HeartEdge Mailer | July 2018
HeartEdge is a growing international ecumenical network, passionate about nurturing Kingdom communities via four C’s - congregations, culture, commercial activity and compassion.
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- Pádraig Ó Tuama on stories and conflict, Alastair McIntosh on hope and Nadia Bolz-Weber on forgiving the asshole
- Michael Battle, Rowan Williams on 'ubuntu', Liz Adekunie on 'sorry'
- Bread church, Jürgen Moltman on Small church plus Waterway Chaplains
- Also - Cre8, The BFI Community Cinema and Luminery Bakery
- Nadim Nassau on El, slave culture and a little blue statue, Also Waterloo and Unveiling festivals - and Final Word from Ruth Gouldbourne on welcome!
"Something useful - every time!"
“The Virgin Mary looked at my mother and said, ‘you’ve never liked me very much have you?” This is great - Pádraig Ó Tuama tells stories about importance of 'telling the story' that provoke questions and encounter. According to the blurb, ‘war and peace require imagination. But peace requires more. It is firmly earthed in the here and now, but not stuck there.’ Padraig is lyrical and profound: “It is in the shelter of stories that people live, and it is in the shadow of stories that the people live…” More here.
“Sell out or burn out? What matters is, you keep on going…” The picture is fuzzy but Alastair McIntosh is razor sharp here – well worth 30 minutes, sharing with you responses to despair, and how to find hope here.
“In the end if we’re not careful we can actually absorb the worst of our enemy…” Nadia Bolz-Weber on forgiving the asshole, here… Ideas, theology and great communication.
“A person, is a person through other persons… community is where identity is formed through community. My identity is dependent upon yours…” Michael Battle and Rowan Williams talk about the significance of ubuntu and how to change the world… Challenging theology with inspired implication for our practice – dig in here.
At a Loss.org are a resource helping the bereaved find support via projects including GrabaLife providing support weekends for bereaved 18 to 30 year olds - learn more here. For trying, ListeningPeople equips volunteers to support teenagers. Lots more here.
“Move beyond your comfort zones and try to challenge this stuff from within… If we’ve survived Pharoh, if we survived Herod… if we survived Hitler, if we survived some vicious crypto-fascist assertions, we can survive Donald Trump!” Great passion, oratory and insight from a US perspective via Rev Michael Dyson on thinking critically, raising questions that are troubling to the dominant culture, going out into the world of whiteness, and moving beyond the comfort zone – here!
“Half way between the two great cathedrals facing each other across the seaport city of Liverpool, above a radical community bookshop, is Somewhere Else – better known to everyone as ‘Bread Church’.” Something so simple, imaginative and inspiring about the Bread Church story – and, brilliantly, they’ve written about it here. A short, reflective piece telling so much about this distinctive expression of church. “After 17 years I still do not ‘know’ the Church that I worship in – it is transient, extraordinary, fragile, on the edge – but very definitely filled with ‘companions’ of Christ (from the Latin ‘together with bread’).” More insight of how it works here.
We know your church is busy generating stories.
Congregation, culture, commerce and compassion.
We want you to blog, Facebook, tweet – and tell us about it.
Your reflections are stuff to celebrate and learn from!
What are the challenges? What works well?
What are the effective approaches – and why?
What is the reality of how it all works – from hospitality and welcome, to a festival, comedy night or building team?
Can you share, from say 500 words?
Let others celebrate and learn by dropping a line here,
and telling us about it.
“The truth is – we do mistakes…” Archdeacon of Hackney Liz Adekunle on ‘sorry’… here. Loads of useful links to the side… something to link to on social media or resources to point your congregation to?
It’s small churches that we need… “If we had smaller churches in which people knew each other, and came together of their own accord, then we too would experience the gifts of the Spirit. I think that the structure of large churches does not allow this.” Some encouragement from Jürgen Moltman who argues it’s the small communities of faith where the charismatic gifts of all can be recognized, and where Christians can live out a radical discipleship. Have a read here.
Canal holidays anyone? Talking of canals the Baptist Times introduces Waterway Chaplains, one or two paid or lots more who volunteer working with those living the Canal boat life “What looks like a delightful way of life, can for some, become a prison for the unwary…” Lots of people have stepped up here - learn more here; more detail here.
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Community cinema is an approach to watching movies promoted by the British Film Institute. Have a look at the BFI website here and learn how to set up, register and roll those movie matinees or film nights. Not convinced? There’s a whole bunch on funding here (and it looks like a range of funding, from purchase of the kit to development of the enterprise). And St Mark’s church in Burnley offers a great case study here. Pass the popcorn?
Cre8 are a Macclesfield based youth project and social enterprise growing out of a church. Rob Wardle writes about Cre8 here. Read stories here. Catch more here Rod will be a guest at the Manchester HeartEdge day in October…
Lots about bread this month – including Luminary Bakery, “a social enterprise designed to offer opportunities for women to build a future for themselves and their families. We provide a safe and professional environment where women can grow holistically – encouraging ambition, restoration and second chances.” Luminary grew out of Kahaila church here, bringing together money and mission to make a business here.
