And what does that have to do with ANYTHING???
The key speaker for FTFC 2019 is Rev. John Bell who is one of three resource workers (the others are Jo Love and Graham Maule) who make up the Wild Goose Resource Group originating from the Iona Community on the small Scottish Island of Iona, well known for its retreat facilities and its abbey. Many have recognised Iona as a 'thin place' where God seems more tangible, or more accessible perhaps.
But what do Wild Geese do? On their website https://www.wildgoose.scot/about/ we learn that :
"The Wild Goose Resource Group/ WGRG is about liturgy and worship, music, prayer, politics, diversity, devotion, participation, perception, curiosity and creativity, with a particular emphasis towards the training of the laity.
It exists to enable and equip congregations and clergy in the shaping and creation of new forms of relevant, participative worship… and a few other nefarious activities.
Based in Glasgow, the WGRG is a semi-autonomous project of the Iona Community.
The Resource Workers are active throughout Britain and abroad, in local congregations, churches, schools, colleges, universities, at festivals, denominational conferences, training events and with voluntary organisations concerned with both social & international justice and creative possibility.
The resources (songs, scripts and liturgies and more) generated by the WGRG, as independent authors, have been used and broadcast world-wide, and to date, have appeared in published form in Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Friesian, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Scots Gaelic, Swedish and Welsh language translations. Their work in allying the worship of the church to the life of the world has been awarded honours by academic and religious organisations on both sides of the Atlantic."
So what can we expect at this year's conference? John has a long history of speaking on social justice issues and their connection with Christianity. He is an inspiring speaker and well versed in Fair Trade.
Whilst workshops and discussion times are likely to be centred around modern day slavery issues, how to start and promote Fair Trade in your own church/group, based on others' experience, and faith-based resource modules for Christian millennials, John Bell's key theme is yet to be revealed!
With his long and accomplished resume, (Check out some of his previous roles here) I think we are in for a treat!