Sunday, January 25, 2015

Church then and now - the big questions on terrorism and religion

Church then and now – the big questions about terrorism and religion
A sermon preached by Richard Cleaves
when Highbury Congregational Church and St Luke’s worshipped together
Sunday, 24th January 2015

It’s great to see Mike getting back into the swing of things once again – very much in our prayers.  In the light of our conversation about today’s services it’s interesting to bring what we are exploring at Highbury on Sunday’s together with what you are doing here at St Luke’s.  Here you are exploring what it means to be church seeing the tremendous importance of the apostles’ teaching, of fellowship, of the breaking of bread and of prayer.  At Highbury we are running a Question Course at our Explore evenings on Tuesdays and inviting people to share the questions that trouble or intrigue or simply interest them so that we can address them together in our Sunday services.

 It was the Sunday after the atrocities in Paris that we had a real focus on getting people to think up questions.  Eleven of the questions asked that morning were to do with religion and terrorism – the big questions that trouble us.

I find it difficult sharing responses to those questions because I too am troubled by those troubling questions.

Charity Fatigue, Prayer Fatigue, Religioin Fatigue

One of the things that gets to me is something akin to what is sometimes described as ‘charity fatigue’.  I guess it’s something that gets to you as you get older.  Charities get you to give because you really can make a difference – but somehow over the years there’s still such a lot to do And so you ask what’s the point, and charity fatigue is in danger of setting in.

That can happen with church, even with those things at the heart of what church is about – prayer – we pray for persecuted Christians, for Syria, for Palestine and Israel – for Nigeria and those facing Boko Haram, for Uganda and those facing the Lord’s Resistance army – and the world seems to get worse not better.  We pray for people who are ill – and see wonderful results to our prayer, and then we pray for people who are ill and they get worse  – and prayer fatigue is in danger of setting in.

What motivates us as Christian people?

It’s very tempting to be motivated by the prospect of seeing the world a better place – if we can campaign for the right changes and give to the right causes we can get rid of homelessness, we can end child abuse, we can stop modern slavery, we can see peace in the world.

If that’s what motivates us … what’s going on in the world can have a devastating effect on our faith, our commitment to giving, our praying, on our whole involvement in the church.

I believe that something else motivates us.  I believe that’s what renews our commitment to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayer – that’s what drives us to campaign for justice and peace, to give to alleviate distress and perhaps above all to pray.

To grasp what it is that motivates us as Christian people I believe we need to go back to our roots, back to our  beginnings to the people who actually knew Jesus and through what Luke in Acts 2.42 describes as ‘the apostles’ teaching’ in such passages as Romans 12:1-2 and 9ff to the basic message of Jesus in Matthew 4:17 and in the prayer Jesus taught us to  pray.

Back to our roots in the Apostles’ teaching and in Jesus

I want to go back to Paul’s letter to the Romans chapter 12, to the basic message of Jesus in Matthew 4:17  and to the opening words of the prayer Jesus taught us to pray.

The wonderful thing about the Bible is that you can read it and it can speak to you straight away.  But it’s also wonderful to see the kind of world the Bible is set in and then discover that there are connections we can make with our world.  Do that and you find the words take on a different meaning and speak into the world of today so much more powerfully.

Entering into the world of the New Testament

One way to do that is to visit the Holy Land or follow in the steps of Paul.  But another way is open to us as well.  For at exactly the time Paul is travelling the eastern end of the Roman Empire, there is a pretty brutal war going on at the North Western end of the Roman empire.  The conquest of the indigenous peoples of these islands.

And the front line of those battles is around about here.  Battles are fought on the pitch at Kingsholm now … in the late 40’s as Paul was on his first missionary journey it was the site of the fort they built to control the Severn crossing, to subjugate the Dobunni and to press to the West.  The story of the battles is told on the wall opposite Argos and on the Sainsbury’s round the corner from the Cathedral.

The Emperor Claudius hounds the Jews out of Rome as Paul’s second journey is under way … and by the time he writes his letter to the followers of the Way, the followers of Jesus, the church in Rome Nero has come to power.

