From CMF news - summer 2012 - Graduates' conference: looking for heroes [p1]
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Pablo Martinez, an eminent psychiatrist from Barcelona, battled airport queues, traffic jams and stormy showers to be with us at this year's National Graduates' Conference – and how thankful we were! Across three measured and powerful talks he opened up the Scriptures to us. Titled 'Heroes of Faith,' the lives of Daniel, Timothy and Epaphroditus, and David were examined with fresh insight and relevance to today's Christian doctors. 'A relevant, insightful exposition of the Bible', said one delegate; 'Excellent, thought provoking' wrote another.
More than 150 graduates had gathered in an a typically cold and damp Swanwick over the last weekend of April. It may have been tough to garner volunteers to organise a walk through the intermittent rain, but the food was good, the fellowship was warm and the Spirit was with us.
The usual excellent range of seminars punctuated the talks, meals and free times. If you wanted to know about serving Christ abroad, bringing seniors and juniors together, or even why being a doctor on Facebook isn't as harmless as it seems, there was something for everybody. In a moving and honest address, Tim Lyttle delivered the annual Rendle Short Lecture. Read the report in Triple Helix and listen to the lecture on line . As Lyttle said, work in the NHS can be damaging to our health, work-life balance and sense of care for our patients.
He showed us a poignant video testimony of Professor Kieran Sweeney, an expert on primary care, and a senior lecturer and honorary professor of general practice at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry in Plymouth. Prof Sweeney was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma at the age of 57 and died on Christmas Eve 2009. In his last few months he shared on video the testimony of his interactions with the NHS staff and systems that cared for him in his last year of life.
The room was quiet. A few tears amidst a few notes, tweets and coughs. It was a timely talk at a time of uncertainty with a distinct message: the NHS needs an 'avalanche of compassion'.
Next year's conference, 26-28 April will be open to student leaders as well as graduate members.
Andrew Horton is CMF Media Producer.
CMF's three year Development Plan, launched at Easter 2011, has brought in half the targeted total of £700,000 – but it is vital that giving continues if our ministry plans are to be fully implemented.
We are grateful to the members who have already given generously to the Development Plan Appeal. The recession is taking its toll on most charities and CMF launched the development plan as many others were making dramatic cuts.
We have shelved plans to repay the mortgage on Johnson House, but the ministry is more vital than ever. The aim is to strengthen our ministry to doctors; consolidate our student ministry; build our ministry to nurses; develop our communications; engage churches; influence public policy; and mobilise members for mission.
For the first time we are approaching trusts for funds to support our work, but we continue to rely on members' generosity to finance our work uniting and equipping Christian doctors. Please give generously so that doctors can have the connections, opportunities, resources, training and support to be effective disciples living and speaking for Jesus.
More than 100 members have already volunteered to become CMF links. Our aim is to have a CMF link person for every workplace, church, locality, foundation school, medical school, deanery and specialty where there are Christian doctors.
Although membership of the local church is vital, doctors often need to talk and pray with others who understand the challenges of medicine. Our current priority is, therefore, to strengthen and support these grassroots networks and relationships through this link scheme.
The new roles are limited, specific, focused and manageable for busy people. The focus is not on meetings but relationships – knowing other Christian doctors and introducing them to each other and to CMF.
There are still many vacancies in all areas of the country. Which link role are you best-placed to fulfil? Further details and links to the role descriptions are on our website at: cmf.li
Peter Saunders is CMF Chief Executive.