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 HeartEdge Mailer | May 2019

HeartEdge is an international ecumenical movement. 

  • We are churches and other organisations developing mission. 
  • We focus on 4 areas - commercial activity, congregations, cultural engagement and compassion.
  • Join us! Details here.

Each month we collect and email stories, web links, news related to our focus: commercial activity, congregations, cultural engagement and compassion. Useful, inspiring, practical - it's a resource.

This month:

  • Mari Andrew on grief, Lucy Winkett on homelessness, Sally Hitchiner on hosting refugees and Bill McKibben on climate.
  • Match Trading, growing your own vegetables plus the technicalities of poetry nights and setting up as a music venue.
  • Video shorts special - including 'One breath Around the World'.
  • Remembering Jean Vanier and Rachel Held-Evens.
  • Finally, Paula Gooder and an extract from her new book - 'Phoebe'.

"A monthly smorgasbord of ideas,
focused around HeartEdge 4C's."

"The problem today is that many people are full of fear... protecting their group, protecting their religion. We're all in a state of protection. To become fully human is to let down the barriers and to discover that every person is beautiful..." Jean Vanier - who died in May - founded l'Arche communities in 154 in 38 countries providing opportunity for disabled people and all of us, to live and work together. Here is a video from 2015 with Vanier on community, humanity and beauty. One for Sunday? Watch here.

"To have a guest staying in our house... have our families experience that - its an amazing opportunity..."  Sally Hitchiner on welcome and hospitality to a young refugee - this video is aimed at clergy but we think there is something for the congregation too. Have a watch here.

He sleeps in our pews… He’s funny. He’s creative. He’s thoughtful and intelligent. He’s also lost. He’s furious. He’s stuck. He’s addicted to substances that it seems to me are slowly killing him…” In this short video, Lucy Winkett of HeartEdge members St James Piccadilly is powerful, inspired and hopeful, on homelessness and the response of the church here
After going through the grieving process when her father died, Mari Andrew focused some of her artwork on the subject to help her heal and connect with others. Have a look here.

"Mending is practice for what my Jewish friends name as “tikkun olam” or “repair of the world.” We have the choice to destroy or to become co-participants in repair. I choose repair." We touched on this last month. Here's another piece about mending from US 'mending church' Laura Everettt - here.

US writer, campaigner and Methodist Bill McKibben on tackling climate catastrophe  “It’s a hijacking of our political and economic system by the fossil fuel industry and a small number of like-minded people. It was our bad luck that this idea that markets solve all problems and that government should be left to wither away crested just at the moment when it could do the most damage. Against that now, we’ve spent the last 10 years building movements. We waited too long to get started, and I kick myself regularly for that…” Read more here. Here is Bill at Greenbelt in 2016 - here.
The Common Good Training Workshop is a one-day introduction to the Common Good, designed to empower and equip people from across the Christian traditions to help strengthen civil society and build community. Interested? resources here.

"Where do you find this?! Always something useful, every month. It's become essential for our team." Find the back catalogue here.

Match trading is a clever trading incentive. Match Trading incentivises social organisations to develop their trading base, so they can build stronger futures. Created by the School for Social Entrepreneurs have a look and sign up here.

Gardening is increasingly being reclaimed as not only good work, but as a means of producing food. Churches can encourage their members to grow gardens at home, but the focus here is on stewarding church property - with gardens! More here

Using church land to grow produce? Detail here. Make a living from growing food? Detail here

Not persuaded by 'social enterprise' and church? "First we think of business and church as totally separate categories. Second, where does the “loving God” part come into play in an enterprise?" Helpful theology and ideas, as you develop the HeartEdge  'commercial' here.

How do you engage the congregation in enterprise? Here are some thoughts on setting up a church linked enterprise - here. More insight and resources - from the US - here.

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"There is an ancient tension, sometimes framed as that between love and hate. It’s not that. It’s the dance between love and fear. Fear is what drives us to characterise others as strangers and enemies who must be eliminated..." Writer and filmmaker Mike Riddell in Porch on the New Zealand Mosque terror attack here.

An online devotional made by Nomad - sk
ip the chat and start at 14.16, with music from David Blower and help from Rabbi Margaret Jacobi from Birmingham’s Progressive Synagogue; theologian and urban gardener Sam Ewell; and Brian McLaren - here.

We were sorry to learn of the loss of
Rachel Held-Evans, the popular US writer, theologian and blogger who died earlier this month. Here she is rallying the church, speaking about Millennials and nurturing young people in church here.

"Like many disabled people, Damon Rose is  approached by Christians who want to pray for him to be healed. Would-be healers claim they’re simply doing what Jesus himself did and what he instructed his followers to do. They may mean well, but the experience can leave disabled people feeling judged as ‘faulty’ and in need of repair. Is this really what Christianity teaches about disability?" Have a listen here.

“I see Christians all the time not really listening well… they just sort of shout louder… Changing the packaging… looking cooler… listening can be joyful…” Insights on celebrity culture and lots more from Sally Hitchiner here. Sally joined St Martin-in-the-Fields in May and will be at the HeartEdge national conference in Edinburgh, in October.

"Many of our teams and communities use creative ways into prayer, or written liturgies to help explore their faith and spirituality." Urban Expression is an urban mission organisation working across Europe. Prayers, liturgies and resources here.

We focus on developing 4Cs:
commercial activity, 
congregational development,
cultural engagement 
and compassion.

Join in, here!

