Out of my comfort zone.
Tree of life.
For me, loving trees isn’t separate to my faith: it’s an integral part of what it means to worship the Creator. And as I seek to live in ways that take care of trees, so too I want to be like the tree of Psalm 1, planted by streams of water, rooted deeply in God through the rhythms and practices of my life.
Read the rest of this refection by Ruth Valerio by clicking on the image below.
We give you thanks and praise.
Face to face with the Revd Richard Teal, the new President of the Methodist Conference.
How we must change.
Sympathy is simply not sufficient.
Read Methodist Youth President Thelma Commey’s comments on Racism.
Being in relationship with Jesus should be a completely transformative experience. One that isn’t limited to salvation nor restricted by religious practices but fully focused on death of oneself and new life in him. At least I can say that is what it has been for me. For this reason, my heart aches: not only because I am Black but mainly because I am a Christian. Racism, murder and injustice breaks the heart of my Father and looks nothing like the Jesus I follow. Diversity is intended to be a gift from God yet, for so many, colour has been the cause of death and ill treatment. As God’s people, we are called to model unity and love to a divided, sinful world. We are called not only to empathise with the oppressed but also to seek justice for all. This is why sympathy is simply not sufficient. If you say you love God but hate, or tolerate the hate of a fellow Black person, not only are you a liar but you do a great disservice to the Body of Christ and the gospel of love: 1 John 4:20.
The Good, the Mad and the Ugly. Who is the Church for?
Listen to the new Vice President of the Methodist Conference, Carolyn Lawrence, give her address. Carolyn is earthed, funny, challenging and passionate. Well worth listening to! (Thanks to Howard Mellor for sending this.)
Watch the new President’s addresshere.
Reimagining our communities in the light of God’s grace.
God who reaches out to us in love, cascading grace to all creation, may we be disciples who respond to your overwhelming, unconditional, unbounded presence.
May we each respond to your invitation to share in your mission with all our heart, will, mind and strength.
May we respond to your Spirit who calls us to reimagine our communities in the light of your grace.
And may the gospel enliven our spirits to see possibilities, to grasp opportunities and to travel in the way of Jesus.
Andrew Wood, Southampton District Chair
What is systemic racism? – Here it is as it exists in the US clearly explained.
In response to the global Black Lives Matter movement, the United Reformed Church (URC) Youth Executive has released the following statement:
Jesus has called us to love our neighbours, and we choose to do this by standing in solidarity with them when they face injustice and persecution.
The URC Youth Executive stands with the current movement dedicated to ending the systemic oppression of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals both in the UK and across the world.
We hope to affirm our commitment to being anti-racist and will take this opportunity to consciously examine our own practices to see where we can do better.
We urge all who are affiliated with URC Youth to apply the same principles to themselves and seek out education on these issues where possible.
God of all grace, we rejoice that your love is for all, unlimited and free.
May we, your children, have the same generous love for the world that you show us in Christ. For in Christ, we are all seen and known fully, redeemed and restored, and we need never be ashamed of failure.
May we, in responding to all you offer us in Christ, learn to view others and see your world only through the lens of your love, which holds us, heals us and restores us to fullness of life. Amen.
Helen Cameron, Northampton District Chair
Hard questions for hard times.
Does the suffering caused by this pandemic shake your faith in God?
The big picture.
We Will Meet When the Danger Is Over
Listen to a hymn for this time by John Bell of the Iona Community.
John L Bell (C) Wild Goose Resource Group, The Iona Community
The Divine Signature
“In the beginning, there was a rapid expansion of a Singularity. Around 380,000 years later, there was light.”
Read a reflection on science and faith being reconciled in the modern age by Richard Rohr and Mike McHargue here.
I wait for the ruby-throated hummingbirds to arrive. They are amazing birds, so tiny, and highly energetic. They have beautiful iridescent plumage which reflects the sunshine. They drink nectar from flowers and eat bugs caught mid-air for protein. The Wild Red Columbine blooms in time with the arrival of these hummingbirds. These two species are in a mutually beneficial relationship, tubular columbine flowers are pollinated, hummers are fed. I like to understand how God has encouraged this. God seeks nourishing relationships. –Fawn P.
Remember the future.
Remember the long way. Thoughts in the rain from Andrew Rumsey.
Faithfulness and Hope.
God works through people like you and me. God is faithful to and through us! God always uses whoever (and whatever) is available.
Moses owes his life to the three women in the story, and Israel owes its liberation to them as well. Read this reflection on Exodus 2: 1 – 10 here.
We thank you that you use ordinary people like us,
working through us to proclaim your word.
We thank you also that we can always rely on you to be there for us in our times of need.
In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen