1. Women lead the way
It was inspiring to see so many quality women leaders within the UCCF staff team in London. They are doing a fantastic job of getting alongside students, stirring up unity for mission, encouraging creativity and making sure students take the lead in the mission and outreach of CUs. They are trying to do their best to equip finalists for life beyond university and to get a vision for their long term vocations. Natasha the team leader, is a seasoned cross cultural missionary having worked for 7 years in Russia looking after a huge patch often spending over 30 hours on a train to go and encourage student leaders to mission and discipleship. She is doing a great job leading a very diverse and energetic team. There is a real ambition to see churches from all across the evangelical spectrum work together to reach the universities and I was happy to do what I could to help this week. Abi lead the mission initiative working hard to make sure students had ownership of the event and hosted and organised many different elements of the week. She managed to get a professional designer to sort out the interior design of the venue for the evenings too. There was a high degree of professionalism, lots of creativity and a gracious spirit in the London team which I found really encouraging to work with. Well done London team !
2. Inception is a gift of a movie
The more I watch and investigate this film the more I am convinced it is a modern classic. There was too much to say as usual on how the film intersects with a Christian worldview.The movie is richer and more fully integrated than I had previously considered. I enjoyed reading Sophie Lister’s excellent Damaris resource on the movie. Top work.
3. Intertextuality without Allegorisation is an evangelistic option
I experimented with a different approach to engaging in the film / scripture dialogue this evening. Playing with a kind of intertextual reading of the film. I asked students to summarise the film in a tweet. Then suggested you could summarise some of the key ideas in the film with 4 words:
I then used this as a framework to explore the parable of the Lost sons in Luke 15. It was a fun way to engage with the text and I think it allowed me to riff of the central ideas in the film and expound Jesus parable at the same time. Because you are weaving two stories together there is a danger of losing people or of allegorising the film. But I tried to true to directorial intent in the movie and authorial intent in the scripture. I was careful to explain that Christopher Nolan did not have the parable in his mind when he made his movie.
4. Adoption is a spiritual experience and vocational gift
Tonight we heard a powerful testimony from a young woman who has become a Christian through Christian foster and adoptive parents. Her introduction had the room hooked on her every word for the 10 mins that she spoke. “I had quite a difficult childhood as when my mother became pregnant for the second time aged 18 my biological father was not happy and poured petrol on her and set her alight. By God’s grace I survived and so did my mother.” She then told a very moving story of how she had been in the care system but came to faith through Christian carers. Lets pray for more stories like this as we encourage the church to rise to the challenge and opportunity of fostering and adopting the nations’ orphans.
5. Film scores reveal some interesting messages
We explored Nolan’s use of Je Ne Regrette Rien by Edith Piaf as an interactive discussion point. I hadn’t quite twigged before today the extent to which this soundtrack underwrites one of the central themes of the film: of regret and what to do with guilt.
6. Few students Tweet
Ok I said 5 things, but I was surprised that so few students tweet. We have maybe 6 responses via Twitter and lots more by text to the question time. There were some quality responses though. Here’s a response i got that I at first didn’t understand )
@ISHcobar it was delivered by @krishk, he’s got a sick website too http://t.co/31y2DN87
“@krishk: @quinlanderson @ishcobar thanks for the encouragement – I think sick means nice )” yeah, sick in this instance is a good thing
@krishk that’s right! You’re not over the hill after all. Safe journeyings