When Paul is under arrest in Caesarea he is interrogated by Agrippa II who commnents that Paul almost persuades him to become a Christian.  By the time Paul is in prison in Rome the Romans have overstretched themselves as they pressed up the Watling Street, the A5 as far as Anglesy, and Boduica and the Icenii rebel against Rome.   Paul is still under arrest in Rome when the Legions take on Boudica where near where the A46 crosses the A5 and smash the last resistance.  It’s a year or so later that news reaches Rome and Jerusalem and Agrippa II takes the opportunity to warn the Jewish revolutionaries who by now in the middle 60’s are planning to overthrow the Romans in their own rebellion.  In a speech recorded by a contemporary historian, Agrippa II appeals to the jewish revolutionaries to put down their arms – look what the Romans did to the Greeks, look what they did to the Germans, look what they did to the Gauls – not even Britain surrounded by the ocean could withstand the might of the Roman legions.

This is the world of the New Testament … and we can glimpse it on our doorstep.  It’s a world where military powers dominate.  It’s the world where Nero turns against that very Christian community.  It’s a world that leads to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple and the sporadic persecution of those first followers of Jesus.

In that world what motivated Paul?

Against the backdrop of that world we can turn to Romans 12 and ask what motivates Paul, what drives him to be so passionate about the way of life he maps out?   You can work through verses 9 following and ask what motivates Paul …

9 What motivates Paul to believe that Love must be sincere?
What motivates Paul to hate what is evil and to cling to what is good?
What motivates Paul to 12 be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer?.

What motivates Paul to share with the Lord’s people who are in need and to practise hospitality?

I don’t think what motivated Paul was the thought that do all that and the world will be a better place.  From the point at which Paul writes these words his own personal circumstances are going to go down-hill and will take him to some pretty awful places.  His fellow Jews and his brothers and sisters in  Christ and indeed any who stand over against the might of Rome are going to face some incredibly difficult times.

Something else motivates Paul.

It’s that something else that needs to be our motivation too.

One clue lies in the very first word of Romans 12.  The word ‘therefore’.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters,

Looking back to Romans 1-11

What motivates Paul is in the earlier parts of his letter that’s nothing less than the good news of Jesus Christ that has within it the very power of God for wholeness.

It opens with an indictment of the Roman world and an indictment of the Jewish world – he gets to the point in 3:24 when he recognises that all of us make a mess of things and get it wrong in the living of our lives.

But the wonderful good news for Paul is that the God of creation has stepped into the world of his creation and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has shown himself to be a God of utter grace, of sheer love.  This is the good news of Jesus Christ that is nothing less than the power of God for the transformation of our lives.

Just take that step of faith in Jesus Christ and discover the transformation he brings.   Not that we can live the life Jesus maps out for us in our own strength – but there is a strength from beyond ourselves we can draw on in the unseen yet very real power of the Spirit of God.

It’s the presence of the grace of God, let loose by the power of the Spirit that enables us to face all the troubles that come our way sure in the knowledge that there is nothing in the present or the future, in life or in death, no powers or dominations, nothing in all creation that can separate us from this love of God in  Christ Jesus.

It’s all this that shapes the way we live our lives.

So … what did motivate Paul in that world?  And what motivates us in our world?

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, [that little word sums up the whole of Romans 1-11]  to offer your bodies [your whole selves, everything you are]  as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.

What motivates us is a complete new way of thinking – a transformation in our whole way of looking at the world.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

This is exactly Jesus’ message:  Repent – have a whole new way of thinking, a whole new way of looking at the world.

Jesus was sure – the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God has come near.

What is the thing that motivates us?  Be transformed by the renewing of you mind – have this whole new way of looking at the world – and then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

What motivates us is nothing less than the prayer Jesus taught us to pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

Charity fatigue? Prayer fatigue?  Religion fatigue?

An anti-dote to Charity Fatigue, Prayer Fatigue, Religion Fatigue.

