Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 4. March 25, 1953
The annual Summer Conference of the S.C.M. was held this year in ideal surroundings at Christ's College, Christchurch. About one-quarter of the 200-odd students who attended were from Victoria. The Conference centred around the theme of "The Evangelisation of the World in this Generation"—the old slogan of the World's Student Christian Federation.
The Rev. J. M. Bates, with his admirable combination of profundity and lucidity, gave a first rate series of Bible tutorials around the theme of "Mission." Evening speakers presented us with today's situation in mission fields at home and abroad. The position in New Zealand was dealt with by the Rev. M. W. Wilson, the Rev. I. H. Kaa and Miss Joan Metge an Auckland S.C.M.er. The last two dealt with the situation among the Maori people and the seriousness of the present social and cultural position of the Maoris, particularly in the South Auckland area, was very keenly felt it was recognised that it realty was "'a time of crisis and opportunity."
The Asian and the Pacific fields were also discussed by men who could give us a first hand picture of the sort of work a missionary today actually does. These fields can no longer be regarded as "overseas mission fields'" in the way they were at the turn of the Century; they" are now centres of vigorous and independent branches of the Christian Church, often strongly critical of some aspects of the gospel as it was preached to them by the Western Churches. Nevertheless, they still need men and women from the Western Church to [unclear: assist] them in specialised tasks. The links that we have with these Churches now must be maintained and strengthened. Another speaker who excited considerable discussion was Dr. D. O. Williams, of Trinity College, who spoke on the heading of "Frontiers of the Mind and Personality," treating evangelisation from a psychological angle. Dr. Williams' direct and informed approach to his subject stimulated our interest in many of the most immediate psychological problems, and, both formal and informal discussions carried on for long afterwards.
The spirit of worship, which pervaded the ten days of the Conference, went hand in hand with the spirit of fellowship. Swimming, tennis, cricket, rowing on the Avon, square and Scottish dancing, squash and fives, all contributed to the fun of the Conference, together with, of course, the selection of Mr. and Miss S.C.M., the New Year's picnic and concert on Quail Island, and such things as the decoration of the sacrosanct dining hall with the Conference pyjamas.
Convention—the parliament of the Movement—met towards the end of Conference, and among the policy matters, it decided upon, was the setting up of a N.Z.S.C.M. Fellowship for past members of the Movement. Resolutions were also passed deploring the present state of New Zealand's immigration laws and urging the holding of a Christian Peace Conference. The Conference also sent a letter of greeting to other Christian movements throughout the world.
No S.C.M.cr can afford to miss attending a Conference. The quality of its worship and fellowship and study make something which cannot be found anywhere else.