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ss nucleus - spring 2007,  National Students' Committee Update

National Students' Committee Update

Avril Stirzaker catches up on recent happenings

We will be having our fourth National Students' Committee (NSC) meeting on 12 May. 'What relevance is that to me?' you ask. Well, I'm glad you did! The NSC is your committee. We oversee CMF's student ministry in the UK and Ireland, considering how we can best equip you (the Christian doctors of tomorrow) to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus, wherever God places you. As well as determining national strategies we meet to discuss issues in local CMF groups, pray for each region and seek ways that local groups within a region can better support each other.

Regions and resources

A priority in establishing the NSC was to empower students across the UK to steer the direction of CMF's national student ministry. The committee comprises regional representatives from eight regions - see www.cmf.org.uk/fellowship/students/. Your regional rep has an important job in building up and maintaining links between medical schools within your region, providing support and encouragement. They also represent your region at NSC meetings, reporting on developments and progress of local CMF groups and raising any appropriate issues or concerns. The regional rep feeds back to your medical school rep about progress made.

The NSC is a fantastic opportunity to pool ideas from across the country, determine useful resources for student groups, eg guidelines on running mission events. The junior doctors' Pastoral Care Scheme is currently being extended to include students on clinical attachments, which can sometimes be lonely. Students will be able to link up with a local Christian doctor for support. Other resources include a speakers' list, a guide to running day conferences and advice on freshers' events. We are also planning a national recruitment drive in the autumn. We'll need your help…so watch this space!

It's great to have Nick Riches as our recently appointed NSC BMA officer, taking over from Leigh Bissett. Nick is currently MSC Rep on the BMA for Manchester medical school and a talented debater. He is especially keen to encourage Christian medics to engage with medical politics and get involved in the BMA; please do email him if you are interested in finding out more at nmriches@aol.com.

In my first six months as Chair it has been a privilege to work with many of the faithful members of CMF God has resourced us with. At the recent Student Leaders' Conference it was a blessing to see how God is growing and moulding more gifted and godly leaders within CMF. For me it has been a challenge to step in to John Greenall's shoes and follow on from his very able and strong leadership. But through God's grace he has taught me he supplies us with all we need and uses our steps of faith to grow us.

The need for prayer

A great encouragement has been the National Week of Prayer in February, where medical students across the country united together to pray for God to work in the medical world. Our theme verse was:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Ch 7:14).

Many used this week as an opportunity to refocus, asking Christ to be Lord over all – time, work, finances, exams, relationships etc. Several gave feedback about a greater realisation of the endless possibilities there are for God to use us in building his kingdom in the medical world. Others reported answers to prayer, eg troubles with booking meeting rooms being overcome. It is so easy to discuss solutions to problems at length, ponder over books and consult wise people, which are all good things, but if we are to see God move and to heal our land we primarily need to be people of prayer. The week was a fantastic reminder that we constantly need to bring everything we do before God and to 'pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests' (Eph 6:18).

We are still working on how the practical functioning of the NSC will unfold. At our next meeting we will be considering how we can resource CMF groups to be more actively involved in ethical issues, eg through pregnancy crisis centres, or teaching God's design for sex within marriage in schools. In the future we are planning to run a day course to equip students who are interested in medical politics with the skills they need.

So what can you do?

  1. Please pray for us, for God's wisdom in knowing what to focus our attention on to serve you best.
  2. Please help your NSC Rep by giving suggestions about what you would like to see happen in your region and issues to be raised at NSC meetings as well as answering any emails they send!

The NSC is here to serve you and help your CMF group to train tomorrow's doctors to integrate their faith and practice. So please do use your regional rep to raise issues you want addressed and give any suggestions about how we might best do that! I would also love to hear from you (at avrilstirzaker@bluebottle.com) if you have any questions relating to the NSC or anything raised in this article.

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