Living God's Future Now - May 2021

'Living God’s Future Now’ is our mini online festival of theology, ideas and practice.

We’ve developed this in response to the pandemic and our changing world. The church is changing too, and - as we improvise and experiment - we can learn and support each other.

This is 'Living God’s Future Now’ - talks, workshops and discussion - hosted by HeartEdge. Created to equip, encourage and energise churches - from leaders to volunteers and enquirers - at the heart and on the edge.

The focal event in ‘Living God’s Future Now’ is a monthly conversation where Sam Wells explores what it means to improvise on God’s kingdom with a leading theologian or practitioner.

The online programme includes:

  • Regular weekly workshops: Biblical Studies (Mondays fortnightly), Sermon Preparation (Tuesdays) and Community of Practitioners (Wednesdays)
  • One-off workshops on topics relevant to lockdown such as ‘Growing online communities’ and ‘Grief, Loss & Remembering’
  • Monthly HeartEdge dialogue featuring Sam Wells in conversation with a noted theologian or practitioner

Find earlier Living God’s Future Now sessions at https://www.facebook.com/pg/theHeartEdge/videos/?ref=page_internal.

Regular – Weekly or Fortnightly

Tuesdays: Sermon Preparation Workshop, 16:30 (GMT), livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/theHeartEdge/. Please note there will be no Sermon Preparation workshop on Tuesday 6 April.

Wednesdays: Community of Practitioners workshop, 16:30 (GMT), Zoom meeting. Email jonathan.evens@smitf.org to register.

Fortnightly on Mondays: Biblical Studies class, 19:30-21:00 (GMT), Zoom meeting. Register in advance: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMrcOmgrTgsHt2ceY7LepLhQYqQxS1G1ix9?fbclid=IwAR0QiwdnHCBolrAmrE6mDmKNreJO-js-tvv8Yf06yrN4LNZS7Tg5xY66NNc. 2021 dates - Gospels & Acts: 10 May: Lecture 09 Luke-Acts & 24 May: Lecture 10 Luke-Acts

May

Inspired to Follow: Sunday 2 May, 14:00 (GMT), zoom - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/inspired-to-follow-art-and-the-bible-story-tickets-148401610211. ‘Inspired to Follow: Art and the Bible Story’ helps people explore the Christian faith, using paintings and Biblical story as the starting points. The course uses fine art paintings in the National Gallery’s collection as a springboard for exploring questions of faith. Session 16: The Resurrection. Text: Luke 24:25-35. Image: ‘The Supper at Emmaus’, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1601, NG172.

Public Health and Church Engagement post pandemic: Wednesday 5 May 10:30-12:00 GMT, zoom - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/public-health-and-church-engagement-post-pandemic-tickets-148896518495. In this series of workshops, The Revd. Dr. Gillian Straine CEO of The Guild of Health and St Raphael will be exploring the potential of the church and people of faith to be agents of healing in our post pandemic world. By exploring the roots of the links between faith and health, theologies of healing and good practice she will encourage and empower participants to understand the role of the church alongside science, medicine and public health. Workshop 1 explores the potential for the healing ministry, and looks in particular at the history of healing in the Christian church and the biblical background for healing as a missionary activity. The Revd. Dr. Gillian Straine is passionately committed to health, healing and Christian living. She is a cancer survivor, Anglican priest, theologian and scientist with a strong interest in communication and teaching. She has a doctorate in Physics from Imperial College London and an MA in Theology from the University of Oxford. She is particularly keen to bring the study of science into conversations about Christian healing. She is the author of Introducing Science and Religion: A path through polemic (SPCK, 2014), Th-e Limits of Science? (CSP, 2017) and Cancer: A Pilgrim Companion (SPCK, 2017). She lives in Lichfield with her husband and two young children.

Navigating the Dark: a conversation between an artist and a theologian - Thursday 6 May, 19:00-20:00 (GMT), Zoom - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/navigating-the-dark-tickets-148323582829. Join us as artist Jake Lever is interviewed by Dr Paula Gooder, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, London. Jake Lever is an artist who is interested in the power of visual art to draw us into an encounter with the sacred. He seeks to make work that invites a slowing down, a return to the liminal and the "real". During the pandemic, he has developed a new participatory project, making hundreds of tiny, gilded boats that people have sent by post as tokens of love, gratitude and solidarity to family and friends around the world. Website: www.leverarts.org. Dr Paula Gooder is a writer and lecturer in Biblical Studies. Her research areas focus on the writings of Paul the Apostle, with a particular focus on 2 Corinthians and on Paul’s understanding of the Body. Her passion is to ignite people’s enthusiasm for reading the Bible today, by presenting the best of biblical scholarship in an accessible and interesting way. She is currently the Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Website: www.gooder.me.uk.

