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Digest ending week of 27 April 2014

  1. Journey News
  2. Weekly Worship
  3. Future Events
  4. Journey Film Club
  5. Green Suggestion
  1. JOURNEY NEWS

LGBT Asylum Group@ Birmingham BLGBT Centre

The group will meet at 5:00pm this Sunday at the BLGBT centre to explore ideas

BOARD MEMBERS

We are looking for new Board Members.

This is an exciting and demanding role. It provides me with a sounding board and looks at the strategies and safeguarding of Journey. We need to find a new Board for the successful development of our community. We are looking for people with a passion for our church.

There is a meeting each month two of 1.5 hours and one strategy meeting of 4 hours per quarter. There is also the role of representing the church. We might be able to find someone else to do say the book-keeping and the treasurer’s role is to manage and report on our finances.

Please prayerfully consider if you might be interested in such a role or you could recommend another member or friend. Please talk to me or another Board Member, come along to a Board Meeting and I will run a session for those interested.

From: Andre and Jeremy, All Out [mailto:info]
Sent: 16 April 2014 10:23
To: mozpam
Subject: A lesbian sentenced to death

allout_image_3424_full.jpg?t=dXNlcmlkPTIxMDA4NDAzLGVtYWlsaWQ9MjQzODY=
allout_image_6121_full.png?t=dXNlcmlkPTIxMDA4NDAzLGVtYWlsaWQ9MjQzODY=

"I was forced to endure the murder of three members of my family, who were killed because of my sexuality. I was sentenced to death. I fled for my life."
– Aderonke, Nigerian lesbian in the UK.

Call on the UK Home Secretary to stop Aderonke’s deportation.

sign_en.jpeg?t=dXNlcmlkPTIxMDA4NDAzLGVtYWlsaWQ9MjQzODY=

Dear Pam,

Aderonke’s family was killed and she was arrested, tortured, and sentenced to death in Nigeria for being a lesbian. She fled to safety in the UK.

She went through a humiliating interrogation by UK officials who didn’t believe she’s a lesbian. Aderonke’s waiting to hear from a judge who could decide to send her back to Nigeria – where she could be killed.

But there’s still a chance to help her. The UK Home Office just announced that the process they use for lesbian, gay, bi and trans asylum cases like this is degrading – but so far no changes have been made.

If thousands of us speak out right now, we can create a massive media story that could convince the Home Office to take the next logical step and halt the deportations. Will you sign the petition to Home Office Secretary Theresa May now?
https://www.allout.org/aderonke

It’s not just Aderonke’s life at stake.There’s dozens more LGBT asylum seekers facing the same. One man from Cameroon, who’s bisexual and blind, reported last week that he was beaten by deportation officers.

Theresa May’s already said that some people have been forced to submit video of themselves having sex or answer humiliating questions during hours of interrogation. And, many people who provide evidence to the Home Office that they will be jailed or killed for who they love have been deported back into danger anyway.

May has the power – and the responsibility – to stop the Home Office from deporting Aderonke until they can be sure everyone’s being treated fairly and humanely. But the Home Office may think they’ve done enough by agreeing to review their process – unless UK citizens and the global media hold them accountable. Sign now and demand Theresa May take action:
https://www.allout.org/aderonke

The very first campaign All Out members joined together on was to stop the UK from sending a woman back to Uganda where she could be jailed for who she loved. Last year, thousands of us called the Home Office to try to stop the deportation of a young gay man to Nigeria.

If we can all speak out right now and get Theresa May to halt the deportation of Aderonke and all other LGBT asylum seekers like her, this could be the last time we have to do this. With fair and humane processes and training for Home Office staff dealing with these cases, people like Aderonke could have a real shot at justice and safety when they’re genuinely fleeing for their lives.

Sign now to help Aderonke: https://www.allout.org/aderonke

Thanks for going All Out,

Andre, Hayley, Jeremy, Mike, Pablo, Sara and the rest of the All Out team.

P.S. The All Out office team’s in touch with Aderonke. She says that this campaign isn’t just important for her but also for other LGBT asylum seekers whose voices are unheard and are facing this hostile asylum process. Will you join Aderonke as she bravely fights for her life and the lives of others in the same danger? https://www.allout.org/aderonke

SOURCES:

Review ordered into intrusive questioning of asylum seekers – The Telegraph, 28 March 2014
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/10730856/Review-ordered-into-questioning-over-intrusive-questioning-of-gay-asylum-seekers.html

Home office reviews questioning of asylum seekers – The Guardian, 8 February 2014
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/feb/08/home-office-gay-asylum-seekers-questioning

Blind bisexual asylum seeker beaten by UK deportation officers – Gay Star News, 10 April 2014
http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/blind-bisexual-asylum-seeker-beaten-uk-deportation-officers100414

Gay asylum seekers humiliated by Home Office – The Guardian, 8 February 2014
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/feb/08/gay-asylum-seekers-humiliation-home-office

Asylum interview policy guidelines – UK Home Office
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/conducting-the-asylum-interview-process

Missing the Mark – UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, 13 September 2013
http://www.uklgig.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Missing-the-Mark.pdf

  1. WEEKLY WORSHIP

11 -12:15 am Emmaus Road with an interactive sermon, prayer space, Communion and songs @ St Paul’s.

3 -4:30 25th May Quest4Spirituality Explorers Group @ St Paul’s using ‘Living the Questions’ Dream Think Do Be www.livingthequestions.com/xcart/home.php?cat=450 looking at the Christian faith and what questions do we have. 4th Sunday of the month. www.youtube.com/user/livingthequestionsplease invite your friends.

4-5 pm 11 May Quest4Spirituality @ Book café Derby DE11 1QH the second Sunday of each month. This is an informal discussion group for LGBT and friends.

5 -7 pm Illuminate @ BLGBT Centre 38/40 Holloway Circus B1 1EQ

Illuminate is a non-religious space with no formal liturgy sacred and secular music playing. Some silence is observed in a darkened room, a discussion followed led by a group member or an informal chat in the second half. It is a space for reflection and inspiration without a particular religious dimension.

  1. FUTURE EVENTS

Journey’s 10th Anniversary

Saturday 10th May 10 -4pm Dr Nicola Slee’s retreat at Westhill Selly Oak ‘Celebrating the Risen Christa’ www.queens.ac.uk/about/staff/dr-nicola-slee/ www.amazon.com/Seeking-Risen-Christa-Nicola-Slee/dp/0281062560 Price £20 with a minimum of £5 to cover lunch for concessions. Deposit £5 with booking.

Sunday 18th May 11 : 00 am Rev Sharon Ferguson head of LGCM and MCC North London will preach at our main service of celebration www.lgcm.org.uk/about-us/ and http://mccnorthlondon.org.uk/aboutus/who-we-are/

Sunday 25th May 2 -5 pm Celebrating Birmingham Pride in BLGBT Centre

18-20 July Weekend Away ‘Celebrating Our Spiritual Journeys’ @ Haye Farm Bewdley £20 deposit. Costs minimum (camping) £45, breakeven £100 normal price £125

  1. JOURNEY FILM CLUB

www.journeyfilmclub.co.uk Open 6.45 pm film starts at 7 pm on Tuesday prompt @ BLGBT Centre B1 1EQ.

