by Liam Purcell
from Signs of the Times No. 22 - Jul 2006
Here at the Student Christian Movement, we have a couple of new developments which might be of interest to MCU members.
Firstly, news about our Friends - the network of former SCM members who support us financially and practically. We're expanding the network by encouraging younger graduates to join, and exploring a range of ways of involving them more closely in the life of our movement. They're invited to attend the termly gatherings we have for our student members, to meet the current crop of SCMers, see some excellent speakers, and share stories.
We're also finding ways of bringing together our current student leaders with Friends who have experience of SCM's long history, connecting modern students to our tradition and putting it all in context. And if there's enough interest, we may appoint a voluntary co-ordinator for the Friends network, and start facilitating events aimed just at Friends. Since many MCU members are former SCMers, we'd love you to get involved in all this. If you're a Friend already, get in touch and let us know what we can do for you, or what you can do for us. If you're not a Friend but you used to be an SCMer - and if you know other people in the same position - then call our office (0121 200 3355) or see our website. We'd love you to sign up and rejoin the SCM community.
Secondly, SCM is about to launch its first publication in five years. Reading the Bible will be published in August 2006. It will be a glossy A4-format book with an accompanying CD-ROM. Our aim is to introduce readers to the diversity of approaches to scripture that exist within the Christian tradition; we want to combat the divisive idea that there is one 'true' interpretation, and celebrate the insights to be gained by exploring a plurality of tools and understandings. There are articles on topics from historical context and the canon to feminism, ideology and impact history, all by well-known scholars. (Contributors include Chris Rowland, John Sawyer, Henry Wansbrough, John Rogerson, Robert Beckford, Patricia McDonald, and many more.) There are also Bible studies illustrating the approaches, with useful resources for group study on the accompanying CD-ROM. Not just for students, the book is suitable for anyone wanting a deeper understanding of the processes that made the Bible and the ways it can be used. It will be invaluable to those training for the ministry, and for anyone running study and discussion groups.
Liam Purcell is a co-ordinator at the Student Christian Movement.