Living God's Future Now - w/c 10 January 2021

The HeartEdge 2021 Living God’s Future Now programme begins with a Theology Reading Group discussing Marilynne Robinson’s novel ‘Jack’. Robinson is an American award winning novelist and essayist whose work defines universal truths about what it means to be human. Then our Biblical Studies classes with Rev Simon Woodman (Minister, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church) recommence on a re-arranged and mainly fortnightly basis together with a new focus for discussion in the Gospels and Acts. The first lecture is part one of a look at Mark’s Gospel.

Sam Wells is taking part in a Tawney dialogue with David Lammy MP exploring whether, in this world of polar-opposites, divisions and binary choices, we are cultivating community or harming harmony? Chaired by journalist and writer Dawn Foster (Guardian, Independent, Tribune, Jacobin Magazine), Sam and David Lammy will bring their perspectives on whether our groupings and allegiances look more like families or factions... and what can we do about it? Our US partners Try Tank also have an impactful webinar with futurist Dr. Bob Johansen as he covers his leadership trilogy, with a special emphasis on the skills required to thrive in the coming decade.

Then, the next Living God’s Future Now monthly dialogue will see Sam Wells and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in conversation to discuss how to improvise on the kingdom. The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry is Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. He is the Chief Pastor and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as Chair of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church. The descendant of enslaved Africans brought to North America by way of the trans-Atlantic slave routes, Presiding Bishop Curry maintains a national preaching and teaching ministry and has authored five books including Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Time (2020). This conversation clearly has increased currency in the light of recent events in America.

Finally, Clare Herbert, who was on the staff of St Martin's twice, is launching a book - Towards a Theology of Same-Sex Marriage: Squaring the Circle – with HeartEdge. In this book Clare Herbert draws on her experience as a priest within the Church of England in a committed same-sex relationship and considers the questions that have shaped religious debate for many years. Interweaving stories from Christians struggling to reconcile their faith with their sexuality alongside wider queer theology and the theology of marriage, Clare explores the unique understanding of God provided by the experience of committed same-sex love, and lays the groundwork for redefining the traditional definition of marriage. Joining her for this discussion are: Philomena Cullen, Charlie Bell and David Monteith.

View past LGFN sessions at https://www.facebook.com/theHeartEdge/videos/?ref=page_internal

The forward programme is as follows:

Theology Reading Group: Sunday 10 January, 19:00 GMT, zoom – click here to register. The Reading Group will discuss 'Jack' by Marilynne Robinson. Marilynne Robinson is an American award winning novelist and essayist; Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005, National Humanities Medal in 2012, and the 2016 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. Also in 2016, Robinson appeared on Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people. ‘Jack’ is Marilynne Robinson’s latest book, it is a love story set in postwar St. Louis. Love, shame, guilt, segregation, risk and redemption; are a just a few themes that follow the relationship between Jack and Della. 'Grace and intelligence . . . [her work] defines universal truths about what it means to be human' Barack Obama. Click here to register.

Biblical Studies class: Monday 11 January, 19:30-21:00 (GMT), Zoom meeting. Register in advance. Lecture 01 Mark’s Gospel by Rev Simon Woodman.

The Tawney Dialogue - David Lammy MP, Rev Dr Sam Wells, Dawn Foster - Families or Factions? Monday 11 January, 19:30 PM (GMT). Click here to register. In this world of polar-opposites, divisions and binary choices, are we cultivating community or harming harmony? Chaired by journalist and writer Dawn Foster, our two speakers bring their perspectives on whether our groupings and allegiances look more like families or factions... and what can we do about it? Featuring David Lammy MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Rev Dr Sam Wells of St Martin-in-the-Fields. Chaired by Dawn Foster (Guardian, Independent, Tribune, Jacobin Magazine). Click here to register.

Sermon Preparation Workshop: Tuesday 12 January, 16:30 (GMT), livestreamed on the HeartEdge Facebook page. Sam Wells and Sally Hitchiner discuss the forthcoming Sunday's lectionary readings in the light of current events and share thoughts on approaches to the passages.

Community of Practitioners workshop: Wednesday 13 January, 16:30 (GMT), Zoom meeting - An opportunity for ministers and other leaders of HeartEdge churches to meet together to reflect on issues relating to congregational renewal through commerce, culture and compassion. Email jonathan.evens@smitf.org for an invitation.

Leadership skills for the next 10 years: Wednesday 13 January, 15:00 ET (20:00 GMT), zoom webinar – click here to register. For almost 20 years, beginning just after 9/11, futurist Bob Johansen has been wrestling with the question of leadership profiles that will be required to thrive in the VUCA World (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous). He wrote a trilogy of books that share the profile he's convinced will work to help us get ready for the next future shock. The profile includes: Ten skills (think competencies) introduced in Leaders Make the Future; Five literacies (think disciplines or practices) introduced in The New Leadership Literacies; and One mindset (think worldview) introduced in Full-Spectrum Thinking. Join for an impactful webinar with Dr. Johansen as he covers his leadership trilogy, with a special emphasis on the skills required to thrive in the coming decade.

‘Living God’s Future Now’ - HeartEdge monthly dialogue: Thursday 14 January, 18:00 (GMT), Zoom meeting - click here to register. Sam Wells and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will be in conversation to discuss how to improvise on the kingdom. The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry is Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. He is the Chief Pastor and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as Chair of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church. The descendant of enslaved Africans brought to North America by way of the trans-Atlantic slave routes, his father was an Episcopal priest and his mother a devout Episcopalian. Presiding Bishop Curry maintains a national preaching and teaching ministry and has authored five books: Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Time (2020); The Power of Love (2018); Following the Way of Jesus: Church's Teachings in a Changing World (2017); Songs My Grandma Sang (2015); and Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus (2013). Click here to register.

Book Launch: Towards a Theology of Same-Sex Marriage – Friday 15 January, 16:30 (GMT), zoom - click here to register. Towards a Theology of Same-Sex Marriage: Squaring the Circle is a transformative exploration of queer theology and the debate around same-sex marriage within the Church. In this book Clare Herbert draws on her experience as a priest within the Church of England in a committed same-sex relationship and considers the questions that have shaped religious debate for many years. Interweaving stories from Christians struggling to reconcile their faith with their sexuality alongside wider queer theology and the theology of marriage, Clare explores the unique understanding of God provided by the experience of committed same-sex love, and lays the groundwork for redefining the traditional definition of marriage. Joining her for this discussion are: Dr Philomena Cullen: Researcher working on domestic social justice issues with UK faith- based charities; Charlie Bell: Fellow in Medicine at Girton College Cambridge, and ordinand at St Augustine's College of Theology; and The Very Revd David Monteith (Doctor of Laws), Dean of Leicester.