Meeting Atheists, Sceptics and Evangelists in lockdown and beyond

nigelbolitho.org

Evangelism consultancy Summer update

Whilst locked down, what has Chelmsford man Nigel been up to with atheists, sceptics and the City’s Evangelists?

Here is an extract from his latest newsletter:

Meeting Atheists and Sceptics

In recent times, and certainly during lockdown, I have been concerned about my lack of interaction with people who are not Christians.  Yes, I meet regularly with a group of guys for a curry/quiz night (more quiz than curry online during lockdown).  Yes, Thursday night clapping for the NHS and essential workers meant we got to know our new neighbours much more but it still didn’t feel enough.  So I set up a new twitter account and started following a number of people with names such as Atheist forum, Sceptic City and Judas Carrot (you might need to say that one out loud)…

Continue reading by clicking here.

A Call to the Church to Address Racial Injustice

We reproduce below a press statement from Churches Together in England. This statement is also available online and can be shared via their social media channels on Twitter and Facebook.

Note that CTiC Chair, David Gilbey, has recently joined a newly convened Anti-Racism Focus Group, initiated by The Mayor of Chelmsford. If, as a Christian in our City, you have anything relevant that might be fed into that group, please Contact us.

CTE Presidents call all churches to address racial injustice in church life and wider society

28 July 2020 

Presidents of Churches Together in England, named below, with the support of the Fourth Presidency Group, have issued a statement calling on churches to travel together on the journey of racial justice, addressing injustices both within our church life and in wider society. They write…

We as Presidents of Churches Together in England have responded to the killing of George Floyd in the United States, and the widespread call for real change to combat racial injustice in our world, above all in our own country. We have spent time over the past few weeks listening to voices of people from the black community, especially the younger generation. This has been a deeply moving experience and illustrated powerfully the many profound changes of heart and actions that need to be made. The attitude that regards black people – and indeed other people of ethnic minorities – as inferior is evil and mars our common humanity. We challenge this unreservedly, recognising the constant experiences of racism, including micro aggression, which black people face.

We believe that churches have a significant role to play in combating racial injustice. If we are to be effective in doing so, we must look at ourselves.

We are painfully aware of the racism that blights the life of our churches. We are intent upon a process of identifying racial injustice within our churches – current and historic – repenting of it and taking action to effect real change. This includes the potential for discriminatory behaviour in the way that we make church appointments, which we know can happen at the conscious or unconscious level. We want to ensure that these processes are just and demonstrate the so often neglected gospel truth of Colossians 3:11 “there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all”. In this verse Paul makes it clear that racial injustice and discrimination is not only profoundly unjust and an affront to God but also the very denial of Christ who reached out to all human beings.

Some Member Churches of Churches Together in England have already embarked upon this journey of tackling racial injustice. The Church of England plans a new action group, and among the Free Churches work by the Methodist and United Reformed Churches, together with Baptists Together is already under way, as is also true for the Catholic Church. The Pentecostal Forum has long held this issue in its view, as have the Orthodox Churches.

We call upon all churches to travel together on this journey of racial justice so that together, as one community of churches in England, we may reach out in love and respect to one another in pursuit of our common witness.

An area of great concern to us as Presidents is the relationship between the black community and the criminal justice system. We will therefore be facilitating conversations between young black women and men and senior members of the police service. We are also seeking to engage both the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice in further considering the day-to-day experience of many young black people in England.

We encourage all churches throughout England to do all they can to build trust and improve accountability between black communities, the police, civic bodies and wider community groups. In particular we call upon groupings of Church Leaders throughout the nation to reach out to their black colleagues in church leadership who are currently absent from their membership, making more inclusive ecumenical leadership. Our desire is that these groups will create spaces for those in authority to listen, as we have, to the powerful testimony of young black women and men as a step towards greater social cohesion.

We see these issues as matters of gospel and faith for all who follow Jesus Christ, the one who calls every nation and people to the justice of the Kingdom of God.

ENDS

Presidents of Churches Together in England:

Archbishop Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, The Free Churches Moderator
His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London and CTE President for the Orthodox Churches
Pastor Agu Irukwu, head of Redeemed Christian Church of God UK and CTE Pentecostal President

The Fourth Presidency Group comprises Lutheran, Quaker and The Church of Scotland (English Presbytery) Member Churches.

Notes to editors:

  • Churches Together in England will soon be establishing a churches racial justice working group which will encourage continued action and the sharing of good practice among its 50 Member Churches.
  • Churches Together in England (CTE) is the national ecumenical instrument supporting and encouraging churches from a wide range of traditions to work together in unity.
  • Nationally, CTE brings together 50 Member Churches from many diverse traditions. In fact, we unite the broadest range of churches in the whole of Europe. CTE’s strapline is: One in Christ Jesus, engaged in God’s mission, empowered by the Spirit. Read more about CTE at www.cte.org.uk/WhoWeAre

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Revd Dr Paul Goodliff,
General Secretary of Churches Together in England
paul.goodliff@cte.org.uk 
07741 893141

CTE News – July 2020

Churches Together in England: ‘One in Christ Jesus, engaged in God’s mission, empowered by the Spirit’.

Download the latest CTe-News, from Churches Together in England here: www.cte.org.uk/news.

The PDF version can be read and passed on by email. The Word version is available to paste articles in to websites, magazine etc.

