This year, the Tutor Development Weekend – an annual event for Woodbrooke’s associate tutors, people who help out by running a course or a few – was a very laid-back affair, with optional workshops and lots of space for people to go off and do their own thing, and an extended Meeting for Worship (some people got two and a half hours) on Sunday morning.
Here are some of my ‘best bits’:
– Seeing old friends and catching up, especially with people whom I mostly see on Facebook and around the blogging community;
– Sitting in the new Garden Lounge with Janet Scott to create a course proposal, mixing my work on religious language and her theological expertise and seeing what happens;
– Popping out into the garden to hug a tree in a spare moment;
– Going completely off-topic in our small groups in a session and discussing why people might be ‘creationist’, and the connotations we have around that word in different contexts;
– Getting into a detailed discussion of the pros and cons of Facebook for different people and purposes, and talking about how much Quaker activity there is on social media these days;
– Quizzing people about their experiences, both with the previous Book of Discipline revision and with threshing, and hearing a diversity of responses (I think there’ll be more blog posts about both of these in future!);
– The helpfulness and support from everyone, but especially the Friends in Residence, when something went wrong;
– Being encouraged to put in proposals and applications as appropriate, and stay involved with what’s going on in the Centre for Postgraduate Quaker Studies; and
– Finding some time to begin to get together my thoughts on Quaker renewal, what it might mean to me as well as hearing ideas from others.