My Reflections on 2009
As I look back at the year that is coming to a close I am left with that feeling that it both seems to have gone very fast and yet so much has happened that events in the Autumn already seem a long time ago.
Before I became involved with Mind and Soul I would have described my work life as the busiest that I have ever been – now that was before this last year! In addition to the maintenance of Premier Lifeline – the confidential helpline of premier Christian Radio and all the associated work that comes with it this year has been my first full calendar year as a Director of Mind and Soul.
The Mind and Soul year started with the planning for the Bradford Mind and Soul Conference alongside the production of the pilot of the Mind and Soul Course. Our first foray on the road was to Blackpool for the Ellel Ministries International Conference followed by the site visit to Abundant Life, Bradford. The Mind and Soul Conference in Bradford was a pleasure to be involved with and the team there excellent. The main challenge was the numbers were so good and the interest in seminars so equally split we had to use and additional building. It also triggered further interest and invitations for the rest of the year.
Easter saw all three of us Directors involved with talks at Spring Harvest, Rob spent a week at Skegness, Will the first week at Minehead followed by me in weeks two and three – we covered the subjects of “Why do I feel this way?” and also “I just can’t stop” – the recordings of these can still be ordered from Spring Harvest.
For me this was soon followed by being involved in a Mental Health and Spiritual Healing training week with the Salvation Army in Durham and then involvement in a Healing Conference at Central Hall, Westminster.
A concern I had had for a number of years was that the Caring Ministries were not given a high enough profile at the Christian Resources Exhibition at Esher. This year Mind and Soul sought to rectify this by having a group of emotional well-being, health and healing organisations grouped together as the Mind and Soul Zone. This grouping was extended to include a series of 12 seminars spread over the four exhibition days. We had an excellent response and this will be repeated in an enlarged version in 2010.
June saw the launch of the Pilot of the Mind and Soul Course with the Training the Trainers Day in London which was recorded for those who could not attend. For me it meant a clash of commitments as I had also been asked to host an event in West Wickham on the same day and so was seen to be dashing from one to the other.
Mind and Soul has become more involved in partnership working and during the year joined the team of Churches for All which promotes an inclusive Church regardless of disability or age. We also attended the Wholecare Conference at Burrswood promoting care of the whole person body, soul and spirit in health care.
This Autumn we originally planned to have a London Conference but as this was postponed to March 2010 to enable it to be held at Holy Trinity Brompton in conjunction with St. Paul’s Theological Centre we instead were involved with a range of regional events. The first of these was a “Mental Health Day” near Chatham in Kent linked to the local Hospital Chaplaincy Team, followed by “God Loves the NHS” Conference in Lincoln, “Mental Health: A Challenge to the Church” in London and the “Mental Health and Healing in the Church” conference in Bristol.
We have also be aware of other Mental Health Events across the UK and I am greatly encouraged by the way Christians and the Church are increasingly willing to take up this subject and promote information, awareness and a positive response to Mental Health needs.
I have travelled thousands of miles and have met so many people over the last year, each showing great dedication and commitment to their work and I would like to thank them for their welcome, support, and encouragement.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas and every blessing for the coming year.
And watch this space for all that God has planned for us all in 2010!