When employers ask you to fill out a section on an application form about your hobbies and pastimes, they want to get an insight into what sort of person you are. What you like to do when it is your choice, what you are passionate about, what you think is fun. I never really like that question because I feel like there is an expectation that you have really defined hobbies – whether it’s sky diving or stamp collecting at least those things are identifiable and have a name. What I actually love to do is spend time with family and friends, eating and drinking, listening to music, having “heated debates” in the style of Mrs Merton. And however you try and dress that up I think it makes you sound like a teenager. Say in a Kevin and Perry type-voice: “I just want to listen to my music. And I hate you” then slam the door.
At the beginning of the year we were talking about holding a Vocations event; something that would reflect our belief that everyone is called. We wanted it to be a way for us to encourage people to think about what they are passionate about and to celebrate what God has called us to, individually, and together. And we wanted it to be fun because living the life you are called to live is joyous, exciting, challenging, stretching and fun. So we thought about the things we enjoy. We embraced our inner teenagers as we thought about music, discussion, friends, food, drink, poetry, film, and decided that we would combine all of those things in a mini music and arts festival. A day of performances, speakers, activities that would celebrate the things people are passionate about. That would be a chance for people to share their vocation, whether it is to play music, write poetry, create good food or whatever it might be. Seeing other people being passionate about their work and their life is a great spur to reflecting on what we are each passionate about.
So the idea of the Encourage Festival emerged, and we are so excited about it! There is loads of information on the website www.encouragefestival.co.uk and we’d love you to come along and bring your friends.