Listening To The Soul Of Your Community

Australian author and broadcaster Sheridan Voysey retells the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 to talk and lead a discussion on how we take risks of faith to enter our ‘Samaria’ with the good news:

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Prisons Week

The prisons

The Prisons by Emiliano Iko on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Yesterday, the annual Prisons Week began. It aims to help Christians remember and support ministry and mission in British prisons. Did you know how much is done by church representatives? Are you also aware of the ministry of organisations such as Prison Fellowship?

And if you want a good cause to support this coming Christmas, you could do a lot worse than support Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree project. It enables the children of prisoners to receive Christmas gifts from their incarcerated parents.

Why Established Churches Should Plant New Churches

Fluffly plants

Fluffy Plants by Tom Olliver on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

With a few honourable exceptions, church as we know it isn’t reaching new people for Christ. Is it possible that all our talk of turning around existing churches is wrong? Might we be better offering terminal care to older churches while bringing to birth newer congregations that are more attuned to the generations that are absent from our traditional churches?

American Baptist thinker Ed Stetzer proposes six reasons why existing churches should plant new churches. And actually, his six reasons (especially number four) hold out hope that older congregations will themselves be revitalised by the process.

Is your church planting another? Is your group of churches considering it?

Credit Unions

It’s hard not to be aware of the great damage caused in our western societies by debt. Our economies thrive or fail based on how much people buy non-essential goods. Consumerism is the great idol.

Meanwhile, more and more people slide into debt. It becomes unmanageable, and predators swim around them, smelling blood. Archbishop Justin Welby has recognised this grave social evil, and declared war on the loan sharks. Here is a video filmed by the religious journalist Ruth Gledhill, showing churches in deprived east London districts setting up credit unions to benefit the community.

Is this something your church might do, either on its own, or in partnership with others?

More on the story here.