As Lockdown continued, this year’s Veterinary Christian Fellowship Annual Weekend moved online.
With more than 160 delegates registered for the event, at the beginning of March, it provided a unique opportunity for many people to join. The usual barriers of work, duties, calving, lambing, family ties, travelling and church commitments all disappeared! Those attending were able to dip in and out depending on their schedule. In addition, folk who had not attended before, were able to come along and find out what it was all about without having to travel, pay for accommodation, or wonder if they would enjoy it!
Revd. Michael Healy was the guest speaker for the weekend. He gave an excellent series of talks entitled “God, what are you like?” looking at the various characteristics of God. He took his text for the weekend from Colossians 1:15 which says of Jesus “He is the image of the invisible God.”
As so many people were able to attend this year, it was decided that the running of the weekend would be organised by groups representing the constituent parts of the UK and Ireland.
The English contingent began the meeting on the Friday evening, with many people just arriving home from work, and having time to chat and catch up with friends. A time of introductions, prayer and worship followed, including a song adapted and recorded for the weekend and explained on page 3. Lots more coffee and chat followed before folk dispersed until the morning.
The Scottish team ran the Saturday morning session, beginning bright and early with a time of prayer open to everyone. Delegates joined from Australia and Europe during the morning, and those from America came along in the afternoon and evening!
Interspersed between Michael’s talks were a series of breakout room sessions. In the morning, these were allocated geographically allowing people time to meet with those based near to them. On the Saturday afternoon, they were divided into the various vet schools for alumni and students to get to know one another, whilst the Vet Nurses also had an opportunity to meet together.
The AGM included a wonderful opportunity to see updates from members of the fellowship and all the positive things that had been going on through this turbulent year. The session included videos from several of the vet school Christian Unions. In addition, there were pieces from the Vet Nurses, and from those connected with VCF, but working overseas.
Saturday afternoon was a time to move away from the computer screen for some fresh air and to find imaginative ways of drawing the VCF logo! Food, sand, fabrics, and paints all featured heavily as you can see on pages 1 and 6!
Sunday morning was the turn of the members of VCF Ireland who included some interesting interviews, reflections on a year of restrictions and a short ‘thought for the day’. There was also time for worship, singing and sharing Communion together.
Michael gave his final talk on the Sunday afternoon and this was followed by a time for questions and discussion together.
Throughout the weekend, the main Zoom ‘room’ was open for everyone to just drop in. This allowed friends to get together and to head off into a breakout room to chat or for new folk to get to know one another. Meeting up to share coffee and ‘chew the cud’ together is always an important part of VCF weekends, and the central Zoom meeting room allowed this to happen virtually. The “Mug Muffin” recipe list distributed beforehand meant that cakes could continue to be a feature!