Leeds Christians in Education

Leeds Christians in Education exists to support teachers, governors, and schools youth workers through networking, events, and prayer. All with a heart for education in Leeds are very welcome to join us. We will meet three times a year in the evenings for prayer and shared thoughtfulness. Together we will

• Celebrate education in Leeds
• Grow in awareness of the challenges and issues, and current educational responses in Leeds
• Spend some time in prayer with words, photos, drawing, and silence
• Develop connections between Christians who are situated in the same schools, colleges, and Universities.
• Support those who are involved in making decisions that affect children, young people, students, and all those who are themselves, educators.

2nd November, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Facilitator Helen Reid (Director of Leeds Church Institute)
Theme: Celebrating childhood and vocations to care for children and their development; Gospel perspectives and practice in Leeds

15 March, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Facilitator Mark Roque (Thinking Faith Network)
Theme: Inspirational storytelling in schools; the impact on young people of positive, often counter-cultural, role models and their achievements

14 June, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Facilitator Sally Pickering (training for ordination, current work in education and psychology)
Theme: Building a loving community through celebration of each other and support in the tough times, with a special focus on children and bereavement.

At Leeds Church Institute
(opposite the Corn Exchange, above ‘Out of This World’)
20 New Market Street, Leeds, LS1 6DG
To book email events@leedschurchinstitute.org or phone 0113 391 7928

 

 

Light Party – Sunday 29th October

This coming Sunday – Light Party, 29th October 4pm. Family event with messy games, crafts and lots, lots more.  If you can please bring a pumpkin and a tin can.

Invite your friends (aimed at ages 5-11)

Nov 5th… MBC launches PULSE, an exciting new Sunday morning children’s programme

On Sunday November 5th (a day guaranteed to go with a bang!) our Childrens’ Worker Cas Stoodley and her team are launching what we are calling PULSE, a new and innovative programme which will not only reshape the way we currently do “Sunday School” but which via a mix of engaging take home material and Social Media will also draw in mums, dads, grandmas, granddads, carers et al as never before. 

Branded Think Orange the programme is based upon three basic truths: Wisdom, the need to make wise choices; Faith, the assurance that we can trust God no matter what and Friendship, the notion that we should all treat others the way we want to be treated. It also majors on one hundred and fifty bible stories and thirty Life Apps (i.e. a practical application). 

Each month there is a quite specific theme, in November that’s Gratitude. Within that theme there is always a Key Question – in week one for example that’s “What are you grateful for?” And to close there’s always a bottom line, again from week one that’s “Celebrate what God has done.” However, in between and in separate age groups there are any number of craft activities, games and teaching slots. 

Perhaps the biggest single difference to our current plan however is that each week (with the exception of our children who attend Bubbles) everyone starts and finishes off each session together. Indeed on the fourth week of the month we’re all actually planning to come back in to the sanctuary and through drama, song, story telling or maybe even film share with you some of the stuff we have been doing. 

A couple of weeks ago Cas organised a training session for the team, some pictures from which you see here. 

Please pray for this new venture; pray for Cas, her team and of course for our children and their families because as our training day proved the challenge is considerable but the potential, particularly in regard to family and community involvement is nothing short of enormous.

 

 

Universal credit – really?

The accelerated roll out of Universal Credit is in the news currently for the hardship it is causing. It seems to me that it was designed by policy makers and politicians to streamline the benefits system and focus it more to moving people into work. There may have been a motivation to save money as well. It was certainly an important piece of work.

Now I think it is vital to read, watch and listen to the items being posted about this issue. Then to speak out about what you have learnt.

However, there is an important lesson here.

It seems that this policy was designed without thorough consultation with those who are the recipients of the benefits. Or maybe people on the receiving end have been involved, but their perspective hasn’t been noted and applied.

There are better ways of doing things. It is valuable to shape what we do in society with as many views of possible. Take matters of finance and benefits – surely, we should listen to people who receive benefits, politicians, community and advocacy groups, policy makers, business people and so on. Following such a process is not a way to fudge issues, to leave things as they are or to favour one viewpoint. It would be a route to more courageous solutions.

In such a process, we should always give primacy of views to the people who are affected most and form solutions collaboratively. To put it another way “Nothing about us without us is for us.” This is a well tried and crucial principle. It is an approach which is being applied by Poverty Truth Commissions in cities and areas across the country, and indeed in our own city of Leeds – http://www.leedspovertytruth.org.uk/

If those who designed and now apply the new benefits system took this approach there may have been an opportunity for it to have been more ‘universal’ and more a ‘credit’ to us all. Most importantly, by these means we find plans and solutions that are people focused.