Making a profit from a small music venue is hard. When your overheads can include staff, licensing, publicity, cleaning, repairs, rates, insurance, and more, it’s important to maximise every income stream. Detail here. Plus 5 steps to planning a fantastic gig here... 

Start a music venue… in your church? Why? We love these insights from Leeds based Hope and Social here.

Video is a great resource - to splice into a church service, home group or as part of a film club. Where do you start? We've trawled Vimeo for some inspiring, thoughtful, challenging short films.
Turn out the light, put your headphones and freedive around the world... Breathtaking! Here.  
“Mum – how are you doing?” Jacqueline has lost her mind a bit, but whatever, for her trip to the seaside, she has decided to take the train by herself! This tender animation is here.
 “Can you help me make some custard?” Mothering is a beautiful short film telling the story of Mia arriving at her new foster home, captured here.
 “The funny thing about that head scarf, round here, modesty ain’t that much appreciated…”  In a neighbourhood rife with racial tension, a local girl falls for an immigrant who is the victim of prejudice and shame… here.

Poetry night anyone? A church room or a kitchen or front room? Small spaces work! "People tend to plan big and fail downward, banking on a percentage of people they’ve invited or, failing that, crying. A better idea is to build up from something smaller that actually works, and that looks successful and exciting. Better to pack a small venue with 25 people (with all the energy and optics that generates) than to take the same 25 people to a venue that seats 100 people and look like a failure." Here

HeartEdge is a movement 
focused on renewal and mission.
Join us 

We're pleased to welcome new founding member:

  • TryTank Experimental Labs - here

11 June 'Newcastle HeartEdge Day' with Sam Wells and guests. A unique programme of theological reflection and local contributors. HeartEdge days focus around our HeartEdge 4 Cs with an emphasis on practical insight and ideas to take away. Book in here

27 June 'Derby HeartEdge Day'  with Sam Wells and guests - working across Derby and the surrounding area? Urban, suburban or rural? We would love you to join this practical one-day intensive introduction to HeartEdge with Sam Wells and guests. We're ecumenical and open to all. The day will explore approaches to mission, do theology, develop ideas and help build on the community of practice in Derby. Book in here.

Friday 5thJuly 2019 12pm - 3pm - Lambeth Palace Garden Open Day. No-booking, just show up. Lunch available to buy. Pay £5 in aid of Barons Court Project and their work with homeless people.

2 - 3 October, Edinburgh. The HeartEdge annual conference: 'On Earth as it is in Heaven' - a practical, two-day intensive of ideas, theology and connecting. Includes workshops on enterprise and commerce, launching cultural projects, developing congregations and sustaining community response. This year contributors include Sam Wells, Cormac Russell and Winnie Varghese. Book our early-bird by 30 June here.

Last Word: Phoebe - in Corinth.
In her first novel, Paula Gooder tells Phoebe’s story – who she was, the life she lived and her first-century faith. The book opens up Paul’s theology, giving a sense of cultural and historical pressures that shaped Paul’s thinking and the faith of the early church:

When she had returned a few hours later, she heard a voice.  It was, Phoebe recalled, mesmerising.  It wasn’t the tone of the voice – unlike Stachys the previous evening in Rome, Paul’s voice was harsh and slightly grating.  It wasn’t the elegance of the rhetoric – Paul was certainly persuasive but even in Corinth there were many better orators than him.  It wasn’t even what he was saying – though later she was as captured by that as others around her.  It was his passion that gripped Phoebe.  She remembered standing in the entrance way to the house, parcels dropping to the floor, while she acknowledged that this was someone who really knew. This was someone who had encountered the risen Lord and whose life, like hers, would never be the same again.  This was someone to be trusted.  She couldn’t put her finger on why she felt this way, she just knew that she did.

So it had come as something of a shock, as her feet took her from the entrance way, through the Atrium and onwards into the garden at the rear of the house, when she had actually seen Paul.  She almost recoiled with shock.  Corinth was a good-looking city.  After all, it had a lot to prove.  It was a new city, having been rebuilt by the great Julius Caesar less than a hundred years before and many of its population – a vast mix of Romans, Greeks and Jews – were, just like Phoebe, freed slaves.  It was the place you came to reinvent yourself, to live a new life, to begin again.  And so the population, just like the city itself, went out of their way to look the part. Without an ancient family to rely on, money and beauty bought influence.  It went without saying that you made the best of what you had. But Paul was different. He was small, very small.  Later Phoebe had realised that he barely even reached her shoulder.  His head was bald and as he stood to address the crowd, gathered in Gaius’ garden, Phoebe could see that his legs were crooked. His nose was huge, topped with deep black eyebrows that met in the middle.  Paul was grotesque.  There was no other word for it.

But no sooner had Phoebe reached her damning judgement than she began to question it.  As she stood there, jaw hanging open in surprise, her eyes met his and as they did something happened.  When she tried to find the words to explain it later, she had said somewhat whimsically that it was as though a window had opened into heaven and she could see angels dancing. Even she felt embarrassed at her flight of fancy but no other words would come.  Whatever that something was, it changed her view of him forever.  Then, she had blinked, shaken her head slightly, and she had been back in the garden listening to a grotesque, entrancing man.

Paula Gooder is a New Testament scholar, popular writer and Chancellor at St Paul's Cathedral, London. She tweets @paulargooder. Her website is here. 'Phoebe' is available here.

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HeartEdge · St Martin-in-the-Fields · Trafalgar Square · London, WC2N 4JH · United Kingdom

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