Great Britain: Churches give fresh impetus to social justice challenge

The Joint Public Issues Team


The work of Baptists, Methodists and members of the United Reformed Church in the field of social justice has been given fresh impetus, with new work priorities and the appointment of a new leader for the Joint Public Issues Team.

Rachel Lampard, previously responsible for political and parliamentary liaison in the MethodistChurch, is to take over as team leader, when she returns from maternity leave. She said: “Our three church traditions share a passionate concern for issues of poverty and injustice. By working together we have been able to make a much stronger impact. Our challenge is to help the churches to promote justice, equality and peace by influencing those in power. We also want to help resource and energise local congregations in their effort to live out the gospel of Christ”.

The Joint Public Issues Team was set up two years ago as a ground-breaking initiative between the churches which is now being adopted in other spheres of work. Staff retain a denominational identity but pool their expertise and produce resources jointly for the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the MethodistChurch and the United Reformed Church.

Team members are currently working on poverty in the UK, theology and climate change, human rights and corporate responsibility, business ethics, and human embryology and early human life. They have responded to government consultations on alcohol strategy, gambling, and climate change, and have produced a series of studies for home groups called “The Art of the Possible” which explore why Christians should be interested in public issues (www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/artofthepossible/index.htm)

A new Methodist member of the Team, Dr Paul Morrison, brings added expertise in the field of science, technology and bioethics. Other team members bring experience in international affairs, conflict, UK politics, theology, education and business.

The Joint Public Issues Team is managed by a group consisting of Janet Morley, head of the Christian Communication, Evangelism and Advocacy Cluster within the Methodist Church Connexional Team, Simon Loveitt, spokesperson on public issues for the United Reformed Church, and the Revd Graham Sparkes, head of Faith and Unity for the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

More details on the work of the Joint Public Issues Team from Wendy Cooper (enquiries@jointpublicissues.org.uk) or at www.jointpublicissues.org.uk

The Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) is the Baptist family in England and Wales (there is also the Baptist Union of Wales). It is made up of churches, regional associations, the national resource centre and Baptist colleges. The Union works with others in mission locally, regionally and internationally. It is a diverse union with small and large congregations, different nationalities and differing styles of worship yet united by core values and a common purpose of changing lives and transforming communities with the message and love of Jesus Christ. There are some 140,000 members of 2000 Baptist churches associated with the Baptist Union of Great Britain. www.baptist.org.uk

The MethodistChurch has about 295,000 members and 800,000 people are connected with the Church. It has about 5,800 churches in Great Britain, and also maintains links with other Methodist churches totalling a worldwide membership of 70 million. www.methodist.org.uk

The United Reformed Church comprises one hundred thousand people in 1600 congregations. It has brought together English Presbyterians, English, Welsh and Scottish Congregationalists and members of the Churches of Christ. Worldwide, more than 70 million Christians are members of the Reformed family of churches, the largest Protestant tradition. The name ‘Reformed’ is used because the churches began to emerge with reform movements in the sixteenth century. www.urc.org.uk

The Joint Public Issues Team combines the expertise of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the MethodistChurch and the United Reformed Church in the area of public issues. Through close collaboration, the churches aim to increase the effectiveness of their engagement in public life and parliamentary affairs. For more information about the Joint Public Issues Team, visit www.jointpublicissues.org.uk


03.10.2008 URC/UMC/BUGB / GEKE-Internet-Newsletter, 8. Oktober 2008

Neue Kirchenleitung in Ghana

Francis Amenu und Godwin Osiakwa werden kirchenleitende Theologen der E. P. Church, Ghana
Am 1. Januar 2009 übernehmen Francis Amenu und Godwin Osiakwa ihr neues Amt als kirchenleitende Theologen der Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana (E.P.Church). Beide wurden während der jüngsten Synode zum Moderator bzw. Synodalsekretär gewählt.

