Friday, 27 September 2013

Common Call for all Christians

This agreement was made by Church leaders in 2010
I wonder what happened?
What steps were taken to put these statements into a practical form for action?
Edinburgh 2010
As we gather for the centenary of the World Missionary Conference of Edinburgh
1910, we believe the church, as a sign and symbol of the reign of God, is called
to witness to Christ today by sharing in God’s mission of love through the
transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
1. Trusting in the Triune God and with a renewed sense of urgency, we are
called to incarnate and proclaim the good news of salvation, of forgiveness of sin,
of life in abundance, and of liberation for all poor and oppressed. We are
challenged to witness and evangelism in such a way that we are a living
demonstration of the love, righteousness and justice that God intends for the
whole world.
2. Remembering Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross and his resurrection for the
world’s salvation, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are called to authentic
dialogue, respectful engagement and humble witness among people of other
faiths – and no faith – to the uniqueness of Christ. Our approach is marked with
bold confidence in the gospel message; it builds friendship, seeks reconciliation
and practises hospitality.
3. Knowing the Holy Spirit who blows over the world at will, reconnecting creation
and bringing authentic life, we are called to become communities of compassion
and healing, where young people are actively participating in mission, and
women and men share power and responsibilities fairly, where there is a new
zeal for justice, peace and the protection of the environment, and renewed liturgy
reflecting the beauties of the Creator and creation.
4. Disturbed by the asymmetries and imbalances of power that divide and trouble
us in church and world, we are called to repentance, to critical reflection on
systems of power, and to accountable use of power structures. We are called to
find practical ways to live as members of One Body in full awareness that God
resists the proud, Christ welcomes and empowers the poor and afflicted, and the
power of the Holy Spirit is manifested in our vulnerability.
5. Affirming the importance of the biblical foundations of our missional
engagement and valuing the witness of the Apostles and martyrs, we are called
to rejoice in the expressions of the gospel in many nations all over the world. We
celebrate the renewal experienced through movements of migration and mission
in all directions, the way all are equipped for mission by the gifts of the Holy
Spirit, and God’s continual calling of children and young people to further the
6. Recognising the need to shape a new generation of leaders with authenticity
for mission in a world of diversities in the twenty-first century, we are called to
work together in new forms of theological education. Because we are all made in
the image of God, these will draw on one another’s unique charisms, challenge
each other to grow in faith and understanding, share resources equitably
worldwide, involve the entire human being and the whole family of God, and
respect the wisdom of our elders while also fostering the participation of children.
7. Hearing the call of Jesus to make disciples of all people – poor, wealthy,
marginalised, ignored, powerful, living with disability, young, and old – we are
called as communities of faith to mission from everywhere to everywhere. In joy
we hear the call to receive from one another in our witness by word and action, in
streets, fields, offices, homes, and schools, offering reconciliation, showing love,
demonstrating grace and speaking out truth.
8. Recalling Christ, the host at the banquet, and committed to that unity for which
he lived and prayed, we are called to ongoing co-operation, to deal with
controversial issues and to work towards a common vision. We are challenged to
welcome one another in our diversity, affirm our membership through baptism in
the One Body of Christ, and recognise our need for mutuality, partnership,
collaboration and networking in mission, so that the world might believe.
9. Remembering Jesus’ way of witness and service, we believe we are called by
God to follow this way joyfully, inspired, anointed, sent and empowered by the
Holy Spirit, and nurtured by Christian disciplines in community. As we look to
Christ’s coming in glory and judgment, we experience his presence with us in the
Holy Spirit, and we invite all to join with us as we participate in God’s
transforming and reconciling mission of love to the whole creation.
The Edinburgh 2010 Common Call emerged from the Edinburgh 2010 study
process and conference to mark the centenary of the World Missionary
Conference, Edinburgh 1910. The Common Call was affirmed in the Church of
Scotland Assembly Hall in Edinburgh on 6 June 2010 by representatives of world
Christianity, including Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox, Pentecostal, and
Protestant churches. For further information, see

Thursday, 26 September 2013


'This is the only place in the Gospels where a character in a parable is named. It is the not the rich and powerful either - but the poor man- Lazarus - who gets the name and the history marker, even though his voice is never heard. Usually the poor are the anonymous mass - here Jesus makes a figure of the poor, personal, named, and blessed. It is not surprising then that the history of the use of the parable sees an attempt to name the rich man (Dives - latin for ‘rich’) - but we must let the parable refuse the name - and raise Lazarus (!) to a place of importance in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus wants us to see the great danger in ‘loving money’ - it can take over our lives, it can stop true human growth, as we become stunted by misplaced desires and short term gain. The figure of rich man reminds us never to take that path of life. Lazarus calls out to us from this parable and challenges us to redefine what we do with money. If we use it wisely and for the kingdom - all can have enough. 
Yet so often we ignore that path.  So often we fall foul of the snares of wealth and let the concerns of money choke us (Mat 13:22 and 1 Timothy 6:9). How do we move on from this way of life? By re-imagining a vision of the good life. The way society gives us a vision of what the good life means is different to what the Bible says the ‘good life’. Jesus message brings about a reorientation of desire, a refocusing of our energies and reinterpretation about what and who wealth is for.
Which is also the warning and advice we read in 1 Timothy - you who are blessed with money are to be generous, not proud or selfish. It reminds us of last week when Jesus said you cannot serve two masters - serve God and let wealth serve you - not you be its servant. Use it for God’s glory; honour all and ‘pursue righteousness’.

