Once in Oslo

March 16th, 2016 4:51 pm

Ruth2Ruth Wilde is SCM Britain’s Faith in Action project worker, joining the team in August 2015. Her role is to work with local groups and students to enable them to think creatively about faith, injustice and action.

On 2 March, I was lucky enough to be able to fly out to Oslo for four nights in order to attend this year’s World Student Christian Federation Staff and Officers meeting. This was my first time at a WSCF event and, as soon as I arrived, I was made very welcome by the organisers and the other participants, many of whom already knew each other.

Park

Park in Oslo in March

On the first evening of the event, we had dinner and did ‘icebreaker’ exercises. This was a nice, gentle way of breaking us into the programme, and was helpful for me, as I’d only met one of the people there before. We also had a time of meditation and worship that evening, as we did every morning and evening for the rest of the conference. This was led by Lutheran minister-to-be Are from Sweden, who also invited contributions from other participants. I found this a very helpful space for contemplation and quiet in the midst of a very busy schedule.

Thursday consisted of educational sessions led by senior employees from the Communications department at the World Council of Churches. We mainly learnt about how we can use media, and especially social media, to our advantage in our SCMs. On Thursday evening, we had an enormously fun time sharing food and culture from our different countries. The Romanians definitely won the award for the most effort – dressing up, singing, and filling two tables with food and wine! The Austrians also dressed in national dress and many others made a lot of effort. I was left wondering how they had managed to carry so much on the flight to Oslo!

Intercultural evening - romania

Intercultural evening – Romania

On Friday, we had more input from Marianne, the Director of Communications at the World Council of Churches. Then, in the afternoon, there was an excursion to the Oslo sculpture park in the rain/snow, which I was told was good, despite everyone coming back with damp socks! I was too ill to join in with the excursion, unfortunately. In the evening, I recovered enough to join in with some of the games, including a very interesting singing game that Francois from Belgium taught us. He was preparing to lead us on the final day, and warmed us up with a game where we had to make repetitive sounds with our mouths one on top of another until it became a very interesting chorus. At first, we couldn’t stop laughing, but, once we had settled into it, it became quite a meditative exercise.

Francois, an expert in third sector volunteer management, led us on the final day. His sessions were very interactive and so held our attention easily. He taught us interesting things about using different ‘hats’ in meetings- the ‘white hat’ is for facts and figures, the ‘green hat’ for new ideas, the ‘black hat’ for risks, etc. I felt we came away from the sessions with a better understanding of how to enable and work with volunteers, and also how to chair meetings successfully.

All in all, it was a very helpful three days. I learnt new things, networked and enjoyed the food which Gabi from Slovakia kindly cooked for us. I would highly recommend WSCF events to all students and staff in SCM Britain!

Group photo 1

World Student Christian Federation – Europe
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The work of WSCF-Europe is financially supported by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

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