London Advance 2016 Visual Ethnography by Kevin Norwood for Dr. Jason Clark
Arriving in London was a refreshing time. We stayed in one of my favorite parts of all of London. Kensington is beautiful and the gardens are so detailed and manicured. Gathering back with friends that may be separated by miles through the year but when we get back together there is that instant bonding and conversation. Of course there is good food and as always an adventure. We went to see Phantom of the Opera. A classic show that the week we were in London was hitting the 30-year mark. Taking friends to see something that influenced me as a young man was priceless. The dinner at Chop was a really intimate conversation about life and one that I will not forget.
Speakers and Conversations
Dr. Glenn Williams willingness to spend time with us in our journey is so valuable. He allows us to spend as much time with him as we can. We walked and talked every single morning and spent a lot of time talking about our work and life. This makes the journey with Portland Seminary incredibly valuable.
Dr. Martyn Percy and his wife Dr. Emma allowed us to be in their personal life as well as their professional life. This access is not available to everyone. The opportunities they afforded us of touring the deanery and their own personal garden was extraordinary but the viewing of the King James translation volume was above and beyond. From their conversation I had a few quotes and take-away that was inspiring.
Dr. Martyn Percy “Quotes”
“I’m not interested in getting more bums in pews but getting bums off the pew.”
“Are you occupied with God? Our primary calling is to be fully occupied with God’s calling.”
“How much God is inside of you and they want that out of you.”
He challenged my way of thinking and he also brought up the importance of language. How we communicate way not always be with words. It might have to do with touch and might have to do with the knowledge of just how much our presence is needed.
Dr. Emma Percy “Quotes”
“We must have the capacity to make and keep promises. Trust is a necessity.”
“Often we trespass on each other. We need the capacity of forgiveness, not to put up a no
Her best illustration was about the fridge.
The food is in the fridge.
Keep a full fridge and needs to have a good mixture of the stuff that they like.
The fridge need a lot of things to sink their teeth in.
Mature faith… comes from having a full fridge so they get something out of the service.
Both of these brilliant communicators engaged the audience with masterful storytelling and then practical illustrations that could be taken to real life. The time spend with them was priceless.
Christ Church and Oxford
Having access to the whole campus of Christ Church was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The history that is so rich and full and then the opportunities to attend the events that take place in the cathedral were inspiring. The stories of those who shaped the faith and the future of Oxford were inspiring and made me want to know even more. The library with the hand written notes that were a part of the King James will be something that is permanently engraved in my mind. Looking out the window that Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland from was just part of the history that others may never get to see, touch and experience. The thing that stood out the most to me and it is what we have been reading about this semester is the humility and humbleness of the leader. Great leaders take others on the journey with them and I believe that we have been afforded a great opportunity by some great leaders.
From Good to Great by Jim Collins to Open Leadership by Charlene Li, we have been challenged, to think with openness and clarity, to become the best that we can be. The introduction of Sapiens at the end challenged us to see how the “world” sees life and then discover how to communicate to those who might have a belief system different than ours. The conversations that have taken place surrounding all of the reading this semester has been challenging but has also helped to bring focus. Focus is so important in developing a global focus on leadership. Dr. Jason Clark has moved us further along this leadership journey by challenging our abilities to write and to produce work that is on the doctoral level. His words in London were mirroring the words of C.S. Lewis and spoke to us about “fiddling while Rome is burning.” Challenging us to make decisions about what we will do and who we will be.
Relationship continues to be the driving force of this educational experience. As iron sharpens iron, this process is doing that for me. I have been challenged to apply what I have been reading not just to write into my future with this knowledge. That has been the most powerful thing about this semester.