Monday, April 16, 2007

Society: An invisible hand

Four visits in the last month:
  1. A tour round Jimmy's Nightshelter in central Cambridge
  2. Taking some furniture to be recycled at the Emmaus community north of Cambridge
  3. Buying some fairly traded food at the Daily Bread Cooperative in the North of Cambridge
  4. Popping in to see the manager of our own St Martin's Centre for the elderly.
Each place exuded peace and a kind of a quiet well-ordered-ness. Each place runs through the hands of many volunteers and a number of full-time staff who are not paid well. Each fights almost daily battles with bureaucracy and politics that threaten to capsize the whole ship. Yet each provides a vital service to a large part of a city.

Each is an expression of Christian faith that is unsung, long-term, wholly appropriate for the 21st century.

Then I read this quote:

'Alongside the political, economic, social and technological revolutions ... which have commanded enormous media attention and coverage ... there has been this far less trumpeted, but equally important revolution in the status and standing of worldwide Christianity. Few have taken on board what is happening.' (Kenneth Hylsom-Smith To the ends of the earth ISBN 978-1-84227-475-0.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A little glimpse of a new world

'... It's a place of welcome and laughter, of healing and hope, of friends and family and justice and new life.

'It's where the homeless drop in for a bowl of soup, and the elderly for someone to chat to. It's where you'll find people learning to pray, coming to faith, struggling with temptation, finding new purpose and a new power to carry it out.

'It's where people bring their own small faith and discover that when they get together with others to worship the true God, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. No church is like this all of the time. But a remarkable number of churches are partly like that for quite a lot of the time.' Tom Wright Simply Christian (ISBN 978-281-05481-7), p. 105.

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