The Peckard Lecture 2021 by the Revd Dr Sam Wells: Online, Thursday 6 May 2021 19:30 - 21:00. Sam Wells, who is widely known as a preacher, pastor, writer, broadcaster and theologian will speak under the title 'Act Justly: Church, Kingdom and Civil Society'. The unevenness of the suffering caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the climate change emergency and the Black Lives Matter movement will be among the topics he explores. This is the inaugural Peckard Lecture, starting what we hope will be an annual series of talks taking up the theme of the Church in contemporary society. It was a subject close to the heart of Peter Peckard, the 18th century Dean of Peterborough and influential anti-slavery campaigner. Sam Wells is the Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. He will discuss what the church’s aspirations might be for society, and how it might seek to bring those about, in corporate mission and individual discipleship. The talk lasts approximately 60 minutes and is followed by questions. Tickets are £7 per viewing - https://www.ticketisland.co.uk/ticketi_slevent_cal3Full?bi=PeterboroughCathedral&slctd=05-06-2021#pos_tag. A Zoom link to the talk on date you choose will be sent to ticket holders just before the event.

Inspired to Follow: Sunday 9 May, 14:00 (GMT), zoom - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/inspired-to-follow-art-and-the-bible-story-tickets-148401610211. ‘Inspired to Follow: Art and the Bible Story’ helps people explore the Christian faith, using paintings and Biblical story as the starting points. The course uses fine art paintings in the National Gallery’s collection as a springboard for exploring questions of faith. Session 17: The Ascension. Text: Acts 1:1-12. Image: ‘The Incredulity of Saint Thomas’, Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano, about.1502-4, NG816.

God will not be mocked: Monday 10 May, 6.00 pm, Zoom. Register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/god-will-not-be-mocked-st-brides-public-theology-lecture-with-heartedge-tickets-152186396609?aff=ebdssbeac. Next St Brides Liverpool theology lecture in association with HeartEdge with Fergus Butler-Gallie. All welcome, free online event. What being creatures who laugh might mean for our view of God, of the follies of humanity and the particular charisms of the C of E.

Art, Scripture and Contemporary Issues: Tuesday 11 May, 14:00-15:00, BST, zoom - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/art-scripture-and-contemporary-issues-tickets-149131206453. In a short series, curators for the Visual Commentary on Scripture will speak about their experience of curating for VCS in order to assist in understanding more deeply the value and potential uses to which the VCS exhibitions can be put by churches. In this session Deborah Lewer will speak about her experience of curating an exhibition on Proverbs 11 exploring why she made the choices and decisions she did in relation to both text and images. Proverbs 11 is part of the oldest collection of proverbs in the book. It opens with a statement about the righteousness of true and accurate measures: Yahweh abhors a ‘false balance’ and delights in ‘an accurate weight’. Balance, uprightness, constancy, steadfastness, and diligence are characteristic of the ordered worldview of the proverbs. When their equilibrium is upset—by wickedness, crookedness, cruelty, avarice, folly, and violence—the ensuing consequences are both just and inevitable. This session will demonstrate a central premise of the VCS’s approach i.e. that the ‘world(s)’ of experience and action that the Scriptures describe can speak meaningfully to the ‘world(s)’ that present-day interpreters of the Scriptures continue to inhabit; and that the ‘world(s)’ to which art has responded in every epoch can speak meaningfully to both. Debbie is Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Glasgow. In addition to her specialism in 20th-century German art, she is interested in relationships between visual art, faith and theology. She works extensively as a retreat leader and with churches, clergy and ordinands to open up the potential of a wide spectrum of visual art in worship, theological reflection and in pastoral contexts.