In the Christian faith there is a similar principle at work. The hope and transformation we seek is not offered at a distance but in Jesus. It is offered by one who is fully human… as the bible puts is: “Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.” Hebrews 2: 17,18

For this reason, the hope of the Christian faith is people orientated, offered in human terms and fashioned with us.
“Nihil de nobis, sine nobis”

Graham Brownlee, October 2017

MBC website to provide direct links to BMS World Mission updates

BMS World Mission works among some of the most marginalised and least evangelised people, in some of the most fragile places on earth. It aims to bring life in all its fullness through seven key ministries: church, development, education, health, justice, leadership and relief.

To keep supporters up to date BMS World Mission publishes regular online updates and it is our intention, as and when we can, to provide you with direct links to these stories via both the MBC website and our fortnightly newsletter. 

Below are the most recent posts. One asks for prayer for new mission workers, whilst the second focuses on the work being carried out in India. To access them simply double click on the heading. 

For more information about BMS World Mission or to sign up to its free ENGAGE magazine and Prayer Diary please speak with Roger Robson or go online to www.bmsworldmission.org

Pray for our new mission workers

From witch doctor to church planter

 

Murray McEwan speaks of encouragement, nurture and support… a fitting tribute at the close of Bob’s final service as worship leader

Just about the only downside to MBC being a growing and vibrant church is that each Sunday morning when our children and young people go into their own groups they inevitably take with them a large number of adult “teachers”. This means, of course, that they all miss anything that takes place in the second half of the service. 

A couple of Sunday’s ago was Bob Corrie’s final session as worship leader and for those of us that were out of the room here’s how current Worship Leader Murray McEwan marked the occasion.

“I thanked Bob for his worship leading: his thoughtfulness, integrity coming as it does from his deeply held faith and sensitivity to the journey of the service and leading of the Holy Spirit. I also thanked him for doing the coordination of the whole team for many years which he did in tandem with Marion. Finally I thanked him for the encouragement, nurturing and support he has given many new members of the team, including me. Bob has indicated, however, that although we won’t be leading worship again he may from time to time help us out if we need him, so we are all hopeful that he won’t hang his guitar up completely”.  

 

An Environmental Plan A – Caring for God’s Creation. Fresh Water.

We all know that fresh water is absolutely vital for the sustaining of life, people can survive without food for several weeks, but only as long as they have water to drink. Our Earth contains 1.4 billion cubic kilometres of water; that’s all there has ever been and all there ever will be, as far as we know. The problem is that when I was born the world’s population was well under 2.5 billion people, whereas today it stands at nearly 7.5 billion, and they all need access to clean water. A volume of 1.4 billion cubic kilometres might sound a lot but 97% of it is saline, as it fills our oceans and seas. Of the remaining 3%, the fresh water, over half is locked up in the ice caps and is not available to drink. The remainder, just over 1 % is potable, i.e. drinkable water. A further complication is that certain locations on Earth have a super-abundance of water, e.g. Iceland, whereas others are arid and almost water-free, and the big centres of population do not coincide with the areas of water abundance.

The amazing thing is that each time we have a drink of pure, clean water, the water in our glass has been drunk by millions of animals and plants before us. Rainwater is pure water, and the water that flows into the sea is salt-bearing and contaminated. However, sunshine evaporates pure water from the seas and it passes as vapour into the atmosphere, where it later precipitates as rain and snow. We thus enjoy the benefits of a natural de-salination and purification system, which is solar powered, and free of charge. This is how the water of life is provided for us every day, and I find that awe-inspiring.

In the UK we are fortunate, enjoying a temperate climate with only a very occasional drought. The last such year was 1995, when the Eccup Reservoir which serves North Leeds, began to run dangerously low. Like the wider world, water abundance in the UK is not evenly distributed, areas of abundance do not coincide with the areas with high demand. In the Summer and early Autumn of 1995, Yorkshire Water resorted to using a fleet of large tanker lorries to bring water to top up the Eccup Reservoir, and some of you may remember them thundering North along the Harrogate Road to deliver the water. Since then the water companies have laid a ‘national grid’ of water pipelines to ensure better supplies in the event of a future drought.

What can we do?

We began to be separately charged for our water about 40 years ago and the water companies have since invested billions of pounds in up-rating supplies. We can all help by not wasting water and being economical in its use.

  • Do not leave taps running,
  • Report any water leaks promptly,
  • When boiling water for drinks, just boil the volume that you need,
  • Harvest rain-water for watering gardens,
  • Take a shower instead of a bath.

While we enjoy good water supplies in the UK, our population is growing quickly and we do not have a large margin of safety. Remember, a gallon of water is infinitely more valuable than a gallon of petrol, and even much more that a gallon of diesel fuel.

John Sturges         j.sturges@leedsbeckett.ac.uk;

Julia Hyliger          Julia.hyliger@hotmail.com;

September 2017  

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