SAMUEL KASUMU A Christian Tory who is winning the race
Making the world a safer place for women
LOVE V LUST
Is the Church doing enough during recession?
How to help your child achieve educational success
ANGIE LE MAR
How renewing her faith has transformed her life
Teaching young people the difference
Finding out the 8 pillars for optimum health
I can’t believe that the year is nearly finished! Just one more month to go, and 2012 will be over.
Rev David Shosanya’s article asks what should have greater importance in a Christian life: being a disciple or living out one’s destiny. Wale HudsonRoberts shares how the Church can help those affected by the recession, and Dionne Gravesande shows how we can make the world a safer place for women. We have got two major interviews: one with the Queen of Black British comedy, Angie Le Mar, who shares how and why she has renewed her faith and how it’s impacting her life, and Samuel Kasumu, a Christian and leading social entrepreneur making a mark in the Tory Party. I hope you’ll enjoy the article by our new health columnist, Dr Kem Thompson, who writes about the eight pillars you need to enjoy optimum health. Dr Stuart Pattico writes about the seven types of personalities you’re likely to meet in church and how to deal with them, and former headteacher, Keith Davidson, shares some tips on how to help your children succeed in school. This edition of Keep The Faith is one that we are proud of. It’s full of great articles, and I hope it encourages and motivates you to make a difference. Enjoy.
Editor Marcia Dixon firstname.lastname@example.org
10 30 26
WELCOME 04 Food 4 Thought by Marcia Dixon 06 Readers’ Letters
NEWS 07 News pages 10 Keep The Faith about town
COMMENT 12 Destiny vs Discipleship by Rev David Shosanya 13 Who is Jesus, really? by Rev Stephen Brooks 14 C O V E R S T O R Y The role of the Church during recession by Rev Wale Hudson-Roberts
Interview with Angie Le Mar 18
Samuel Kasumu: A man who wants to change the world by Lori Powell
Let’s make the world a safer place for women by Dionne Gravesande 22 The seven personality types in church by Dr Stuart Pattico 23 C O V E R S T O R Y Ensuring educational success for Black children by Keith Davidson 24 It’s good to be vindicated about sex! by Rev J John Keep The Faith R Postal Address: PO Box 574 Bury St Edmunds IP33 9BW Tel: 0845 193 4431 Mob: 07743 846 300
That said, there is still much we can do to show others that we have a living, applicable faith, and it’s our aim that this edition of Keep The Faith will not only inform you, but also inspire you to reflect on your life; share how you can grow in your faith, and make a difference in the lives of others.
CONTENTS ISSUE 76
SPECIAL FEATURE 26 Could you give a child a permanent home?
GOSPEL 30 Gospel News by Marcia Dixon 32 Gospel music: For love & money by Juliet Fletcher
What is real love? by Amie Buhari 35 How to build healthy relationships by Gladys Famoriyo 36 Don’t let life give you heartache by Esther Williams
LIFESTYLE 38 Business Matters by Denise Roberts 39 How to use social media to build God’s Kingdom by Bernard Reilly 40 Charity Affairs by Lara Rufus 42 C O V E R S T O R Y The 8 pillars for a healthy life by Dr Kem Thompson 43 Heart to Heart by Esther Fenty
MISSION 46 An infectious outpouring of love by Kate Sharma
Publisher: Shirley McGreal email@example.com Editor: Marcia Dixon firstname.lastname@example.org Design: Becky Crump email@example.com Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org Admin and Subscriptions: email@example.com Skype: keepthefaithmag www.keepthefaith.co.uk www.blackchristiandirectory.com
Many thanks from Keep The Faith to: Rev David Shosanya, Rev Stephen Brooks, Rev Wale Hudson-Roberts, Rev J John, Shirin Aguiar-Holloway, Lori Powell, Dionne Gravesande, Dr Stuart Pattico, Keith Davidson, Juliet Fletcher, Amie Buhari, Gladys Famoriyo, Esther Williams, Denise Roberts, Bernard Reilly, Lara Rufus, Dr Kem Thompson, Esther Fenty, Kate Sharma, Jackie Raymond, our advertisers and all our supporters The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Publisher.
FOOD 4 THOUGHT
Keep your light shining for God
ost Christians know that they are meant to be a light, and do good works, but too few let others know about the good works they are doing. This is so wrong. We shouldn’t let false modesty prevent us from telling others about the good that we do, because when people see and hear about what we do in the name of God, they will worship our heavenly Father. The Bible tells us, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16). I can’t forget the reaction Street Pastors (SP) received when they patrolled the streets of Hackney for the very first time in 2003. People were excited to see Christians doing something to combat a seemingly growing and important social issue, and told us so. One reason for positive response was that weeks prior, much time had been spent publicising SP’s aims. Now, nine years later, such is the impact of SP, it is now based in over 250 towns and cities across the UK - as well as abroad - and elicits praise. Why? Because it serves as a beacon of God’s love for humanity. Christianity is more than talk. It’s a lifestyle that should be characterised by practical, problem-solving action, when an individual or community needs help. This is made clear in James 2:17, where the writer states, “Faith by
itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” As I travel around the Christian community, it’s apparent that there are many believers who have taken the words of Jesus to heart, and are a light, and do good works, but don’t always do so in a way that others can see, which is a shame. The world needs to hear about the good things that believers are doing, and so do other believers. So if you are doing good, impacting lives, transforming lives, helping people overcome trauma, and making a difference, let others know about it. There are so many tools available these days to do so, so please just do it, so that we can get more people to praise our Lord.
Share the knowledge There’s no doubt that our churches are skill centres. They are filled with talented, skilled and educated people from all walks of society, who can help fill the knowledge gaps that are experienced by both church leadership and laity at times. Whatever information a church needs, there is bound to be someone in the congregation who is a specialist in that area, whether it’s counselling, the criminal justice system, graphic design, media, theology, evangelism, social welfare… the list could go on. Wouldn’t it make sense for churches to compile a register - voluntarily of course - listing the areas members specialise in, which fellow members can access? Better still, wouldn’t it be great if churches encouraged their members to donate their skills/information for a few hours a month for the benefit of their congregation or the wider community? Hosea 4:6 says, “My people perish through lack of knowledge,” but in this day and age, with the great human resources we have in our churches, does this still need to be the case? I don’t think so.
BRING THE CHOIR BACK
hen I was a young believer, choirs played an important role in the Church. With the irresistible combination of blended soulful voices coupled with music, choirs shared the Gospel via an attractive medium; gave members the chance to participate in the public ministry, and shared the Gospel with the wider public when performing at community events. I sang in my church choir. It was fun, enjoyable, and when we sang out, had the opportunity to touch the lives of people who would not necessarily attend a church. It’s a fact that during the 80s and 90s, it was choirs like the London Community Gospel Choir, the London Adventist Chorale, and the now defunct Inspirational Choir (directed by Bishop John Francis, pictured) that made the wider community became aware of the Black Christians in their midst, because of the beautiful music they created. Choirs also served as great training grounds for numerous singers and musicians. It pains me to see numerous Caribbean churches getting rid of their choirs, replacing them with smaller worship teams and, in the process, turning their backs on a fantastic musical heritage. Worship teams are fine, but can they match the beauty, power and inspiration of a harmonious choir? I don’t think so. Whilst it is important for churches to move with the times, and embrace the current penchant for praise and worship, we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. The chorale tradition in our churches should be embraced, cherished and supported, and if it’s dying out in your church, speak to your pastor and talented singers within your congregation, and help to bring it back. It’s a musical tradition we can’t let die.
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Readers’Letters We’d love to hear your views on Keep The Faith and the featured articles. Send your letters to Keep The Faith Letters, PO Box 574, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 9BW or better still, email firstname.lastname@example.org
People must marry for the right reasons
I love the music of YolanDa Brown I just love the music of saxophonist YolanDa Brown, so you can imagine how excited I was to see that she was featured in Keep The Faith (issue 75). It’s inspiring to see a Christian woman in the public eye master an instrument that is normally the reserve of men - and be acclaimed for it. I also love the fact that she is committed to lifelong learning, and desirous to inspire and encourage young people to pursue their dreams. What a wonderful lady. Alisha McIntosh, Stevenage
I was deeply moved by Ruth Dickson’s account of a marital breakdown in her article, Building on the Wrong Foundation (issue 75). I, too, am a divorcee with two children and, on reflection, my motives for getting married weren’t right. I was frightened of being left on the shelf, and married the first man that asked me. It was not a good decision. I married out of desperation - not love - and although there were few happy moments in my marriage, I have no regrets about the children I had. Ruth is right; anyone wanting to get married must build their relationship on the right foundation, and never ever marry for any reason that does not align itself with God’s Word. Marriage is a sacred institution, and we should approach getting into a marriage covenant with the seriousness and solemnness it deserves. Name and address supplied
More articles about health, please I was so pleased to see Keep The Faith include an article about diabetes in the last edition. The Black community needs to be more informed about the diseases that affect us more adversely; not only how to treat them, but also how to prevent them. I meet so many people who suffer preventable diseases, like high blood pressure and heart disease, and feel that our churches can play a greater role in health education. I hope that Keep The Faith publishes more health-focused articles in the future. Janice Albert, Birmingham Editor’s Note: Janice, you’ll be pleased to hear we’ve appointed GP Dr Kem Thompson to write articles about health, which you will find in this edition of the magazine.