Film Showings

TUE 6 MAY – THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL @ LGBT CENTRE BIRMINGHAM

THU 15 MAY- MRS DOUBTFIRE @ ORT CAFÉ, BALSALL HEATH 7PM

TUE 20 MAY- SHANK @ LGBT CENTRE BIIRMINGHAM

SAT 24 MAY- BIRMINGHAM PRIDE – LES MISERABLES (TIME OF SHOWING TBA) @ LGBT CENTRE BIRMINGHAM

  1. GREEN SUGGESTIONS

GET SOME PLANTS

FORGET AIR FRESHENERS

These ‘natural air conditioners’ can remove up to 87% of indoor pollution in 24 hours

Friday 23rd May, 4pm – Late

Birmingham Pride Summer Musical Soiree & Garden Party @

David and Paul’s House – 23 Link Road, Edgbaston, B16 0EP – see https://www.facebook.com/paulnaylor-gray for location & contact details etc

Buffet Provided. Bring a Bottle/Bottles. Elegant Summer Dress, with Cross-Dressing or ‘Thematic’ Costume to be Heartily Encouraged!

Music for a massed sing, togther with practice tracks, will be circulated well before the event via Paul’s new, developing Website: http://www.paulnaylorgray.co.uk/

Feel free to bring an ‘Act’ to perform – perhaps something musical, a reading, a poem, tell a story, a joke, teach a dance – eg. a circle dance or line dance – etc. Children welcome till 8pm, so any material that may be risque to be performed After 8!

RSVP would be helpful.

Love and Best Wishes for the Campest & Proudest of Summers Ahead!

David & Paul

0121 291 5896
07938838796

Peace and joy

Stephe

Minister: Rev Stephen Bentley

Mobile number: 07734 155664

St Paul’s Church

Jewellery Quarter

Birmingham B3 1QZ

Email: stephen.bentley

Web: www.journeymcc.wordpress.com

0

Digest week ending 20 April 2014

  1. Journey News
  2. Weekly Worship
  3. Future Events
  4. Journey Film Club
  5. Green Suggestion
  1. JOURNEY NEWS

Hi

I am looking forward to celebrating Easter

Thursday 17 April Maundy Thursday a service with a meal at Carrs Lane B4 7SX A celebration of life: exhibition from 4.30pm, food and worship at 7.00pm

Friday 18 April Good Friday
Worship for Good Friday at 7.00pm joint with Carrs Lane

Sunday 20 April Easter Sunday

11 am Worship for Easter Sunday at St Pauls

Bring a picnic and we will go for a walk

I went on a Ignatius silent retreat at the Jesuit Loyola Hall Merseyside last week
I was a refreshing experience for my holistically body mind and spirit. I had a daily appointment with a spiritual director who gave me a Scripture to meditate on each day.
Two people there had heard of MCC which was encouraging. The sister retreat centre St Beuno’s has an LGBT weekend 7-9 November which is encouraging for a traditional Roman Catholic organisation

Dennis and Pam went to the Joy in Enough conference on Saturday, organised by Christian Ecology Link. Joy in Enough is a campaign which is looking for a different way to think about economics in the 21st century. For too long we have been told that the way to measure how the country is doing is via GDP – Gross Domestic Product, but that measures bad things as well as good. All that counts is that money is being spent. But we know that we live as though we had two or three planets to address all our needs, and we don’t – we only have one! Maybe that sounds familiar – that could be because it was the topic of a sermon given by Dennis several weeks before the conference.

The conference gave us plenty of food for thought, and for thinking in a different way. For instance, we were challenged to work out what we’d say to the CEO of Proctor and Gamble, who make Head & Shoulders and other cosmetics out of Palm Oil. But to grow the palms that produce the oil they’ve demolished masses of rainforest and threatened the habitats of tigers and orang-utans. Too much rainforest has already been lost! Other workshops looked at working for a low-carbon economy, tackling social injustice and improving local communities, never losing sight of our Christian heritage and showing how that can influence us even now.

See http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/joy-in-enough to read the official report of the conference, and to find out more about Christian Ecology Link and how you might get involved with it.

LGBT Asylum Group@ Birmingham LGBT Centre

Wednesday 30 April 2014 March 6-8 pm

I could do with some help please

It is a change for people to have a cuppa and a chat following the Centre’s legal surgery

BOARD MEMBERS

We are looking for new Board Members.

This is an exciting and demanding role. It provides me with a sounding board and looks at the strategies and safeguarding of Journey. We need to find a new Board for the successful development of our community. We are looking for people with a passion for our church.

There is a meeting each month two of 1.5 hours and one strategy meeting of 4 hours per quarter. There is also the role of representing the church. We might be able to find someone else to do say the book-keeping and the treasurer’s role is to manage and report on our finances.

Please prayerfully consider if you might be interested in such a role or you could recommend another member or friend. Please talk to me or another Board Member, come along to a Board Meeting and I will run a session for those interested.

  1. WEEKLY WORSHIP

11 -12:15 am Emmaus Road with an interactive sermon, prayer space, Communion and songs @ St Paul’s.

3 -4:30 27th April Quest4Spirituality Explorers Group @ St Paul’s using ‘Living the Questions’ Dream Think Do Be www.livingthequestions.com/xcart/home.php?cat=450 looking at the Christian faith and what questions do we have. 4th Sunday of the month. www.youtube.com/user/livingthequestionsplease invite your friends.

4-5 pm 13th April Quest4Spirituality @ Book café Derby DE11 1QH the second Sunday of each month. This is an informal discussion group for LGBT and friends.

5 -7 pm Illuminate @ BLGBT Centre 38/40 Holloway Circus B1 1EQ

Illuminate is a non-religious space with no formal liturgy sacred and secular music playing. Some silence is observed in a darkened room, a discussion followed led by a group member or an informal chat in the second half. It is a space for reflection and inspiration without a particular religious dimension.

  1. FUTURE EVENTS

Journey’s 10th Anniversary

Saturday 10th May 10 -4pm Dr Nicola Slee’s retreat at Westhill Selly Oak ‘Celebrating the Risen Christa’ www.queens.ac.uk/about/staff/dr-nicola-slee/ www.amazon.com/Seeking-Risen-Christa-Nicola-Slee/dp/0281062560 Price £20 with a minimum of £5 to cover lunch for concessions. Deposit £5 with booking.

Sunday 18th May 11 : 00 am Rev Sharon Ferguson head of LGCM and MCC North London will preach at our main service of celebration www.lgcm.org.uk/about-us/ and http://mccnorthlondon.org.uk/aboutus/who-we-are/

Sunday 25th May 2 -5 pm Celebrating Birmingham Pride in BLGBT Centre

18-20 July Weekend Away ‘Celebrating Our Spiritual Journeys’ @ Haye Farm Bewdley £20 deposit. Costs minimum (camping) £45, breakeven £100 normal price £125

  1. JOURNEY FILM CLUB

www.journeyfilmclub.co.uk Open 6.45 pm film starts at 7 pm on Tuesday prompt @ BLGBT Centre B1 1EQ.

Film Showings

TUE 6 MAY – THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL @ LGBT CENTRE BIRMINGHAM

THU 15 MAY- MRS DOUBTFIRE @ ORT CAFÉ, BALSALL HEATH 7PM

TUE 20 MAY- SHANK @ LGBT CENTRE BIIRMINGHAM

SAT 24 MAY- BIRMINGHAM PRIDE – LES MISERABLES (TIME OF SHOWING TBA) @ LGBT CENTRE BIRMINGHAM

  1. GREEN SUGGESTIONS

GET SOME PLANTS

FORGET AIR FRESHENERS

These ‘natural air conditioners’ can remove up to 87% of indoor pollution in 24 hours

Friday 23rd May, 4pm – Late

Birmingham Pride Summer Musical Soiree & Garden Party @

David and Paul’s House – 23 Link Road, Edgbaston, B16 0EP – see https://www.facebook.com/paulnaylor-gray for location & contact details etc

Buffet Provided. Bring a Bottle/Bottles. Elegant Summer Dress, with Cross-Dressing or ‘Thematic’ Costume to be Heartily Encouraged!

