Displaying items by tag: Religion
We celebrate all that has been done in the past by God’s people across this nation: church planting, mission, transformation and social care. Many Christians believe that God is taking His people back to the very roots and foundations of His gospel, releasing and empowering a people who will move in the mandate of this season - to make disciples of all nations. Pray for apostles to arise in fresh levels of authority, building, empowering and equipping God’s people, so that the Kingdom will be released into all areas of society. Pray for teachers to be raised, to preach the word in all its fullness of truth, calling the Church back to its first love. Pray for evangelists to teach and equip the saints – so that the gospel is preached into all communities with signs and wonders following.
When Covid hit last year, our nation quickly turned to science - epidemiologists seeking to contain the virus and researchers creating vaccines. But how much did the church use the opportunity to point to our hope beyond death? On 30 June, a Church Unlocked livestream will feature Canon J.John and other evangelists talking about how the pandemic and lockdowns have changed evangelism. Has the widespread use of streaming technology transformed how the Church will reach out? What are the felt needs of those around us, post-Covid, and how can we help people see that Jesus is the answer to those needs?
The Light and Life Christian festival at Rutland showground attracts 1,500 members of the travelling community, but local residents contacted police over fights, theft and drag car racing in the streets. The Rutland police resourced staff from the wider force for this event. It is legal, but two arrests were made for attempted robbery and antisocial behaviour. Local shops closed early due to staff being abused and speeding cars through villages. A festival organiser said the issue had been blown out of proportion. ‘They may see some young lads who are being rowdy and think everyone is like that,’ he said. ‘Actually 99.9% are not. They are family people with small children.’ He said that the event was not to blame: it was being held to reach out to those who are not Christians. ‘This is a mission and is for those who aren't yet saved.’
Rev Richard Coles has called for an end to conversion therapy. Speaking during a BBC programme Morning Live, he said that the practice, which attempts to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity, causes ‘untold misery’. Last month, the Government announced in the Queen's Speech that measures would be brought forward to ban the therapy. ‘I'm a priest of the Church of England and I'm also gay and for me that's never been a problem’. he said. ’But some people do and indeed find that so unendurable that they seek, some would say therapy, intervention, call it what you will, to pray the gay away.’ Coles said he always took his own homosexuality as ‘a given that I had no choice over at all’. The Church of England says conversion therapy has ‘no place in the modern world’. For an alternative perspective, see
The Uprising prayer movement is worldwide, organised by youth but with the whole Body of Christ invited to participate. They are seeking to usher in a move of the Holy Spirit to unleash them into their prophetic destiny: uniting the young and old generations in seeking God, and believing their united fellowship, worship and intercession will usher in a prophetic move of the Holy Spirit, releasing an anointing that will cause them to be sent out and be the Jeremiahs in the nation. Smith Wigglesworth prophetically proclaimed, ‘Australia, you have been chosen by God for a great move of the Holy Spirit. This move of God will be the greatest move of God ever known in mankind’s history and will start towards the end of the 20th century and move into the 21st century. This move of God will start a great revival in Australia, spread throughout the whole world and usher in the second coming of Jesus. This will be the final revival before the coming of the Lord.’
Speaking on a beach in Cornwall at the G7 summit, ITV's Robert Peston asked Boris Johnson whether he is now a practising Roman Catholic, having recently married in Westminster Cathedral. The Prime Minister replied, ‘I don't discuss these deep issues, certainly not with you’. Peston laughed and followed up by saying that Sir Keir Starmer has said he does not believe in God, and asked again if Mr Johnson did. The Prime Minister paused then referenced Psalm 14: ‘The foolish man has said in his heart there is no God’. Peston accepted his answer and finished the interview. The sentence also appears in Psalm 53. The rest of the verse describes those who deny God: ‘They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.’
Lament for the children and young people missing from the pews is ‘the heart’s cry of the Church’, the Archbishop of York said this week. He described his visits to churches mainly populated by older people and sometimes with no children or young people at all. ‘When I speak to them and ask them about their hopes and dreams for their church, almost without exception the first thing so-called older people say is “We wish there were more children and young people here.”’ Dr Sanjee Perera, the Archbishops’ adviser on minority ethnic Anglican concerns, spoke of decades of youth work in Anglican provinces that felt like ‘an exhausting losing battle’. Youth pastor Amanda Neill acknowledged that having a large youth group of more than 50 young people was ‘definitely unusual’. Young people think that the Church is outdated and irrelevant.
Haiti, the western hemisphere’s poorest nation, is often devastated by floods, hurricanes and earthquakes, with poverty making these disasters harsher than in richer countries. Money sent home by Haitians overseas saves lives but does not fill Haiti’s biggest needs: roads, bridges, clinics, schools and electricity. 70% of Haitians are Catholics, but many mingle their Catholicism with voodoo, which is rooted in West African animism. Evangelicals have grown in numbers, through love in action and openly standing against voodoo. Pray for good leaders at every level of society and church who will build the nation rather than loot or exploit it. Pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Haiti that will transform lives and communities. A truly renewed Catholic Church would be a great force for good. Pray that Catholics re-centre on simple, personal trust in Christ so that God can build their lives.
Israel: God’s chosen people in Scripture, the very bloodline of Jesus Christ: yet most Jews in Israel still wait for the Messiah, not realising or recognising that Jesus already came to save them. But the Holy Spirit is moving. A growing number of Jews are recognising Jesus as their Saviour, and Arabs in Israel are also turning to Christ. In fact, following the recent violence, Arab and Jewish Christians gathered at the Gaza fence to pray together!
In November Christian Concern and the Christian Schools’ Trust are jointly hosting another online conference, with free follow-up networking events, for Christians in education. In C S Lewis’ The Last Battle, the call to come ‘further up and further in’ is made to those on the cusp of a great new adventure. Those in education with a distinctively Christian vision will be stirred through these events, to ‘go deeper’ into His plans for them personally and for those they educate. Over 300 teachers and educationalists joined the previous online conference in February. The organisers are inviting all Christians in education to be part of this growing movement, seeking to be distinctively Christian in schools across the UK and beyond: being encouraged, envisioned, and equipped to serve the Lord in their schools, and to meet and network with other Christian teachers in the same key stage or subject.