Churches’ involvement in politics a good thing
I was so encouraged to read the news story in the last edition of Keep The Faith that church leaders have pledged to encourage Christians to get more involved in politics. I used to be active in the Church during the 80s, but left in the 90s because I got fed up of the political inertia of our church leaders, who refused to get involved in anything political or encourage their members to. I’m glad that churches leaders are moving with the times, and recognise how important it is for Christians to engage with the political process. I am excited that not only are church leaders working together to produce a political manifesto, but they are going to encourage Christians to register to vote. They are also going to encourage church members to get more involved in civil society by becoming magistrates, join political parties, and the like. This is the best news I’ve heard about the Church in a long time, and might tempt me to come back. Joseph Bailey, London
Intellectuals must connect more with the community Rev Stephen Brooks’ article, ‘Promoting Black Intellectuals’ raised a number of very interesting points re the importance of intellectuals, and how their dedication to the academic life can aid the Black community. It makes me recognise how important it is for church leaders to receive a theological education, and commit themselves to refresher courses about church leadership and pastoral care throughout their ministerial lives. It also made me reflect on the role of Black academics. I believe they would have a much greater impact in our community if, rather than gather in their own little intellectual huddles to exchange their ideas and talk about their research findings, they would find ways to feed back their findings into the Black community, so we can benefit from their learning by applying it. We do need more people in our community to recognise that a University education as a good thing, but we also want our intellectuals to create better links with the community, so the younger generation can see how rigorous academic study positively impacts our community. Peter Johnson, Manchester
Bishop stands for role of police and crime commissioner A prominent Black church leader has put himself forward as a candidate in forthcoming elections for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner in the West Midlands. Bishop Derek Webley (pictured), leader of the New Testament Church of God in Handsworth, Birmingham, has thrown his hat into the ring as an Independent, and believes he has the necessary experience and knowledge of the community to be elected to the post. He stated, “A Police and Crime Commissioner should answer to the public, not Westminster politicians or the Shadow
GROW YOUR HAIR LONG WITH DIANE Diane Hall is helping Black women to embrace the natural beauty of their hair, and maximise their natural hair growth with her debut book, ‘How I Grew it Long...Naturally!’ which was launched with a bang at the Afro Hair and Beauty Show in June. Since then, Diane, who is a Christian, model, entrepreneur and mother, has been busy touring the UK promoting her book, as well as working with local churches and health organisations such as Black Health Initiative and the New Testament Church of God, Leeds, where she holds focus groups and hair coaching sessions. “The support from the Black and local community is amazing. I am hoping to do so much more work within these communities to help and encourage women to keep the faith and be successful on their own journeys.” How I Grew It Long…Naturally chronicles Diane’s own hair growth journey, by using pictures, and includes tips on how to care for and grow Black hair. She shared, “My aim is to promote and increase the awareness of the beauty of afro-textured hair in its natural state, through a message of accepting yourself for who you are.” Diane hopes the story of her natural hair growth journey will encourage and provide support for other women on a similar journey.
Cabinet. Decision-making needs to be open, with honest debate, and not hidden away in political groups, with decisions made before the public gets a look-in.” Bishop Webley made history when he was appointed Chair of the West Midlands Police Authority in 2009. He was the first African
Caribbean to hold such a role. He has stepped down from this position to participate in the election. There are 41 Police and Crime Commissioners posts across the country up for election. The public will decide in elections (on November 15), who they want in the role. The aim of these elections, introduced by the Tory Party, is to give the public a greater say in how crime is tackled in their area, and give them a face to complain to if they aren’t satisfied with the quality of policing in their area. For more details, visit www.homeoffice. gov.uk/police/police-crime-commissioners
A HOMESCHOOLING JOURNEY Len and Karen Allen must be one of the few Black Christian parents in the UK who homeschool their children. The couple started educating their four sons - aged 9, 7, 5 and 2 - at their home in Kent in September. They teach their children a flexible curriculum, which includes devotion; personal development, which involves character building; people skills and life skills; financial coaching, as well as the core subjects. Karen shared with Keep The Faith the inspiration behind homeschooling her children. “When I had my first child, I thought I would love to teach him. I thought that I would have one child, but now that my youngest is almost three, I thought it would be a good time to achieve my dream.” “Being a mother of four Black boys, I know that the education system is not designed for boys to succeed in general, and Black boys in particular. I don’t think a class with one teacher and 30 pupils is designed to bring out the best in a child. Having said that, I don’t think homeschooling is for everyone; not all parents have the grace to do it.” Karen’s approach to education is inspired by her faith. “I believe wholeheartedly that everyone has been created for a purpose. Our greatest role in life is to discover our purpose. The education system is not necessarily designed to help individuals achieve their purpose. I am now a speaker and writer, who failed English at school, and was told to keep quiet.” Homeschooling her children is a major commitment. Karen now gets up at 5.45am and says she’s whacked by 8.30pm, but she’s enjoying it. “Spending 24 hours a day with my children is not as bad as I thought it would be. They are not going to be this age forever, so I’m cherishing this moment.” She aims to give homeschooling her best shot, and will be happy with herself it she’s able to take her children through at least their primary school years. To follow Karen’s homeschooling journey, visit http://keepingitrealwithkaren.blogspot.com
To purchase a copy of the book, visit www.igrewitlong.com
The day the Church united to pray for the nation Shirin Aguiar-Holloway reports on the recent National Day of Prayer, which brought together Christians from across the UK to Wembley Stadium to pray in unison for the nation “We experienced the Body of Christ coming together in the most famous stadium in the UK to declare the Name of Jesus” - the words of Noel Robinson, Director of Music and Worship at the National Day of Prayer, which saw believers from all backgrounds and churches from around the UK (and further afield) unite in worship on 29 September 2012. Thousands more joined in through live broadcasts and streams via GOD TV, Revelation TV, OHTV, Premier Radio and UCB. The Lord’s Prayer was a key focus for the historic six-hour prayer gathering, and emblazoned across the main stage were the prayer’s opening words: ‘Our Father in Heaven, heal our land.’ Prayers were said for the Church, the nation and for individuals. The Day’s theme was ‘transforming our communities’, and there were prayers for unity for churches to collaborate to transform communities. The event celebrated churches working together during the Queen's Jubilee weekend and the London 2012 Games, and organisers gave details of a major mission in 2013 in London. Singers at this major initiative included Remanente, Graham Kendrick, Sonnie Badu, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman and Guvna B, backed by the All Souls Orchestra and a mass choir. For Dr Jonathan Oloyede, who convened the huge event, it was a partial fulfilment of a series of dreams and visions he received in the 90s. One vision in particular was of thousands gathered in worship at a massive stadium. He told Keep the Faith: “NDOP Wembley was the partial fulfilment of an 18-year-old vision of seeing Wembley Stadium packed with Christians from different cultures, creeds and classes. The Lord smiled on us with His presence, fantastic atmosphere, wonderful weather, and the colourful unity of church in its diversity.”
Worship leader, Noel Robinson, said it was an honour to serve at the NDOP Wembley: “We certainly showed the world our unity as the Church. Christians came from all denominations, church groups, house groups, Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Chinese, all with the purpose of touching God in prayer and worship. I believe that God was pleased with the gathering of His people.” Guvna B spoke after performing his recently-released single Free: “It’s amazing to be here, especially representing young people. It’s good that we can be serious about our faith and come together with the adults and express praise, prayer and worship as well, so it means it’s gone well. GDOP is important because you can’t preach to a diverse nation if you haven’t got a diverse church. For so many people from different creeds, colours, backgrounds, to come together and be united for one common goal and common vision, it doesn’t really happen that much.” Award-winning African gospel singer, Sonnie Badu, who represented Africa at the event, shared: “It’s a great feeling. This feeling is priceless. It’s a true honour to be here today. Representing Africa means a lot. I’m praying that God gives us strength to keep doing it every year.” Bishop Errol Campbell, who leads Alpha and
Omega Christian Fellowship in Kingsbury, North London, attended with his entire congregation. He said: “It’s one of the greatest events in our country for a long time, and it’s historical of course, because it’s a national day of prayer for our nation, and what does our nation need more than prayer right now? We need God to intervene in our country and in our nation, because only God can make the difference.” Leyla, a student from Hertfordshire, said: “It’s surreal. The atmosphere here is absolutely amazing, the energy. Doing it at Wembley Stadium is going to draw a lot of attention, and when people see the effect that it’s had on people here, that’s definitely going to start affecting people more and more, and hopefully gradually grow and grow. Christians can start getting out there more, so more people can hear.” Checko came with his church, Trinity Baptist in West Norwood, South London, to support Noel Robinson. He said: “Absolutely, absolutely marvellous. An event like this can definitely impact on society, especially the young ones. When you bring them, they get to understand more of these things, and fellowship with people together, worshipping together.”