Public Health and Church Engagement post pandemic: Wednesday 12 May 10:30-12:00 GMT, zoom - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/public-health-and-church-engagement-post-pandemic-tickets-148896518495. In this series of workshops, The Revd. Dr. Gillian Straine CEO of The Guild of Health and St Raphael will be exploring the potential of the church and people of faith to be agents of healing in our post pandemic world. By exploring the roots of the links between faith and health, theologies of healing and good practice she will encourage and empower participants to understand the role of the church alongside science, medicine and public health. Workshop 2 develops a theology of healing by exploring the question, 'What is healing?'. We will look at the approaches to healing taken by medicine, psychology and the New Age movement and raise our confidence in the potential of Christian healing today. The Revd. Dr. Gillian Straine is passionately committed to health, healing and Christian living. She is a cancer survivor, Anglican priest, theologian and scientist with a strong interest in communication and teaching. She has a doctorate in Physics from Imperial College London and an MA in Theology from the University of Oxford. She is particularly keen to bring the study of science into conversations about Christian healing. She is the author of Introducing Science and Religion: A path through polemic (SPCK, 2014), The Limits of Science? (CSP, 2017) and Cancer: A Pilgrim Companion (SPCK, 2017). She lives in Lichfield with her husband and two young children.

Art, Scripture and Contemporary Issues: Thursday 13 May, 14:00-15:00, BST, zoom - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/art-scripture-contemporary-issues-tickets-149683719033. In a short series, curators for the Visual Commentary on Scripture will speak about their experience of curating for VCS in order to assist in understanding more deeply the value and potential uses to which the VCS exhibitions can be put by churches. In this session Caleb Froehlich will speak about his experience of curating the Cities of Refuge exhibition exploring why he made the choices and decisions he did in relation to both text and images. Numbers 35, Joshua 20, and Deuteronomy 4:41–43 record the appointment of six Levitical cities as ‘cities of refuge’ to ensure that if there was an accidental killing, the accused killer could flee to one of these cities and be protected from the menace of the ‘avenger of blood’. This session will consider the provisions of the biblical cities of refuge from the perspective of sanctuary-seekers. The session will demonstrate a central premise of the VCS’s approach i.e. that the ‘world(s)’ of experience and action that the Scriptures describe can speak meaningfully to the ‘world(s)’ that present-day interpreters of the Scriptures continue to inhabit; and that the ‘world(s)’ to which art has responded in every epoch can speak meaningfully to both. Caleb Froehlich is a researcher for the St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology and an editor for De Gruyter’s Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception. He holds a PhD in Religion, Art, and Culture from the University of St Andrews and has two principal areas of research: the intersection between religion and popular culture (with a focus on twentieth and twenty-first century religious history) and culturally engaged theology (with a focus on art and media as spiritual, religious, and/or theological in potentia).

Living God's Future Now conversation - Stephen Cottrell: Thursday 13 May, 18:10 – 19:10 BST. Register for a Zoom invite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/living-gods-future-now-conversation-stephen-cottrell-tickets-146418863763. ‘Living God’s Future Now’ describes a series of online seminars, discussions and presentations hosted by HeartEdge. They are designed to equip, encourage and energise church leaders, laypeople and enquirers alike, in areas such as preaching, growing a church, shifting online, deepening spirituality in a congregation and responding to social need. The focal event in 'Living God's future now' is a monthly conversation in which Sam Wells explores what it means to improvise on God’s kingdom with a leading theologian or practitioner. Earlier conversations were with Walter Brueggemann, John McKnight, Chine McDonald, +Rachel Treweek, Stanley Hauerwas, Barbara Brown Taylor, Kelly Brown Douglas, Steve Chalke, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Sarah Coakley, and Jonathan Tran. At 6.10 pm (GMT) on Thursday 13 May 2021, Sam Wells and Stephen Cottrell will be in conversation to discuss how to improvise on the kingdom. The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Stephen Cottrell is the 98th Archbishop of York. In 2001, he was called to become Canon Pastor of Peterborough Cathedral and three years later was consecrated as Bishop of Reading. He became Bishop of Chelmsford in 2010 and served there until 2020 when he became the Archbishop of York. Author of more than 20 books, including ‘Dear England: Finding Hope, Taking Heart and Changing the World.’ A founding member of the Church of England’s College of Evangelists, he has also chaired a group of bishops with an interest in the media and is one of the authors of the Church of England’s Pilgrim course, a major teaching and discipleship resource. He also chairs the Board of Church Army.