El… slave culture and a little blue statue. “Allah is not an Arabic word or invention… The media is wrong when they switch to Allah when they talk about Islam and they switch to God when they speak about Christianity… What about the Christians who do not speak English and who speak Arabic? They use the word Allah…” Ordained in the URC and now the C-of-E’s only Syrian minister Nadim Nassah is fascinating on the origins of Allah – here. Want to learn more about Nadim’s work as a peacemaker? Nadim shares insight here. His first book - The Culture of God is available to preorder here.
A report on this year’s Waterloo Festival organised by St John’s Waterloo can be found here -. The visual arts element of the Festival also featured on Artlyst - here and here.
The UNVEILING Arts Festival was held at The Engine Room in Tottenham Hale in July here. The aim is to have a varied, God-breathed assortment of inspired artistic interpretations that will resonate powerfully with people. The theme for UNVEILING 2018 was ‘Grace’. The Festival have launched a new series of shorter ‘UNVEILING Lite‘ events relating to creativity and faith - the next is in October 2018. Have a look here.
Coventry Cathedral’s yearlong Plumbline Festival celebrating 100 years of the Diocese of Coventry and Coventry Cathedral includes ‘Beneath the Tapestry’, an exhibition of works by Graham Sutherland that inspired and helped develop the iconic tapestry that hangs in Coventry Cathedral here. As Precentor at Coventry Cathedral Michael Sadgrove wrote a book of reflections on the Tapestry entitled A Picture of Faith, revisited for the Plumbline Festival and written here.
HeartEdge: Update and Events
This months new founding members include:
Greenbelt Festival (24 – 27 August): We’re at the festival this year hosting panel sessions in The Exchange. We've an eclectic mix of friends bringing ideas and perspectives, including: David Alcock, Ruth Amos, Al Barrett, Philippa Boardman, Andrew Earis, Richard Frazer, Giles Goddard, Wale Hudson-Roberts, James Hughesdon, Jonathan Kearney, Mark Kinder, Rosemarie Mallet, Cliff Mills, Pam Orchard, Anthony Reddie, Anna Sikorska, Rob Wardle, Sam Wells and Simon Woodman. Details and book in here.
HeartEdge Annual Conference: 'It's All Church!'
12 & 13 September 2018 - join the HeartEdge two day annual gathering – theology, ideas, resources, plus make connections, build networks, find encouragements and jazz! At St Martin-in-the-Fields and Lambeth Palace.
Contributors: Paul Bayes; Ann Morisy; Ben Quash; Paul Goodliff; Anthony Reddie; Russell Rook; Maeve Sherlock; Justin Welby; Sam Wells; Lucy Winkett and more. Programme includes: Bread for the World; For Good: The Church & the Future of Welfare; Start-Up’s & Keeping Going’s (Enterprise); Great Sacred Music; Nazareth Community; The Table; Art & the Crucifixion.
Cost: HeartEdge members rate - £79 & non-members rate - £99. Tickets include conference programme, refreshments & lunch, plus complimentary jazz on evening of 12 September.
Registration: Book tickets here. Contact Revd Jonathan Evens on 020 7766 1127 or email here.
Manchester HeartEdge Day 31 October: Exploring mission, sharing ideas, uncovering solutions and finding support with Sam Wells and guests. Congregation – resources for liturgy, worship and day-to-day – gathered and local; Commerce – being entrepreneurial, sustaining enterprise and generating finance for church; Compassion – how to grow participation and volunteering to address social need; Culture – art, music and ideas to reimagine the Christian narrative for your context. Panel discussion, theology, practical ‘how to’ focus. Networking. Connecting. Lunch & refreshments. Details and book here.
Bill Viola & the art of contemplation: a HeartEdge church & culture session, Thursday 20 September, 2.00 – 5.30pm, The Parish Church of St Cuthbert, 5 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2EP. St Cuthbert's is currently showing Bill Viola's 'Three Women' here. The session will focus on: approaches to curating exhibitions in churches (Revd Matthew Askey, Chaplain Southwell Minster); Bill Viola's church-located installations (Laura Moffatt, Director Art & Christianity); and art as contemplative or meditative practice (Alexander de Cadenet, artist, and our own Revd Jonathan Evens, Associate Vicar St Martin-in-the-Fields). Register free tickets here.
Visual Communion is a series of symposia and events on the art, architecture and craft of the Eucharist organised by Art & Christianity which will demonstrate the crucial importance of the visual arts in the rich heritage of Christian sacramental liturgy and theology, opening up new ways of seeing art made and used for the glory of God. The first symposia will take place in Durham - Medieval mastery to Pugin, 7 & 8 September 2018, Ushaw College and Durham Cathedral, Chaired by Ben Quash and David Stancliffe - detail here.
