Anew year brings a chance to reflect on the last one and to consider priorities for the next. For me this is particularly pertinent as I finished as a GP registrar in October and have increased my CMF commitment to ten sessions a week. I plan to continue working two sessions a week as a GP.
As I have thought about the best way to maximise the impact of CMF's student ministry, two words have repeatedly come to mind – training and resources. Training for the large network of volunteers we have – local student reps and medical school secretaries, as well as national student committee members who already do a lot of great work. We must give more than ever to supporting and equipping them to build up students through local and regional activities. A vital part of that training is providing quality resources, to help them put on events that hit the mark, find good speakers, or lead groups and support students locally. Do pray for us as we strive to do this. It's been a great encouragement for me to get out and about more, meeting students on their own turf.
The focal point of the year ahead is the National Students' Conference on 9-11 February. Booking forms are available and also downloadable from www.cmf.org.uk. We look forward to a fantastic time reminding ourselves that 'The God we Serve is Able', with Hugh Thomson speaking from Daniel and Rhona Knight encouraging us to put ourselves 'In the Firing Line', standing up to make a difference as a Christian medic. Plan to be there and pray for the speakers and seminar leaders as they prepare!
During the autumn term the staff team have been leading Confident Christianity evangelism training events in Glasgow, Brighton, Cardiff, London and Nottingham. These were greatly appreciated by all who attended and more are planned in the new year in Leeds, Warwick (both 27 January) and Manchester (10 March). Further details are at www.cmf.org.uk
The National Students' Committee has a new chair – Avril Stirzaker from Manchester. Avril has already done great work as a student rep and brings enthusiasm and gifting to this role. Her first meeting in the chair will be on 20 January. She would love to hear from you on email@example.com if you have ideas or feedback. Thanks again to John Greenall, who has now handed the chairmanship over to Avril, for all his excellent work in setting up the NSC over the past year.
Christian students appear to be facing an increase in opposition from those hostile to Christian belief or practice. Christian Unions at Edinburgh, Herriot-Watt, Birmingham and Exeter are in negotiations with their student unions, which may lead to legal action, after restrictions of various kinds. CMF students at Bart's and the London medical school are challenging the historic position of their student union, which limits activities of all religious and political groups. All involved would value your prayers for wisdom, so that they would challenge where appropriate and the Lord would be glorified, both by our methods and the eventual outcomes.