with images from this meeting.
In the New Year I’ll be asking for comments from Victorian Friends about when and how often we should meet again. (Feel free also to add your comments to this blog below.) There are also discussions about organising a reunion of SCM staff and a range of gatherings specifically for different eras of the ASCM.
Wishing you the best for Christmas this year and the coming New Year.