'Today's Church: A Call to Social Action' St Martin's Church, Burton Agnes, Saturday 22 September. With Alison White, Bishop of Hull and our own Jonathan Evens. 'How do we become abundant communities that open space for generosity and cooperation in models that serve local need and address social justice? Details here. Book your place here or call 01262 490019 by 15th September 2018.
St Luke's Maidenhead at 7.45pm on Thursday 27 September. Jonathan Evens will speak on 'Visual Art: re-imaging the Christian story'. Details here.
Sam Wells at Bell Vue Baptist Southend on Wednesday 3 October, 6.30-9.30pm (Bell Vue Baptist Church, Southend on Sea, SS1 2QA). Doors open 6pm. Talk 1: 6.30pm Break: 7.45pm Talk 2: 8.20pm. How can church survive and thrive in the context of world and kingdom? Detail here and here.
Salt Conference 2018: #StandTogether, Friday, 5 October 2018 – 9.30am to 4.30pm at Central Hall Westminster, Storey's Gate, London SW1H 9NH. Organised by Christian Aid's SALT Business Network to learn how to support and equip changemakers in whichever business God has called you to. With business leaders from a range of sectors on how they’re transforming business, communities and lives. Guest include: Michael Hastings – Global Head of Citizenships for KPMG International; David Connor – founder of the 2030hub and Coethica; Sophi Tranchell MBE – Managing Director of Divine Chocolate, the innovative international Fairtrade cocoa cooperative in Ghana; and Martin Rich – cofounder and Executive Director of Future Fit Foundation. Tickets cost £55. Detail here.
Something Worth Sharing, 2018.
Saturday 13 October 10.30-4.30, St Martin's Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London. A weekend of events on Disability and Church, by St Martin in the Fields and Inclusive Church. What can we do to unlock gates and share our gifts with each other and the church? From access statements to advisory groups, connecting and communicating, we explore ideas and share practical resources to getting in and joining in. Speakers include: June Boyce-Tillman, Tim Goode, Fiona MacMillan, Ann Memmott, Emily Richardson and Sam Wells. £20/£10 concessions. Register 9 July, detail and book here and here.
Plumbline Festival is HeartEdge members Coventry Cathedral’s year long celebration of 100 years of the Diocese of Coventry and Coventry Cathedral including ‘Beneath the Tapestry’, an exhibition of works by Graham Sutherland that inspired and helped develop the iconic tapestry that hangs in Coventry Cathedral here. Precentor at Coventry Cathedral Michael Sadgrove blogs here.
Ruth Gouldbourne on departures, arrivals and the magic of a good welcome.
I am writing this in the week in which I leave one congregation for another, one community for another. It is a thing which happens; people move for all sorts of reasons. For me it is long-planned, and though very sad, also exciting; I am a minister, and so am moving from one pastorate to another, from one sphere of service to another.
Many thoughts and feelings go with this, but one, very homely one, dominates, especially as I think on the fours Cs of HeartEdge – or two of them at least, Congregation and Community.
These are different categories, clearly. But they are deeply intertwined, and in ways that provoke deep gratitude. As we move from one community to another, because we are moving from one congregation to another, we know that we already have an entrance into the new community. Little things, like being pointed towards dentists that will meet our particular set of needs, or introduced to “best” bookshop; there is a group of people already looking out for us and preparing for our arrival. The congregation is welcoming us into the community. This is a particularly noticeable privilege for ministers, and one that is not often mentioned.
I wonder if it can be extended. In communities where there is new building for example, there are congregations who offer a 'welcome pack'; information and people to contact for various things. Even without new buildings, congregation members can notice when new people move in, and somebody from church can slip a pack through a letterbox….details of when the rubbish collection is, for example, or the location of the nearest post office. It may not be noticed, it may not be welcomed. But it might be….
There’s one church, for example, that makes up a pack with information on local surgeries, bus timetables, a map, menus and phone numbers of local takeaways, some tea bags and chocolate buttons – and information about the church. Another, situated near new builds delivers a shoe box with a couple of lightbulbs, some fuses, information about the area, biscuits and tea bags and a card with a prayer of blessing. A pioneering community – church starting from scratch, welcomed new neighbours with a box containing bin bags, toilet roll, information about the area and cake.
We all aim to be welcoming congregations; to find ways to make it easy for people to come in, to feel at home in a service. We don’t always get it right, but no congregation sets out to be unwelcoming (do they?)
What would it look like if we sought out new, different, and surprising ways to welcome people to the community? Not to overwhelm, but to offer information and more – the human face of “living here”, wherever here is. We can take a sense of belonging for granted; but in a world where it is less and less valued, how subversive might we be?
Formally of Bloomsbury Baptist in London Dr Ruth Gouldbourne
will be minister at Grove Lane Baptist Church, Manchester from September 2018. She is a member of the HeartEdge Steering Group
That's all this time - see you in August!
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