Exciting progress at Bristol CU

So I have just learned from twitter that Bristol CU have had a woman speaker. Wonderful news!

The programme for tonight has clearly been changed from "CU: Equip – Big Question: How can Jesus be the only way? 07/03/2013 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm Speaker tbc speaking from Acts 4:12" to be Mary Jane a UCCF Colleague of Dave Bish speaking on "The God who loves women".

Several tweets from Dave Bish tonight:

  • Thankful for Mary Jane speaking on "The God who loves women" earlier and preaching tonight @Bristolcu @UCCF pic.twitter.com/wy5urJmb3e  (Tweet)
  • Some boys walk past: "oh wow she's allowed to talk," they say. Yes, she is. Her name is MJ, she's great, you should come in and listen… (Tweet) [worth noting the reputation Bristol CU must have with other students]
  • Great to have my @uccf colleague Mary Jane speaking at two @BristolCU lunchbars today and preaching tonight. (Tweet)

I am delighted that this has happened. I hope that this is just the start of a move to a more inclusive CU,

7 thoughts on “Exciting progress at Bristol CU

  1. Rhflan

    I’m having an extra cynical day, as all I can think is “how nice that they are letting a woman speak about how God loves women” while rolling my eyes.

  2. Dave

    Absolutely with you on the subject matter. Realistically the first time you have a woman allowed to speak that will be the subject. Key test is what happens next.

  3. Jamie

    The CU held two events at lunchtime on The God Who Loves Women, with MJ speaking at both, at a their regular public venue in the centre of campus. The evening event that MJ also spoke at was in the advertised series equipping CU for evangelism from the Bible and it was great.
    Passing hecklers may not be representative of the student body but its fair to say the CU’s reputation with some may well have suffered from some past bad practice and the tabloid student journalism but the real story is what’s actually happening. Imperfect women and imperfect men were introducing people to Jesus yesterday. And ongoingly.

  4. Dave

    “Passing hecklers may not be representative of the student body but its fair to say the CU’s reputation with some may well have suffered from some past bad practice and the tabloid student journalism but the real story is what’s actually happening.”
    Several hours have passed since I first read this. Yet my irritation with such condescension and lack of understanding has not calmed down much.
    A salutary lesson in missing the point.

  5. Jamie

    Personally, I’m irritated that you didn’t read the tweets you quoted and so inaccurately report what happened. The programme wasn’t changed. MJ spoke at the planned evening event after the two lunchtime events on The God loves who women. The second paragraph of your blog post is just nonsense.
    My second paragraph wasn’t condescension but admission that there had been a problem in this case. I was noting that what’s now happening is at least something positive. I was just agreeing with the first paragraph of your post which I read as saying that you thought it was good to see a woman speak there, in addition to so many other CUs. I trust you’ll update your report on the South West CUs to reflect this positive evidence. Everywhere you’ve got any evidence from has said women speak at their events.
    At the same time, I can’t help but thinking you’re putting a lot of effort into shooting at a movement who are massively pro-women. They unite people across the church spectrum, bridging the complementarian-egalitarian divide like no-one else seems to be able to do, the UCCF employ and empower vast numbers of women year after a year. Comments on your blog reflect that they do better at employing women ministers than Parliament, the Anglicans and your own Methodists. Yet because from time to time busy and naive 19 year olds make the odd bad decision (which they do probably go on to learn from!) you start an investigation against them. I’m bewildered really.
    You write about your own bad experience at University. I’m saddened by that. But, its hard to imagine that your years in ministry have never included any Christians hurting other Christians. People mess up… especially when they’re young and suddenly running into Christians who are different to them.

  6. Dave

    As I showed by quoting from the flyer and the Bristol CU events calendar the title given in the tweets and on the flipchart was different.
    My irritation is caused by your condescending and dismissive comment that minimises the equality of 50% of humanity as “some past bad practice and the tabloid student journalism”.
    You clearly have no idea how important this issue is to reaching people with the gospel message. Instead of dismissing those “heckling students” it would be better to be properly listening to their experience that the CU has been seen as worse than irrelevant, in fact as totally negative because of it’s position on gender.
    When the UCCF do is irrelevant when the CU is what students actually see. What the UCCF could and should be doing is helping those 19 year olds understand the impact on the gospel of their bad decisions and not allowing problems to exist for years.

  7. Suzanne

    I agree Jamie. Listening to, instead of dismissing criticism is one of the best ways to learn what causes other people concern. I think the talk was a good step forward for the integration and evolution of the faith in today’s very modern society!


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