BLOGS

Epiphany: Three vital lessons the Church can learn

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Our Director, Angus Ritchie, blogs on three simple ways the Epiphany can shape our ministry in 2016…

As many people return to work after a Christmas break, the Feast of the Epiphany – “the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles” – is a timely reminder that, for Christians, 25 December was the beginning of something, rather than just the end of a period of waiting for our presents.

There are three features of the Epiphany which are of particular relevance to the Church today, as we begin another year of ministry and mission…

To preach or not to preach? The Carol service dilemma…

The Centre for Theology & Community l and tagged , , , l

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.09.48Our Director Angus Ritchie blogs on a topical debate…

Should clergy preach sermons at Carol Services?

I’ve just been reading the two sides of the argument – presented by the Bishop of Manchester and Ian Paul.

At Sunday’s Carol Service, my own church took a very Anglican middle way. We had some short interviews interspersed among the readings and carols. This innovation grew out of CTC’s own storytelling project – and Caitlin Burbridge’s excellent guide to how churches can use stories, which we published earlier in the year.

A tough but rewarding job: getting churches talking about money!

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For the last 18 months, Theo Shaw has been working for us here at CTC, running the Church Credit Champions Network in Southwark Diocese. She’s moving onto a new opportunity so as she leaves we decided to talk to her about how it’s been to get churches thinking and talking about credit, debt and money in general…

Can you describe what your role for CTC has been? 

I work as the Network Coordinator. My patch covers the Diocese of Southwark. It’s a pilot project covering London, Liverpool and Southwark. I encourage churches to engage with money and debt and help them act on the issues.

Advent: Come, Lord Jesus

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IMG_6892Our Chaplain, Sr Josephine Canny OA, brings us a short reflection for the start of Advent…

“If there are days in life when everything goes well, each one of us has also known the experience of the desert, or days when we have had to live through a stormy period when the future becomes a source of anxiety and questioning. We have had to “find a foothold” once again.

God the builder: a counter-cultural hope in the midst of the housing crisis

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Sarah HuttLast week, CTC published a new resource to help churches get to grips with the often intimidating issue of housing. Here, our Housing Coordinator, Sarah, reminds us that small beginnings might also be cause for great rejoicing…

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” Zechariah 4.10

‘Participate, don’t just commentate’: a slogan comes to life at the ‘Show Up Weekend’

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The 6th-8th of November saw the first ever ‘Show Up Weekend,’ hosted by Christians in Politics for over a hundred delegates – involved in or exploring a role in politics – from across the UK. Selina Stone attended the cross-party initiative on behalf of CTC, and explains what made it such a momentous event…

“Christians in Politics (CiP) seeks to equip Christians to engage positively in party politics and government by presenting the biblical basis for participation, as well as practical resources and networking opportunities. They are committed to building relationships across party lines, practising servant-leadership and recognising the importance of the Church. It sounded good to me!

Seeing Change: Get churches talking about money this Lent

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Tom Newbold photo cropCTC has been at the forefront of the Church’s fight for economic justice. The Church Credit Champions Network is part of CTC’s effort to engage churches will the difficult issues of money and debt. Tom Newbold is the CCCN coordinator for the Diocese of London. Here he talks about our Seeing Change course, an exciting resource to get churches talking about money. Why not use it this coming Lent?

“We’ve not yet reached Christmas, but with only three months to go, have you thought about your Lent course? The Seeing Change course has been developed to resource and equip churches to get thinking and talking about some difficult, but significant biblical topics: lending, credit, and debt. 

Seeing like the Saints: working together towards ‘the world as it should be’

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Fr_Simon_-_Version_2The Revd Dr Simon Cuff is a CTC Research Associate and Curate at Christ the Saviour, Ealing. This week, he delivered the 2015 Jellicoe Sermon at Magdalen College, Oxford. Delivered on All Saints Day, Fr Simon reflects on how we might see the world as the Saints did; as it is, and how it should be…

“Michelle Obama once told of an outing with Barack Obama early on in their relationship. The romantic Barack had taken her to a meeting of local community leaders he’d worked with after leaving college. The future President stood up, she said: ‘and spoke words that have stayed with me ever since. He talked about “The world as it is” and “The world as it should be,”‘ a distinction often made by community organisers in America, but also those working in this country through the diverse alliance of faith and civil society institutions known as Citizens UK.

Join in with justice: celebrating Living Wage week in your church

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Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.09.48CTC Director Angus Ritchie was one of the founding leaders in Citizens UK’s Living Wage campaign. Here he reflects on what has been accomplished – and how churches can get involved in Living Wage Week, November 1st-7th…

The roots of the Living Wage campaign are here in east London – where leaders from churches and mosques, schools and trade unions in TELCO (the local chapter of Citizens UK) met to work out how to tackle low pay together. The issue of poverty wages had come out from listening campaigns in their organisations, with many stories of parents having to choose between earning enough money for their families and having enough time for them.

For Christians, economics is in the end a question of stewardshipHow do we use the resources God has given us to enable all his children to grow into “life in all its fulness?” (John 10.10) Fulness of life involves having time for relationships – with God, with our families and with our neighbours. Poverty pay makes this impossible – because workers have to take second and even third jobs.

Building powerful congregations

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photo(10)After a successful pilot last year, CTC and Citizens UK have partnered to launch a second cohort of the Congregational Development Programme. The year-long process supports churches and leaders seeking to act in public life through broad-based Community Organising. Selina Stone explains what the programme is all about and what the leaders can expect…

Relational power is the foundation of broad-based community organising. Relationships are developed between individuals through one-to-one conversations and also between institutions through joint action for justice. However, in order for these connections to be truly powerful, individuals and institutions must be continually developed. The Congregational Development Programme has been created to help churches to renew the inner life of their congregations through community organising practices, so increasing their capacity to act in public life.

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