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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

An introduction to Transition Town Redbridge

Here is information from Transition Town Redbridge about their introductory event this Saturday:

'"Transition" is one manifestation of the idea that local action can change the world. The aim of Transition is to help you be the catalyst in your community to make where you live more resilient, healthier and bursting with strong local livelihoods, while also reducing its ecological footprint. It’s something that can only happen from the ground up, driven by ordinary people.

Transition Town Redbridge was formulated in 2013 and is hosting its first ‘mini-conference’. An Introduction to Transition Town Redbridge will be talks, discussion and other tasters of how to get involved in our Transition Town.

Time: 2pm – 3.30pm
Date: 25th October 2014
at the ‘Enterprise Exchange’, Top Floor, (3rd floor), The Exchange, Ilford.

Draft Programme
2.00pm Food in Transition
2.30pm The Brixton Pound / Alternative Economies
3.00pm Saving Energy / Cutting Bills
3.10pm The Sharing Economy
3.15pm Seven Kings Time Bank

Please drop in and find out more about Transition Town Redbridge due to have its official launch early in the new year.'


Deacon Blue - The Living.

Sunday, 19 October 2014


John Espin - Tim Harrold - Well House Gallery -


Edward Artemiev - Meditation.

Windows on the world (314)

Canterbury, 2014


Woody Allen and The Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band - Shine.

East London Three Faiths Forum trip to the Holy Land

I'm looking forward greatly to the tour of the Holy Land that has been organised by the East London Three Faiths Forum. Our itinerary includes the following:
  • Muslim members of our tour will have the opportunity of joining the vast crowds for Friday noon prayers at Al ‘Aqsa Mosque. Jews and Christians will visit the synagogue at the Hadassah Hospital close to Eyn Kerem, birthplace of John the Baptist. This modern synagogue is famous for its 12 huge stained-glass windows by Marc Chagall
  • Visiting all the most important sites - Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock - in the old city of Jerusalem, In the late afternoon, we shall watch Jews welcome in Shabbat at the Western Wall.
  • Bethlehem (birthplace of Jesus) and Hebron (Al-Khalil), to visit the ancient mosque above the Cave of Machpelah, where we shall see the tombs of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah. 
  • We leave Jerusalem to make the long and steep descent through the dramatic Judaean Desert to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth’s surface. Close by the road we shall pass Qumran, beside the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Along the shore of the Sea to Masada, King Herod’s impressive fortress and palace (Roman-era). Up by cable-car to the summit. Swim in the Dead Sea.
  • A long drive north following the course of the River Jordan. We shall pass Jericho, the oldest continually-inhabited city in the world. Eventually, we shall reach Nazareth, capital of the northern Galilee region, where Jesus spent his early years and began his ministry. 
  • We leave Nazareth to drive though the Galilee to reach the shore of the Sea of Galilee, visiting Capernaum, the Church of Beatitudes and other sites of Jesus’ early ministry. Then a lovely boat trip across the Sea of Galilee to Kibbutz En Gev, beneath the Golan Heights, where we shall eat a lunch of St. Peter’s Fish (talapia), caught in the Sea. Return to Nazareth via the Golan Heights and the Huleh Valley.
  • Shopping and a brief tour of Nazareth, visiting the Church of the Annunciation (where Mary was told by the Angel Gabriel that she would give birth to Jesus). Drive on through the Galilee region to the hill-top town of Tsefat, visiting several beautiful 16th-century synagogues of great rabbis and Jewish mystics. 
  • Return to the Mediterranean coast to visit Akko (Acre), the capital of the Crusader kingdom. We shall visit the ancient harbour, the khan (mediaeval travellers’ lodge) and the hammam (hot baths), the wonderful 17th-century Ottoman mosque and the astonishingly well-preserved remains of the great Crusader citadel.
  • We will drive through the modern port city of Haifa, via the lovely gardens of the Bah’ai Temple. We will reach the top of Mount Carmel, where the prophet Elijah (Elias) challenged the prophets of Baal. The large Druze town of Isafie (the religion of the Druze is secret), then descend to the Mediterranean coast to visit the ruins of Caesarea, the Roman capital and port, mentioned several times in the New Testament. Then we continue south along the coast, to the modern city of Tel Aviv.
  • We will climb back through the Judaean Hills to Yad Vashem, the very impressive and moving national memorial museum to the victims of the Holocaust. At the Arab village of Abu Ghosh, we shall see the brand-new & second largest mosque in the Holy Land, after Al ‘Aqsa. 
  • Back down to the Mediterranean Sea for a quiet and relaxing afternoon in Jaffa, the ancient port, from where Jonah (Yunus) boarded a ship in order to escape from his Divine mission. We might be able to visit the beautiful 18th-century Ottoman Mahmoudiya Mosque as well as see the 17th-century St. Peter’s Church (Franciscan) – commemorating St. Peter’s raising of Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9 &10).

