Appeal to Senior Friends
To our fellow Senior Friends,
One hundred and twenty three years on and the World Student Christian Federation is still going strong. That's how it is for those of us who have been engaged with the working of the Federation during the last decade.
In those 123 years much is changed. The world is an entirely different place two world wars and multitudes of violent eruptions later. The world of Empire and Colony has almost disappeared. New Nations and new nationalisms have emerged. Transport and Communications have changed utterly. Wealth has been transformed as it has moved from the power of men and women, through machines to global knowledge economies and these new energies are transforming the environment of Planet Earth.
The Evangelism of the 1890s and 1900s has left a legacy for the Body of Christ as a world religion and in parallel a renewing Islam post the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The world of the Hindu and Buddhist Beliefs has likewise expanded as migration within and without the former empires have taken adherents to the ends of the earth.
The Ecumenism so passionately proclaimed in the 1940s, 50s and 60s has produced fruits different from those originally hoped for and expected. Churches have not been as amenable to godly change has had been worked and prayed for. Universities today are massive institutions compared to those of a century ago. The Community of Learners is an ideal infrequently glimpsed let alone realised. The Learners are the prerequisites of the Knowledge Economy and too often the disposable products of yesterday's learning.
The Federation too has changed radically. From being one of a very few global organisation with a very focused membership of university and college students it is now one of many global organisations. It has to work for members in a multiplicity of cultures ranging from the secular to the fundamentalist and almost always as a minority interest. Gone are the days when the Federation message commanded the attention of entire college populations and large minorities if not actual majorities of the members of a university. There are those who see this minority role as a signal of the Federation's decline. Not so those of us who are privileged to know it intimately. We understand that it can be and indeed is a source of strength.
We know that as a driven minority the Federation can and does present an uncompromising message that embraces the gospel concerns of Justice, Peace, Equality and Love as the great components of the Life of God in Christ for our time. Living and working as it does with and in many and distinct cultures the emphases and the representation may differ but the foundation is common. Wherever we are we are co-workers with Christ in whom and through whom all things have been reconciled, making peace by the blood of his cross. Our message is a Cosmic Christ for a Global World.
To remain globally viable with a sustainable global presence the current sources of Federation income need to be augmented by some US$50,000.00 per year. That it is so little is as a result of scrupulous attention to cost reduction especially in the Inter-Regional Office the removal of which from Geneva to Manila has produced very considerable savings. We are convinced that no further cost saving at the global level is possible and therefore we need this additional $50,000.00 per annum to balance the budget.
To achieve this $50,000.00 we are seeking to convene a cohort of 100 Senior Friends from across the world who will each commit to giving $500.00 in each of 2018/19/20/21/22. Will you be one of these? It is a request. You can say NO but we hope you will say YES. Like some of us who are already in our 9th decade you could say I may not be around for 5 more years. That may well be true. However we can either find a replacement as this culture of Senior Friend Giving grows or you can ensure by your Will that your commitment is fulfilled after your decease.
President, WSCF Centennial Fund