In my first sermon of the new year, we explored the meaning of discipleship and how the early Church can inspire us to live our everyday lives in a way that better matches our beliefs and our commitment to follow Jesus Christ. As part of that sermon, I invited people to send me suggestions on practical baby-steps we could take.
This follows our recent Book Club read through of a book called The Patient Ferment of the early Church, where we explored some practical ways the early Church lived their faith: food, clothes, and money kept in common for the needy; visiting those imprisoned; refusal to shed blood; refusal to put profit before ethics; abstaining from blood sports…
The suggestions in this list try to follow the early Church in modern, creative ways, according to our Church’s mission to bring the Light of Christ into our Community.
- Banking — does my money fund arms, climate change, nuclear weapons? Consider switching to a bank or building society that does not lend money to controversial sectors.
- Savings — credit unions pool local people’s money together to offer accessible finance, and may pay a dividend on their profits. Could this be a way to make my money work for my community?
- Giving — do I support any charities regularly? Have I considered leaving them a legacy in my will?
- Energy — where does my energy come from? Consider switching to a green energy provider (some might even be cheaper than your current one!).
Shopping and Goods
- Clothes — do I buy cheap and often? Consider switching to higher qualities clothes that will last you longer, or buy second hand.
- Clothes — wardrobe too full? Consider donating clothing to a charity shop.
- Groceries — do the values of my supermarket match mine? Consider switching to a more ethical supermarket or try to buy local.
- Groceries — do I buy too much? Be mindful of food waste, maybe pop a tin in the foodbank box.
- Groceries — who makes my food? Consider buying fair trade marked items from the supermarket, our Church or Traidcraft.
- Groceries — does animal welfare matter to me? Consider buying free-range eggs and chicken, and responsibly produced meat and fish.
- Other items — do I need a new one? Consider whether replacing an item is necessary, buy better quality or second hand, donate or sell or recycle the old one.
- Voting — does my voting match my values? Check where a party stands with poverty, homelessness, environment, and human rights.
- Interacting — do I treat people right? Remember everyone has the image of God in them, no matter their rank in society
On October 11th, our Assistant Pastor Simone Ramacci was awarded the Wilson Hinkes Peace Prize during the opening ceremony for the Week of Prayer for World Peace on Zoom.Continue reading “Asst. Pastor Wins Award”
This talk was given during the Service on June 21st, 2020.
One Sunday after a church service, a preacher asked the young lad “Do you pray every night? His reply was “No, some nights I don’t need anything.” We may smile at this, but how many people pray to ask God for something they need?Continue reading “On Prayer”
On June 7th I was on Thought for the Day on Radio Colne. If you missed me here’s a recording and a transcript.Continue reading “Thought for the Day”
As part of our commitment to become a more responsible community and church, we recently used the Abundant Life Bible study series produced by the Congregational Federation and CWM, which covers topics such as living well with others, with the environment, and ethical money.
During our Bible studies some really interesting suggestions emerged so I thought it would be a good idea to create a living guide of ethical tips. Living because it will be updated regularly with new suggestions from our own members and from our local community.
These tips focus on small changes that most people should be able to try easily. If you have any suggestions drop us a comment below.Continue reading “Ethical Living Tips”
Pam performed an aerobatic challenge for the Jubilee Sailing Trust, a charity that champions mixed ability (disabled and non-disabled) tall ship crewing at sea.
Continue reading “Mission Accomplished!”
It seems that charitable fundraising is spreading in our congregation this Summer!
Simone is raising money for St John Ambulance as part of a national fundraising event called “Every Step Counts”. St John Ambulance provides first aid training, first aid cover, and helps the NHS Ambulance Service.
Continue reading “Simone’s Step Challenge”
Pam is going to perform an aerobatic challenge for the Jubilee Sailing Trust, a charity that champions mixed ability (disabled and non-disabled) tall ship crewing at sea.
Continue reading “Pam’s Aerobatic Challenge”
“I don’t do religion” they say,
“I’m not religious” they retort, and I reply, “No I don’t either”.
The look on their faces when I say this (and mean it), “but, but, you must, mustn’t you?”
“No”, I reply.
Many people are religious but being religious can just be religiously doing something, like knocking on wood, having a very stable routine or religiously going to the gym. Some of us musicians religiously practice our scales (mmm).
Continue reading “I Don’t Do Religion”
Already in the 1970s Congregationalists knew what pressing answers the Church refused to answer, this excerpt from the flier “Forward into the Seventies” – which was written during the difficult time of the Congregational-Presbyterian union – shows the modern insights that were present amongst Congregationalists.
(excerpt from “The History of the Federation” by R.W. Cleaves) Continue reading “Modern Since the Seventies”