Shut In, Shut Out, Shut Up Season 4: Ableism, Faith & Church – Friday 14 May, 16:30-18:00 BST, Zoom. Register for a Zoom invite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/shut-in-shut-out-shut-up-ableism-faith-church-tickets-152921752077. Ableism is discrimination and social prejudice against disabled people. Like racism and sexism, it classifies entire groups of people as 'less than'. In this groundbreaking 4th series of Shut In, Shut Out, Shut Up we explore the context, culture and practice of ableism in faith and church. Since 2012 the Living Edge conference has held space for disabled and neurodivergent people to gather, to resource each other and the church. These HeartEdge Shut In Shut Out Shut Up series shares some of this experience, providing new space to ask challenging questions. Come and join the conversation with Fiona MacMillan and Ann Memmott and Dr Naomi Lawson Jacobs (Context). Fiona MacMillan (she/her) is a disability advocate, practitioner, speaker and writer. Fiona chairs the Disability Advisory Group at St Martin in the Fields and is a trustee of Inclusive Church. She leads the planning team for their annual disability conference, now in its 10th year.

Inspired to Follow: Sunday 16 May, 14:00 (GMT), zoom - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/inspired-to-follow-art-and-the-bible-story-tickets-148401610211. ‘Inspired to Follow: Art and the Bible Story’ helps people explore the Christian faith, using paintings and Biblical story as the starting points. The course uses fine art paintings in the National Gallery’s collection as a springboard for exploring questions of faith. Session 18: Pentecost. Text: Acts 2:1-39 (extracts). Image: ‘Pentecost’, Giotto and Workshop, about.1310-18, NG5360.

Shut In, Shut Out, Shut Up Season 4: Ableism, Faith & Church – Friday 21 May, 16:30-18:00 BST, Zoom. Register for a Zoom invite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/shut-in-shut-out-shut-up-ableism-faith-church-tickets-152921752077. Ableism is discrimination and social prejudice against disabled people. Like racism and sexism, it classifies entire groups of people as 'less than'. In this groundbreaking 4th series of Shut In, Shut Out, Shut Up we explore the context, culture and practice of ableism in faith and church. Since 2012 the Living Edge conference has held space for disabled and neurodivergent people to gather, to resource each other and the church. These HeartEdge Shut In Shut Out Shut Up series shares some of this experience, providing new space to ask challenging questions. Come and join the conversation with Fiona MacMillan and Krysia Waldock and Rev Dr Jane Wallman-Girdlestone (Culture). Fiona MacMillan (she/her) is a disability advocate, practitioner, speaker and writer. Fiona chairs the Disability Advisory Group at St Martin in the Fields and is a trustee of Inclusive Church. She leads the planning team for their annual disability conference, now in its 10th year.

Inspired to Follow: Sunday 23 May, 14:00 (GMT), zoom - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/inspired-to-follow-art-and-the-bible-story-tickets-148401610211. ‘Inspired to Follow: Art and the Bible Story’ helps people explore the Christian faith, using paintings and Biblical story as the starting points. The course uses fine art paintings in the National Gallery’s collection as a springboard for exploring questions of faith. Session 19: Death of Stephen. Text: Acts 6:8 – 7:60 (extracts). Image: ‘The Martyrdom of Saint Stephen’, Possibly by Antonio Carracci, about1610, NG77. 

Art, Scripture and Contemporary Issues: Tuesday 25 May, 14:00-15:00, BST, zoom - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/art-scripture-contemporary-issues-tickets-148748287131. In a short series, curators for the Visual Commentary on Scripture will speak about their experience of curating for VCS in order to assist in understanding more deeply the value and potential uses to which the VCS exhibitions can be put by churches. In this session Susanna Snyder will speak about her experience of curating the Ruth 3-4 exhibition exploring why she made the choices and decisions she did in relation to both text and images. The brevity of the book of Ruth belies its significance. It offers an answer to some of the most important questions the people of Israel grapple with throughout the Old Testament. How are we to respond to refugees and migrants? How should we understand and inhabit boundaries? This session will demonstrate a central premise of the VCS’s approach i.e. that the ‘world(s)’ of experience and action that the Scriptures describe can speak meaningfully to the ‘world(s)’ that present-day interpreters of the Scriptures continue to inhabit; and that the ‘world(s)’ to which art has responded in every epoch can speak meaningfully to both. Susanna Snyder is Lecturer in Ethics and Theology at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, and an Associate of the Centre for Theology and Modern European Thought, University of Oxford.