This is what motivates us – this is what it’s like when God’s kingdom comes, when God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven …

This is what motivates us as it motivated Paul to 14 bless those who persecute you.

This is what motivates us with Paul to rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn.

This is what motivates us with Paul to live in harmony with one another.

It’s not that when we do that we will see a better world next week, next year or even in our lifetime.  It’s because this is what it’s like when God’s kingdom comes, when God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

This is what motivates us along with Paul not to 17 repay anyone evil for evil.

This is what motivates us along with Paul to be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone and 18 if possible, as far as it depends on us, to live at peace with everyone.

This is what motivates us along with Paul to not to 21 be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good?

This is what motivates us to keep at it.  This is what motivates us to renew our commitment to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, prayer – this is what drives us to campaign for justice and peace, to give to alleviate distress and perhaps above all to pray.

This is what it looks like when the God’s kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven.  This is what it looks like when God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Why is so much violence, terrorism and war linked to Religion?

People at Highbury have been asked to come forward with questions that we can then seek responses to in church ...

Many of the first questions to be asked relate to the terrorist attacks that have happened in Paris.

In today's service we began to make something of a response to those questions ... this is the sermon our Minister, Richard, preached this morning

I have to confess.

I don’t really know where to begin.

The problem is that that questions people asked last week were the questions I was asking last week.

And they are the kind of questions that don’t have a straightforward answer.

Hard on the heels of what had happened in Paris, the horrific murder of so many of the staff of France’s leading satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo and the killing of Jewish people in supermarket selling kosher supermarket, and the gunning down of a Muslim police officer, eleven of the questions people had last week had to do with the way religion seems to be bound up with violence and war.

I want to do two things this morning.

The first, I do hesitantly.  The second I have no hesitation about.

The first thing I want to do is to offer some signposts – an indication of the kind of direction I feel prompted to follow in responding to these troubling questions.

Why is religion/faith the root cause of so many wars, acts of violence/terrorism in the world when it should be about love and peace?

Hesitantly I want to call in question whether religion is ‘the root cause’.  I have a feeling there’s a whole complex of things that come together and lead to wars, acts of violence / terrorism in the world’ – I want to explore the history of the French Muslim communities and what happened in Algeria, with IS and Syria and Iraq I think it’s important to seek an understanding of the history of those states.

Something draws me to the way another person put their question, grappling with the same issue.

Why ( or how come) most of wars, acts of terrorism are done in the name of religion, having nothing to do with any faiths/religion?

Again my hesitant response is to see those bent on war, terrorism and acts of violence as distorting the religion they come from.

The first police officer on the scene of the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices was Ahmed Merabet.  He was a Muslim.  He was brutally killed.

It was moving to hear the response his family made, and his brother in particular:

“My brother was Muslim and he was killed by two terrorists, by two false Muslims,” he said. “Islam is a religion of peace and love. As far as my brother’s death is concerned it was a waste. He was very proud of the name Ahmed Merabet, proud to represent the police and of defending the values of the Republic – liberty, equality, fraternity.”

Malek reminded France that the country faced a battle against extremism, not against its Muslim citizens.

 “I address myself now to all the racists, Islamophobes and antisemites. One must not confuse extremists with Muslims. Mad people have neither colour or religion,” he said.

“I want to make another point: don’t tar everybody with the same brush, don’t burn mosques – or synagogues. You are attacking people. It will not bring back our loved ones and it will not bring peace to the families.”
[source:  The Guardian website accessed 17/1/15

IS and what it stands for and is doing in the persecution of other Muslims as well as the persecution of Christians is an aberration of Islam, Boko Haram in Nigeria with those awful pictures of whole villages massacred that same week is an aberration of Islam.

In just the same way in Uganda, in South Sudan, in Central Africa, the Lord’s Resistance army with untold atrocities is an aberration of Christianity.  And closer to home the religious justification of those involved in acts of terrorism in Northern Ireland was and still is an aberration of Christianity.

