I've been pondering what to write about for this week's newsletter.
I'm not a football fan but I have been watching England play in the Euro's. Perhaps, because I'm not that invested, I went to bed on Sunday night sad we lost but glad the tournament was over – glad because I know episodes of Domestic Violence increase significantly during such sporting occasions. I appreciated how well the England team played, yes, they lost but they gave it their all. I'm sure you will be able to sympathise with my dismay the next morning, when I turned on the news, to hear about the dreadful racist behaviours of some 'fans'.
On Monday, Phoebe Parkin, Methodist Youth President, posted the following on Facebook. I think she summed up my feelings so eloquently but also shone a light on several safeguarding issues. I'm proud that, as church, we stand against the issues Phoebe speaks about and want to encourage you to keep working to disable these practises:
"I know that there are many others who could express this more eloquently than me and I know my voice is a tiny one. But I want to use whatever platform I have, however small it is.
What I have seen today, after England lost to Italy last night, has deeply disappointed and upset me. The racism towards Sancho, Rashford and Saka is abhorrent. They represented England so well and should be as proud of themselves as I am of them. It doesn't matter whether they play for England or are young, or whatever – they shouldn't be treated like that because they are human. The domestic violence towards (mostly) women is abhorrent. Nobody should have to place their hopes of safety in the results of a football match. The drunken vandalism and hooliganism before, during and after the match is abhorrent. What gives anyone the right to smash up things because there is a football match on? The toxic nationalism shown by some England supporters is abhorrent. Burning Italian flags, booing during the national anthem, and violently attacking Italian fans is inexcusable. I have family who are Italian and I am heartbroken at the thought that they could have been one of the people beaten by England supporters.
I love football and truly believe it can bring out the very best in people – sportsmanship, teamwork, resilience and entertainment. Football isn't the problem. The problem is that we live in a society where sexism, racism, nationalism and violence are enabled. Where not enough of us (including myself) actively work to challenge even the lowest levels of sexism, racism and nationalism.
I really hope England are successful at the 2022 World Cup. But I hope that whatever the results are, I can be proud of those supporting in the crowds as well as of the team on the pitch."
Phoebe Parkin 12.7.2021
As ever, if you have any questions or concerns please give me a call on 07483 362 735 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Property Team will be reviewing more detailed Connexional guidance following the Prime Minister's update on the 12 July, and posting this from 19 July, when the Government will lift most restrictions.
Although there are no specific updates to the government guidance document concerning places of worship yet, the Health Secretary announced to the House of Commons that from the 19 July there will be '...no restrictions on communal worship and singing'. This includes singing at weddings, funerals and baptisms.
The Methodist Church, whilst always adhering to government advice, is urging some caution for the sake of others in the church, community and for self-care.
You can read the full guidance and advice here: https://www.methodist.org.uk/for-churches/property/coronavirus-guidance-for-property/
We are delighted to let you know that 3Generate, the children and youth assembly, will be going ahead at the NEC Birmingham from Friday 29 – Sunday 31 October 2021.
There will be a number of ways young people can participate as follows:
Tickets for 3Generate 2021 go on sale on Wednesday 14th July and we'd be encouraging all churches and groups to begin having conversations about how they may be able to take part. We encourage groups to register for tickets in plenty of time as we are expecting demand to be high. We also encourage groups to keep an eye on these event webpages as further information is made available and tickets go on sale here.
In an exciting new development for this year we are planning to welcome 4 to 7 year olds and their parents/carers or significant adults. There will be a chance for them to explore faith and spirituality – alongside the main event – as part of an intentionally intergenerational space on Saturday 30th October.
Do keep an eye on the event webpages as further information is made available and tickets go on sale.
In place of the postponed World Assembly in Gothenburg, the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women invites you to join a global online event on 13th-14th August 2021. The event, organised and led by World President Alison Judd, and Rachel Allison (the British Unit's Helen Kim Memorial Scholar), will include worship, Bible study, stories, and invitations to action.
The event is FREE, but you can make a donation to the World Federation if you wish. Translation into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Mandarin and Cambodian will be available and you can indicate if you require this when you register.
Follow the link below to find out more about the event and to book your place:
Life on the Breadline is a research project analysing the nature, scope, and impact of Christian engagement with urban poverty in the UK.
This webinar, hosted by Paul Morrison, Policy Adviser, Joint Public Issues Team and Eunice Attwood, Church at the Margins Officer, Evangelism and Growth Team, asks the question: What is God's invitation to us in responding to this research?
The webinar includes a presentation of the key research findings by Dr Chris Shannahan, Associate Professor in Political Theology and Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University.
If you have any questions please contact Eunice Attwood, Church at the Margins Officer.
Whirlow Spirituality Centre
Glimmers of Hope is a collaborative exhibition celebrating summer and all it means to us this year.
Curated by our good friends Sarah Sharpe and Jane Johnston, it features creations by members of our community. Using words, fabric and paint we are ushering the Chapel of the Holy Spirit into a season of restoration and light.
The exhibition is available to all visitors. It will be open specifically for viewings between 11am and 1pm on the following July dates:
Tuesday 13th, Thursday 15th, Tuesday 20th, Wednesday 21st, Tuesday 27th. Wednesday 28th.
If you wish to make another arrangement, please get in touch!
Deep Talk uses stories in the sand as a stimulus for conversations that address big questions of life and build community. It helps people bring their whole selves to a situation, learn to listen to their inner voice and to listen and talk with others in a way that is appreciative and reflective, which strengthens community.
The wisdom stories are suitable for both adults and children in a secular setting. Faith stories can also be shared using the Deep Talk approach.
For more information and to register your interest: https://forms.gle/egqX3KJA47Y34R6V9
Training in Deep Talk in Sheffield on 30th and 31st July: https://forms.gle/AjKjQ9ascpCEJFGf9
Online training in Deep Talk starting in July : https://forms.gle/TUp6t7v7rq7vx3fF9