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ss nucleus - Summer 2020,  conference report: Shining like Stars

conference report: Shining like Stars

Matthew Amer reports on CMF Student Conference 2020
The journey to CMF National Student Conference 2020 started 400 miles north in the still cold, wintery darkness of Scotland. There were 13 of us altogether coming from Dundee, comprised of a cheerful collection of nurses and medical students. Spread across three cars, we slowly navigated the wet, shining roads after a tiring day in clinics. The sun was setting and sending the last few rays in through the car windows. However, neither the darkness nor the prospect of a long drive dampened our spirits because, as always, Student Conference starts the moment the journey begins. The forecast for the weekend was warmth, fellowship, inspirational teaching and, of course, a clammy ceilidh.

Arriving and entering the main concourse, we were shepherded through to the restaurant. The serving areas were emitting a comforting and attractive warmth. Of course, the exalted and somewhat fabled CMF conference food once again fulfilled our high expectations. The legend shall continue to be spread across the country for another year.
The key theme of this year's conference was Shining Like Stars with the main teaching from Philippians. Although the food and accommodation are wonderful it is, of course, the teaching and equipping that we all come for. The worth and excellence of the teaching can simultaneously excite, equip, and inform on key truths and teaching from God's word. Shining Like Stars encapsulates the image of how we, as healthcare students, can be seen and noticed by being Christ-like and glorifying him wherever we go. Like the winter sun we saw while driving down, we should be noticed and perceived to be bright in a world that is so engulfed in darkness.

A timely learning point for me arrived during a main session. It can be difficult to shine when no-one else is. It can be difficult to stand out for believing in something that people can ridicule and torment you for. Why bother? We stand for Christ in our healthcare setting because he can and will bring people to his kingdom as a result. Our duty as Christians is to share the greatest news — and our professional lives are not exempt from this task. The people we meet every day in hospitals are those urgently in need of hearing the transforming news of the Gospel, and their moment of despair and sorrow can lead them to search for the answer we have. Another highlight came after a seminar on evolution — a challenging and sometimes despairingly complicated topic to navigate. Mark Pickering was leading and, after it finished, he sat down with me over a cup of coffee to personally answer some questions and challenges I had. It was a lovely opportunity to explore my questions. All the teachers and speakers take time to speak with you individually, a small but beneficial hallmark of CMF.

I hope to see you next year. It truly is one of the highlights of my year and I am certain it will be one of yours too. Please talk to folks at your medical school who have been before to get some more raving reports. You will learn from, be supplied with, and grow in God's word to prepare you to shine for Christ.

Praying and worshipping the Lord with such a big group of like-minded people was wonderful, the general atmosphere was welcoming and caring and it was so helpful to chat about various healthcare issues from a Christian perspective.
It is such an encouragement to see teaching entrenched in scripture. Peter did an excellent job of working through Philippians and highlighting the key aspects of the gospel.

I was inspired, challenged and also amazed by how he was able to be firm and blunt about certain biblical principles which we have let get watered down. He approached it with care and wisdom.
So useful. Particularly the Biblical perspective of why gender matters. Was delivered in a very humble and compassionate way. Also useful practical help. Great use of evidence to back up what John was saying too! (transgender seminar)
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