Bishop Errol Campbell, Checko, Cherice Walford
Organisers are keen for the prayer momentum to continue. Dr Oloyede urged Christians across the UK: “Set your mobiles to 12noon daily, and pray the Lord’s Prayer in 5s, 50s, 500s or 5000s. Let us all make the effort to join in prayer everywhere with other Christians different from us.” For more information visit: www.ndopwembley.com www.neighbourhoodprayer.net and www.crossinglondon2013.co.uk
CHURCH MOURNS PASSINGOF LEADING BISHOP The Christian community is mourning the death of Pentecostal stalwart, Bishop SG Sappleton, leader of well-known Pentecostal church, Calvary Temple, which is based in Camberwell, South London. He served as pastor of the church for 37 years, and was known as a pastor who was compassionate and generous, and who also had a great sense of humour. He has travelled and ministered in several countries, including the USA, Canada, Jamaica, Israel, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Guyana, Trinidad and the Bahamas. Bishop Sappleton was a founding member of Pentecostal denomination, United Pentecostal Church of Great Britain and Ireland (UPC), where he served the church in a number of roles. He was on the General Board for 35 years, and served as Missions Director for 25 years, during which time the growth of the Organisation expanded throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Very much concerned with church unity, Bishop Sappleton worked alongside leaders of numerous Apostolic denominations here in the UK, including the late Bishop Pitt, of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World; and Bishop Leon White, founder of the Bible Way Church of our Lord Jesus Christ; Bishop Harry McFarlane, of House on the Rock in Bethnal Green, London, and Bishop Sidney Dunn of Bethel United Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Bishop Sappleton was born in Jamaica in 1935; became a Christian in 1953, and immigrated to the United Kingdom in 1960. He started pastoring in 1969, and was appointed pastor of Calvary Temple in 1975. He was married to his late wife, Catherine May, in 1963, with whom they had four children. He is survived by a son, David Mark; daughter, Susan Grace, and six grandchildren. The funeral takes place on Friday 2nd November, 2012 at Calvary Temple UPC, 1 Councillor Street, Camberwell, London SE5 0LY.
Michael Winans Jnr pleads guilty to fraud Michael Winans Jr, a member of the world famous gospel-singing family, The Winans, is facing the possibility of serving a 20-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to defrauding investors of up to $8million. Winans Jr, who is the son of Michael Winans, a member of legendary group The Winans, persuaded 11 shareholders that he represented an organisation called The Winans Trust, an organisation that invested in crude oil bonds from Saudi Arabia. The shareholders were then encouraged to attract investors to sign up to the scheme, promising a return on their money of between $1000 and $8000 in 60 days. Over 1000 people invested in the scheme and, as a result, Winans Jr accrued up to $8million. He is expected to be sentenced on February 27, 2013.
Gospel community mourning loss of Joni Lee The gospel community is in shock following the death of UK gospel singer, Joni Lee. Joni was renowned for her powerful voice, gentle attitude and sweet spirit. She was an in-demand singer, performing regularly at concerts, events and conferences. During the late 80s and 90s, she sang with the London Community Gospel Choir for a while. She was also a guest vocalist on the Soul Stirrings compilation album released in 1993, which featured various UK artists. Facebook was overwhelmed with tributes following her death. Isaiah Raymond-Dyer, of Raymond & Co, wrote on his page how he cried upon hearing of her death. When he spoke to Keep The Faith, he shared that he and Joni became good friends after he did backing vocals for her in 1993. She also sang at his eldest daughter’s christening, and he sang at Joni’s 40th birthday. He said, “I feel gutted; there are some people you work with and some people you work for. Joni was someone I wanted to work for.” He was hoping to work with Joni on her debut album, a dream which
will now not be realised. Gospel DJ, Dave P, was equally shocked at the news. He said, “She was an awesome vocal powerhouse, with a great amount of gifts and talents, and a very nice person.” Sharon Bradshaw has known Joni since the age of 4. They grew up together in the same church, New Life Assembly in Dalston, and sang together. She shared, “She was very friendly, very shy, and very humble. Her boldness would come out with her singing. Her favourite song was His Eye Is On The Sparrow.” Joni is survived by her five siblings, nieces and nephews.
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KEEP THE FAITH ABOUT TOWN
Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin
Patois Bible launched at JA High Commission
Over 100 people from across the UK attended the recent launch of the first ever Jamaican Patois Bible, held at the Jamaican High Commission.
his translation, which will be available in both a written and MP3 format, will enable people who speak Jamaican patois to read and hear the Bible in their own language for the very first time. Rev Joel Edwards, Lord Michael Hastings, Chaplain to the House of Commons Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin and former England footballer, Linvoy Primus, were amongst those present. The Jamaican High Commissioner, Her Excellency Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, welcomed the publication saying it was “an important piece of work.” The Rev Courtney Stewart, General Secretary of the Bible Society of the West Indies, flew into the UK especially for the launch. He told the attendees, “This New Testament will achieve a kind of engagement of our people with the Word of God in a way that has never happened before. There will be transformation in people’s lives. For the first time, they will have an understanding of God’s Word.” Marcus Prince Johnson, son of the beat poet Linton
Kwesi Johnson, read the Lord’s Prayer in patois, whilst UK rapper Dwayne Tryumf closed the event with a reading of The Beatitudes in patois. The Jamaican Patois Bible is a project undertaken by the Bible Society of the West Indies, and has taken 20 years from start to finish. Church leaders, present at the launch, welcomed the translation. Rev Carver Anderson, Executive Director of charity, Bringing Hope, told Keep The Faith, “I’m excited. I call this Bible theological contextualisation for Jamaicans. I will take this to the streets, and look forward to it.” Rev Claudette Douglas, of the Holy Apostles Theatre Ministries, was elated about the translation. “For more, it’s a breakthrough, a ground-breaking moment with JA turning 50, and at last giving itself permission to recognise its own language as having integrity, authenticity and the anointing of God.” The Patois Bible was published in Jamaica at the end of October to coincide with Jamaican’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations.
There will be transformation in people’s lives. For the first time, they will have an understanding of God’s Word. Rev Courtney Stewart
Left, Courtney Wilson with Jamaican High Commissioner Middle, Linvoy Primus Right, Dwayne Tryumf
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DESTINY VS DISCIPLESHIP Christians are increasingly encouraged to pursue their personal ambitions. Rev David Shosanya writes that this is wrong when too little emphasis is placed on Christian discipleship, holy living, and seeking God’s will and purpose for one’s life. ................................................................
REV DAVID SHOSANYA is a Regional Minister & Director with the London Baptist Association
ver the past decade or two, I have noticed significant and serious - paradigm shifts taking place within the Church in the UK. In last month’s column, I explored the challenges that face Christians of African heritage, as they seek to discern what the Spirit is saying about how they work out their unique contribution to the Church here in the UK. My conclusion was that the potential contribution of Christians of African heritage had already changed the religious landscape of the nation, and furthermore had the potential - much of which is already being worked out by many African pastors - to be a much-needed evangelistic and social action movement. (Many indigenous churches struggle to combine social action with intentional evangelistic outreach.) At the same time, the wider Church in the UK continues to wrestle with the many challenges to its existence, including contending with alternative narratives and ideologies (radical and aggressive humanism, individualism, consumerism, the new atheism, etc.) that are seeking to assert their relevance to contemporary culture in a manner that undermines or even sidelines the Church. The external challenges are only compounded by the internal challenges that the Church is simultaneously having to negotiate. One of the internal challenges facing the Church, particularly churches largely populated by Christians of African and Caribbean heritage, is the primacy of the pursuit of one’s personal sense of destiny over and above the necessity for effective Christian discipleship, as outlined in Scriptures. By this, I mean that discipleship is conspicuously absent from the predominant, or increasingly prevalent discourses that are emerging from many churches indigenous churches included. The material effect of this paradigm shift has been an excessive focus on doing rather than being, whereas in Scriptures, the latter flows out of the former: we do because we are, and not vice versa! It is worth stating at this juncture that I wholeheartedly believe in personal destiny; that each of us is here for a particular purpose, and that our goal in life should be to realise that purpose in and through Christ, the Holy Spirit and the insight of Scripture. The challenge, as I see it, is that individuals are seeking to fulfil their destiny without first submitting themselves to the process of discipleship. Discipleship appears to have become a dirty word, and the central importance of this mode - of embedding the essential tenets and characteristics of the Christian faith into the consciousness of new converts - is increasingly being disparaged. However, to avail
oneself in obedience to the lifelong process of discipleship is to embrace the Christian virtues of interdependence and humility. These two character traits are integral to how the Christian understands themselves; their relationship to other believers, and their relationship to the world. Perhaps it is the young people within our churches who have been most affected by this new way of ‘being Christian’ and, it might be argued, are consciously or unconsciously the most vociferous proponents of this shift in emphasis away from discipleship towards destiny. However, they are not to be blamed or held responsible, because their worldview is shaped and reshaped within the context of communities of Christian faith. It stands to reason, therefore, that those communities are directly responsible for educating, forming, influencing and shaping the Christian worldview developed in its young people. The fact that some churches may not be prioritising discipleship is likely to be the result of one of three reasons: either the community has abdicated its responsibility for discipleship; has compromised its ethos, or is itself modelling a worldview that prioritises self over ‘taking up the cross daily and following Christ’ (Mark 8:34). The danger with this form of Christianity is that it reduces God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit to celestial facilitators of human ambitions or aspiration, rather than sovereign beings to whom the human spirit should surrender and confirm through loving obedience.
