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Jul 7

I Value Trust and Truth 2

This week's Worship is from our guest writer and year 13 student Faith Evans.

 

In a world where there may be a lack of hope, we need the capability to trust ourselves to have an impact.

 

Would you trust yourself to deal with these situations?

 

Brexit negotiations:

 

brexit referendum uk 1468255044bIX

 

 

To help promote minority rights?

 

Equal Rights Now National Equality March Washington DC 2009 4006527887

 

 

To intervene with bullying?

 

Šikanovanie

 

When feeling worthless and potentially unable to make changes, it becomes increasingly difficult to trust in the political systems and authoritative figures when we cannot see the changes we desire being made.

Trusting in God may seem challenging when you cannot find God within the difficulties yourself or others face but it can be easier to trust that God will use you in order to overcome those obstacles. Rather than asking God to intervene, trusting that God works through individuals and asking him to work through you is an act of trust. This allows for confidence in our own abilities to make individual change.

 


5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways submit to him, and we will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Jesus says:

 

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 10:11

 

This shows his guidance through life and with the promise of the Holy Spirit, God is able to act through us. If we allow him to do so and trust that he is with us in overcoming challenges, we are far more able to stand up against injustice and to fulfil our potential.

 

Prayer:
Lord we ask for your strength to overcome obstacles, we do not ask for you to intervene for we do not know your plan, but we pray that you help us to trust in you and allow you to work through us.

We pray that you enhance our trust in you to make us able to stand up for love and justice without fear or embarrassment. Let your presence and truth be felt among us, in Jesus name,

Amen.

 

Chaplain Joey adds a song for reflection by the legendary Etta James:

 

 

Tags: Faith
Jun 29

I Value Trust and Truth 1

How many of these might be Fake News?

 

’Pope Francis endorses Donald Trump for President.’
‘Hillary Clinton sold weapons to ISIS.’

‘Woman with heavy make-up attacked for being a clown.’

‘First Singapore Prime Minister passes away.’

Discuss with each other how you came to your conclusions about the stories.

They are all Fake News.  Fake News has been around for a long time, though it wouldn’t always have been called this.  Propaganda and satire could be classified as fake news.  What makes it different in today’s world is that on social media, liking and sharing means that news travels very fast and virtually anyone can start a news story.  Why do it?  It is believed that stories can affect emotions which can change the way people vote (our first two examples are political).  Advertisers on social media pay for ‘reach’ and these stories often get shared widely, and therefore get more reach, without people checking.  Lastly, some people like to share ‘scare’ stories, especially if they involve crime (see the clown headline above).

Jesus suffered from fake news.  In John 16 he warns his followers,

 

They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God.

 

Later, though, he promises,

 

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

 

So if you think you are seeing something faulty, check out the sources of the story and offer it in prayer before you like or share it.

Prayer: Lord, we recognise that you are the way, the truth and the life.  We recognise we need you more than ever in this world.  Help us to be as ‘wise as serpents and as harmless as doves’ in both our day to day life and also in our online life as well.  Amen.

Here’s another version of ‘Oceans’.  The quiet certainty of the song really appeals to me.

 

 

Tags: Faith
Jun 23

I Am Resilient 2

When it comes to people who show resilience, who do you think of and why?

 


Syrian refugee camp in Jordan flickr photo by Omgyjya shared with no copyright restrictions using Creative Commons Public Domain Mark (PDM)

 

For many of us who took part in Refugee Week (June 19th-25th), our idea of resilience is shaped by thoughts of those refugees who have to leave their country of origin to seek sanctuary elsewhere.

There are an estimated 60 million worldwide, and 168,978 people in the UK, who are classed as refugees, asylum seekers or stateless people. However, it's important to remember that individual people make up all those numbers. We need to hear people's stories for our hearts to be affected. Let's listen to one of those individuals. This is Ali's story.

 



How did this film make you feel? I would like you to watch it again, and this time, concentrate on trying to empathise with Ali, actively imagining what it would be like to be him in the situation he finds himself in. What does resilience look like for Ali?

All humans have the capacity to grow in and show resilience, and it's particularly important that we do so, with some of the challenges facing our world and our country at this time.

Loving God, as we pray, we think of the family and friends of Mohammad Alhajali, from Syria, and the families and friends of the other people killed in the horrific Grenfell Tower fire. Bring comfort and justice to those in that community.

We think about the families and friends of the victims in the recent terror attack on the Finsbury Park Mosque, and the other attacks in this country and world, and we pray that people would continue in their defiant resilience and desire to overcome evil with good.

Help us to continue to open our arms in welcome, and reach out our hands in support to those seeking help. That the desperate may find new hope, and lives torn apart be restored.

We ask this in the name of Jesus, the refugee, who came to bring justice and mercy on this earth.

Amen

For more viewing, watch the Finsbury Park community and the Mayor of London  giving a defiant message about resilience in the face of tragedy 

 

 

Tags: Faith
Jun 16

I Am Resilient 1

Have a look at this video and see if you can guess who is being talked about before the ‘reveal’ at the end.

 

 

There may be more than a touch of ‘urban myth’ about it but there is some good wisdom about resilience, about perseverance, about never giving up.

A good story about resilience in the Bible is the story of Nehemiah.  Here’s a very accessible version:

 



People with faith often credit their resilience to the vision and strength that God gives.  Does your faith help you this way?  Feel free to share your stories with the rest of your tutor group about this.

Here’s a prayer about resilience which uses some well-known and lesser-known people from the Bible:

Creator God,

Like Anna who waited to greet the Christ child, Show us where you are at work in the world.


Like Bezalel, anointed as an artist in the temple,

Equip us with skills to glorify you.


Like Jeremiah who heard the sound of your voice,

Help us to respond to your call on our lives.


Like Daniel who refused to eat food that was tainted,

Give us courage to be faithful to you in our world.


Like Nehemiah who wasn’t put off by threats,

Keep us firm in the ways you have shown us.

 

Like Lydia, a worshipper as well as a business woman,

Help us to put you first in our lives.

 

Amen.

 

Extra material:

Resilience, Sesame Street and David Beckham:

 


Rend Collective’s version of Oceans:

 

 

Tags: Faith
Jun 9

Persecuted People 2

Displaced Rohingya people in Rakhine State (8280610831)

 

The Rohingya people, a minority group, in Myanmar, are one of the most persecuted communities in the world (they are in fact number 9 on the list of the Peoples Under Threat index). But how much do you know about them?

Here is a video from last year that documents some of the injustices the Rohingya people are facing! Please be aware that there are some potentially upsetting images in the second half of this video:

 



How is it that I knew so little about this situation? Why is it that some news gets more coverage? How do we respond?

The words of Isaiah 1:17 give us a clear vision, for how God sees these situations.

 

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.


How? Get educated, get informed, get involved in conversation.

Get advocating, get marching, signing petitions, and demonstrating.

Get upset, get angry, get active, get praying:

Father help us in our fight against injustice, may we not be tired of doing Good.

We Pray for the Muslim community worldwide, in this season of Ramadaan, may they have strength and endurance and a fresh sense of faith, hope and love.

We particularly remember the Rohingya people, bring comfort to them, and may justice roll in that country!

May we do our bit to support all those who are oppressed. Let your peace come, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

Amen

 

As both politicians and the general public process the news of the recent election, we pray:

 

God of all wisdom, inspire our government with a way forward that best serves the common good of all.
With all our differences, may we be a truly united kingdom at this time.
Amen

 

Tags: Faith