If you are looking for resources for Remembrance Sunday, you can find a booklet here:
The Team would like to draw to your attention the recent Safeguarding Newsletter Oct 2018. There is a Code of conduct for working with children and young people which would apply to also dealing with adults at risk as well as people in general. Our churches aspire to be places where we offer a welcoming environment in which everyone can flourish safe from harm.
‘The challenge to the church is to seek to develop a community of care so that children and adults at risk find in the church a safe community, survivors find … a healing community, the accused find …. a supportive community and abusers find … a redeeming community. This will be the distinctive nature of the church – that it works seriously at what it means to love in a broken world and that it looks seriously at being a community that is truly inclusive’.
(adapted from Safe to Grow)
Click below for the full newsletter:
October is yet another busy month in our calendar. Some of this months events include Black History month, One World week, Prisoner’s week. From General Assembly we note that Church leaders have sent an open letter to the Home secretary about the ‘hostile environment’ which is being created by the government. The hostile environment is a web of government policies designed to make life difficult for people who cannot prove that have a right to remain in the UK. The Church leaders also support the report entitled ‘Destitution, Discrimination and Distrust: the web of the hostile environment.
From the report the Church leaders encourages each one of us to examine our hearts for the attitudes that the hostile environment is founded upon. They call upon all of us to exchange attitudes of discrimination and distrust for those of love and justice.
A very big thank you to St James for the Windrush Celebrations which gave thanks for all the people who welcomed the Windrush generation.
Picturing the Parables
After a very enthusiastic initial meeting some churches have already started on their own pieces of work. Some churches are holding special celebrations before joining in with this project, I’m sure they will be on board as soon as they can. Is your church or any of its groups thinking about getting involved with this project? It can be in any way, prayer writing, painting, sewing, knitting, writing reflections on a parable, making a cuppa, whatever fits you.
I am happy to come along with some examples of work already produced and offer some help in getting started. If you would like me to visit your church, or groups within your church please contact me on 07789200378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The planning for the City Centre Hope 18 event started back in January 2018 when members of Victoria Hall Methodist and Central United Reformed Church decided to hold an event in Tudor Square. We started the initial plan for an event to engage with the people of the City, sharing their hope for themselves, their country and the wider world.
We aimed to mobilize the churches to think about mission, putting words into action, sharing and developing areas for more joint work and a chance for us to share the reasons for our hope.
We were joined by Elim Pentecostal and Church Army. The date for the event was booked for the 19thMay 2018 and as we negotiated with the City Council. However, the date had to be re- arranged due to the royal wedding and the FA Cup Final.
We went ahead with the planned training sessions on Sharing your Faith which were led by Kinder (Church Army). The overall aim was for our churches to reach out to friends and to the community with the great news of Jesus and the course offered us insight and tools which we could use in sharing the good news of our faith. We look forward to seeing more people on the course, the next time we run another session.
Best laid plans and God knows best – the 19thMay was an unforgettable day if you were a Megan and Harry fan and you wanted to watch the FA Cup Final but, 28thof July 2018 was an equally unforgettable day. After a boiling hot week, that Saturday looked overcast, it was windy and the tents were being blown around and the equipment decided it wasn’t going to work. We prayed and left the rest to God.
Not to be outdone by the wind we had to place the large letters of HOPE in a safe position and armed with marker pens we invited the people of Sheffield to come and share their hope and recording them on the large letters. There was live music, free cakes, free face painting and friendly, happy clown. We captured the event on a time lapse camera so you will have an opportunity to see what a special time this was for everyone there.
Click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW7jQaiCOxQ&feature=youtu.befor the timelapse
Or Click on https://www.flickr.com/photos/27780850@N08/sets/72157699157690084 for our photos.
The people kept on coming and they shared their amazing hopes from, peace in the world, save the NHS, happy children, and success for their football teams. We were pleased to have a number of families sharing with us and we realized that the Teletubbies were appearing at the Lyceum so we give God thanks for the Teletubbies, all the families and everyone who helped us to make this a very special day.
Local ecumenism is back on the agenda!
On Monday 16thJuly 2018 we had the pleasure of meeting with the Bishop of Sheffield at Bishop’s Croft. The other members of the meeting were the Archdeacon, the area Deans and the Methodist Superintendents.
As you may already be aware the Methodists and the Anglicans have been working on setting up covenanted agreements to encourage local joint working, without having to work through some of the ‘red tape’ which slows things down. They have developed documentation which enables partnerships to happen locally. The URC have been involved through the process but only as observers.
At the meeting we shared information on our churches, where they were located, the strength of presence (worshipping congregation) and areas where we are least represented. We also identified possible areas for mission initiatives.
By the end of the meeting we had a clearer understanding of the challenges which we all have in common, the areas where we are already working together and possible areas of further collaboration.
We all found the meeting helpful and it was suggested that we may wish to meet again to progress our discussions. No date or time was set for the next meeting but it is hoped that we will meet again over the next 6 to 12 months.
Watch this space for further news and developments.
Zaidie and I were delighted to join our friends at St Andrews URC for an event they had organised called ‘Understanding Islam’, presented by Dr Chris Hewer. I learnt a great deal about Islam and was reminded how little I know about this world faith. Much of what Chris said challenged our Christian stereotypes of Islam and he gave us a sympathetic picture of the beliefs, practices and spirituality of muslims, whilst not ignoring the significant differences between our two religions and our understanding of God. Chris was speaking from a Christian point of view but was able to help us see the world of faith from an Islamic perspective. It reminded me of my previous experiences of relating to people of other faiths. Whilst we might feel uneasy at first, we soon discover how rewarding it is to engage with people who are different from us. Such encounters don’t threaten our faith, but actually help us think more deeply about what we do believe and why. It may be a bit of a paradox, but in my experience taking someone else’s faith seriously can strengthen our own.
If you feel you would like to find out more, Chris runs a very useful website: https://www.chrishewer.org Jamie