I wholeheartedly believe in personal destiny. The challenge is that individuals are seeking to fulfil their destiny without first submitting themselves to the process of discipleship.
The consequence of this ‘new’ worldview reaches far beyond the impact it has on the individual; their understanding of the Christian Gospel, and the call to discipleship, and touches on the very essence of the Church. It challenges the biblical revelation of the body of Christ as ‘the many sided wisdom of God’ (Ephesians 3:10), and redefines its members, and consequently its mission, not as disciples on a path towards being conformed into the image of God through Christ (Romans 8:29), or as a therapeutic community commissioned to bring healing, wholeness and a message of reconciliation to the world (2 Corinthians 5:19ff), but rather as a disparate group of individuals who form loose communities of faith that prioritise personal ambition over transformational or transformative living. Such a presentation or projection of Christian communities no doubt appears to the world to be a living embodiment of a contradictory state of existence that is incongruent with what the Bible depicts, and an unattractive alternative to the life they have become accustomed to. One has not yet begun to assess the implications of this emphasis on realising personal destiny on the way the historic doctrines of the Church are understood,- that is if they have ever been understood, and whether they even remain a priority!
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udaism and Christianity are called monotheistic religions. They are also known as Abrahamic religions, because they accept Abraham as the ‘father’ of their faith. The fundamental difference between Judaism and Christianity is how they relate to Jesus. Christians believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah; Jews believe that God made a covenant with Abraham, and they are still waiting for a messiah. This article is an attempt to understand the true nature of Jesus Christ, who was born during the reign of Augustus Caesar in the 1st century, and was alive during the reign of King Herod of Judea. Tiberius was emperor during the three years that Jesus preached. The Apostle Paul is considered responsible for primarily spreading Christianity to non-Jews. Jews and Christians worshiped together up until 70 AD, until the sacking of the second temple by Titus. This event is called the Great Diaspora, and it would be after this that Judaism and Christianity permanently split apart. By the end of the 4th century, Christianity had become the official religion of Rome. Ironically, one of the most misunderstood of Bible truths today is who Jesus is in relationship to the Godhead. The most universally accepted view of the Godhead is the teaching of the Trinity; a view originally adopted by the Catholic Church in 325 AD, which states that God is three distinct Persons, who are co-equal, ie. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. A key Scripture, used to explain the Trinity, is Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness,” but the Scripture goes on to say in verse 27, “So God created man in His own image.” Does the Bible contradict itself? No. So, how do we explain this portion of Scripture, which refers to a plural “Us” and a singular “Him”? We know the Bible says that God is a Spirit. While Adam was made in the image of God, Jesus is ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Colossians 1:15). New Testament Scriptures - Matthew 1:21-23, 1 Timothy 3:16 and Colossians 2:811 - let us know that God came to earth in the form of a man. It says God was manifested, which means He was made visible. The Name ‘Jesus’ described the new role that God would play in relationship to mankind’s need. God said that blood was the only thing that could buy the remission of our sin.
WHO IS JESUS, REALLY? Rev Stephen Brooks provides a biblical exposition on the personhood of Jesus, and explores the concept of the Trinity ...............................................................
REV STEPHEN BROOKS is National Development Manager for Excell 3 (National Black Boys Can Association)
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). Since the Spirit of God had no blood to shed, God formed a body for Himself by overshadowing the Virgin Mary. That body was made for the purpose of our Redeemer. In Old Testament law, only a near relative could redeem a person when they were sold. God became one of us so that He could buy our salvation. The Name ‘Jesus’ is a combination of ‘Jehovah’ and ‘our salvation’. Only by dying and shedding His blood could that happen.
Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:28).
John 10:30, Ephesians 4:5-6, Revelation 1:8 and Revelation 4:2 - All of these listed New Testament Scriptures refer to only one God. John only saw one God sitting on the throne of Heaven. So why is there so much confusion about the idea of a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead? Let’s look at a verse of Scripture for the answer. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). This verse is the foundation of Trinitarian
teaching. It would appear to refer to God as consisting of three Persons. So let’s look at the command, and how it was obeyed. Then Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:28). Since Jehovah is one of the Father’s names, and Jesus (Jehovah is salvation) came in that name, the Father’s name must be Jesus. Since Isaiah said that the Son would be called “The everlasting Father”, Jesus must be the Father. Jesus told Philip that He was the Father. But, what is the name of the Holy Ghost? Jesus said to His disciples, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:17, 18). Can there be any doubt that the Holy Spirit that dwells in us is Jesus? All the fullness of the Godhead is in Jesus. One God manifested in three offices, even as water can come in three states: liquid, steam and ice. He was the Father in creation, the Son in redemption, and the Holy Spirit in habitation. What a privilege to know who Jesus is, and that He is the one true God! We must always look to the Scriptures for an accurate account of who Jesus really is. .................................................................. For more information on the National Black Boys Can Association visit www.blackboyscan.co.uk
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THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH DURING RECESSION Rev Wale Hudson-Roberts writes that the Church needs to roll up its sleeve to provide greater pastoral care and practical support to those who are impacted by the current recessionary economic climate ...................................................................
REV WALE HUDSON-ROBERTS is the Racial Justice Co-ordinator for the Baptist Union of Great Britain
do not often bump into friends at Paddington train station, but there he was, watching me as I took cash from the cash point. The pleasantries began. How are mum and dad? Do they still go to church? And what about…? The names came rolling off my tongue: friends from years ago, some forgotten, others not, but all evoked memories, and good ones at that. As we caught up on this and that person, I noticed a reoccurring theme: most of our friends - professional and otherwise - had been made redundant. When we were young, these were the individuals who had been earmarked to go places, and for a while they did. They were at the top of their game; travelled the world, and lived life in the fast lane. Invulnerable, so they thought, and scarily ambitious. But redundancy, like recession, refuses to discriminate. If a company’s budget is not being met, and reserves are rapidly decreasing, anyone at anytime can find themselves in the firing line. This recession is deep, and millions have been affected by it. Look at Greece, Asia Minor, Cyprus, Ukraine, Russia, Sicily, Southern Italy, parts of France, Spain, Egypt and even Libya. These countries were, in ancient times, originally Greek colonies, each contributing to Ancient Greece becoming the powerhouse it was, swaggering around the globe that it felt it possessed. For a while, Greece appeared invincible. Yet today, Greece tells a different story. Fifty per cent of its young people are unemployed; it is in need of a third IMF bailout; rescue creditors are demanding that Greece’s Conservative-led government slashes a further 11.5 billion in
budget costs over the next two years - resulting in a new round of wage and pension cuts - if the country is to continue getting vital loans. How the mighty have fallen. Austerity measures have not only affected Greece, but also Rome. Rome’s past was as great - if not even greater - than Greece’s. The similarities are uncanny. Like Greece, the Roman Empire also met an inglorious end. In April of this year, in even greater numbers, people went onto the streets in Rome to protest for more jobs, fairer incomes and a halt to austerity. Rome, like Greece, can no longer claim to be in possession of hegemony. Two former empires once occupied swathes of the globe, now, beseeching the leaders of the IMF and World Bank for billions to help them survive stormy, financial conditions. How the mighty have fallen. Nation states are not the only ones going to banks for loans, cutting budgets, scrimping and saving, and watching the pennies. Millions of households in this country and abroad are surfing the Internet for jobs, cheaper bills, food, clothing, travel and so on. With Social Services under pressure, what can - and should - be the role of the Church in providing support?
People, in and outside of the Church, are often too proud to talk about their financial concerns. If provided with a confidential and discreet financial service, they will feel greatly supported by the Church.
