April 2015

Love Your Neighbour - Think, Pray, Vote 2015

Think, Pray, Vote 2015Think, Pray, Vote 2015

In the run up to the general election on the 7th May the church has been using resources from the Joint Public Issues Team entitled “Love your Neighbour: Think, Pray, Vote” to explore the impact and importance of the general election. This covers four key themes - Truth, Justice, Peace and Wellbeing.

Truth
Love… does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth
1 Corinthians 13:6

Truth and integrity are important in all walks of life, but even more so when your decisions affect the lives of other people. We pray for and challenge candidates to ensure that facts, stories and statistics they use in their campaigns are both true and fair. We ask that the parties keep the promises and commitments they make during their campaign and act honestly and justly in office.

Justice
He will not grow faint, or be crushed, until he has established justice in the earth
Isaiah 42:3-4

Justice is an important part of the Christian message. We pray and challenge candidates on how they will address issues of justice, both abroad or at home. We ask how they will address economic systems that leave entire nations disadvantaged and impoverished. We ask how they will ensure that everyone in the UK has access to the Justice system when they need it. We consider some of the most significant aspects of injustice in our society today.

Peace
Blessed are the peacemakers
Matthew 5:9

We challenge candidates and parties on how they are going to be peacemakers in the world. What they are going to do to support those in countries which are constantly in a state of war? We ask what we can do to make peace ourselves and what they are going to do to support people in this endeavour. How will they work towards a world free of weapons of mass destruction in a positive and proactive way?

Wellbeing
Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets… the city shall be full of boys and girls playing…
Zechariah 8:4-5

Wellbeing is something which is tightly interwoven with the other three topics. We challenge politicians to address the growing inequalities in our society between rich and poor. We ask how they will help to build a sense of cohesion in our communities. We consider how policies could ensure a good quality of life for all.

Christians Together In Fareham have invited the General Election candidates to an Election Hustings at Holy Trinity Church from 6.00pm to 8.00pm on Sunday 26 April. If you would like to ask a question, please give it to Liz Dunning (CTIF Secretary) by Wednesday 22nd April, so the Chair, Ossie Ellis, can sort the most useful sequence of questions before the day

General Election 2015 - Fareham HustingsGeneral Election 2015 - Fareham Hustings

A series of briefings from JPIT, covering many of the major issues that parties are campaigning on. It highlights common misconceptions and is based on official statistics to give a broad and fair overview of the issues. It can be found at http://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Faith-in-Politics...

Easter 2015 - Yes, good exists! Jesus Christ is risen!

He is Risen 2015He is Risen 2015
Loving God,
as we ponder the world and all its ills,
places despoiled by violence, exploitation, injustice,
we are bound to ask: Does good exist?

Healing God,
as we read or watch the news,
people downtrodden, humiliated and scarred,
we are bound to ask: Does good exist?

Liberating God
as we see the earth and its beauty threatened,
forests uprooted, fields built upon and rivers polluted,
we are bound to ask: Does good exist?

Living God -
yes, good exists!
The empty Cross cries out with hope and joy.
Jesus Christ died and rose again,
showing us a way to live.

So, let us rise with Christ
to conquer the ills of the world,
bring relief where there is distress,
peace where there is none,
and joy beyond all joy.
Amen

This prayer was taken from the United Reformed Church's prayer handbook 2015 'Listening for the whisper'
Written by Iain McDonald, based on Psalm 4
Easter Cross 2015Easter Cross 2015