This Weekly Focus looks at the ‘Unreconciled’ – groups of people who stay under the radar of our usual networks and Christian enterprises, and are often hidden in plain sight in our families, congregations, communities and nations. Weekly Focus returns again on 27 August 2018 after a Summer break.
6-12 August 2018
Jesus’s life and work, culminating in his death and resurrection, was to make us all aware of our Unreconciled state before God. Here we reflect on groups of ‘Unreconciled’ people who stay under the radar of our usual networks and are often hidden in plain sight in our families, congregations, communities and nations.
30 July – 5 August 2018
With a month to go to Creation Time (also known by other similar names), recently endorsed by Church leaders from around the world including the Archbishop of Canterbury, we reflect on biodiversity – the variety of life on Earth.
23-29 July 2018
Continuing our look at Christian unity, our reflection comes from our 2009 resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Reconcile Your People.
16-22 July 2018
Continuing from last week’s focus on Christian unity, we bring a reflection from our materials from the 2015 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, The Well is Deep. They are based on John 4:1-42 where Jesus was compelled to go through Samaria and met a Samaritan woman at a well, where Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’.
9-15 July 2018
While we prepare resources for the 2019 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we look back to our resources for 2014 which were based around Paul’s provocative question in 1 Corinthians, ‘Has Christ been divided?’ In faith we respond, ‘No!’ yet our church communities continue to endure divisions. However, 1 Corinthians also points us to a way in which we can value and receive the gifts of others even now in the midst of our divisions.
2-8 July 2018
There can appear to be a clash between caring for the poor and caring for the planet but it is the world’s poor who are suffering first and suffering worst in a world affected by avoidable climate change. From 30 June-8th July 2018, we are being asked to pay special attention to issues related to climate change as part of the Climate Coalition’s Speak Up Week of Action.
25 June – 1 July 2018
Crisis has launched a plan called ‘Everybody In’ to end homelessness in Great Britain, which has been endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. This Weekly Focus takes its prayer and reflection from the Home House of the Dispossession Project, produced by the Mission Theology Advisory Group (MTAG), an interactive resource that explores what ‘home’ means.
18-24 June 2018
Today, 244 million people are on the move as international migrants and over 65 million people have been forced to move. Refugee Week runs from 18-24 June 2018 with Sanctuary Sunday taking place on 24 June 2018. Our reflection this week was written by Inderjit Bhogal and comes from our 2015 Racial Justice Sunday material. Inderjit has made a version of the resource available for Sanctuary Sunday.
11-17 June 2018
Over 1.5 million people were destitute in the UK in 2017 according to a new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). This week we continue exploring what the Bible teaches about poverty, again based around our 2014 Lent course, Parables and possessions. Churches have a special interest in speaking about poverty – the Bible teaches us that the voices of the vulnerable and underprivileged must be heard by the rich and powerful.
4 – 10 June 2018
‘What does a church of the poor look like?’ This question was asked recently by Church Action on Poverty. The phrase originates from Pope Francis, who said he wanted ‘a poor Church, for the poor’. In this Weekly Focus, based around our 2014 Lent course, Parables and possessions, we encourage you to consider how being poor in Britain and Ireland in the 21st century invites more ridicule than sympathy.
28 May – 3 June 2018
While 176 states ratified the UN climate change agreement in Paris two years ago, the big remaining issue is climate finance – poorer countries need to be sure that the funding they have been promised to implement their emissions reductions plans will be delivered. As Christians, we have responsibilities both to care for the poor and to care for the planet. So we need to be aware of the issues and know what we can do both as individuals and as churches.
21-27 May 2018
Latest figures from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) show the nature and scale of modern day slavery in the UK today. Making a strong response against the abuse of others is an essential part of mission. All Christians are called by God to discern and to respond to God’s mission of love to the world, the missio Dei.
14-20 May 2018
Following the Windrush scandal and calls for the UK government to re-think its immigration policies, we continue our focus on welcoming the stranger. This week’s reflection comes from our resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2018, which uses material originated by the Caribbean churches. Although many traditionally observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity during January each year, some also observe it during Pentecost.
7 – 13 May 2018
In a reaction to the Windrush scandal, calls have been made for the UK government to re-think its immigration policies. But what is the Biblical perspective? As followers of Jesus do we have any option but to welcome the stranger and to share good hospitality?