I was never in total agreement with the Big Society idea - the flagship policy idea of the 2010 Conservative Party general election manifesto, with its stated aim of creating a climate that empowers local people and communities, building a ‘big society’ that will take power away from
politicians and give it to people - but I do think that that churches can apply elements of the idea to create a fairer and more just society, helping people through the recession. Ideas such as debt management services, plans designed to help people who are struggling to repay their debts, guiding and where necessary advising people on debt repayment. Household debts have increased inexorably over the last few years. Mounting debts can be a contributor to marriage break-ups, strokes, heart attacks and even suicides. People, in and outside of the Church, are often too proud to talk about their financial concerns. If provided with a confidential and discreet financial service, they will feel greatly supported by the Church. After all, this should be the role of the Church, supporting the vulnerable and needy. Or what about setting up a small pastoral team, whose sole purpose it is to provide pastoral help and support to the unemployed? We often forget that unemployment was not a part of God’s original plan for humanity. In the beginning, God allocated work to Adam and Eve. Enjoyable work is good for the soul. The lack, worse still, absence of it can quickly demoralise the soul, affect self-esteem and send a person spiralling into depression. Churches that are aware of this, and that are being proactive in addressing this issue, are about the Father’s business. Too many of our churches simply provide a safe sanctuary. Yet churches are called to serve simultaneously as a religious and theological body, as well as a social centre. Ecclesiastically active is the role the Church should play in our society, and there is no better time than now.
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ANGIE LE MAR Keep The Faith Editor, Marcia Dixon, met with British comedy queen and playwright, Angie Le Mar, to talk about her renewed faith in God, and how it is impacting her life.
hrough her sell-out comedy shows and plays, radio shows and media work, Angela Le Mar has shared the joys, sorrows, ups, downs, excitement and the idiosyncrasies of being Black and British. Her achievements, which include being the first Black Briton to appear at the Apollo Theatre, Harlem; becoming the first Black British female comedian to sell out at a West End show; appearing on ITV’s Loose Women; hosting a popular show on Choice FM and other career highlights, have led to her rightly being acclaimed as the Queen of Black British comedy. She is a pioneer in the field, and has carved a path, which others now follow. After experiencing a life-changing 12 months - more of that later - 2012 seems set to end on a high note for this comedy queen, who is gearing up to host her own show, Ladies Talk, which will start airing on Vox TV (Sky Channel 218) on November 2. The show, which roughly follows ITV’s Loose Women format, features a panel of prominent Black women, sharing their views on various social, cultural, relational and political issues in front of a live audience. What makes this new project both poignant and exciting for Angie is that her approach to the show and to her life - in fact, everything she now does - is inspired and influenced by her recently renewed relationship with God. During the past 12 months, Angie, 47, and married mother of three, has become a Christian, and attends the New Testament Church of God in Lee, South London. I met Angie at Westfield Stratford, to learn about this exciting spiritual journey she has embarked upon, and how it has affected her life. In person, she is larger than life, but in a nice, approachable way. She’s also humorous, funny and thoughtful, and I spent an enjoyable few hours in her company. Angie’s return to faith was precipitated by a personal crisis. She shared, “I was in a real dark place. I say ‘dark’, but it was one of those places that I’ve never been before. Everything was fine, but yet nothing was fine. I kinda shut down. I wasn’t interested in doing shows, attending meetings, seeing friends. The only thing that was making me feel really good was walking my dog and being
at peace in the park. And when I started gardening.” (Even in the midst of talking about her personal angst, Angie Le Mar can’t help but quip that such became her love for gardening, that “B & Q was like a shoe shop for me,” inspiring me to laugh out loud, which I did too many times during the interview!!!) Her dark place reached a climax last autumn, when the one-woman show she was working on, In Her Shoes, got cancelled for no apparent reason. She recalled, “It knocked me, because it made me feel I had no control over things, and someone could decide, ‘We’re not doing it anymore,’ and I’m forced to go ‘OK then’. I don’t like being out of control.” The show’s cancellation led to the shedding of many tears. Angie admits that some were for old hurts and disappointments. Her pain caused her to phone her mother, who resides in Jamaica. She recalled, “I called my Mum and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore’ and she just said, ‘Put the phone down; I’m going to pray.’ When my Mum says she’s gonna pray, whoever’s bothering you had better back off, because she’s sending me some warrior angel.”
God has made me feel good… I never got that. For the first time, I understand the peace of mind when you go, ‘I surrender, I surrender.’
Soon after speaking to her mum, Angie got a call from her producer, stating that her onewoman show was back on. Angie phoned her mum straightaway who, upon being told her daughter’s good news, said, “Me know,” and told her daughter to go to church to give God thanks. That’s how Angie found herself at the NTCG in Lee, South London one Sunday, being pastored by her former church buddy, Bishop Roy McLeod. Angie enjoyed the service: the congregation sang songs she remembered from her youth, and the preacher’s message touched her deeply, particularly as he shared that the church needs writers, who can make a difference. His words impacted Angie. She felt he was talking directly to her. When the preacher made the altar call, she battled whether or not to go up. She didn’t. However, after stepping down from the rostrum, the preacher went back up and declared, “There’s somebody here. You know who you are; you need to come down here today.” That was Angie’s cue to go to the altar and surrender her life to the Lord. That was in October last year. Since then, she says her life has changed. She feels it was as if God was waiting for her to come back into the fold. “The next day, I got a call from Time to Shine, and all the other projects I was working on came through. I started thinking, God were
You just holding these up for me? Were You trying to say, ‘You gonna do it My way now?’” Angie was and is now surrendered to God grateful that He’s seen her through life’s highs and lows, and that she is now able to have a close relationship with Him. Whilst a very thoroughly modern Black woman, there’s no doubting that Angie grew up in an old school Pentecostal church - the Church of God in Christ in Brockley, South London, to be exact - along with Jamaican-born Christian parents and four brothers. Like most Pentecostal churches of the era, women were forbidden to wear trousers, make-up, tight or revealing clothes, or to perm their hair. Members couldn’t rave, swear, engage in sex before marriage, or remarry after divorce. The strict rules caused Angie to leave church as a teenager, but now that she’s back, she’s happy. “I didn’t get what they meant when they said God has been my life… God has made me feel good… I never got that. For the first time, I understand the peace of mind when you go, ‘I surrender, I surrender.’ The feeling was just like floating.” Angie was very much the entertainer in her family. She started attending drama school at a young age; set up her own production company, where she did a number of plays, before branching off into the stand-up comedy and everything else we now know Angie for. Growing up in church has left a strong imprint on Angie’s psyche. She remembers and loves the congregational songs of the era (she can’t do modern church songs yet), and the gospel scene of the time, as her brother Tony was a gospel promoter, who brought over the Clark Sisters and managed UK gospel soul outfit, Paradise. Her life has come full circle. She is now living a Christian life, getting involved in her church, and wants to continue using her talents to make a positive difference. Some may think Angie’s embrace of the Christian faith is going to make
her fade into the background. It’s doing nothing of the sort. Her women’s chat show is ready to air; she’s working on an internet comedy show, and she has already told her pastor - and spoken to a number of gospel luminaries, including Bazil Meade - about staging a gospel musical she’s written, called Take Me Back, partly based on the famous Andrae Crouch song. She explained, “I spoke to Bishop McLeod and said, “I’ve seen some performers in there. I’ve seen the band in there; I’m going to write a musical for the church. It’s called Take Me Back. He said, ‘What’s that about?’ I said, ‘It’s about two little girls who used to go to Sunday school, who’ve gone right around their lives, and come right back to what they know.’” There are a lot of people out there, who were raised like me, because some of the people from the ‘old time’ church are coming back now. Our parents were praying for us, and covering us with that covenant to bring us back.” Well, Angie, we’re glad you’re back home. Ladies Talk TV will be broadcast on Vox Africa (Sky Channel 218) every Friday at 12.15pm from November 2. For more details visit www.angielemar.com.