What is done to Palestinians by extremist settlers and extremist politicians is an aberration of Judaism.

That then gives rise to a subsidiary question that becomes more difficult.

Why has religion been hijacked as a justification for acts of barbarity?? 

And another question like it …

In the world today why is there so much violence and killing by people who believe in a God?

Grappling with that question, my hesitant response points me to something we as Christians share with Jews and with Muslims.

Each of those faiths has a sacred book.  The Jewish Bible is equivalent to our Old Testament, the Christian Bible of Old and New Ttestaments and the Koran all have passages that can be used to reinforce acts of violence and brutality.  It is no coincidence that fundamentalists in each of those religions have taken bits of those sacred texts and used them to justify violence and killing.

I am encouraged that in each of those faiths study of the sacred text leads to a very different understanding of what those faiths are about – and for us as Christians we need to have a strategy for reading our Bible.

Those are my hesitant responses – signposts if you like towards discussion that will go further – not least during our Explore evenings as we move towards Easter.

But there is a second thing I want to do in offering my response to those questions.

The second thing I want to do I have no hesitation about.

When religion plays a part in such atrocities one very understandable reaction is to give up on religion and say, a plague on all your religions.

I’ve had it said to me in no uncertain terms in the last couple of weeks.

I have no hesitation in saying, that’s not the response I want to make.

Far from it.

It drives me back not so much to the religion I am very much part of, but to the One who is at the heart of that religion.

Much as I value seeking an understanding of the historical background to these atrocities, and an understanding of those other faiths, and  of what’s going on I find myself drawn more and more to come at those questions from quite a different angle – I want to cut through all the debates those questions give rise to and go straight to the fount of Christianity, Jesus.

Jesus is someone you can get to grips with.  You can dig away at the history in the Gospels and a real person begins to emerge.  The more you do that the more you find he is a real person who can make a real difference in the living of your life.

It’s not so much that Jesus puts a shape on religion: instead, he gives a shape to the whole of life.  The shape he gives to life has at its heart love: love for God, love for your neighbour whoever that neighbour might be, and most radically of all, love for your enemy.  That’s what we need to hold on to now.  A love that sees people as people and refuses simply to label them.

It’s not so much that Jesus puts a shape on religion: instead, he gives a shape to the very idea of God.  The shape he gives to God has at its heart love.  One of his followers who was so very close to the heart of Jesus came up with the definition of God that is opened up for us all by Jesus: God is love.

It’s not so much that Jesus puts a shape on religion: instead, he gives a shape to the place God has in your life and in my life.  The God we come to know through Jesus is the God who comes as close to us as the most loving of fathers and the most loving of mothers to the most loved of all their children.

It’s not so much that Jesus puts a shape on religion: instead, he gives a shape to love itself.  Taking up the words of that closest of followers of Jesus, this is love: it is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and gave Jesus as the means by which all our failings, all our inadequacies, all our shortcomings are forgiven.

Drawn back to Jesus I say without hesitation that I am not prepared to say, a plague on all your religions!

It’s at this point, however, that I see a danger.  A very big danger.

If I don’t say, a plague on all your religions, and turn instead to Jesus, it’s very tempting for me to say a plague on all those other religions, and especially a plague on the religion of those gunmen.

That’s a temptation that’s even more important to resist, especially at this moment.
I want to enter into the debate and see what happened as a criminal act by the gunmen involved that needs to be responded to as such.  I want to enter into the debate and see what they stand for and the ideologies behind IS and the like are an aberration of the Islam that I have read about and known through Muslim friends.  I want to enter into the debate and say that for Christians to say ‘a plague on Islam’ is to do exactly what those committed to terror want us to do.

I want to resist that temptation for a much more important reason.  I want to go beyond the debate.

I want at that moment to go back to Jesus, the fount of Christianity.  He is the one who shapes the response I need to make.  And he does that in these words.

 ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
 ‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
 ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
            for they will be filled.
 ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
 ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
 ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
 ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
            for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Hymn – 194 I cannot tell why

And one more thing is all important to me.

