Annual General Meeting and Vision Day

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A report about the Vision day we held in September 2015

Giving Thanks and Dreaming Dreams

Over 20 people came together in Bristol on 19th September 2015 for the AGM of Signs of God and to pray together for the future.  We were encouraged to think big and come up with great ideas.  Some people came a long way - Birmingham, London, Derby, Oxford, and some from the darkest south!  Most were Core Team Members but we also had some of our supporters there too.

You could tell that people were committed to the principles and work of Signs of God - and that they had come to work too.  They came not only to eat, drink, chat, share but also to pray and think of what God wanted us to do.

No one complained or moaned (well, not in front of me – says Janice Silo!)  Shaunett spent her time kneeling on the floor and we really thought she was praying until she told us she had a bad back and kneeling helped her.  It was a very good picture of prayer being our support too.

During the morning we heard about some of the work that Signs of God has been doing in the past year, including reports from Liz Macartney who is the Coordinator for the Christian interpreters' Network and Roma Parrick, who coordinates our workshops.  We were also reminded that last year’s Summer School had been very successful with 87 students taking part!  You can find out about all our activities by reading our Annual Report, which you can download here: http://www.signsofgod.org.uk/resources/293

New Core Team Member

We were very pleased to elect and welcome Tom Pearson as a new member of the Core Team.  Tom has shown a lot of commitment to Signs of God by offering his skills and expertise in the area of technology but also by volunteering as an interpreter at various events.  He is a Trainee Sign Language Interpreter from Somerton in Somerset.

What can you give?

In the AGM we were challenged by our treasurer, Rachel Williams, to consider giving regularly to Signs of God.  Regular giving at the moment amounts to approximately £225 a month.  Our target for 2015/16 is £500 per month.  That will give the Charity some security and enable the Trustees to budget and plan.

What could we do with more money?

·      Subsidise the Summer School so that it stays affordable, even when costs rise

·      Provide more free events such as our Team Leaders’ Training and Interpreting Teams days

·      Ensure our Trustees get regular, high quality training

·      Branch out into workshops that may be a little more “experimental” and not yet proven successful, in order to find new areas of training

·      and so much more…

Please think and pray about whether you could become a regular donor to Signs of God in order to support this valuable and unique work.  Contact us on info@signsofgod.org.uk for a Standing Order form.  Also please consider Gift Aiding your donation so that every pound you give earns even more for Signs of God.

Dreaming dreams

We went on to dream some BIG dreams for Signs of God. 

Gill asked us what it would look like if:

·       Signs of God had £500 per month regular giving?

·       34 Core Team members actively involved

·       Over 120 Christian Interpreters active in the Deaf Community

·       The 1661 people on our mailing list actively praying for Signs of God

People added to that list and then went on to discuss what they would like to see Signs of God doing in the future.  All the ideas were collected together, prayed over, and will be discussed by the Trustees in their next meeting.

Janice Silo, one of our Trustees said of the event, “I thought people were on top form.  They were full of energy, ideas and more importantly, prayers.”

A “Gate-crasher’s” perspective.

We asked Andy Sales, one of our supporters, to give us his impressions of the day:

Around the middle of September I heard that that the Signs of God team were having their AGM and vision day. After attending SOG Summer School last year, I was so impressed by the commitment and organisation of the event, that I was intrigued at how the machinery came together.

At Summer School, I fell into the beginners 'Acorn' group and was (along with my fellow Acorn compadres) nurtured along. However it was clear to see that there was something for everyone with respect to learning and communicating.

I was curious enough to sit on the sidelines and watch the AGM and a reflection time, seeing how people had been moved and what had been happening wishing SOG over the past year. What I wasn't ready for or expecting (but I should have known better), was that the whole official side of the event was carried out in BSL! How dare they have a Signing event led by Deaf folk signing!! It was wonderful to see, and what's more there was no voiceover. So sink or swim for me! Everyone was so accommodating and friendly. So good to see faces that I last saw over a year ago at Summer School.

It seemed to me - from my limited comprehension - that Signs of God is in good and capable hands. It takes a lot of effort and organising to support the various requests SOG has from external organisations. Also it takes money too. We were challenged to consider all these aspects and consider how best we can contribute to both the material, financial and spiritual aspects of the work.  

As for my limited BSL....well, by about 3pm my brain was fried. I could see hands waving, faces contorting (I believe the word in the trade is NMF's), but until I got some fresh air all I could see was blah, blah, blah!  

The meeting finished fairly promptly, and many folk went their various ways, however a few of us had a drink and a meal together and again much of it was conducted in BSL. The drink and the food recharged my batteries and once again the hand waving turned into that wonderful language that is BSL.

Thank you to everyone who attended and made the day such a success and also made this gate-crasher feel welcome.

Every blessing for the future of SOG.

 

 

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