Bishop Tutu’s 80th Birthday


As the “former” communications person for Anglicans globally I say without any hesitation that the face, voice and heart of our tradition is seen most fully in our beloved Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I understand it is his 80th birthday. Can I urge, beg, admonish everyone everywhere to send him a greeting of thanks and praise for all he is, in Christ, for us. May he live forever.

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD EVERYWHERE. He deserves all the attention and thanks we can muster.
Fr Jim Rosenthal

Birthday greetings to Archbishop Desmond may be sent to: tamu@tutu.org.za

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Inspiring Teachers


Education is a political issue.  Governments spend a great deal of time debating issues of funding, class sizes, private v public education, league tables, etc, etc.  No doubt these are important issues.  But nothing, absolutely nothing, can ever take the place of a dedicated and inspirational teacher.  They, more than any political policy, have it in their power to influence for good the children they educate.

Why is that I remember one particular teacher, of all the teachers I had over the years?  Quite simply because he was an inspiration.  He noticed that I read over my age and quietly provided me with books which stretched me.  He noticed that I could write, and was convinced that I would become a journalist, or wordsmith of some kind – I suppose he was right!  He noticed that I had an interest in history, and encouraged me in that too.  In a class of around 30 pupils, he had the unerring knack of spotting the potential of each one, and quietly and persistently nurturing the talents he saw.  I owe him a huge debt as, I am sure, do many others.

Questions

  • Is there a particular teacher in your life that you fondly remember?
  • Why was Jesus such an effective teacher?
  • What do you consider to be the qualities needed to be an inspirational teacher today?

JOHN STOTT’S LEGACY


I was interested to learn that when John Stott died on 27th July, he was surrounded by friends and the Music of Handel’s Messiah. Many people – including myself – regard him as the most important evangelical leader of his generation.
Fifty years ago some evangelicals tended to treat the social gospel with caution and a distraction from the task of evangelism.

It was John Stott who more than anyone else helped reverse this.  As a London pastor, Stott increasingly recognised the need for evangelicalism to reclaim its heritage of engagement with the social issues of the day.  As he told an interviewer years later, “In the early 1960s, I began to travel in the Third World, and I saw poverty as I had not seen it before.  It became clear to me that it was utterly impossible to take that old view.  As I read and studied and meditated, my vision of God grew and I came to see the obvious things:  that God is not just interested in religion but in the whole of life – in justice as well as justification.”
Stott was deeply influential in the Lausanne Covenant which set the agenda for the international evangelical movement and gave the opening address on the nature of biblical evangelism.

‘Here then are two instructions, ‘love your neighbour’ and ‘go and make disciples.’  What is the relation between the two?  Some of us behave as if we thought them identical, so that if we have shared the gospel with somebody, we consider we have completed out responsibility to love him.  But no.  The Great Commission neither explains, nor exhausts, nor supersedes the Great Commandment….If we truly love our neighbour, we shall without doubt tell him the Good News of Jesus.  But equally, if we truly love our neighbour,  we shall not stop there.’

Questions:

  • Has a John Stott book or sermon impacted your life?
  • What is the best way for Christians to tackle social issues today?

Reflections on The Hermitage, St Petersburg


Welcome to Roger’s LIC Blog
I hope to write regularly on here about things that grab me and possess a spiritual dynamic.
Do send me your feedback and comments.  Just email me at rogerhoath@londoninternetchurch.org.uk and I’ll add comments on the bottom of each piece.

Rembrandt's "The Prodigal Son"
Rembrandt’s “The Prodigal Son”

I have just returned from a fantastic 12-day Baltic Cruise.  The highlight was to visit the colossal Hermitage in St Petersburg.  Our guide bombarded us with amazing statistics about The Hermitage – 1500 rooms, 1786 doors, 1945 windows, 117 staircases, etc.  Its sheer immensity comes as a shock.  Around me and above me, in room after room, were unfolded a panoply of art and vast crowds of visitors in each gallery.  Raphael, Leonardo, Rubens – their masterworks swam by me in a pageant of indigestible glory.

My outstanding memory is standing before Rembrant’s painting of the “The Return of the Prodigal Son.”  I’ve always longed to see this painting since reading Henri Nouwen’s splendid book “The Return of the Prodigal Son”.  In this book, he shares the inspiration that came to him through meditating on this marvellous painting.  To see this painting and read Nouwen’s book is a real spiritual tonic.

Agree?  Disagree?  I’d welcome your comments…………….

Conversation with Bishop Michael Marshall


THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF PRAYER‘ – a special book for Lent 2011

Bishop Michael Marshall gives an exclusive interview to Roger Hoath of the London Internet Church about his new book “The Transforming Power of Prayer: From Illusion to Reality”. This book has been described as “new wine from a seasoned cask” and deserves to be taken seriously by any Lenten reader.  It makes good use of scripture and is a treasure chest of quotations and insights gathered over the years.  Many will find the appendix on the art and practice of centering prayer particularly helpful.

Bishop Michael’s book is aimed at those who can take the trouble to turn Lent into a choppy crossing, spiritually challenge this state of affairs, reminding us that Christian discipleship is a way of living that orientates itself to a goal, and all things are as yet unfinished.  It will instil hope by teaching us the transforming truth of Christian faith.

To watch this 14 min interview click HERE

Michael Marshall was formerly Bishop of Woolwich.  After a spell in the USA he returned to the UK to be the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of York’s Adviser on Evangelism.  He is the author of numerous books on Christian life and prayer.

Missing Moses … Let My People Go


Missing Moses

The EXODUS Story

The Exodus Story in twenty minutes retold by John Simpson CBE, Rabbi Mark Winer, Rabbi Mark Solomon, the Bishop of London, the Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the Dean of St Paul’s and Dr Jonathan Gorsky of Heythrop College.

* See the story of the Exodus told in a contemporary way as news
* What makes a great leader today? Was Moses one?
* How is the Exodus seen as part of today’s world news stories; can it throw light on how we now behave?
* Who is still enslaved and who needs to be set free?
* What limits our own freedom, how can we be set free from the yoke of our own limitations?
* Is God active today, and how?

To watch this brilliant and thought-provoking video go to http://tinyurl.com/6gljajp

A Christian Minister Assassinated


Breaking News from the Communication Desk, Diocese of Peshawar.

Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minorities Affairs was brutally killed by the religious extremists elements within the Pakistani Society.

Accordingly to the report, the minister was attacked after driving away from the residence of his mother in I-8/3 sector, Islamabad at around 10:50 am, on March 2, 2011. The Minister’s car was blocked by another car, and the attackers armed with automatic weapons sprayed his car with bullets, and was pronounced dead upon his arrival at the nearby hospital.
Shahbaz Bhatti was very vocal about amendments in the controversial blasphemy law, and this difference of opinion took his life, and was silenced forever.
In a gesture of solidarity with minorities the government and the opposition staged a token walkout from the National Assembly on Thursday to register their protest on the assassination of minister for minorities’ affairs Shahbaz Bhatti. The Prime Minister has also announced 3 day mourning.
His funeral ceremony will be held today (Friday) at his native town Khushpur, Faisalabad. The dead body of Shahbaz Bhatti was kept in PIMS mortuary and will be flown to the burial sight through helicopter.

The Peshawar Diocese highly condemns his brutal murder, and has demanded of government to punish the culprits, “It’s a great loss for the Christian Community”. Bishop Humphrey Peters said.
All the missionary schools in Pakistan will remain closed for 3 days in protest.