6:15am. It is just getting light outside. Ahead of us is a 7-hour drive North, 2 ferries and a drive across an island.
Several months before this day, we were on a walk talking about Christian communities and what they can offer young adults. We talked of how justice and faith resonate with young Christians who for many see social action as a central part of their faith. We reflected on our own experience of this – one of us within the Iona Community and one within the Student Christian Movement (SCM).
Volunteering at Iona is something that both of us have wanted to do for a while. It is an opportunity to put faith into action as we live in community and share in the rhythm of life on the island, as as we continued to reflect on our experiences of Christian communities and the shared values of SCM and the Iona Community - justice, peace, spirituality, inclusion and community - the potential opportunities of a partnership between these two organisations grew obvious.
After some emailing back and forth, we got together with Ruth Harvey, Leader of the Iona Community, and Naomi Nixon, CEO of SCM, in a Zoom room (and no, there was no Boaz present). The conversation was full of excitement, enthusiasm and ideas, concluding with the proposal of a formal partnership.
Following the approval of both councils, we are very happy to announce that the Iona Community and the Student Christian Movement have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (read below). The current ideas on how we can work together include mentorship schemes, joint events, SCM trips to Iona, linking regional groups, and welcoming members of the Iona Community to share in SCM’s National Gathering in July. We're excited to see what will come out of this partnership, and hope you will be too!
Almost 12 hours after setting off we crossed the Sound of Mull, watching our destination get closer. We stepped off the final ferry and walked up to our new home, excited to begin a new journey volunteering on Iona.
Written by Annie Sharples and Jack Woodruff.