Antje Wodtke, Öffentlichkeitsreferentin der Norddeutschen Mission

Predigtpreis für Paolo Riccas ''Sprachwitz''

Waldenser-Theologe Paolo Ricca erhält Predigtpreis 2008
Bonn. Professor Dr. Paolo Ricca ist mit dem ''Predigtpreises'' des Verlags für die Deutsche Wirtschaft AG (Bonn) für sein Lebenswerk geehrt worden. Der 1936 geborene reformierte Theologe lehrte Kirchengeschichte und Praktische Theologie an der Waldenserfakultät in Rom.

Pfr. Dr. Andreas Flick, Celle

Church unity vital for belief in world peace says Reformed leader Setri Nyomi

''Does the church have a moral voice or credibility when our divisions are so visible?''
Geneva (ENI). Threats to peace and security around the world ought to give urgency to the quest for Christian unity, the general secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the Rev. Setri Nyomi has said. "Does the church have a moral voice or credibility when our divisions are so visible?" Nyomi asked during an address at the "Civilisation of Peace - Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue" conference in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 18 November, according to a statement by WARC.

Barbara Schenck

Soziale Ausgrenzung größte Herausforderung für evangelische Kirchen

Ergebnisse einer Umfrage unter den 105 Mitgliedskirchen der GEKE
„Die wachsende Lücke zwischen arm und reich führt zu sozialer Ausgrenzung.“ Diese Tatsache ist die aktuell größte soziale Herausforderung für die 105 Kirchen der Gemeinschaft Evangelischer Kirchen in Europa (GEKE).

Bern, 10. November 2008 / Thomas Flügge (Pressesprecher)

Gewalt gegen Christen in Orissa

Ein Bericht von der Synode der Kirche von Nordindien (CNI). Von Anto Akkara
Die Kirche von Nordindien (CNI), die gegenwärtig die schwersten Zeiten ihrer Geschichte durchmacht und deren Mitglieder zahlreich verfolgt werden, hat auf ihrer Synodaltagung vom 17.bis 21. Oktober in Pathankot im Bundesstaat Punjab ihre Einheit demonstriert. Die CNI ist Mitglied im Reformierten Weltbund.

Barbara Schenck
The work of Baptists, Methodists and members of the United Reformed Church in the field of social justice has been given fresh impetus, with new work priorities and the appointment of a new leader for the Joint Public Issues Team.

03.10.2008 URC/UMC/BUGB / GEKE-Internet-Newsletter, 8. Oktober 2008

A significant moment for reconciliation of Reformed church groups

New global Protestant body will help overcome 'history of separation'
The creation of the 80 million-member World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) marks an opportunity “to reinvigorate Reformed witness” in a fractured world, says one of the architects of the union.

Barbara Schenck

Treffen von Reformiertem Weltbund (WARC) und Reformiertem Ökumenischen Rat (REC)

WARC and REC governing bodies meet for the first time in Utrecht
Members of the governing bodies of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC) will meet in joint sessions for the first time from 6 to 10 October in Utrecht.

Quelle: Homepage WARC

Grußwort Calvins zur Lutherdekade

Eine Entdeckung von WARC und SEK
In einem jüngst entdeckten Brief grüßt der Schweizer Reformator Johannes Calvin seinen deutschen Kollegen Martin Luther zu dessen am 21. September beginnenden Dekade.

Meldung auf der Homepage des Reformierten Weltbundes und des Schweizerischen Evangelischen Kirchenbundes (SEK), 19. September 2008
Ein Treffen zwischen dem Reformierten Weltbund (RWB) und dem Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council (DECC), das im Juli in der Disciples of Christ Historical Society in Nashville, Tennessee, stattfand, sollte den Weg ebnen für eine engere Beziehung zwischen den beiden Organisationen und die Gespräche fortsetzen über „die Entwicklung einer umfassenden Partnerschaft mit dem Ziel der sichtbaren Einheit der Kirche.“

Barbara Schenck