Faith in Political Action Today – Bonhoeffer Day 2018
What is the purpose of the church? This is a question I often find myself wondering. We are faced with a decline in attendance, and it often feels like the church is ever more distant from wider society, and represents a privileged minority rather than serving the community as a whole.
Jennifer McBride’s talk at Project Bonhoeffer Day 2018 inspired me to see the church in a new way. Bonhoeffer wrote about the church needing to take up our cross and follow Jesus into a new situation. McBride talked about visionary churches who are living out this call by becoming centres of hospitality, welcoming those who are cast out and oppressed by the rest of society. Rather than being insular clubs of Christians, we could see ourselves as places of refuge for those who are suffering, offering practical hospitality to those who need it most. We learned about examples in the USA where this has been done, such as New Hope House in Georgia, and Manna House in Tennessee. There, houses of hospitality have been created not as an additional extra to ‘normal church’, but as the main purpose of the church community’s mission and identity.
The day was inspiring and thought-provoking, and everyone came away with fresh ideas, feeling encouraged in our faith and motivated to live out our calling as disciples of Jesus through works of mercy and hospitality for those who need it most.
Loving the Earth
As you know, we’ve been working on our Loving the Earth campaign for just over a year now. We’ve partnered with a range of organisations to empower students to take better care of our environment.
The latest way you can get involved is by checking out these new resources from Christian Aid Collective. The next phase of their Big Shift campaign is aimed at HSBC. They’re asking supporters up and down the country to visit their local branch and ask them to divest from fossil fuels; if we can visit enough branches, the message may get through to the decision makers at the top! If you or your group are interested in taking part in this campaign, see these resources or get in touch with Emma to find out more
For our mental wellbeing campaign we’re partnering with Space to Breathe, a Sheffield-based organisation who specialise in mental health provision from a spiritual perspective. We’ll be kicking off the campaign by getting your input on how mental wellbeing is supported on your campus, and the specific issues that matter to you through a quick online survey, so keep your eyes peeled for that coming to your inboxes very soon! We pride ourselves on being student led, so make sure to get involved and make your voice heard on the direction of this campaign.