Music for a massed sing, togther with practice tracks, will be circulated well before the event via Paul’s new, developing Website: http://www.paulnaylorgray.co.uk/

Feel free to bring an ‘Act’ to perform – perhaps something musical, a reading, a poem, tell a story, a joke, teach a dance – eg. a circle dance or line dance – etc. Children welcome till 8pm, so any material that may be risque to be performed After 8!

RSVP would be helpful.

Love and Best Wishes for the Campest & Proudest of Summers Ahead!

David & Paul

0121 291 5896
07938838796

Peace and joy

Stephe

Minister: Rev Stephen Bentley

Mobile number: 07734 155664

St Paul’s Church

Jewellery Quarter

Birmingham B3 1QZ

Email: stephen.bentley

Web: www.journeymcc.wordpress.com

0

Digest week ending 13 April 2014

  1. Journey News
  2. Weekly Worship
  3. Future Events
  4. Journey Film Club
  5. Green Suggestion
  1. JOURNEY NEWS

LGBT Asylum Group@ Birmingham LGBT Centre

Wednesday 30 April 2014 March 6-8 pm

I could do with some help please

It is a change for people to have a cuppa and a chat following the Centre’s legal surgery

BOARD MEMBERS

We are looking for new Board Members.

This is an exciting and demanding role. It provides me with a sounding board and looks at the strategies and safeguarding of Journey. We need to find a new Board for the successful development of our community. We are looking for people with a passion for our church.

There is a meeting each month two of 1.5 hours and one strategy meeting of 4 hours per quarter. There is also the role of representing the church. We might be able to find someone else to do say the book-keeping and the treasurer’s role is to manage and report on our finances.

Please prayerfully consider if you might be interested in such a role or you could recommend another member or friend. Please talk to me or another Board Member, come along to a Board Meeting and I will run a session for those interested.

  1. WEEKLY WORSHIP

11 -12:15 am Emmaus Road with an interactive sermon, prayer space, Communion and songs @ St Paul’s.

3 -4:30 27th April Quest4Spirituality Explorers Group @ St Paul’s using ‘Living the Questions’ Dream Think Do Be www.livingthequestions.com/xcart/home.php?cat=450 looking at the Christian faith and what questions do we have. 4th Sunday of the month. www.youtube.com/user/livingthequestionsplease invite your friends.

4-5 pm 13th April Quest4Spirituality @ Book café Derby DE11 1QH the second Sunday of each month. This is an informal discussion group for LGBT and friends.

5 -7 pm Illuminate @ BLGBT Centre 38/40 Holloway Circus B1 1EQ

Illuminate is a non-religious space with no formal liturgy sacred and secular music playing. Some silence is observed in a darkened room, a discussion followed led by a group member or an informal chat in the second half. It is a space for reflection and inspiration without a particular religious dimension.

  1. FUTURE EVENTS

Journey’s 10th Anniversary

Saturday 10th May 10 -4pm Dr Nicola Slee’s retreat at Westhill Selly Oak ‘Celebrating the Risen Christa’ www.queens.ac.uk/about/staff/dr-nicola-slee/ www.amazon.com/Seeking-Risen-Christa-Nicola-Slee/dp/0281062560 Price £20 with a minimum of £5 to cover lunch for concessions. Deposit £5 with booking.

Sunday 18th May 11 : 00 am Rev Sharon Ferguson head of LGCM and MCC North London will preach at our main service of celebration www.lgcm.org.uk/about-us/ and http://mccnorthlondon.org.uk/aboutus/who-we-are/

Sunday 25th May 2 -5 pm Celebrating Birmingham Pride in BLGBT Centre

18-20 July Weekend Away ‘Celebrating Our Spiritual Journeys’ @ Haye Farm Bewdley £20 deposit. Costs minimum (camping) £45, breakeven £100 normal price £125

  1. JOURNEY FILM CLUB

www.journeyfilmclub.co.uk Open 6.45 pm film starts at 7 pm on Tuesday prompt @ BLGBT Centre B1 1EQ.

Tue 15 April- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

  1. GREEN SUGGESTIONS

BE BATTERY WISE

Batteries don’t biodegrade and are difficult to recycle. Use rechargeable ones with solar power rechargers instead

Friday 23rd May, 4pm – Late
Birmingham Pride Summer Musical Soiree & Garden Party @

David and Paul’s House – 23 Link Road, Edgbaston, B16 0EP – see https://www.facebook.com/paulnaylor-gray for location & contact details etc

Buffet Provided. Bring a Bottle/Bottles. Elegant Summer Dress, with Cross-Dressing or ‘Thematic’ Costume to be Heartily Encouraged!

Music for a massed sing, togther with practice tracks, will be circulated well before the event via Paul’s new, developing Website: http://www.paulnaylorgray.co.uk/

Feel free to bring an ‘Act’ to perform – perhaps something musical, a reading, a poem, tell a story, a joke, teach a dance – eg. a circle dance or line dance – etc. Children welcome till 8pm, so any material that may be risque to be performed After 8!

RSVP would be helpful.

Love and Best Wishes for the Campest & Proudest of Summers Ahead!

David & Paul

0121 291 5896
07938838796

Peace and joy

Stephe

Minister: Rev Stephen Bentley

Mobile number: 07734 155664

St Paul’s Church

Jewellery Quarter

Birmingham B3 1QZ

Email: stephen.bentley

Web: www.journeymcc.wordpress.com

0

Digest week ending 6 April 2014

  1. Journey News
  2. Weekly Worship
  3. Future Events
  4. Journey Film Club
  5. Green Suggestions
  6. This Weeks Thoughts Cyber Sermon
  1. JOURNEY NEWS

LGBT Asylum Group@ Birmingham LGBT Centre

Wednesday 30 April 2014 March 6-8 pm

I could do with some help please

It is a change for people to have a cuppa and a chat following the Centre’s legal surgery

BOARD MEMBERS

We are looking for new Board Members.

This is an exciting and demanding role. It provides me with a sounding board and looks at the strategies and safeguarding of Journey. We need to find a new Board for the successful development of our community. We are looking for people with a passion for our church.

There is a meeting each month two of 1.5 hours and one strategy meeting of 4 hours per quarter. There is also the role of representing the church. We might be able to find someone else to do say the book-keeping and the treasurer’s role is to manage and report on our finances.

Please prayerfully consider if you might be interested in such a role or you could recommend another member or friend. Please talk to me or another Board Member, come along to a Board Meeting and I will run a session for those interested.

The Gethsemane Garments have been returned thanks to all involved.

  1. WEEKLY WORSHIP

11 -12:15 am Emmaus Road with an interactive sermon, prayer space, Communion and songs @ St Paul’s.

3 -4:30 23rd February Quest4Spirituality Explorers Group @ St Paul’s using ‘Living the Questions’ Dream Think Do Be www.livingthequestions.com/xcart/home.php?cat=450 looking at the Christian faith and what questions do we have. 4th Sunday of the month. www.youtube.com/user/livingthequestionsplease invite your friends.

4-5 pm 9th March Quest4Spirituality @ Book café Derby DE11 1QH the second Sunday of each month. This is an informal discussion group for LGBT and friends.

5 -7 pm Illuminate @ BLGBT Centre 38/40 Holloway Circus B1 1EQ

Illuminate is a non-religious space with no formal liturgy sacred and secular music playing. Some silence is observed in a darkened room, a discussion followed led by a group member or an informal chat in the second half. It is a space for reflection and inspiration without a particular religious dimension.