I have a political mindset towards the body of Christ, and it’s because I know we can do better if our voice were more radical.
ritain’s Black Majority churches are raising up a generation of young people who are not only passionate about their faith in God, but are also ambitious enough to achieve what most of us would consider being ‘pie in the sky’ dreams. Few individuals, let alone Christians, can boast of having an entrepreneurial spirit that allows them to also tackle sensitive and potentially controversial issues like race, business and politics, but yet we can find this in Samuel Kasumu. He is a 25-year-old born again graduate, entrepreneur and consultant - to name but a few accolades - and carries a strong desire for changing the dynamics of the world we live in. Such is the impact of Samuel’s work that he was recently nominated for a European Diversity Award. With a degree in Business and Management Accounting from Brunel University, Samuel prides himself on his association with initiatives that touch lives, such as the Peace Alliance, led by Pastor Nims Obunge, and the Spirit of London Awards, which recognises the achievements of young people. Whilst as university, Samuel was appointed President of the African Caribbean Society; Vice President of the student union, and served as a key member of the student political team. He recalled, “I wasn’t a typical, angry student, but I was very passionate about social injustice, which fuelled the liking I took toward political debates.” When asked about his political stance, Samuel has a view not commonly held by people from ethnic backgrounds. He explained, “How do you make a decision between two parties: one of which looks like you, but doesn’t sound like you; the other doesn’t look at all like you, but speaks the same language?” These thought-provoking questions caused Samuel
SAMUEL KASUMU A man who wants to change the world
Samuel Kasumu is a social entrepreneur, author, and a young Christian, who wants the Conservative Party to become more attractive to BME communities. He spoke to Lori Powell about his work, his new book, ‘Winning The Race’ and how his faith impacts his life
to go against the grain, and in 2008 he made the decision to join the Conservative Party, whom he believed could help the most in supporting ethnic minorities. He explained, “My parents were not conservative in nature, but I made a choice to join the Conservative Party because their values aligned closely with my own.” Samuel is an active Conservative. He’s a member of the Tory Reform Group, and engages heavily in the activities of the Party: from attending meetings; updating their websites, and writing reviews on how the Tory Party should change to attract more ethnic votes. His involvement with the Conservative Party means that no two days are the same; he could be in the Houses of Parliament giving consulting for members of the party one day, and attending meetings on Diversity in Leadership the next. Samuel’s first book, ‘Winning the Race’ was published in September to great acclaim. He notes its publication as being a major achievement, and has been humbled by the national media attention it has attracted, which
has included excerpts being published in The Independent, as well as coverage in New Statesman, The Voice, on the Conservative Party website and on the BBC. Commenting on his book, Samuel had this to say: “Winning the Race is about inspiring the next generation to get to the top of their game. It was an opportunity for me to share my compelling story of how a young Black male can navigate through the world of business and politics.” People often assume Samuel’s upbringing has been a privileged one, but upon meeting him, he’s the first to tell you that his background is not dissimilar from that of many young men his age: “I was born in London and raised well by my parents, but I was a rebel, and was expelled from nursery at a young age.” His family then decided to move back to their homeland, Nigeria, in search of a new start. They came back to the UK when Samuel was seven, and settled in Barnet, North London. Today Samuel, alongside his wife Barbara, whom he married in the US earlier this year, run Elevation Networks, a social enterprise he founded to help young graduates and underrepresented groups in society to become more competitive in the market place. It also provides training and workshops for people not in education or employment. He explained, “It all started in my bedroom during my second year of university; I was 19 and would put on events to raise money for the business, which helped attract Barclays - our first corporate partner - to sponsor us.” Samuel makes a great statement on how to maintain integrity when engaging in faith, business and politics: “It’s important to apply godly principles to everything you do; recognise that the arenas we are placed in is by His grace,
not because any one of us is perfect. The older you get, the clearer your vision must become, so surround yourself with good mentors and stay focused.” With a General Election earmarked for 2015, Samuel is in a very good position to advise the Conservatives on how to win over the hearts of people of colour. There’s a long way to go, but his admirable level of determination will surely mean that his efforts will not go unnoticed. Samuel, who became a Christian aged 13, is an active member of Jesus House, in Brent, North London. He shared, “I support my church with projects which improve the lives of those who are on welfare and in less favourable circumstances. I have a political mindset towards the body of Christ, and it’s because I know we can do better if our voice were more radical.” His inspiration lies with the Pastor of his church and other spiritual leaders, and Samuel hopes that one day he can become the man God has called him to be, and inspire others to do the same. For more information and to order a copy of ‘Winning The Race’, visit www.samuelkasumu.co.uk
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LET’S MAKE THE WORLD A SAFER PLACE FOR WOMEN Dionne Gravesande highlights how women throughout the world are disadvantaged, vulnerable and subject to violence, and outlines the steps Christians can take to make the world a better place for women
DIONNE GRAVESANDE is Head of Church and Young People’s Relationships at Christian Aid
n December 2011, the world population hit 6,973,738,433, and national records show five people are added to the world’s population every two seconds. That’s a lot of people! And of this 6.9 billion people, 3.4 billion are women, so making sense of data relating to women is uncomfortable reading, since in many places the concept of good news for women is just not a reality. Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic around the world. Among women aged between 15and 44, acts of violence cause more deaths and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined (UN statistics). The book of Ruth informs us that violence and rape against women is not a new issue. In Ruth 2:23, Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter in-law: “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.” Every woman should be able to feel safe at home and in the community. Yet, just like Ruth, women can fall victims to crime on their way to or from work, or about their daily business. Worldwide, millions of women who are the victims of crime often have difficulty in getting fair treatment, because of the fear and stigma around speaking out, or because the legal system might be complex and overwhelming. As a result of these barriers, many women do not report the crime, or do not press charges against their attackers. If we return to the book of Ruth, in Chapter 1:6 we learn Naomi and her two daughters also understood the plight of refugee women fleeing poverty and hunger. It is true that women are most likely to be poor, hungry and refugees, so take a moment to consider these 10 facts concerning women: • Households of lone mothers with young children are especially vulnerable • Older women are more likely to have less money than older men in the UK and overseas • In many (but not all) African countries and half
of Asian countries, women’s poverty is made worse by restrictions on their ability to own land or property • One in three women worldwide have been beaten, coerced into sex, or are abused in some other way • Another two million girls between the ages of 5 and 15 are abducted, sold or trafficked into the illegal sex market (International Humanitarian Campaign Against the Exploitation of Children) • Two thirds of the children who receive less than four years education are girls (www.learningpartnership.org) • Women produce nearly 80% of the food on the planet, but receive less than 10% agricultural assistance, ie. access to land seeds, fertiliser or information (www.iamapeacekeeper.com) • More than 1 billion people live in abject poverty on less than $1 a day; 70% of those people are women (www.kamilat.org) • Women own around only 1% of the world’s land • 80% of the world’s 27 million refugees are women
Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic …Among women aged between 15 and 44, acts of violence cause more deaths and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined.
Education, paid employment, political participation and representation are essential to the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Why is it that girls do not enjoy parity of access to all levels of education? Why is there a global gender pay gap and segregation, and exclusion of too many women from paid work, far less career opportunities? This is not primarily about technical machinery and adjustments to achieve numerical parity. It’s about power. As Christians, we are called to go the extra mile because our vision and motivation is the
Jesus’ Nazarene Manifesto, as spelt out in the Gospel of Luke. Our task is “to bring Good News to the poor; to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour” (Luke 4:18). Churches can help and support women, who are victims of violence, by doing some of the following: Become a safe place. Make the church a refuge for victims of violence against women. Educate the congregation. Routinely include instructional information in monthly newsletters, on bulletin boards, and in marriage preparation classes, and consider sponsoring an educational seminar on violence against women. Speak out. Talk about sexual assault and domestic violence from the pulpit. A church leader can have a powerful impact on people’s attitudes and beliefs. Lead by example. Volunteer to serve on the board of trustees at the local sexual assault or domestic violence programme, or train to become a crisis volunteer. Offer space. Consider working with your local authority to offer meeting space for educational seminars and weekly support groups, or to serve as a supervised visitation site when parents need a safe place to visit their children. Prepare to be a resource. Seek out training from professionals in the fields of sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking. Do the theological and scriptural homework necessary to better understand and respond to sexual assault, and dating and domestic violence. Address internal issues. Encourage continued efforts to address allegations of abuse by religious leaders, to ensure that religious leaders are a safe resource for victims and their children.
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hank you for Hearing Our Cry is a Non-Profit Organisation. We are a Christian charity and one of the leading international outreaches that bring aid directly to where it is needed. The outreach is like radar beaming into the deepest villages across the world where those people are forgotten and not even counted in our societies today. We reach out to wherever the cry comes from without any partiality or discrimination. We have a strong Empowerment commitment. Our main focus is to help our service users to be able to help themselves for longer lasting solution to come out of poverty. We also take on larger assignments which could be drilling wells in villages to give communities clean water, education empowerment, regenerating or building basic medical health care centre, building a water system in the village so people don’t have to use pit toilets and rely on their river as the only source of sanitation, establishing needed businesses in the village which would create employment and allow finances to begin to generate through that village bringing an economic platform.