Such love is beyond my capacity to deliver.  I cannot do it in my own strength.  There is a strength from beyond myself I can draw on, a power to energise the living of my life.  Unseen, yet so very real it is a comfort, a strength alongside me and deep within me.  It is that very Spirit of God that gives shape to the person I seek to be.

Prayers of Concern

40  STL Lord we have come at your own invitation


The Lord’s Supper

417 Lord Jesus Christ

Words of Blessing

A Reflection on Responding to Questions in Church

?    ?    ?    ?
The questions came in thick and fast last week … but our box of questions is going to be around in the church until the beginning of February.  So if there are any questions that trouble you or intrigue you, now’s the time to make a note of them, put them in the box.  In our services on Sundays we are going to turn our mind to the questions people in our church have.

That begs the question, what are we going to do with them?

One thing’s for sure!  Many of the questions people have already asked are not ones that have a simple answer.  Indeed, many of those questions don’t have an ‘answer’ at all.

At one level we are going to share possible responses we can make those questions.  But actually, in church, as we meet together in our worship we are doing much more than that.

The ‘sermon’ part of the service is not just an opportunity for someone to pass on their wisdom and insight.  It is definitely not the equivalent of a comment column in a paper.

What we have done as a church is to invite someone, today it’s our Minister Richard, to give some time to reflect on the questions people are asking, questions that will often trouble or intrigue the preacher as much as anyone else.  We have then asked the preacher to seek out what he senses is the response God makes to those questions.
That’s a tall order for anyone to claim to do!  But at the heart of our faith is the conviction the preacher is not on their own.  Our expectation is that the preacher will use the channels God has given through which He responds to us – prayer, the Bible, the presence of the Spirit that is the inspiration of the Bible and the wider community of believers in the church.  So, as we worship together, let’s pray and open our hearts that through all we share we all may hear God’s Word for us today.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Faith that asks Questions

What would you say is the most wonderful thing not just in the whole world, not just in the whole solar system, not just in the whole galaxy but in the whole universe?

To answer that question there’s one expert to turn to at the moment.

And I was delighted to get his latest book as a Christmas present.

After Wonders of the Solar System, Wonders of the Universe and Wonders of Life Brian Cox has come up with another wonderful BBC series and the accompanying book was one of my presents at Christmas.

Brian Cox with Andrew Cohen,  Human Universe.

The book begins with a question.  A very big question.

What is a human being?

Brian Cox responds drily at first.

Objectively, nothing of consequence.  Particles of dust in an infinite arena, present for an instant in eternity.  Clumps of atoms in a universe with more galaxies than people.

And yet.

I am quite please he goes on to add that and yet in.

And yet

There is something remarkable, something very special about a human being.

This is how Brian Cox continues

And yet a human being is necessary for the question itself to exist, and the presence of a question in the universe – any question – is the most wonderful thing.

Wow, that’s some thought.

Think about it for a moment.

The remarkable thing about a human being is that we have the capacity to ask questions.   And it is that ability to ask questions that opens up for us as human beings the potential to understand the universe and our place in it.

Brian Cox goes on …

Questions require minds, and minds bring meaning.  What is meaning?  I don’t know, except the universe and every pointless speck inside it means something to me.

The Christmas story unfolds in the first couple of chapters of Matthew and the first couple of chapters of Luke.

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of a baby.

And then there is a tantalizing glimpse of Jesus’ childhood.

Matthew tells us that the first two years of his childhood were spent as a refugee in Egypt.

The remainder of his childhood was spent in Nazareth at the home of Joseph and Mary.

The end of Luke 2 takes us to the point at which Jesus crosses the threshold from childhood to manhood.

