George Fox Evangelical Seminary (by the time you read this would have changed its name to Portland Seminary) often create a thematic approach to its advance. The Advance to London-Oxford was themed “History meets future: Media, Globalization, Culture. This was an appropriate theme for three important reasons:
- George Fox Evangelical Seminary received the referendum to change its name to Portland Seminary because they felt that would strengthen our regional presence and expand our national outreach.
- For the first time in America’s history, our nation voted for a president with no political experience, which signified the people wanted change.
- On Thursday, June 23, 2016, more than 30 million people voted to affirm Brexit (merging the words Britain and exit). The UK voted to leave the European Union with a 52% to 48% margin and a 71.8% voting community. The results of the voting influenced David Cameron’s resignation as Prime Minister, which elevated Theresa May to that new role. Ironically, the United States Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) lost the presidency in the election.
While the above shows three different contexts, there was an emerging (and possibly futuristic) culture that challenged the historical landmarks and ideology; it was the changing of the guards; History, I would like you to meet future.
London is the most famous city of England with many traditional landmarks; it is the metropolis. The city is diverse in people, culture and while you will find hundreds of languages because of immigration, you can’t deny the unique accent. If you’re visiting London, there are some traditions and places worth visiting. Fortunately, my wife and I arrived a few days earlier, and my cousin Maxine was able to give us (my wife and I) a personal tour. It’s easy to make your way around town but be prepared to walk a lot. However, you’ll enjoy the scenery because almost everywhere is a work of art, especially for tourist. There are many places to visit in London and we captured most of it.
The London Eye
Hillsong United Church
British Museum…The Rosetta Stone
WELCOME TO OXFORD
Alice in Wonderland
The story of Alice in Wonderland is already explained in this video, and it’s a great story. However, I want you to listen carefully at the 00:32-second marker. At that moment he explained that the library was “closed for restoration work, ” but as fate would have it, the George Fox team was invited to that same library to immerse ourselves in history.
On September 28, 2016, shortly after noon, we entered the private library and stood in amazement as future met history. Dr. Martyn sauntered out of Lewis Carroll’s old office holding a book in his hands and then made the following statement, “Please do not touch this book.” The video explains the discovery.
Peasants Outside The Walls
Staying within the courtyard of Christ Church represents a life of wealth, history and a cathedral where more than 2.5 million people call their home church. This is also the former home of Alice in Wonderland, King Charles I, St. Frideswide (the devoted nun who died in 737), influences of the Harry Potter film and so much more. However, outside these walls tell a different story. Walking the streets at night, you’ll find countless homeless people wrapped in blankets in 40-degree weather on Queen Street…reading a book. Not many were asking for pounds or pence but living as peasants as their way of life. This was cultural diversity at its best.
The purpose of this trip was a glimpse of history meeting future. However, the UK was already interacting with both cultures because Oxford represents great history while London accounts for a futuristic society. If I had a choice, I’d relish in the moment of history and sacrifice the need for technology. Oxford was much more accommodating with its spacious facility, although I still never understood why the hot and cold water were separate faucets in the bathroom. My wife and I created a method to make it work for us, but I’ll let you use your imagination. Even if you never get an opportunity to visit Christ Church (by the way…they offer free tours), it would be beneficial to visit both London and another area like Oxford or Cambridge to see the rich diversity of the country. Did you know that any household in the UK watching or recording live television are required to hold a tv license?