(John Watson on Fulcrum )


Thursday, 1 August 2013

Wonder- science and belief

'll scientists get to feel a sense of wonder at some point in their career, whether it comes from the interpretation of a new data set, the observation of a surprising phenomenon, or something particularly beautiful. They may come to different conclusions about what they've seen and what it points to, but wonder seems to be part of the package.

There are two kinds of wonder. You may experience the first when you look at the sky on a clear and moonless night. The universe is vast, beautiful, and at times seems incomprehensible. With such wonder, ignorance is dispelled by knowledge – a process that can lead to disillusionment. But, as Einstein pointed out, when one explores phenomena scientifically our wonder only deepens as the order and complexity in a system reveals itself.'

So writes Dr Ruth Bancewicz (see here).

who is a Research Associate at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, working on the positive interaction between science and faith, and the Test of FAITH project.

Friday, 10 May 2013

The Holy Spirit in the Church


 “Without the Holy Spirit:

God is far away,
Christ stays in the past,
the Gospel is a dead letter,
 the church is simply an organisation,
authority a matter of domination,
mission a matter of propaganda,
the liturgy no more than an evocation,
Christian living a slave morality.

But in the Holy Spirit:

The cosmos is resurrected and groans with the birth-pangs of the kingdom,
 the risen Christ is there,
the Gospel is the power of life,
the church shows forth the life of the Trinity,
 authority is a liberating service,
 mission is a Pentecost,  
the liturgy is both memorial and anticipation,
human action is deified.

[i] Attributed to Metropolitan Iraneos of Latakia (1968)
Quoted by Leach 2001 THE SPIRIT COMES as part of the Package

Sunday, 24 February 2013

The Rebellious Privacy of God


In the Narnia Chronicles, C.S. Lewis ‘is trying to evoke what it feels like to believe in the God of Christian revelation’. So says Rowan Williams in his insightful and readable The Lion’s World (SPCK, 2012), before offering this intriguing insight:

‘Aslan may be the rightful king of Narnia, but he makes his first appearance as a rebel against the established order... [Lewis] is introducing us to a God who, so far from being the guarantor of the order that we see around us, is its deadly enemy.’

This is a salutary reminder of the lowly status both of Christ during his life and the church in its first centuries of existence, where to be a Christian was to be a misfit, subversive, and perhaps even a political threat. While true in many parts of today’s world, it’s not something we’ve really come to terms with in the West. Perhaps that time is coming. As it does, our appreciation of the Lamb who is the Lion will only deepen in dependence.
more from LICC

Monday, 14 January 2013


Visit of Holiness

Only God is holy,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

So any holiness we see,
and experience in anyone,
is God’s own holiness,
shining out in God’s own child.

Of what does it consist?
Humility, profundity and silence.

Humility comes from the ground,
from being earthed in ‘humus’;
from dust we come and
to dust we shall return.

But the earth is the Lord's
and everything in it.
So even being earthed
is being rooted in God.

Humility is the pattern of Christ,
       the shape of the Spirit,
           the mould of God.

Humility is attractive, a focus of God.
We are drawn in, delighted:
our petty selves are drawn out, transformed.

Profundity comes from the sea:
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
It also comes from way-back, from afar,
from long-past vocations and foundations,
from the wisdom of God and language of learning.

Out of the depths of
Hebrew scriptures, Greek gospels,
Church fathers and mothers of all ages,
We cry to you, O Lord.

Silence echoes the stars
In returning and rest we are saved,
in quietness and trust is our strength.
For God alone our souls wait in silence.
We have calmed and quieted our selves
like a weaned child with its mother.

Silence brings
peace amidst chatter;
stillness amongst clatter;
essence at the end of incessence;
space for God’s eloquence.

 Graham Kings
 24 December 2003

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

renewal is for mission

'The strategic focus must now shift from revitalisation to mission, that is from a focus on the 'insiders' to the 'outsiders'. The church should be missional rather than institutional.The church should define itself in terms of its mission - to take the gospel to and incarnate the gospel within a specific cultural context.' (Frost & Hirsch)
What this means in practice is that each church must recognise that, like the individuals within it, it is on its own journey. It has its own history and its own context. It serves a community with particular needs. And it is called to pray and minister into those needs.
A healthy church for the 21st century will be diverse, and will have an outward focus. Ibelieve we shold be working and praying for:
 >a diverse patchwork of renewed and dynamic local expressions of what it means to be church;
> a spiritual and tangible consequence in the community as the love of God flows out from each one.
Its an exciting task!   
Alison Morgan 2006 (conclusion of Renewal-What is it and What is it for?   Grove booklet R26 )