Folk enjoying a craft evening for adults Folk enjoying a craft evening for adults © @sallytatting LLM @acnbchurch

Giving us life: The fifth Sunday of Easter

A short collection of little inspirations for this the fifth Sunday of Easter... Teaching from last week, a prayer reflecting on vocation, news from the WCC on the Koreas, a challenge on how to explain the good news, and sobering statistics on religious 'nones' across Europe.

Prayer for the week

Shape me for your service: pin back my arms that I might proclaim freedom to a captive world. Teach me by your wisdom: unfold your word that I might share truth with a hungry people.
From Jane Tiller

Korea: Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called children of God.

On 27 April the leaders of North and South Korea met in the DMZ. Peace suddenly seemed to have moved from the category of ‘impossible dream’ to the ’possible reality’ churches across the world have prayed for. In auditioning to warmly welcoming the prospect of a peace treaty, in a statement WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said

“That the leaders of North and South Korea have agreed to work together to rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons will also inspire and strengthen the ongoing efforts of the WCC, its member churches, and their many partners to denuclearize the entire world, not just the Korean Peninsula,”

Adult Craft Evening

By popular request @sallytatting (Sally our talented Lay Minister) led an Adult Craft Evening this week, on the basis that we shouldn't let the young ones at the Childrens Craft Club have all the fun... Story follows in the coming week

Teaching from Vocations Sunday

Read Revd Victoria’s talk from last week, the fourth Sunday of Easter

Vocations Sunday: The Fourth Sunday of Easter A talk by Revd Victoria Ashdown on Vocations Sunday, at St Mark, Ampfield

The reason you would go to church today is that you’ve moved from being a consumer to being a contributor. You don’t just go to be served, you go to serve. There’s something deeply scriptural about that. So individually and corporately we are called. Together and as individuals we have a vocation. 

Explain the good news in three words…

Our society is becoming post literate. Messages are getting shorter and emotional signals are assuming a new prominence. So how would you share the good news of God in just three words? Russell Moore proposes an answer here:

Europe’s young adults and religion

Young adults in Europe appear to have varied levels of religiosity. A recent report comparing levels of young adult (16-29) religious affiliation and adherence across Europe shows remarkable variations between even culturally similar bordering countries.

The authors separate commentary on the report led to a rash of article sure that the cause was Christianity was variously ‘dying out’, ‘being rejected’, ‘gone as default’ and ‘fading’. That diverted interest from intriguing questions about the religious ’nones’ in France and Britain, Here 80% of those professing ‘no religious affiliation’ were brought up with no religion. This poses an intriguing question: Are young religious ‘nones’ rejecting or very differently never choosing a faith? This report cannot answer that question, but it is one which churches engaging our communities must reflect on.

This report from was statistic heavy and analysis free being prepared to support the deliberations of the 2018 Synod of Bishops on ‘Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment’. The data source was the European Social Survey, a trans european social attitudes survey which includes questions on religious affiliation and adherence.

This report was prepared under Professor Stephen Bulivant’s care at St Mary’s University, in collaboration with Institute Catholique de Paris, Mr Bulivant is Professor of Theology and the Sociology of Religion and Director of the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society.

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