Volume 1 – Issue 10

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

George Floyd

A tipping point?

The events of the last 10 days in America have touched us all to some degree. Revd Al Sharpton at the memorial service that marked the life of George Floyd spoke from Ecclesiastes about the times and the seasons. He remarked that there is something different about this particular death. A tipping point has been reached. He noted that some of the marches consisted of young people and in some cases, a majority of the marchers were white young people. That has not happened before.

Because of our own life as a network of intercultural grouping of leaders and churches, we are featuring two items on this issue – one from the USA and one from Tony Sands – a member of the FCC Strategic Board.

A Letter from Brian Mosely President of Right Now Media

Dear Church,

The murder of George Floyd has re-opened wounds in the United States that have never fully healed and tragically continue to be ripped open. The headlines over these past seven days have left many of us sad and angry.

As I work from the suburbs of Dallas, far away from Minneapolis and the peaceful protests and the not-so-peaceful riots, I am tempted to think this is a news story that doesn’t affect me. I could easily believe that these issues seem to be happening “over there” to “other families,” not my family. But as a Christian I know that these issues are deeply impacting my family because my family includes all brothers and sisters who are unified under the banner of Jesus Christ. Injustice and inequality are hurting my family today and the Lord is close to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18).

Monday morning I talked with several African American RightNow Media employees and members of our board of directors and they graciously reminded me that one of the most meaningful things I can do is simply acknowledge that the injustices exist and empathize with those around me who are hurting. I have learned a lot in the past few days by listening and praying. Reconciliation efforts shouldn’t stop there but reaching out to those around us to mourn together and learn together can be a first step in the healing process.

We’ve collected a handful of resources that might be helpful to you during this time. We pray that these resources do two things. First, that they challenge us to call racism, misuse of force by those in power, and systemic oppression a sin. Second, that these resources would point us to the hope and unity we have in Jesus Christ. Additional resources on racism and racial reconciliation are available in our library.

The mission of the church matters!

A timely word from Tony Sands

Hi folks, I am kicking off a conversation in our church to respond to all that’s happening with the George Floyd situation. I’m wondering how we as a movement can respond to this moment, and embed the values of inter-ethnic relationships in our churches so that loving friendships between people with all kinds of differences- especially cultural and ethnic ones can be a stand out feature of our churches. Wouldn’t it be great if our churches were referred to as was the early church “behold how they love one another” we have a great starting point in our own friendship (I am constantly humbled when I am with you all to be in the presence of such wonderful people)  how can we witness this multi ethnic friendship more often and widely? How can we embed this in our values more obviously as we design the framework for our working together? I wonder how we could become the people of whom it is said “ Oh, the fellowship, that’s the group where black white and brown really love each other”.

Here is Tony’s discussion starter on his church You Tube platform:

Resources

A New Book by one of our ministers

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Description automatically generatedDr Harvey is a lecturer at Hope University, Liverpool. At the same time as his work at the university, Harvey and his wife Nancy are engaged in developing a church in the Liverpool area. He has written and thought a good deal about the contribution of African Christianity to the western world and this is the latest offering from him.

 

Big in Kansas!

You might remember the photograph that we featured in FCC Connection three weeks ago of a London vicar and the memorial wall in his parish. His name is Father William Taylor. I spoke with him on Zoom last Friday and he told me that the story has gone global. As he said – “We are big in Kansas!”, but also in the New York Times, in the UK’s Daily Telegraph and in a national newspaper in Israel. It’s good to know that others are picking up on some of the same stories that we are featuring (but we got there before them!)

News

Great Francis Street

Ezekiel and Adeline Attry celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary a few days ago. The family have been members at Great Francis Street ever since they arrived from Jamaica more than 50 years ago. Ezekiel has served faithfully as an elder, ably supported by Adeline. The occasion would have been marked by the church had public meetings been possible, so we are glad to mark the occasion in the newsletter. Their daughter, Yvonne, is a member of the FCC National Council.

 

Exciting Developments at Journey Community, Bicester – Jeff Lothamer

FLTR Coffee is a local coffee shop owned by our church, Journey Communities. It’s mission is to unite our neighbours around great coffee, life-giving community, and generosity. We were able to reopen FLTR three weeks ago as a take away coffee shop. It has proven successful not only on the bottom line, but also in the giving hope and lifting the spirits of our neighbourhood and community. FLTR Coffee serves as the front door for our church’s mission in loving our neighbours and identifying people of peace. 

We’ve also experienced God’s blessing in the launch of our DNA discipleship groups during lockdown. Over 90% of our church, including kids and youth, are participating in weekly discipleship relationships. Each DNA is reading the Bible together and asking “What is God saying?” and “What am I going to do about it.” This month we are reading through Acts and identifying together where we see the three essential relationships modelled by Jesus: Up – Life with God, In – Life together, and Out – Life on mission. Our hope is to multiply these DNA’s in the autumn by inviting our people of peace into these relationships to help them explore full life.

 

Dates for Forge Training in Birmingham – Tim and Tammy Aho

Important update on new dates for Forge Midlands 2020, three free stand-alone Forge Midlands webinars with Trevor Hutton (Director of Forge England & Wales), and a free four-part series on 21st Century Church Planting.

We took the decision last month to further postpone Forge Midlands. The new dates are as follows:

  •  Weekend 01: 25-27 Sep 2020
  • Weekend 02: 29-31 Jan 2021
  • Weekend 03: 23-25 April 2020

We will also be meeting in a new venue, yet to be confirmed.

We are sad for this delay and the circumstances which require us to do so, but opportunities to serve and love people abound, do they not? As we continue to live out the values and example of Jesus and his Kingdom, we also want to provide some learning and growth opportunities. Please feel free to share these with your friends and networks. And don’t forget to RSVP to get zoom links so you can join the webinars. 

Forge Midlands webinar One

A church responds to crisis: Lessons from Acts 11. 

Learning from the early church how to respond missionally when an unexpected crisis hits the church.

Thursday 11th June, 7.00-8.00pm via Zoom

Led by Trevor Hutton, National Director of Forge England and Wales

Open to friends and guests. RSVP for Zoom links.

Forge Midlands webinar Two

Reawakening missional imagination.  

Through inspirational stories learn how to reawaken dreams and explore new possibilities.

Thursday 9th July, 7.00-8.00pm via Zoom

Led by Trevor Hutton, National Director of Forge England and Wales

Open to friends and guests. RSVP for Zoom links.

Forge Midlands webinar Three

Topics and Overview.  

Learn how Forge training can help you respond to Jesus in your context.

Thursday 13th August, 7.00-8.00pm via Zoom

Led by Trevor Hutton, National Director of Forge England and Wales

Open to friends and guests. RSVP for Zoom links.

 

For Registration details contact Tim by replying to this email using Timothy.C.Aho@gmail.com or phoning 07939 680879.

21st Century Church Planting

We are also happy to invite you to take part in a four-part series on 21st Century Church Planting. Please note these hour-long sessions began on Tuesday, 2nd June (all sessions are recorded and available when registered), and then on following Tuesdays (9th, 16th and 23rd) in June. To register go to https://nazarene.ac.uk/21st-century-church-planting/ where you can also see an outline of the topics and meeting times.

Forge

Forge is a missional agency that trains and coaches people into the mission of God.

See: https://www.facebook.com/forgeenglandandwales/

        http://www.forgeinternational.com/  

About Trevor see: https://nazarene.ac.uk/person/trevor-hutton/

Looking forward to hearing from you and receiving your RSVP for the webinars! — Tim and Tammy Aho and Trevor Hutton.

Till next week Martin Robinson….

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