When I first started at SCM, I wrote regular blogs about what I was getting up to. As we got more and more regional development workers, we decided to move away from this in order to avoid things feeling repetitious and switched to more reflective blogs. (You can still catch up with what all of our regional workers are up to every Thursday over on Instagram!)
However, this month I’ve decided to go back to a ‘day in the life’ kind of blog, so welcome to a day in the life of the event lead! The day in question is Saturday 7th March 2020, during the National Gathering, Known By Name.
I woke up a lot earlier than was necessary, my mind going over everything that had happened the day before. I wrote a list of notices to share, and even made some notes of things to learn from for next year, including an update to the booking form to make sure we collect all the necessary information. Despite my early start I still didn’t make it to morning prayers, but I did have a chance to check in on a few things before breakfast. I ate breakfast with Yordanos, who would be chairing the panel on vocation later in the day, to make sure she was ok with the session. After encouraging people to sign up for workshops, making sure meal vouchers were given out to new arrivals and that the thank you cards for the morning’s speakers had been passed round the General Council (GC) members to sign I grabbed the camera and took photographs while Naomi led the Bible study on the book of Ruth. I tried and failed to get the microphone to work, and was glad of others who jumped up to fix it to enable everyone to be able to hear, and also so I knew on Sunday morning how to make it work! I thoroughly enjoyed the Bible study and loved seeing how members really embodied the characters of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz.
During the break we welcomed more day visitors, and then I went to grab my knitting so that in my break I could sit at the craft table and listen to the powerful words of Revd Kate Harford, our keynote speaker. Kate spoke about seeing oursevles represented in the Bible, and it was great to be shown through the use of the Johari window that what God knows of us is beyond what we can even know of ourselves. By lunchtime I was back to getting GC to sign more thank you cards, and it took longer than expected to eat a ring donut as it was filled unexpectedly with jam! #Winning.
Then, with the help of staff and GC members, the workshops were set up. While they were all underway, I had chance to check in with the chaplains, who had been enjoying their conversations with students as they supported them over the course of the weekend. Once workshops were over it was a quick swap around ready for the discipleship and vocations panel which I was scheduled to live tweet. The panel was great with some really interesting insights, including this response about taking risks in your journey - "What’s the worst that can happen if you spend a year in a monastery? You don’t spend a second year in a monastery!” Once the walkers were gone on their afternoon walk and the free time had started I had a chance to catch up with the members who weren’t playing games. One of the students commented that the sessions had made her think lots of good but deep thoughts, which is always good to hear!
After the evening meal, I said goodbye to some day guests and speakers, and made sure the prizes for the SCM Awards and the quiz questions for the ‘pub’ quiz were with the people who needed them for hosting. Sat in the crowd for the awards I even got to collect some of the prizes for winners in my region. It was great to have the winners of Best New Group and Chaplaincy of the Year based at Keele, and Best Social Media Presence went to SCM Liverpool. I was sat at the back of the room during the quiz which was also when Revd John Bell arrived, and so I showed him to his room and we checked details of the Sunday morning timetable and worship.
After the 'moo off' to decide who the winner of the pub quiz tie was (no, I didn’t know what was going on either!), I helped to get everything ready for the Taizé worship, and found readers for the main worship on the Sunday. My main job for the evening prayers was to turn the lights off, so as I sat in the Taizé worship in the orange post-it-note-over-torch glow I had a chance to reflect on the day and what was still to be done, with a small amount of catching up on twitter. It was so great that so much had been led by others.
After the worship, I had a chat with Naomi about the plans for Sunday and checked in with what had been going on elsewhere. I made the taxi list for the next day, and tried to catch those who needed to go to a different station. I declined offers to play games as it was now well past my bedtime, and headed to my room where Emma and Caitlin helped me write my list for Sunday and we had a lovely late night chat – it’s always great when you can be friends with your colleagues!
I couldn’t run events without the amazing team of staff and volunteers who do everything I ask and sometimes anticipate things before I even know I need it doing. If you would like to be involved in planning our future events please get in touch!