  1. FUTURE EVENTS

Journey’s 10th Anniversary

Saturday 10th May 10 -4pm Dr Nicola Slee’s retreat at Westhill Selly Oak ‘Celebrating the Risen Christa’ www.queens.ac.uk/about/staff/dr-nicola-slee/ www.amazon.com/Seeking-Risen-Christa-Nicola-Slee/dp/0281062560 Price £20 with a minimum of £5 to cover lunch for concessions. Deposit £5 with booking.

Sunday 18th May 11 : 00 am Rev Sharon Ferguson head of LGCM and MCC North London will preach at our main service of celebration www.lgcm.org.uk/about-us/ and http://mccnorthlondon.org.uk/aboutus/who-we-are/

Sunday 25th May 2 -5 pm Celebrating Birmingham Pride in BLGBT Centre

18-20 July Weekend Away ‘Celebrating Our Spiritual Journeys’ @ Haye Farm Bewdley £20 deposit. Costs minimum (camping) £45, breakeven £100 normal price £125

  1. JOURNEY FILM CLUB

www.journeyfilmclub.co.uk Open 6.45 pm film starts at 7 pm on Tuesday prompt @ BLGBT Centre B1 1EQ.

Tue 15 April- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

  1. GREEN SUGGESTIONS

BE BATTERY WISE

Batteries don’t biodegrade and are difficult to recycle. Use rechargeable ones with solar power rechargers instead

6. THIS WEEKS THOUGHTS : Cyber Sermon

Celebration of the FIRST Same Sex marriages in England and Wales

Perpetua and Felicity

David and Jonathon

Ruth and Naomi

Jesus and John ????

The communion of saints – famous and loved ones

Our communion of LGBT saints and heros

Jesus and John were they really gay, did this really happen

This is gay super power
We do not know, but it is OK

Those names and words embody real people

Wellbeing and happiness – certain things we do

- certain factors that contribute towards it

The contribution is towards something greater than ourselves and

the choice is to inspire and support the younger generation

Today we sense this and to those happy couples

their happiness is our happiness

We know where they come from and some have more memories than others

but, ,today, we all share history

it is far from finish and we and the future generations have so much to do

the communion of saints stretches into the future

It is wider as well, all those who work for justice, the feminists, working for the

equality of women, disabled folks, working for democracy and freedom and those fighting for the freedom of others

For some our victory is a source of strength and encouragement

Perhaps you do not think of yourself as an activist……..

You are part of the moment…..

if all you have done is strive each day to accept yourself – than live fully as yourself

then you have shown those around you the person that is gay, bi, trans, or lesbian

What is left….. Scotland, Northern Ireland

Church communities are now deciding what is best for their community

Would their community participate in blessing these marriages

Around the world -

America is constantly changing

Legal setbacks in India and Uganda

These legal charges give strength and hope to the LGBT youth

Brittons health stats are not as good for the L and G community

We are all allies

Do you put as much effort into understanding other communities…..

as you want straight folks to understand others…

Peace and joy

Stephe

Minister: Rev Stephen Bentley

Mobile number: 07734 155664

St Paul’s Church

Jewellery Quarter

Birmingham B3 1QZ

Email: stephen.bentley

Web: www.journeymcc.wordpress.com

0

Digest week ending 30 March 2014

  1. Journey News
  2. Weekly Worship
  3. Future Events
  4. Journey Film Club
  5. 0ther suggestions
  1. JOURNEY NEWS

Thanks to the Green Group for the wonderful installation of the Gethsemane Garments – robe with the Lent theme. Do check them out

  1. WEEKLY WORSHIP

11 -12:15 am Emmaus Road with an interactive sermon, prayer space, Communion and songs @ St Paul’s.

3 -4:30 20th April Quest4Spirituality Explorers Group @ St Paul’s using ‘Living the Questions’ Dream Think Do Be www.livingthequestions.com/xcart/home.php?cat=450. looking at the Christian faith and what questions do we have. 4th Sunday of the month.www.youtube.com/user/livingthequestionsplease invite your friends.

5 -7 pm Illuminate @ BLGBT Centre 38/40 Holloway Circus B1 1EQ

Illuminate is a non-religious space with no formal liturgy sacred and secular music playing. Some silence is observed in a darkened room, a discussion followed led by a group member or an informal chat in the second half. It is a space for reflection and inspiration without a particular religious dimension.

  1. FUTURE EVENTS

Journey’s 10th Anniversary

Saturday 10th May 10 -4 Dr Nicola Slee’s retreat at Westhill Selly Oak ‘Celebrating the Risen Christa’ www.queens.ac.uk/about/staff/dr-nicola-slee/www.amazon.com/Seeking-Risen-Christa-Nicola-Slee/dp/0281062560 Price £20 with a minimum of £5 to cover lunch for concessions. Deposit £5 with booking. Seeking the Risen Christa.

The image and concept of a female Christ figure has been explored by many artists, theologians and writers down the centuries, and rediscovered by feminist theologians in the past few decades. In this day, Nicola Slee will share images of the Christa, some of her own poems and responses to the Christa, and help us think about why this idea might be helpful, and what it might mean for us to affirm a risen Christa and to consider ourselves as risen people in company with Christ/a. Nicola Slee is Research Fellow at The Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, a poet and author of many books and articles, including ‘Seeking the Risen Christa’ (SPCK, 2011).

Sunday 18th May 11am Journey 10th Anniversary Celebration with Rev Sharon Ferguson head of LGCM and MCC North London will preach at our main service of celebration www.lgcm.org.uk/about-us/ and http://mccnorthlondon.org.uk/aboutus/who-we-are/

Sunday 25th May 2 -5 pm Celebrating Birmingham Pride in BLGBT Centre

Sunday 1st June Journey MCC AGM 1pm @ St Paul’s

18-20 July Weekend Away ‘Celebrating Our Spiritual Journeys’ @ Haye Farm Bewdley £20 deposit. Costs minimum (camping) £45, breakeven £100 normal price £125.

  1. JOURNEY FILM CLUB

www.journeyfilmclub.co.uk Open 6.45 pm film starts at 7 pm on Tuesday prompt @ BLGBT Centre B1 1EQ.

Tue 1 April- Behind the Candelabra

Tue 15 April- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

  1. OTHER SUGGESTION

The congregational meeting decided it would be good as a community to fast for lent Matthew and Steph Neville are organising this amongst Birmingham Christians. It will be done where you volunteer to refrain from food for one or more days and I will post a rota for you to pick a time that suits you.

https://www.facebook.com/endhungerfastbirmingham?notif_t=fbpage_fan_invite

The website is now up and running at http://endhungerfast.co.uk/

It has also been confirmed that we will be having a hunger hut throughout lent in the Cathedral gardens, it will be open every day 10.00am – 2.00pm and for longer if we get enough volunteers. It will act as an information point, a prayer space, and there will be some kind of display of hunger stories in Birmingham (which is still being worked on). There is also going to be a postcard action aimed at Iain Duncan Smith, which there will be a chance to sign in the hut.