Pen Press are proud to announce the publication of the new thought provoking title by MacDonald I J Mopho, Solomon: Wisdom, Riches and the Broken Connection In his fascinating new book, former Deacon and Trustee of Westminster Chapel MacDonald I J Mopho examines and explores the symmetry between the modern world and the story of King Solomon - a man reputed for his great wealth and wisdom who eventually turned his back on God. Drawing on this Biblical insight, Mopho illustrates the ways in which society has become obsessed with material wealth but lost sight of religious perspective. Using examples from the story of Solomon in the Holy Bible, Mopho evaluates the dangers of being entrapped with riches rather than a deeper relationship with God, and ignoring God’s benevolence in the pursuit of riches. While making a point in this book about the benefit of seeking God’s approval as opposed to seeking men’s approval, in a somewhat mesmerising way and against the widely held belief that western and European missionaries took the gospel to Africa, he unfolds a bit of Church history showing that African Christians such as Arius from Libya and Athanasius from Egypt have made indelible marks on the Christian faith and the church as far back as the 4th Century (prior to the existence of the United States of America and before some major European nations accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ). This well written and highly detailed analogy will appeal largely to Christians and people who wish to understand the faith, or those that are intrigued at the idea of starting a spiritual relationship with God.
We need your help! We are currently privately funded and rely on our partners who donate finances and also our fundraising partners who raise funds to enable us to meet the needs of the thousands of poor people and children we reach out to. Can you help us? Giving doesn’t have to be in large amounts of cash at all; if a lot of people can give a small amount together we can achieve in giving families substantial help with the basic day to day needs. We also need donations of different kinds like; medical supplies, farming machinery, dredging machines, tractors and busses, engineering equipment, computers, and education materials etc. We work in partnership we other registered charities in the country we outreach to and there are always a need for hands on volunteers to help them deliver their service of care to the poor and needy. So if you’re interested in going overseas and want to donate some time to help the missionaries on ground, that’s great news! We can get you connected with committed trustworthy Christians. For more information about how you can help support Thank You for Hearing Our Cry contact Minister Lorraine Jones (Founder) or Vice President Prophetess Mrs Marcia Enin by visiting www.tfhoc.org.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 733 2460.
Excerpt While the will of God cannot be thwarted, the truth is we as individuals can exchange our place of honour and favour that God has predestined for us for shame and defeat, when we delude ourselves into cooperating with the devil for the bait he offers to blind us from knowing God’s blessings. That was how Absalom and Adonijah destroyed themselves in their bid to dethrone their father King David. Also by the Author David: Between the Call and the Crown 978-1603831437 Beyond the Crown 978-1603832861 TITLE: Solomon: Wisdom, Riches and the Broken Connection PRICE: £8.99 ISBN: 978-1780033303 AUTHOR: MacDonald I J Mopho PUBLISHER: Indepenpress Publishing Ltd IMPRINT: Pen Press RELEASE DATE: 24 September 2012 Available from Amazon.co.uk, Waterstones.com, Tesco.com, RCCG The Sanctuary, 35-37 Grove Crescent Road, Stratford, London E15 1BJ, and all good booksellers. For more information, contact 07507 847055 Email: email@example.com
THE SEVEN PERSONALITY TYPES IN CHURCH Bible teacher, Dr Stuart Pattico, examines the seven Christian personality types you’re likely to encounter during your spiritual journey, and the best way to relate to them .........................................................
DR STUART PATTICO is an author and itinerant Bible teacher/preacher
he Bible informs us that one of the keys to a successful marriage is ‘understanding’ (1 Peter 3:7). However, ‘understanding’ is not only important for marriage, it is essential for all relationships. Misunderstanding each other causes many conflicts. Such misunderstandings are often due to the fact that we have different personality types. One of the unique features of Paul’s list of seven spiritual gifts (in Romans 12:6-8) is that, in addition to being gifts, each of the gifts corresponds to a personality type, and all of us can identify with at least one of them. The personality types are: Prophet (ie. Truth-Teller), Server, Teacher, Exhorter, Giver, Administrator and Mercy. The key to relating to each of these personality types is to understand them. We will encounter them both in the Church and the world, so we would do well to know a bit about them so that we can respond to each in a Christlike manner. The Truth-Teller is brutally honest and speaks frankly without fear of the consequences. They can’t stand hypocrisy and are very vocal. This combination can sometimes make them tricky to be around, as they may well say something that will upset you! They simply tell it as they perceive it. The Server loves to help others in practical ways, and can consequently be judged as not being very spiritual. However, that is not the case; they are just in tune with the need to attend to the physical matters. The Teacher is very logical and systematic. He or she is very thorough, and focuses on facts and truth as opposed to feelings. They love to research matters for themselves, instead of just taking your word for it. The Exhorter is keen to encourage others and help people to grow. For the Exhorter, problems are just seen as stepping-stones to take you higher. The Giver is passionate about sharing their material and monetary resources with others. The Administrator tends to be very neat and organised. They take pleasure in coordinating people and projects, and think from a management perspective. The Mercy personality type is concerned about the hurting person, and wants to alleviate their misery as quickly as possible. They
are the kind of person that doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I wonder which of these personality types you relate to? There may well be more than one. However, you will likely have a dominant personality type. I am sure that just by reading the above, you have an idea of which personality type(s) you are. Should you wish to embark upon a formal evaluation, Dr Rick Walston has provided a useful set of evaluation questions in his book, Unraveling the Mystery of the Motivational Gifts, which has also informed some of this article. It is important that we serve God in a capacity that is consistent with our personality type. Not only will we find greater enjoyment in doing so, but those we serve will also benefit, as we will be doing something to which we are best suited. So, how do we go about relating to these different personality types? Well, first of all, we must ensure that we do not impose our own personality type onto others. It is human nature to think that our own perspective is the correct one. However, it is important that we realise that God is the author of the different personality types (1 Corinthians 12:18), and it is imperative that we allow people to be themselves. Have you ever had someone impose their personality type on you? How did it feel? I’m sure it wasn’t very nice. It is therefore essential that we do not do the same to others. Secondly, if we are to relate successfully to the different personality types, we must be aware of the potential pitfalls of our own personality type(s), so that we can ensure that we are always walking in love towards others. For example, the Truth-Teller may lack tactfulness in the way he/she says things. The Server may misjudge those who are not ‘serving’ in the way he/she thinks they should. The Teacher may become proud. The Exhorter may become overly dependent on the feedback of those they counsel. The Giver may be taken advantage of. The Administrator may become overly controlling, and the Mercy personality type may become too lenient, etc.
Our personality types have intrinsic value because they bear the Creator’s image. Consequently, there is a different aspect of God that we can see through the different personality types we encounter.
Finally, we must honour and value the different personality types. The fact that God has created each of them indicates that in each person there is ‘gold’. Our personality types have intrinsic value, because they bear the Creator’s image. Consequently, there is a different aspect of God that we can see through the different personality types we encounter. Therefore, if you are putting a team together, don’t only include those who have a similar personality type to yours. Ensure that the team includes as many of the seven personality types as possible. That way, your team will be balanced. You will have a much more complete perspective on the matters your team faces. ........................................................................................... Dr Stuart Pattico is available for national and international speaking engagements. For more details, visit www.stuartpattico.com.
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IT’S GOOD TO BE VINDICATED ABOUT SEX! Rev J John writes that a recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family has proven what Christians have known for a long time - relationships are better when sexual involvement is delayed ...................................................................
REV CANON J. JOHN is Director of the Philo Trust
t’s no secret that there are major points of disagreement between Christians and our secular, consumerist, post-Christian culture. One of the areas where there are significant differences concerns sex. Biblical Christianity has always held to the ideal that sexual relations should take place only between a man and woman who have been bonded together in marriage. Such a belief flies in the face of the widely held contemporary view that sex is no more than a pleasurable, physical activity, in which everybody over a certain age ought to be engaged, and that it’s no one else’s business what happens in the bedroom. Imagine, then, the surprise - if not distress - of Independent readers, at an article that appeared on Sunday 2 September 2012 describing sound, psychological support for the Christian view of marriage. The research cited - a study of ‘The tempo of sexual activity and later relationship quality’ by Sharon Sassler and her co-workers was published earlier this year in The Journal of Marriage and Family and was also featured in a recent edition of Psychology Today (28 August 2012). Their study was based on a detailed and carefully analysed online survey of nearly 600 married or co-habiting couples, in which the female partner was under 45 years old. Presented without any moralising on premarital sex, it came up with a number of interesting conclusions. The first sentence neatly summarises their results: ‘Rapid sexual involvement may have adverse long-term implications for relationship quality.’ This conclusion is not unique: it has been known for years that couples who cohabit before marriage, without the commitment of an engagement, are more likely to divorce or, if they remain together, that they may well experience poor marital quality. This ‘cohabitation effect’ occurs because many people who live together before getting engaged slide into marriage through a process of inertia. Rather than critically evaluating whether the relationship is
right for them, they may decide to marry, based on factors such as convenience, economics or unplanned pregnancy. The Independent article made a number of observations based on the research findings, and among them were the following: • The postponement of sexual involvement is associated with higher levels of relationship quality. • Women who deferred sexual involvement for over six months, reported significantly higher levels of relationship satisfaction, commitment, intimacy and emotional support, as well as sexual satisfaction with their partner, than did those who became sexually involved within the first month. • Courtship is a time for exploration and decisionmaking about the relationship, when partners assess compatibility, make commitments, and build on emotional and physical intimacy.