30 April – 6 May 2018
With the Latest figures showing that foodbank use in the UK has increased 13% over the last year, and two thirds of working-age adults and children in poverty live in working families, we reflect on where God exists in absence.
23-29 April 2018
Syria is home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world but with the conflict entering it eighth year is rarely out of the news. For this Weekly Focus we are asked to consider how the life of Jesus helps us to respond in love and faithfulness to the plight of our fellow Christians.
16-22 April 2018
In 1989, the churches committed themselves afresh to the vision of full visible unity, saying they were to be “no longer strangers but pilgrims together”. We are inviting you to reflect upon this journey and, perhaps more importantly, that as we make this journey with God, the walking is always to be accompanied by acting justly, being loving in all things, and being humble.
9-15 April 2018
‘Justice should flow down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream’ (Amos 5.24), but today many people live in an environment where water has stopped rolling and the ever flowing streams have dried up and become ‘never flowing’.
2-8 April 2018
Our Churches have a tremendous opportunity to evidence God’s Kingdom on earth by taking deliberate action to include members of Britain’s minority ethnic communities in our congregations. The difficulty some churches have is in not understanding the difference between allowing participation, and actively seeking the participation of those not already involved.
26 March – 1 April 2018
In our final Weekly Focus, based on our Lent course in partnership with Hope, we remember the last week of Jesus’s life leading up to his death and resurrection.
19-25 March 2018
In our penultimate Weekly Focus, based on our Lent course in partnership with Hope, we see how Jesus didn’t just talk about being loving but showed his love through his actions. Although Jesus knew that many religious people would reject him and some wanted him dead, he chose not to stop them even though he had the power to do so.
12-18 March 2018
In our fourth Weekly Focus, based on our Lent course in partnership with Hope, the ending to the story is revealed – Jesus will be handed over to the chief priests and teachers of the law, sentenced to death, killed, but then three days later rise from the dead. The disciples struggled to believe and understand this course of events and the fact that Jesus was starting a new kingdom with very different priorities.
5-11 March 2018
Our third Weekly Focus which includes a prayer, reflection and Bible quotations, based on this year’s Lent course in partnership with Hope, explores how love is at the heart of the Jesus story. This week, think about how God shows his love to people. How does God show his love and care to you, and to others through you?
26 February – 4 March 2018
Continuing our Lent course in partnership with Hope, this second weekly focus looks at how Jesus chose a group of followers (disciples) and showed them how they could live God’s way and trust him for everything. He is still calling people to follow him today. He promises to be with us always and everywhere, and gives his followers his authority to do the things he had been doing.
19-25 February 2018
For the next six weeks, our Weekly Focus will highlight our Lent course, in partnership with Hope, based on the book 40 Stories of Hope. We are all invited to get to know Jesus better by reading his life story, taking a journey with Jesus from the River Jordan, where he was baptised, to the city of Jerusalem, where he was crucified and buried, and where he rose from the dead.
12 – 18 February 2018
War, violence and persecution worldwide are causing more people than ever to be forcibly displaced, says UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. But what happens in the long term to those people who come to live in the UK? The future of today’s migrants and refugees raises an urgent question about how the Church’s mission is shaped to respond to those to whom we pledge our loving service.
5 – 11 February 2018
Our society is witnessing rising levels of hate crimes related to racial and religious discrimination following the Brexit vote and a race disparity audit, published by the UK government in October 2017, found that ‘there is still a way to go before we have a country that works for everyone regardless of their ethnicity’. This Weekly Focus looks at issues of racial justice in the run-up to Racial Justice Sunday on 11 February 2018.
29 January – 4 February 2018
Following on from Homeless Sunday, which highlighted the fact that homelessness in England is rapidly rising, our Weekly Focus explores home and homelessness. This week’s prayer and reflection comes from the Dispossession Project, an interactive project from the Mission Theology Advisory Group (MTAG) that explores what ‘home’ means.
22 – 28 January 2018
Our first Weekly Focus is based on the reflection for day 5 of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, traditionally observed from the 18th to the 25th January. Resources for 2018 were produced in the Caribbean and use Exodus 15, a song of triumph over oppression, as the motif of the Week of Prayer. This Weekly Focus looks at pursuing economic justice.