If Journey would like to take responsibility for staffing the hut for a day or two that would be great. The following days would work well:

Friday 14th March

Saturday 15th March

Saturday 22nd March

Friday 28th March

Saturday 29th March

Saturday 5th April

Saturday 12th April

But if there are others dates which might work better then let me know because the more volunteers we have the better. The task is to staff the hut 10-2 and longer if you can manage it. And finally, there will be coaches going to London for a national End Hunger Fast event on Wednesday 16th March. Please direct anyone who might be interested to contact me or the Neville’s

Peace and joy

Stephe

Minister: Rev Stephen Bentley

Mobile number: 07734 155664

St Paul’s Church

Jewellery Quarter

Birmingham B3 1QZ

Email: stephen.bentley

Web: www.journeymcc.wordpress.com

0

Digest for the week ending 23 March 2014

  1. Journey News
  2. Weekly Worship
  3. Future Events
  4. Journey Film Club
  5. 0ther suggestions
  6. This weeks Thoughts – Cyber Sermon
  1. JOURNEY NEWS

LGBT Asylum Group@ Birmingham LGBT Centre

Wednesday 26 March 6-8 pm

I could do with some help please

It is a change for people to have a cuppa and a chat following the Centre’s legal surgery

Thanks to the Green Group for the wonderful installation of the Gethsemane Garments – robe with the Lent theme to be send any day at St Paul’s and a special service to involve these Sunday 23 March. Do check them out

  1. WEEKLY WORSHIP

11 -12:15 am Emmaus Road with an interactive sermon, prayer space, Communion and songs @ St Paul’s.

3 -4:30 23rd March Quest4Spirituality Explorers Group @ St Paul’s using ‘Living the Questions’ Dream Think Do Be www.livingthequestions.com/xcart/home.php?cat=450. looking at the Christian faith and what questions do we have. 4th Sunday of the month.www.youtube.com/user/livingthequestionsplease invite your friends.

5 -7 pm Illuminate @ BLGBT Centre 38/40 Holloway Circus B1 1EQ

Illuminate is a non-religious space with no formal liturgy sacred and secular music playing. Some silence is observed in a darkened room, a discussion followed led by a group member or an informal chat in the second half. It is a space for reflection and inspiration without a particular religious dimension.

  1. FUTURE EVENTS

LGBT Asylum Group@ Birmingham LGBT Centre

Wednesday 26 March 6-8 pm

I could do with some help please

It is a change for people to have a cuppa and a chat following the Centre’s legal surgery

Journey’s 10th Anniversary

Saturday 10th May 10 -4 Dr Nicola Slee’s retreat at Westhill Selly Oak ‘Celebrating the Risen Christa’ www.queens.ac.uk/about/staff/dr-nicola-slee/www.amazon.com/Seeking-Risen-Christa-Nicola-Slee/dp/0281062560 Price £20 with a minimum of £5 to cover lunch for concessions. Deposit £5 with booking. Seeking the Risen Christa.

The image and concept of a female Christ figure has been explored by many artists, theologians and writers down the centuries, and rediscovered by feminist theologians in the past few decades. In this day, Nicola Slee will share images of the Christa, some of her own poems and responses to the Christa, and help us think about why this idea might be helpful, and what it might mean for us to affirm a risen Christa and to consider ourselves as risen people in company with Christ/a. Nicola Slee is Research Fellow at The Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, a poet and author of many books and articles, including ‘Seeking the Risen Christa’ (SPCK, 2011).

Sunday 18th May 11am Journey 10th Anniversary Celebration with Rev Sharon Ferguson head of LGCM and MCC North London will preach at our main service of celebration www.lgcm.org.uk/about-us/ and http://mccnorthlondon.org.uk/aboutus/who-we-are/

Sunday 25th May 2 -5 pm Celebrating Birmingham Pride in BLGBT Centre

Sunday 1st June Journey MCC AGM 1pm @ St Paul’s

18-20 July Weekend Away ‘Celebrating Our Spiritual Journeys’ @ Haye Farm Bewdley £20 deposit. Costs minimum (camping) £45, breakeven £100 normal price £125.

  1. JOURNEY FILM CLUB

www.journeyfilmclub.co.uk Open 6.45 pm film starts at 7 pm on Tuesday prompt @ BLGBT Centre B1 1EQ.

Tue 18 March- Nine to Five

Tue 1 April- Behind the Candelabra

Tue 15 April- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

  1. OTHER SUGGESTION

The congregational meeting decided it would be good as a community to fast for lent Matthew and Steph Neville are organising this amongst Birmingham Christians. It will be done where you volunteer to refrain from food for one or more days and I will post a rota for you to pick a time that suits you.

https://www.facebook.com/endhungerfastbirmingham?notif_t=fbpage_fan_invite

The website is now up and running at http://endhungerfast.co.uk/

It has also been confirmed that we will be having a hunger hut throughout lent in the Cathedral gardens, it will be open every day 10.00am – 2.00pm and for longer if we get enough volunteers. It will act as an information point, a prayer space, and there will be some kind of display of hunger stories in Birmingham (which is still being worked on). There is also going to be a postcard action aimed at Iain Duncan Smith, which there will be a chance to sign in the hut.

If Journey would like to take responsibility for staffing the hut for a day or two that would be great. The following days would work well:

Friday 14th March

Saturday 15th March

Saturday 22nd March

Friday 28th March

Saturday 29th March

Saturday 5th April

Saturday 12th April

But if there are others dates which might work better then let me know because the more volunteers we have the better. The task is to staff the hut 10-2 and longer if you can manage it. And finally, there will be coaches going to London for a national End Hunger Fast event on Wednesday 16th March. Please direct anyone who might be interested to contact me or the Neville’s

6. This weeks Thoughts – Cyber Sermon

Sermon overview:

Nicodemus – John 3:1-17

http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=John+3:1-17&vnum=yes&version=nrsv

We have lots of new beginnings/restarts – generally useful
New beginnings often connected with identity – being an adult/parent/driver/student/fire-fighter/out-gay person/Christian
The family we are born into – also related to identity, Christian – additional new family
Who we believe we are – affects our decisions

Nicodemus – Jewish leader
Came at night
Jesus – Being re-born or born from above – N changes his decisions later, John 7 45-52, John 19 : 38-42
Not about trying to be holier
But knowing what we believe and who we are

Thinking influenced by:

http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/wholly-alive–nicodemus-tim-hedberg-sermon-on-peace-109150.asp?Page=1

https://www.workingpreacher.org/craft.aspx?m=4377&post=3088 – albeit that this is about the previous week’s theme

Peace and joy

Stephe

Minister: Rev Stephen Bentley

Mobile number: 07734 155664

St Paul’s Church

Jewellery Quarter

Birmingham B3 1QZ

Email: stephen.bentley

Web: www.journeymcc.wordpress.com

0

the Transfiguration

Journey’s 10th Anniversary

Saturday 10th May 10 -4 Dr Nicola Slee’s retreat at Westhill Selly Oak ‘Celebrating the Risen Christa’ www.queens.ac.uk/about/staff/dr-nicola-slee/ www.amazon.com/Seeking-Risen-Christa-Nicola-Slee/dp/0281062560 Price £20 with a minimum of £5 to cover lunch for concessions. Deposit £5 with booking. Seeking the Risen Christa.

The image and concept of a female Christ figure has been explored by many artists, theologians and writers down the centuries, and rediscovered by feminist theologians in the past few decades. In this day, Nicola Slee will share images of the Christa, some of her own poems and responses to the Christa, and help us think about why this idea might be helpful, and what it might mean for us to affirm a risen Christa and to consider ourselves as risen people in company with Christ/a. Nicola Slee is Research Fellow at The Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, a poet and author of many books and articles, including ‘Seeking the Risen Christa’ (SPCK, 2011).

. TTTHIS WEEKS THOUGHTS TO DISCUSS: THE CHRISTA

I was preaching on the Transfiguration text from the Gospel of Matthew 17:1-9 on this Sunday that also begins Women’s Week 2014 We must first honour the insights of scholars and of tradition about the mountaintop experience that illuminated Jesus’ true identity for Peter, James and John (and for believers, including us, in every age). Perhaps we’ve forgotten Jesus’ baptism, when the sky opened up and a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased," which should have made Jesus’ identity perfectly clear. And at the start of the 40 days of Lent the Baptism and the Temptation of Jesus in the desert are brought to mind. Just in case we have forgotten, Epiphany, the season of light, comes to a close with one more story about light: Jesus’ face, shining "like the sun," his clothes "dazzling white," and then a "bright cloud" overhead, with a voice that once again pronounces him God’s "Beloved" Son – only this time, we also hear the command to "listen to him!"