Love is the gift

‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.’ (John 3. 16)

God so loved the world that he gave. What did he give and how do we unwrap his gifts?

He gave us the world in which we live, including the life that we enjoy now and the life that we will enjoy into eternity. One of the ways in which we unwrap those gifts is by means of appreciation. In the last session of our Lyfe Course we were encouraged to try and take a break over lunch to get outside and enjoy God’s creation and also to count our blessings by beginning a list of all the things we’re grateful to God for including all areas of our lives - family, work, sport, food, sleep etc.

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. Jesus is God’s greatest gift to us. We unwrap the gift of Jesus as we admit to our need for salvation and change. We receive Jesus through the gift of his Spirit, who enables us to change by focusing our thoughts and lives on Jesus. At every moment of every day we can ask ourselves ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ and allow the Spirit to answer that question by guiding our actions and words.

To support us in living as followers of Christ we have been given the gifts of the Bible (with its story of God’s dealings with the world he created and of Jesus’ sacrifice of himself for that same world), prayer (which brings us into conversation with God), the Church (the group of people locally who are seeking to go deeper into God and, together, to reveal God to their local community), and the Gifts of the Spirit (talents and abilities given, not personal benefit, but for the benefit of others).

These are among God’s greatest gifts to us for which we should be truly grateful. We are used to the idea of saying grace (thank you) before enjoying the food we eat. In the same way, we could say grace before reading the Bible, conversing with God in prayer, coming to church, and using the gifts of the Spirit which have been given to us.

Lewis Hyde writes that ‘a gift that cannot be given away ceases to be a gift’ and ‘the spirit of a gift is kept alive by its constant donation.’ Leo Buscaglia said, 'Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.’ St Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12 that ‘the Spirit's presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all.’ He follows his chapter on the gifts of the Spirit by sharing, in 1 Corinthians 13, the best way of all; that of love. God so loved the world that he gave; as God’s children and followers of Jesus, we too are to love the world by giving.

God is love. Love is gift.
God so loved that he gave;
gave life, bringing the world into being.
Life is gift. The world is gift.
God so loved that he gave;
gave his one and only Son.
Of his own free will the Son
gave up all he had
and walked the path of obedience
all the way to death -
his death on the cross -
that we might have the gift of life.
Life is gift and giving.
Life without giving
cannot be living.
God so loved that he gave.
Love is unmerited gift,
to be given freely, willingly,
without expectation.
We do not love to be loved;
we love to love.
Love is the gift.
God so loved that he gave.
Love grows by giving.
The love we give away
is the only love we keep.
God so loved that he gave.


Bruce Springsteen - O Mary Don't You Weep.

Yamikani's prayer

Yamikani Dakalira from Malawi is visiting in October to speak to churches about her work, and has written a special prayer for us all to use over the Hungry for Justice prayer and action weekend (18-19 October).

Lord, you are our rock, our fortress and our strength;
guide us, lead us and have mercy on us.
We thank you for the precious gift of your earth, in all its beauty and fragility.
Through it we are each bound to one another in a million ways.
For the sake of those facing rising temperatures, drought and water shortages,
strengthen our movement for climate action.
For the sake of those facing unpredictable weather, disrupted seasons and failed crops,
bless our leaders to work together to find positive, lasting solutions.
For the sake of all those who feel the impact of our changing climate, the poor and the vulnerable,
bring the hope of a brighter, cleaner future.
Lord hear our prayer and fill our hearts with a hunger for justice.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we will set up our banners to call for change. May the Lord fill our petitions!

Yamikani works for Christian Aid partner, CEPA, in Malawi to combat the impact of climate change, involving the poorest communities in the solutions.

We will use this prayer in the Seven Kings Fellowship of Churches One World Week service at St John's Seven Kings this evening (6.30pm).


Thocco Katimba - Count Your Blessings.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Blog Action Day: Inequality #BAD2014, #Inequality, #BlogAction

On the 16th October, people from around the world raised their voices through Blog Action Day to generate an unprecedented conversation on how we can address inequality. An audience of millions saw that message — which will continue to ripple forth for some time.

“Malala knew the power she had to speak up for herself, and those who couldn't, by sharing her story. Authentic voices are always the best way to convey struggles of inequality and tell stories of our shared humanity.” — Malala Fund post

“Extreme inequality should not be ignored—or worse, celebrated as a sign that we have a high-performing economy and healthy society.” — Bill Gates' post

“Being a female and from a country where gender discrimination continues to be an enormous problem, I didn’t have to think twice about the topic to write on. The fight starts off from my mother’s womb.” — Blogger Rekha Dhyani's post

These are just a few tastes of the conversation that started yesterday.

If you'd like to see some other highlights, the best place to do so is Orbit Orbit is Blog Action Day's sister platform, where you can feature your own blog's content as part of a conversation, like we saw around #inequality yesterday. You could also search for #BAD14, #BAD2014 and "Blog Action Day" on your social media networks or visit the participants list.


The Specials - Ghost Town.