He is 12 years old and his parents take him to the temple and something happens there…

Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. 42When Jesus was twelve years old, they went to the festival as usual. 43When the festival was over, they started back home, but the boy Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. His parents did not know this; 44they thought that he was with the group, so they travelled a whole day and then started looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45They did not find him, so they went back to Jerusalem looking for him. 46On the third day they found him in the Temple, sitting with the Jewish teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47All who heard him were amazed at his intelligent answers. 48His parents were astonished when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “My son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.”
49He answered them, “Why did you have to look for me? Didn't you know that I had to be in my Father's house?”50But they did not understand his answer.
51So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52Jesus grew both in body and in wisdom, gaining favour with God and people.

I think it is one of the most wonderful things about Jesus.

He was sitting in the Temple with the Jewish teachers, ‘listening to them and asking them questions’.

Isn’t that fascinating.

Jesus asked questions.

At the very end we learn that Jesus grew both in body and in wisdom, gaining favour with God and people.

Jesus was prepared to ask questions.

That’s the key to it all.

Read through the gospel story and time again you will find Jesus asking questions.   So much so that often when people ask him questions he responds with another question.

Questions are important – all-important if Brian Cox is anyting to go by … all important if The experience of the 12 year old Jesus is anything to go by!

So that’ s the invitation a week on Tuesday – for the start of a six week course that’s simply called ‘Question’.

Who am I?  What is life about?  Why is there so much suffering in the world?  If God exists, then what is he like?

Answers don’t come wrapped up and neatly packaged. There are big questions which need examining. Question is a thought-provoking journey to stir up that sense of longing. Each episode connects our everyday experiences with the timeless truths of the Bible, providing direction for the conversation that follows.

Question is a DVD resource to enable people to explore the kind of questions about God that are often asked early on in a journey of faith. 

One of the things I am conscious of is the need for what we think about on a  Sunday morning to relate to us all in the real world of our everyday lives.

So alongside that Question course I have an invitation.  Think of the questions that you have and would like a response to.

Over the next couple of weeks there’s going to be a box in church for you to post your questions – sign your name, just do it anonymously.  What kind of questions come to your mind that we need to share and address.

Then in our preaching on Sundays what I am going to do is not so much give answers – but offer a response to those questions – and then an opportunity to share our own insights as well.

It is interesting to track through the Gospel story and see the questions people asked Jesus, the responses he gave and the questions he in turn asked.

The great thing that emerges from a look through that Gospel story is that it is all right to ask questions.  It is all right to have questions.  Sometimes they can be big questions that really niggle.

It’s all right to have questions … and to share them.

Get to the very end of the gospel story and in Matthew’s gospel we see Jesus in the company of the disciples who by now have spent three years with him – in his company.

You might have expected by now that all their questions would have been answered.

Not so.

When those 11 went to the hill country of Galilee, where Jesus had told them to go, they saw him and they worshipped him … even though some of them doubted.

In the face of those doubts what did Jesus do?

He gave them a task – and offered them a promise.

The task was to go to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples; baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.

That’s the task that was behind our Big Welcome initiative over Christmas.  Our task is to share our faith, to make disciples of other people.

That’s why it is important to run courses such as this Question course and see to it that there is always something on the go that can help people explore their faith.  There is always the opportunity to explore the faith, to dig into those questions so that there’s an opportunity to take the first steps on that journey of faith for everyone.

Maybe there’s someone you can ask and invite to join us.

But with that task came a promise.   “And I will be with you always to the end of the age.!!
As we ask our questions and explore our faith, that’s the promise to hold on to.

One thing is certain about the year that lies ahead.

Ahead of us are all sorts of uncertainties. 

How wonderful to hold on to that promise Jesus made to his disciples: I am with you always!

From this place
From this moment
We look to the future
And know
You will be with us
To the end of the age
Send us
From this place
From this moment
In peace
Knowing the salvation
You have prepared
in the presence of all peoples
Knowing the light
that lights up the way ahead.

… even when that way takes us through the valley of the shadow …

Song: The Lord’s my shepherd

So much to pass on at Highbury

If you give a little love you can get a little love of your own

A blessing shared at Highbury

Now and the Future at Highbury

Dreaming Dreams Sharing Visions at Highbury

Dreaming Dreams Sharing Visions

Darkness into Light