Some scholars claim that this text is only about Jesus’ identity being revealed before he goes on to Jerusalem and his death. The story, they insist, is not about us, about who we are or who we are called to be as followers of this Jesus. However, it seems to me that this perspective makes it exceedingly difficult to access layers of meaning in the text; in fact, it almost seems to over-simplify the whole story. We might easily imagine those three men: Peter, James and John, going back down the mountain with all of their questions answered, their doubts resolved, and their confusion dispelled. Except that we know that’s not what happened, and the disciples will continue to stumble along, right up to the crucifixion and on to the empty tomb. It’s strange we have the three male disciples. The Law and the Prophets being symbolised by Moses and Elijah another male trinity. The representation of the Divine Trinity with the Father’s voice, the man Jesus and the dazzle light of the Holy Spirit. At least by the resurrection the women take a central role meeting Christ first.

I confess that I approached this reflection, then, with a measure of trepidation: the story of the Transfiguration does not lend itself easily to the experience, insights, and gifts of women. This morning, a colleague and I acknowledged the almost "men’s club" feel to the story about Jesus, three male disciples, two male prophets and (traditionally) God the Father in heaven, speaking to them in this intimate and life-changing way. It was a moment they would always remember, something special that only they shared, and while we all know that the women were present in many places throughout the Bible, they clearly were not invited up to the top of that mountain.

Fortunately, one scholar opens the possibility of exploring deep layers of meaning in this story: according to Stanley P. Saunders, the "Transfiguration is enigmatic, symbolically dense, and resists singular interpretations" (Preaching the Gospel of Matthew: Proclaiming God’s Presence). We can assume that makes room for the voices of women as well, almost as if we too were there on the mountain that day, even though women, unfortunately, do not appear in the most familiar mountaintop experiences, with Moses or Peter, James and John. Women were at the empty tomb, at the foot of the cross, in the kitchen and at Jesus’ feet in the story of Mary and Martha, and alert to the crisis of a wine shortage at a wedding feast in Cana. They also danced when the seas parted for the people of Israel to escape the Egyptians (Miriam), covertly helped the Israelite spies before the battle of Jericho (Rahab), hid the Hebrew babies from Pharaoh’s murderous intent (the midwives), and, like Ruth and Naomi, they’ve quietly taken care of one another within one patriarchal setting after another. But taken up on top of the mountain for one of those transcendent experiences of God? Not so much.

So preaching on this text at the start of Women’s Week, I hope I would shed a bit of light on the many ways we catch a glimpse of God’s presence and power in our lives, and not just through (male) apostles, church leaders and teachers, but through the lives and words, the actions and gifts, of women, and not only in the church.

The first challenge we face, however, is holding in tension both the nearness and the otherness of God: in the Transfiguration, we experience Jesus as human, climbing up that mountain with his friends, but we also experience the transcendence, the divinity, if you will, of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. How do we begin to describe, let alone experience, transcendence? The great writer, Annie Dillard, has famously suggested that we should wear "crash helmets" to church instead of our Sunday best (whatever that may be these days): "Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke?" (Teaching a Stone to Talk: Expeditions and Encounters). The Transfiguration, we remember, is about that spiritual power, that transcendence, that otherness, but we have been too strenuously taught that the spiritual and the physical are split apart: the spiritual being higher, better, holier, and, as it turns out, more "male" than the physical, which is lower, more problematical, more tempting, more fallen, more embodied, and, as it turns out, more "female." (The earth, too, that is, creation, by its very physical nature, has been pronounced fallen and lesser, as our treatment of it bears out.)

The result? We have not been conditioned, we have not developed enough sensitivity to perceive God’s presence at work in our lives, in the everyday, physical, even mundane lives we lead. Most importantly, we have not learned well to encounter the image of God in one another, even though we have read the Genesis story over and over again. Mystics know how to do this better: Thomas Merton describes "a world that is absolutely transparent, and God is shining through it all the time," and, most importantly, he sees that radiance, because of the Incarnation, shining through each and every one of us. "There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun," he writes, and he recognizes "the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts…" (Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander). But Merton is not alone in this understanding: as women’s voices are being raised and heard more and more, we read not only Annie Dillard but Annie Lamott describing the "radiance" that dwells within each of us and gives us, perhaps, a taste of God’s own presence, the God that we all search for (Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair). If the early church believed that the Transfiguration gave us a foretaste of heaven, then opening our eyes and our hearts to that light, that radiance, within each one of us, no matter who we are or where we are on life’s journey – that is a hint of what lies underneath all reality, what lies ahead of us someday.

Do women have a "special" sensitivity to God’s presence, or God’s power at work in the world? We haven’t progressed very far if we simply continue to stereotype women and men – for better or worse – but I have wondered at times if the doctrine of original sin, for example, would have been articulated in quite the same way by women, who in every age have looked upon their new-born babies and recognized the radiance, the inexpressible goodness of that gift from God. If the voice of women had been included (and perhaps the mystics would have helped with this as well), perhaps our teachings would have been shaped with a more gentle and merciful grace.

There as we are looking at the Risen Christa on 10th Mat with Dr Nicola Slee, I thought I would introduce the female side of Christ. This provoked so good discussion. Did Jesus use both masculine and feminine energies? What is masculinity? The anger shown when he overturns the money changers in the Temple? What about when he welcomes the children, or has his feet anointed by Mary? Many would argue that sex is not binary and there is a range from male to female. Also Jesus was born a man in a patriarchal society where as a woman things would have been very different and I do not believe a Christa would have been crucified. But that is not to say Christ is eternally male. Christa could have been with the Godhead before and after the incarnation. So book your place in May to find out more!!!

When a woman steps into the pulpit to preach the good news, before she even speaks a word, the message goes out that God speaks through both women and men, perhaps not in exactly the same way every time, but with a richness and fullness that has been missing whenever and wherever women’s voices have been silenced. When a woman shares her gifts, her insights, her story, then God’s presence, God’s radiance is glimpsed, tasted even for a moment, by those who have the eyes to see and the heart to understand. In every area of life – the home, church, the workplace, the public sphere, in nursing homes and hospitals, social service agencies, in the kitchen and the boardroom and the office, in sports and even entertainment venues, there are myriad ways that God’s love shines through the lives of women. Who are the women in your church, your family, your community, who have "shown" you God’s radiant love? Who are the women in your church, your family, your community and around the world whose voices have been silenced even today? How will you pause this week, each day, and notice the radiance of God shining in the most unexpected people and places? What will change because of our reflections during this Women’s Week 2014?

