Tag Archives: hope

Candlemas – 29 January 2017

Malachi 3.1-4, Luke 2:22-40 Wisdom seeks consolation but is open to controversy   O God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change Courage to change the things I can And wisdom to know the difference.  Amen … Continue reading

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Building common ground: Hope for the Future and climate campaigning…Sermon from 2nd October 2016

(This is a expanded and modified version of a presentation about Hope for the Future  given by Michael Bayley and Jo Musker-Sherwood at St Mark’s Church on 2 October 2016)   Hope for the Future is a campaign focused mostly on churches to enable people to make effective contact with their MPs to persuade them of the importance of taking decisive action on climate change. The need to take action on climate change is becoming ever more urgent. We believe that the case for doing so is established beyond all reasonable doubt so this article focus on how we are campaigning. A couple of months ago my phone rang and it was Jo, who is the campaign co-ordinator. She had a lot to tell me. She had just come back from accompanying two constituents to a meeting with their MP. The constituents had been anxious about the meeting because on a previous occasion the MP concerned, a Tory, had shown no interest whatever in climate change, had been very dismissive of the whole thing and what had been promised as a 15 min meeting had turned into a paltry five minutes. This meeting began in the same way; raised voices and classic defensive behaviours. It was going nowhere. However, this time Jo stepped in and, taking a different approach, began to reflect the MP’s concerns back to him. “You’re right,” she agreed, “How can we rely on renewables when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing?” The MP was taken aback as he wasn’t used to hearing a response like this from green campaigners. The conversation went on, common ground was laid, the MP relaxed and they were able to have a constructive conversation. The real turning point came when his constituents asked his opinion on how to get more people in the constituency interested in climate change. He even offered to speak with climate sceptics in the constituency to persuade them of the importance of taking action! In the space of a short meeting by communicating imaginatively, the MP had become an ally. There is nothing magical about this approach. It takes its inspiration in part from what Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, “I have become all things to all people that I might by all means save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22) It is essentially about treating the MP thoughtfully, carefully and with respect, rather than just trying to pressure him or her into giving into your demands. This may seem very obvious but much campaigning i recent years has been simply confronting our MPs with our Asks. This may sometimes be appropriate but often it is not and the whole thing can easily become confrontational and unproductive. Indeed, we have been struck by just how committed climate campaigners find it to abandon a confrontational approach with the unfortunat result that many MPs are suspicious of all climate campaigners. … Continue reading

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Hope ~ Sermon from 20th December ’15

Hope Hope is central to the Christian faith and at no season more than Advent when we look forward in hope to celebrating Jesus’s birth, the coming of the Messiah, the anointed one, who in the Jewish tradition is the … Continue reading

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The Fall of the Temple – Sermon from 15th November ’15

Holy God, whose presence is known in the structures we build, and also in their collapse; establish in us a community of hope, not to contain your mystery, but to be led beyond security into your sacred space, through Jesus … Continue reading

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It’s Interfaith Week – we’re keeping our doors open, and a message from Abdul Kadir Gooljar…

No hands

Following the atrocities in Paris, public spaces are being closed. This church is opening its doors and inviting you to come in as a gesture of HOPE. You are invited to write messages of solidarity for those caught up in … Continue reading

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How can we help refugees and asylum seekers?

A very good collation of opportunities within Sheffield to offer support, practical assistance, food and shelter to the increasing number of refugees and asylum seekers, can be found here.  It has been put together by Voluntary Action Sheffield and is … Continue reading

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Building hope in a fractured world.

Open our hearts and minds to hear and comprehend your words of hope. Amen As I started to reflect on the context for today’s sermon, I looked at the news headlines and saw the following, “boxer buys £7.8m mansion previously … Continue reading

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Bearing the Light of Christ

May the light of the Gospel of Christ shine into all our hearts, dispelling the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, to reveal awareness of your love and presence. Amen. Candlemas is one of the feasts that we don’t always celebrate. … Continue reading

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Full of Faith

This morning’s lectionary readings have prompted me to think about what it means to be faithful.  What does it mean to be full of faith and in right relationships?  My starting point is scripture, so what might it mean to … Continue reading

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Our two readings this morning have more in common than you might first think.  And whilst I suspect that few of us will have found them easy to hear or relate to, with so many challenging theological ideas and so … Continue reading

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