Hi <<First Name>>!
Welcome to Fusion Youth and Community UK's
Monthly Update looking back at March 2017!
WIth many recent events in our nation causing concern, we asked our good friend, Reverend Orr, to share some of his thoughts on how Christians around the UK can help steward unity. We have updates from our teams in Reading, Preston and our friends in Witham and we continue the 'Resourcing You' series with the theme of 'Narrative'! Shalom.
We Are God's Instruments For Peace
Written by Reverend Vernon Orr
What a time we are living through in the United Kingdom at the present. The media say we are a nation “deeply divided”. Is that true?
Over things like the referendum and the Brexit process clearly there are differing opinions, even disagreements, and where people have chosen to argue their position vigorously some divisions are evident. If we exclude the Westminster “bubble” and the Media generally, in my world, people appear to be getting on with their lives.
Whatever the true state of the nation is, as Christians we know that God is the God of history and as we pray to him and for our fellow UK residents, then we need not fear the future as we entrust it to him.
The terrorist incident by the Houses of Parliament and the horrific attack on the young asylum seeker in Croydon have seen the people of England unite in their outrage and pull together around what we believe is right, namely that fear will not win and visitors in our country should be treated hospitably. We have united together against the evil.
The Bible teaches us that we are to overcome evil with good. On a local level the Church seeks to be God’s instrument for peace and unity. The Kingdom of God that Jesus brought to earth values people and produces a unity from the diversity.
Locally we try and bring all people together. At our Open Crowd Festivals and Fun Days and Community Lunches the message is - we can sit down and eat and have fun together with whoever is around us.
Our St George’s day banquet in one of our churches is catered for by a local Bangladeshi restaurant who supply the curry and by choosing to have halal meat we are saying to the whole community “Come together – you are welcome”.
Rev'd Orr has been a friend of Fusion Y&C UK for over a decade. He is the Vicar of St Agnes with St Paul & St Barnabas Church, in Whitley, South Reading. Our team in Reading are very grateful to serve alongside this brother in Christ.
FUSION Y&C TEAM UPDATES
To find out what our Fusion Y&C teams in Reading & Preston/Leyland got up to over the last month and to hear from our friends in Witham, click hereand you'll be taken to our latest news post on the Fusion Y&C UK website!
NEW Resourcing You
In this series each month will feature a designated topic, with follow up segments expanding on the theme to be posted every following Friday (via Fusion's facebook page and website). We hope these short segments will provide helpful food for thought to encourage you in your own mission setting.
This Month's Topic is...
Above: An open crowd festival; where everyone can find their place in the celebration of community.
What is 'narrative' and why is it important?
One of the cornerstones to Fusion Y&C UKs approach to discipleship, mission and youth work practice is Narrative. We each exist by the will and design of Creator God, Yaweh who is The Protagonist in life. His Story is the great sweeping story of Love, Creation, Redemption and Life, within which our stories unfold. In other words ‘your’ story is part of ‘our’ story which is part of His Story and it is within this interplay that purpose and meaning come to life. The Redemption theme in His Story, is the climax, literally the crux, at which God’s life giving purpose intercepts a foreign story line of death and destruction.
So we all have a God given narrative, the person we were made to be, in His image, the unique contribution He designed us to bring. We find in life that our God given narrative resonates with that of others, and when we come together working towards things that resonate with God’s own narrative, we find ourselves truly Alive indeed. But we all know there is more to the story than that; also at play is another theme that runs through our lives that constantly pulls us away from our God given narrative. In Fusion Y&C UK we refer to this part as our script; it is the sum effect of our sin, our brokenness and our adaptations to living among broken people; it’s our default way of doing life and it keeps us trapped, and in the past.
On the cross Jesus dealt with our sin and redeemed us from death, from our past, from our script. Through Jesus, the Father has translated us out of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son of his love so that we could live in the fullness of the life He originally planned for us ‘long ago’, the bible says. Our hearts are indeed ‘restless until we have found our home in him’ (St Augustine).
Discipleship, mission and youth work is about participating in the process of redemption that Jesus wrought for us on the cross. It’s about finding the God given narrative in the other and calling it out, whilst at the same time, through prayer, word and action systematically undermining the script that is also at work. This entire process becomes The Redemptive Narrative at work.
Written by Dr. Claire Bankole
Important News for This Summer:
The 10% Early Bird discount for
Fusion Y&C UK's
Summer Mission Intensive
A Transformative Pilgrimage Experience
is available until the end of May!
Don't miss your chance to save £30 off the full cost (£330) by booking early!
Week 1: Reading, 24th-30th July 2017
Week 2: Preston, 2nd-8th August 2017
To find out more click here
A national opportunity to look out for is The Great Get Together
"On 17-18 June, get together with your neighbours and be part of a national celebration of what we have in common."
We hope you were both encouraged and inspired by what Vernon & Claire have shared with us this month. Don't forget to keep an eye out for the Narrative-themed 'Thought for the Week' posts on Facebook or here!
We wish you every joy that Easter brings!
on behalf of Fusion Youth and Community UK