By Stephen Bentley and Karen Georgia Thompson

0

Weekly Digest for week ending 2 March 2014

  1. Journey News
  2. Weekly Worship
  3. Future Events
  4. Journey Film Club
  5. 0ther suggestions
  6. This Weeks Thoughts Cyber Sermon
  1. JOURNEY NEWS

From: myWaitrose [mailto:mywaitrose]
Sent: 26 February 2014 14:06
To: stephe.bentley
Subject: Make a difference during Fairtrade Fortnight 2014

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Waitrose £5 wines plus how to make Delia’s pancakes.
Add mywaitrose to your safe sender list.
Unsubscribe: If you do not want to be contacted by Waitrose in the future please unsubscribe here
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myWaitrose - More of what you love
Can’t see this email? Please click here.
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FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT 2014, 24 February - 9 March
DISCOVER MORE
FAIRTRADE
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Dear Mr Bentley,
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Fairtrade Fortnight runs from 24 February to
9 March, and this year the aim is to transform the banana industry, making sure struggling farmers and workers get a fair price for their produce.
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At Waitrose, we’ve always been at the forefront of supporting banana growers through Fairtrade. We were the first supermarket to start selling only Fairtrade bananas over seven years ago. And by buying them, you’re helping make bananas fair. So thank you.
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Look out for our other Fairtrade products in store and online.
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spacer1.gif FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT 2014, 24 FEBRUARY - 9 MARCH - VISIT FAIRTRADE.ORG.UK TO FIND OUT MORE spacer1.gif
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Pick up a delicious breakfast with 1/3 off a wide selection of treats in store and online until 4 March. From bagels to baked beans, Super Fruity Jordans Granola to Bonne Maman Strawberry Conserve.
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How to make Delia's pancakes
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Delia shows you three ways to use the batter from her ‘Batters’ video. Perfect pancakes are a must for Pancake Day, but for something a bit different Delia also shows you how to make crêpes suzette and Kaiserschmarrn.
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WAITROSE TV
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Waitrose wine for under £5
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From rich reds to crisp whites, our own label wines offer both excellent quality and exceptional value.
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In fact, you can enjoy a bottle of Waitrose wine for just £4.99. Ideal for entertaining guests or a quiet evening in.
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  1. WEEKLY WORSHIP

11 -12:15 am Emmaus Road with an interactive sermon, prayer space, Communion and songs @ St Paul’s.

3 -4:30 23rd February Quest4Spirituality Explorers Group @ St Paul’s using ‘Living the Questions’ Dream Think Do Be www.livingthequestions.com/xcart/home.php?cat=450 looking at the Christian faith and what questions do we have. 4th Sunday of the month. www.youtube.com/user/livingthequestionsplease invite your friends.

4-5 pm 9th March Quest4Spirituality @ Book café Derby DE11 1QH the second Sunday of each month. This is an informal discussion group for LGBT and friends.

5 -7 pm Illuminate @ BLGBT Centre 38/40 Holloway Circus B1 1EQ

Illuminate is a non-religious space with no formal liturgy sacred and secular music playing. Some silence is observed in a darkened room, a discussion followed led by a group member or an informal chat in the second half. It is a space for reflection and inspiration without a particular religious dimension.

  1. FUTURE EVENTS

Ash Wednesday service joint with St Pauls 5 March at 7:30 pm

£

Journey’s 10th Anniversary

Saturday 10th May 10 -4 Dr Nicola Slee’s retreat at Westhill Selly Oak ‘Celebrating the Risen Christa’ www.queens.ac.uk/about/staff/dr-nicola-slee/ www.amazon.com/Seeking-Risen-Christa-Nicola-Slee/dp/0281062560 Price £20 with a minimum of £5 to cover lunch for concessions. Deposit £5 with booking.

Sunday 18th May 11 Rev Sharon Ferguson head of LGCM and MCC North London will preach at our main service of celebration www.lgcm.org.uk/about-us/ and http://mccnorthlondon.org.uk/aboutus/who-we-are/

Sunday 25th May 2 -5 pm Celebrating Birmingham Pride in BLGBT Centre

July Weekend Away ‘Celebrating Our Spiritual Journeys’

  1. JOURNEY FILM CLUB

www.journeyfilmclub.co.uk Open 6.45 pm film starts at 7 pm on Tuesday prompt @ BLGBT Centre B1 1EQ.

Tue 4 March- Notes on a Scandal

Tue 18 March- Nine to Five

Tue 1 April- Behind the Candelabra

Tue 15 April- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

  1. OTHER SUGGESTION
Are you coming to Pursue Justice 2014 on 29 March? It’s THE event for anyone interested in religious freedom issues around the world, who wants to get involved in campaigning.
Register for your free place now at www.csw.org.uk/conference

CHANGING ATTITUDES

Last week’s House of Bishops’ pastoral statement is yet again another sad example of love being overshadowed by fear and politics. What would it look like when love is a prophetic celebration of wholly holy gifts: Unadulterated Love? We are excited to let you know our upcoming event, Unadulterated Love. It will be a heart-centred day, prayerful and joyful, moving from drama, song and dance to conversation, reflection and contemplation.

Among the speakers are Paris Lees, journalist, presenter, recently named as the UK’s most influential lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender figure who topped the IoS 2013 Pink List, Rosie Harper, vicar of Great Missenden, singer and member of General Synod, Godwyns Onwukechwa, founder of Justice for Gay Africans, Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham, and John Pfumojena, rising Zimbabwean actor and singer.

We are going to explore key issues – equal marriage, unconditional love, blessings in church, lay equality in ministry and leadership, clergy equality in ministry, the Bible and theology.

We’ll celebrate the gifts LGB&T people bring to the Church – reconfiguring faith, truth telling, understanding sexuality and sexual relationships, questioning theology and the Bible, vision, energy, evolutionary ideas, personal transformation, varieties of ministry, creative liturgy and worship.

We are wounded by the recent House of Bishops’ Pastoral Statement. Its impact is beyond the issues of marriage and church politics. It further fuels the abuse to our LGBTI friends in countries such as Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, India, Russia, etc. We invite you to email your thoughts to unadulteratedlove2014 what you hope from Unadulterated Love celebration in the midst of the recent prejudice, fear, and hurt. We hope to see you there! Order tickets via TicketSource: UnadulteratedLove.ticketsource.co.uk

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/events/570782926330633

Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 09:21:46 +0000
From: info
To: jonghomer
Subject: Thanks – can you forward this email?

allout_image_3424_full.jpg?t=dXNlcmlkPTEwMDU0OTkxLGVtYWlsaWQ9MTQwNDI=
Dear Jon,
Thank you for signing the petition against Uganda’s anti-gay bill. A global outcry could still halt this bill in its tracks. But Uganda’s politicians must believe that there will be serious consequences for laws like this, from other governments, corporations and even religious leaders.
Will you help grow the outcry by sharing this petition on Facebook, Twitter, or forwarding the email below to your friends?

Facebook Tweet

Or forward the email below the dotted line.
Thanks for going All Out.
Best,
Andre, Jeremy and the rest of the All Out team.

Forward below the line:

0

Love your enemies

1. THIS[SJB1] WEEKS THOUGHTS TO DISCUSS: LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

When Jesus reiterated the teaching to ‘Love your neighbour’ he was asked ‘Who is my neighbour? ‘, and we got the parable about the Good Samaritan- an outsider who, to everyone’s surprise, does a good thing.

But when he says ‘love your enemy’ the question isn’t asked and for me it hangs there unspoken: ‘Who is my enemy’? I’m not an ancient king, or a Shakespearean hero. No one is trying to poison me.

And how am I supposed to love them, if I don’t?

We humans are contradictory creatures. There may be moments when everything is going well, and we feel a general sense of warmth toward humanity as a whole. Then somebody pushes in front of us in a queue, and we feel intense annoyance toward that particular person, drowning out all that positivity.

On the other hand, we may have real animosity toward an entire group, like homophobes, or racists, for the harm that their attitudes cause. Yet we know and love individuals who hold such views. Up close, the whole person is so much more than their prejudice. Perhaps a shift in perspective may be the key to this challenge of loving our enemy.

Here are a few approaches that might help.

The Buddhists use meditation practices to cultivate positive feelings toward those people we find difficult to love. For example, you can call to mind someone who you love in a simple, uncomplicated way, get a sense for how that feels, and then try to extend that feeling to others. Buddhism also teaches that people are not fixed. They always have the potential to change, and we can meet them afresh each day, open to the possibility for a different, healthier kind of relationship.