Public Health and Church Engagement post pandemic: Wednesday 26 May 10:30-12:00 GMT, zoom - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/public-health-and-church-engagement-post-pandemic-tickets-148896518495. In this series of workshops, The Revd. Dr. Gillian Straine CEO of The Guild of Health and St Raphael will be exploring the potential of the church and people of faith to be agents of healing in our post pandemic world. By exploring the roots of the links between faith and health, theologies of healing and good practice she will encourage and empower participants to understand the role of the church alongside science, medicine and public health. Workshop 3 explores best practice in the healing ministry, including how to pray for healing, the healing sacraments, and how to create an healing atmosphere. We will explore different approaches, and look at some diverse experience of healing. The Healthy Healing Hub project will be introduced, and begin to explore the question of how God is calling you to respond to what has been explored in this course. The Revd. Dr. Gillian Straine is passionately committed to health, healing and Christian living. She is a cancer survivor, Anglican priest, theologian and scientist with a strong interest in communication and teaching. She has a doctorate in Physics from Imperial College London and an MA in Theology from the University of Oxford. She is particularly keen to bring the study of science into conversations about Christian healing. She is the author of Introducing Science and Religion: A path through polemic (SPCK, 2014), The Limits of Science? (CSP, 2017) and Cancer: A Pilgrim Companion (SPCK, 2017). She lives in Lichfield with her husband and two young children.

Being With Neighbours Internationally: Thursday 27 May 2021, 14:00 – 15:30 BST, zoom - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/being-with-neighbours-internationally-tickets-144394244071. Covid has forced the world into isolation through restrictions on international travel. This situation has led churches to reimagine how best to use their digital capacity to build relationships overseas in more ecological and sustainable ways. Historically, churches across denominations have had international links. Often these have flourished under particular church leadership or personal relationships and when these people move on, such initial links limp along without much direction because ground-to-ground relationships are too difficult to maintain. Links have also at times gravitated towards clergy to clergy jollies rather than embracing the full potential of discipleship and fellowship opportunities for the whole congregation. Where technology is available, new relationships are possible. This workshop shares practical examples of how to be with neighbours internationally in a way that leads to mutual flourishing for the whole congregation. We will hear stories from US, UK, Africa, Europe and beyond to inspire our ministries. Partners will join from both sides of a dialogue to enrich our sharing together. Bring your own stories too. We will end with a short liturgy of thanksgiving.

Shut In, Shut Out, Shut Up Season 4: Ableism, Faith & Church – Friday 28 May, 16:30-18:00 BST, Zoom. Register for a Zoom invite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/shut-in-shut-out-shut-up-ableism-faith-church-tickets-152921752077. Ableism is discrimination and social prejudice against disabled people. Like racism and sexism, it classifies entire groups of people as 'less than'. In this groundbreaking 4th series of Shut In, Shut Out, Shut Up we explore the context, culture and practice of ableism in faith and church. Since 2012 the Living Edge conference has held space for disabled and neurodivergent people to gather, to resource each other and the church. These HeartEdge Shut In Shut Out Shut Up series shares some of this experience, providing new space to ask challenging questions. Come and join the conversation with Fiona MacMillan and Rev Dr Hannah Lewis and Dr Rachel Holdforth (Practice). Fiona MacMillan (she/her) is a disability advocate, practitioner, speaker and writer. Fiona chairs the Disability Advisory Group at St Martin in the Fields and is a trustee of Inclusive Church. She leads the planning team for their annual disability conference, now in its 10th year.

Inspired to Follow: Sunday 30 May, 14:00 (GMT), zoom - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/inspired-to-follow-art-and-the-bible-story-tickets-148401610211. ‘Inspired to Follow: Art and the Bible Story’ helps people explore the Christian faith, using paintings and Biblical story as the starting points. The course uses fine art paintings in the National Gallery’s collection as a springboard for exploring questions of faith. Session 20: Saint Peter. Text: Acts 10:30-48. Image: ‘Christ appearing to Saint Peter on the Appian Way (Domine, Quo Vadis?)’, Annibale Carracci, 1601-2, NG9.See www.heartedge.org to join HeartEdge and for more information.

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Published by

Jonathan

Date published

30th April 2021

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