Check out the below video introduction to CTe and their website can be found here: www.cte.org.uk

Communion in the light of Covid – a webinar – 16 July

The Society for Ecumenical Studies, in conjunction with The Tablet and Reform, is hosting a webinar on Communion in the light of COVID-19, to be held on Thursday 16 July from 6–7.30pm.

This is the first in a series of three webinars on themes around the response of the Churches to the situation created by the current pandemic.

The speakers will be:

Revd Dr John Bradbury

Dr Bradbury is a United Reformed Church minister and incoming General Secretary of the URC. From 2007 to 2017 he taught Systematic Theology and Church History at Westminster College, Cambridge where he ultimately served as Vice-Principal. He has been heavily involved in ecumenism and is one of the three presidents of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe. He serves as co-chair of the URC-Roman Catholic dialogue, for which he has written a paper on Communion. More recently, he has written on Communion in the lockdown times.

Dr Sara Parvis

Dr Sara Parvis is Senior Lecturer in Early Church History at the University of Edinburgh, where she has taught students from a variety of ecclesiastical backgrounds, clerical and lay. She is a lifelong Catholic, and recently wrote for the Tablet from an experiential perspective on the presence and absence of communion during the lockdown.

Dr. Matthew Cheung Salisbury

Dr Salisbury, a member of the Faculty of Music in the University of Oxford is the national Liturgy and Worship Adviser to the Church of England.

The evening will be chaired by Rev Dr Elizabeth Welch, the Chair of the Society for Ecumenical Studies.

There is a suggested donation of £5  towards the costs of the webinar and bookings should be made via The Tablet at www.thetablet.co.uk/events

Invitation to watch Stephen Cottrell become the new Archbishop of York – 9 July

Having served us as Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell is shortly to become the new Archbishop of York. He invites you to join him and writes:

I will become the 98th Archbishop of York at 11am on Thursday 9 July 2020, in a service broadcast entirely via video conference due to the Covid-19 restrictions.  

The service is called a Confirmation of Election. It is usually followed by an Installation in the Cathedral Church. In different circumstances I would have loved to be inviting people to that large celebration in York Minister, but that can’t happen at the moment. However, the good thing about the digital world is that there are no limits on attendance, so please spread the word and please join me, virtually, on 9 July.

After this digital service I will go to York Minster with one or two others and receive the crozier recently laid down by Archbishop Sentamu, pray in silence for the needs of our church and world, and then begin my new ministry.

To view the service, you will need to click on the following link https://www.churchofengland.org/aby98 which will be live just before 11am on 9 July 2020.

With best wishes,

+Stephen

 

CTE News – June 2020

Churches Together in England: ‘One in Christ Jesus, engaged in God’s mission, empowered by the Spirit’.

Download the latest CTe-News, from Churches Together in England here: www.cte.org.uk/news.

The PDF version can be read and passed on by email. The Word version is available to paste articles in to websites, magazine etc.

Check out the below video introduction to CTe and their website can be found here: www.cte.org.uk

Ever thought about writing a script for a Christian Film?

An open invitation to the Christians of Chelmsford

Discover how to write and produce short, impactful films that proclaim the Good News of the gospel.

Register for this free 4-week online interactive training on screenwriting and visual storytelling
7 pm to 8 pm Saturdays, 4, 11, 18 & 25 July 2020

Visit: holywaytraining.eventbrite.co.uk

Background / Course facilitator, Gbenga Ajayi

David & Obenga in Chelmsford, February 2020
David & Obenga in Chelmsford, February 2020

A number of months ago, Gbenga Ajayi contacted CTiC believing that God had directed his attention to Chelmsford. Early in 2020 he travelled and met with CTiC Chair, David Gilbey. Gbenga was fascinated to learn that through our legacy of Marconi, Chelmsford was considered ‘The Birthplace of Radio’.

There is a belief amongst a growing number of Christians in Chelmsford that The Lord is again going to raise up Chelmsford as a place of global communication, but this time for the proclamation of the gospel. With experience in Christian film media, Gbenga felt that he had something to contribute.

Gbenga is a Nigerian screenwriter and filmmaker. He holds both a Bachelor and Master of Arts degree in Theatre Arts from University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a PhD in Film from Bournemouth University UK. He is the coordinator of The Holyway Outreach Ministry, which produces television drama and feature films as a means of preaching the greatest story ever told.

Gbenga was a Lecturer at Lead City University and Associate Lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Now living in the UK and teaching at the Lincoln School of Film and Media, University of Lincoln, Gbenga’s vision is to meet with fellow believers who have a genuine passion for using their creative gifts to serve the Lord and to explore how they can have a significant media presence for Jesus.

Email: holywayfilms@gmail.com

Global Transmission, Global Mission – free eBook

Recently released by Operation World – operationworld.org

“The body of Christ can shine, both in cultivating the discipline of prayer as in demonstrating the power of prayer.” Jason Mandryk

Operation World e-Book on Covid -19 cover

CoVid-19 is proving a disruptive, distressing, and divisive force throughout the world. How do mission-minded Christians respond? What happens to the Great Commission when the world is on lockdown? In this short e-book, Jason Mandryk, the author of Operation World, takes readers through a sweeping overview of the implications of the coronavirus for the global Church, and specifically, its impact on global mission.

In compiling this analysis, the Operation World team interacted with ministry and mission leaders in every region of the world, getting input on how to pray for different nations afflicted by CoVid-19 as well as strategic considerations from a wide array of missiological contexts.

Download the eBook

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