Ephesians 6 speaks of struggling ‘not against the flesh but against the powers and principalities of this present darkness’. We might see this as a call to direct the energy of our anger toward fighting the systems and cultures which oppress, but love the individuals caught up in those systems.

And the theologian Paul Tillich taught that we must accept ourselves, accept that we are accepted, and allow that to transform us. He saw this as our first duty. When we can do this, we may find that we feel more compassion and humility, and it may enable us to more easily accept others, with all their flaws, and in spite of the harm they may sometimes cause, as fellow, suffering human beings.

0

WEEKS THOUGHTS TO DISCUSS: Prosperity and Growth

Sermon – Green Service – Sunday 16th February 2014

‘Our modern understanding of the good life is dominated by an economic understanding of prosperity and growth that focuses on material wants. This is deeply damaging to the environment and millions of people in our world. It also threatens our future. Our aim today is think about how we might be able to construct a broader and more sustainable understanding of these concepts that can bring hope to our world

Two Quotes from the opening chapter of the book ‘Prosperity without Growth – Economics for a Finite Planet’ by Tim Jackson, which has helped our thing about this subject.

‘ The vision of social progress that drives us – based on the continual expansion of material wants – is fundmentally untenable’

And more seriously:

‘… this failing is not a simple falling short from utopian ideals. It is much more basic. In pursuit of the good life, we are systematically eroding the basis for well-being tomorrow. We stand in real danger of losing any prospect of a shared and lasting prosperity. ‘

What is Tim Jackson talking about in these quotes? Simply the fact that there are limits. Many of the things we consume are produced from non-renewable resources and they are running out. Also the earth’s capacity to process the waste and discharges from this production, most notably carbon emissions is being eroded. Do we overload and trash our earth or do we draw a line and stop this madness?

Underlying all aspects of the environmental issues we have been discussing in our Green services is our materialism and a system that drives the expansion of this. The environmental problems we face are not side issues, they are the result of the way we are running our world today.

So addressing the environmental problems that face us and that we are experiencing (i.e. floods, strong winds, droughts, etc. ) involves addressing the continued growth of the production of unsustainable material things (consumerism). They cannot be solved simply by us as individuals recycling, a move to more energy efficient and environmentally friendly products and living more eco-friendly lives – important as this is.

The environment impact (foot print) of each unit of production (say a car) has been reducing, but we have an economic system that encourages and relies on producing ever greater numbers of things (and plans for things to have a limited lifetime – planned obsolescence). We might reduce the damage of each unit of production on the environment, but if the overall numbers of units of production keep increasing we are just slowing down the overall increase.

So what can we do? Just talking about this grim situation and quoting the statistics is a recipe for despair.

At a basic level.

Halt this process and share what we have. Sharing is a vital issue. There is enough in the world for everyone if we share what we have. Also apart from the simple justice of this, there is much evidence to suggest that a more equal society has far fewer social problems – have you read the book, ‘The Spirit Level’.

However, is this enough? And how are we going to do this?

No it isn’t. No-one wants to listen.

I think we need to dig deeper and ask the question what drives this materialism. And this (in Tim Jackson’s view) is ‘a very narrow understanding’ of what the ‘good life’ is about . Or in Tim’s words what ‘prosperity’ is about.

Further, we need to think about the concept of growth. It might be difficult for us to live without some form of growth and there are many things we do that would improve society. Halting unsustainable growth and having a more just society doesn’t mean we cannot grow in other ways. Can we envision a type of growth that is sustainable?

So the question is can we offer our society a different understanding of prosperity and growth – one that give hope. Tim is encouraging us to think in much broader terms. He says that to feel prosperous, we need a sense of continuity and that things are getting better. He also challenges individualism. Of what value is my prosperity if the all around me others are suffering and the world is being destroyed.

On growth he talks about the narrow way in which economic growth is measured. For example he note that it only counts the monetary value of production and takes no account of their impact on the environment or society. If this was added or actually subtracted in to the equation the current growth would be exposed as a myth. Therefore we need real growth that is sustainable a beneficial to society and he point to things like the ‘Green New Deal’ and the need for high quality social care.

So there needs to be a vision of human progress. A sense that we are moving towards a better society for our children. A fairer world. A place where those less fortunate will one day thrive. If I cannot believe this prospect is possible, then what can I believe? What sense can I make of my own life he says.

But we don’t just need to just look to people like Tim for this. We have a powerful alternative vision for the world in our reading from Corinthians.

Corinth was a busy bustling diverse cosmopolitan city built on trade, that compares much more closely with the world of today than other contexts to which the Bible is addressed.

It had a very materialistic and divided society. It was prosperous, ambitious and competitive and it seems to me that Paul was seeking to address this and what he has to say provides suggestions on alternative values to our narrow materialism. He challenges them to be spiritual people rather than people of the flesh who are divided and quarrelling and very revolutionarily he challenges them about the idea of ownership and their egotism. He counsels humility. It is God’s world, not ours to divide up unequally and exploit he says. God gives the growth, not Paul or Apollos or some modern day entrepreneur who tells us how much more vital his or her contribution is than everyone elses. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose and each will receive wages according to the labour (not the power or control) of each. We are all God’s servants working together. This is a vision of society in which the prosperity of us as individuals is integrally tied up in the good of the community as a whole.

Concluding remarks. So why then is it that these crucial questions are not in the forefront of the debate within our society? This is a big question which we cannot do justice to today. But I would proffer two observations.

1. The first concerns the thinking of our world and the powerful influence it has one us. Materialism and consumerism are very pervasive and difficult to escape from. They dominate thinking in our society. There is hardly a day that goes by when you don’t hear the word ‘growth’ ( meaning Economic Growth – ie. a growth in material things).

2. The second concerns our thinking which we can change and this is what St Paul and Tim Jackson are encouraging us to do. Our thinking is dominated by the idea that we need leaders to bring about change, to make things better. We see it in our theology and much of church thinking. The idea of a powerful God who can fix things for us. So we look to our leaders to say something. But they remain silent, because all of this is very inconvenient. It is ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ – as Al Gore described it.

So my hope today is to open up this subject and encourage you to grapple with these issues and spread this debate out into the world around us. It is also to say that there is hope. I believe the gains that have been made in terms of the welfare of society as a whole have come out of movements of people not some benign paternalistic power. That’s not a denial of God, but an understanding of a very different God that works in and among us. People getting together to work for change in many different ways and often this starts in small ways and multi-farious ways. It is up to us to speak up. And if we can start to transform our thinking we can transform our society and our world. Together we can be far more powerful that the thinking from above. So Lets get going!

Post Script to the Discussion – from the Story of Stuff

We have a problem with Stuff. We use too much, too much of it is toxic and we don’t share it very well. But that’s not the way things have to be. Together, we can build a society based on better not more, sharing not selfishness, community not division.

The legitimacy of the means to live well is part of the glue that keeps society together. Collective meaning is extinguished when hope is lost. Morality itself is threatened.

One of the key messages of this book is that we’re failing in that task. Our technologies, our economy and our social aspirations are misaligned with any meaningful expression of prosperity. The vision of social progress that drives us – based on the continual expansion of material wants – is fundamentally untenable. And this failing is not a simple falling short from utopian ideals. It is much more basic. In pursuit of the good life, we are systematically eroding the basis for well-being tomorrow. We stand in real danger of losing any prospect of a shared and lasting prosperity.

Harry Patch, the last man alive who fought for the British in the war: “Politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder.” http://noglory.org/