It has been known for years that couples who cohabit before marriage, without the commitment of an engagement,are more likely to divorce or, if they remain together, that they may well experience poor marital quality.
The only real advice put forward by the original researchers seems to go not much further than ‘Don’t leap into bed with someone immediately.’ In the Psychology Today article, Susan Krauss Whitbourne pointed out that if, in your own marriage, sexual activity started ‘sooner than it ought to have done’ doesn’t mean that your relationship is ultimately doomed to failure! She suggested that being able to spot the signs of relationship difficulty could help you prevent problems before they become unmanageable:
improving the ways in which you listen to, and communicate with, each other is one of the primary ways of building emotional bonds. Yet I think it is possible to draw some other conclusions from the work undertaken by Sassler and her co-workers. First, this research suggests that the idea, widely promoted in the media, that a couple must fall into bed on the first or second date, is actually harmful for the future of the relationship. We need to build psychological and emotional bonds before we get physical. The Independent is right: ‘those who abstain during their courtship or build up a gradual sexual relationship, rather than leaping into bed on the first date, are more likely to have happier and longer relationships.’ The logical conclusion is that the biblical view, of sexual intimacy being reserved for committed, long-term relationships - ideally signified by marriage - actually provides the best prospects for healthy, life-long partnerships. Second, it supports the idea that God sets down moral standards for us not because He wants to spoil our fun, but because as a loving God He wants to keep us from harm - His rules are meant to protect our pleasure, not prevent it. If, however, these moral standards have not been maintained, we have a loving and forgiving God who is able - when we turn to Him in repentance - to equip us to live in a better way, offering hope for renewed and improved relationships in the future. Finally, I also see here a warning to those who constantly want Christian beliefs and ethics to change into something more appropriate for our contemporary culture. This research suggests that when it comes to sex and marriage, it is not the views of Christians that need changing, it is those of society. ................................................................... Visit www.philotrust.com for more details, or follow on Twitter @Canonjjohn
ENSURING EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS FOR BLACK CHILDREN Educationalist and former Headteacher, Keith Davidson, shares how Christian parents can respond to forthcoming changes in the education system, and help their children achieve ...................................................................
KEITH DAVIDSON is a former Headteacher of John Loughborough School in Tottenham, North London.
or the Christian, an excellent education should be fully blended with spiritual insights, since believers are called into this world to glorify God, the Creator, and to serve others. Faith provides the basis of the value system of the Christian, and builds the moral compass that guides our actions. But, whereas faith determines the ethical foundation in our lives, it is education that powers our actions with the skills, information and the knowledge we need for our existence today. Thus, fundamentally, education allows us to demonstrate our love for God, and to offer selfless service to our neighbours. On the basis of this wider understanding of the purpose of education we, therefore, have a useful tool for evaluating the effectiveness of the present education system that is serving our children today. Sadly, the picture is not a rosy one. Why is this so? The reason is that, for over two centuries, the English education system has been operating on the basis that only a minority of children (children from the ruling class) are intellectually capable of academic work at school. Thus, from the 1950s to the 1980s, the prima donna of the national qualification system - that is, the old GCE examination system - was only offered to 20% of children. And, despite the introduction of the present GCSE examination system in the 1980s, with the intention that more children would have the opportunity to achieve this important qualification, many children are still failing in the education system. In 2011, over 40% of children left school without the recognised 5 A*- C GCSE qualifications, including English and Mathematics. But more tellingly, the figure for African Caribbean children was over 50% failing.
For decades, the African Caribbean community has been shouting loudly about how the education system is failing its children. However, as an educational practitioner/leader in the community for over thirty years, involving serving as a headteacher, education director and an Ofsted Inspector of schools, I believe that the time has come for the African Caribbean community to move beyond complaining about the failure of the system. We can create a genuine pathway to success for Black children who, for many years, have been plagued with the experience of schools having poor expectations about our children’s academic ability. However, the recent announcement by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, of plans to replace the current GCSE examination system with a new English Baccalaureate (EBacc) from 2017, must be carefully examined by the community for its likely impact on our children’s educational future. Behind the Education Secretary’s proposal is the belief that too many children are passing the GCSE examinations, and this is because they (the examinations) are being made easier. Hence, the expectation is that, with the proposed new EBacc examination, more children will leave school in the future without a secondary school qualification. And the danger is that Black children will again be over-represented amongst those likely to fail under the new system. Thus, the challenge is how can the Black community be proactive in combatting this danger? The way forward requires a paradigm shift in the way we approach the education of our children. Firstly, parents need to re-position themselves onto the frontline of the education process. Parents must give leadership in the important matter of the education of their children by recognising that they are their children’s first teachers. Parents can build children’s confidence and self-esteem; lead children in the discovery of their unique self and giftedness; teach children values, and support their character development. Secondly, parents and the Black community must accept the reality that children who are successful at school today have access to greater social capital to support their learning within the education system. This means that parents will need to prioritise and invest more wisely and long term, by providing children with more learning materials at home and, in addition, employ
private tutors to support their children in the areas of English, Mathematics and Science. Thirdly, parents and community institutions, such as the Church, should help children to develop the emotional and spiritual strengths to resist the dangers of confrontation with teachers and school authorities. This conflict at school leads to the slippery road of school exclusions, and ultimately to a life of crime and a situation where many of our young men are languishing in prisons today. Fourthly, parents and community leaders must continue to challenge the curse of racism in education. Racism is still very evident in the English educational system, and is a barrier to achievement for Black children. We must constructively continue with the battle against racism in education, individually and collectively, by never turning a blind eye, but to be vigilant when it surfaces in schools, by calling schools to account. Fifthly, the church community today must urgently give consideration to the need for them to raise their game in education, by establishing faith schools for the education of their children, within the ethos of a Christian faith and the community’s cultural heritages. Finally, the community and Black educators should continue to champion and give leadership to the cause of working towards (a) eliminating the shackles of elitism afflicting the education system, and (b) building a fairer and equal education system for all children. .................................................. Alongside Dr June Alexis, Keith has jointly written ‘Education: A pathway to success for Black children’ (£15.99). To purchase a copy phone 07859 723000 or visit www.kadpublications.co.uk
What is adoption?
doption is a way of providing a new family for children who cannot be brought up by their own parents. If you’re at least 21 years old and can provide a permanent, stable and caring home, you can apply to adopt a child. To adopt a child in the UK you need to be accepted by an adoption agency and go through a series of checks with them before you are approved to adopt. Once this is complete the search for your new child can begin. Most agencies are part of the local authority children’s services (in England and Wales) or social work (in Scotland) department. There are also voluntary agencies run by charities, such as Barnardo’s. The agency will allocate you a social worker, and take you through the process. An adoption panel needs to approve you to adopt, before you can be matched with a suitable child. The whole process from the point of formal application
should take no more than eight months. There are a number of adoption organisations that have easy to use online resources, which will enable you to contact some agencies for an information pack and ask whether they have an information session you could attend. After your first contact with the agency, it should provide written information and invite you to an information meeting. You then complete an application form, which is a formal request to be assessed. If you are accepted by your chosen agency, you will be allocated a social worker and assessed.
Celebrating National Adoption Week 5 - 11 November
Assessment involves home visits, asking detailed questions about your family background, relationships, childhood, current circumstances, and may involve interviewing other members of the household. References will be taken. You will have to agree to health checks and police checks. The social worker then puts this information together in a Prospective Adopters Report and then you will be invited to attend an adoption panel meeting which recommends to the agency whether or not you should be approved as adopters. The approval process takes approximately 8 months, but in some cases it can take longer. Once prospective adopters are approved, the agency starts the matching process, looking for a suitable child.
For more information about adoption visit the British Association of Adoption & Fostering www.baaf.org.uk or Adoption UK www.adoptionuk.org
Could you give a child a permanent home? T
he North London Adoption Consortium (NLAC) is a partnership of five local authority adoption agencies (Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington), the voluntary agency Norwood and the Post-Adoption Centre (PAC). We all work together to help children waiting to be adopted and people wanting to adopt. Working in partnership means we offer a greater range of choice for children and adopters, and by sharing information we’re able to create new families quickly, whilst still ensuring all processes are sensitively and carefully managed. There are currently more than 4,000 children who need adopting in the UK. These children come from a range of ethnic and religious backgrounds, and many need to be placed with their brothers and sisters. All dream of growing up in a safe, loving home with a forever family. Finding the right parents for a child can be complicated, but our Adoption Services offers support every step of the way. We’re looking for adoptive parents for children of all ages. Anyone over the age of 21 can adopt, so long as you have the potential to care for a child throughout their childhood, and offer support
for some time beyond. For a child, being taken from care into a stable and loving family can be life-changing. You need to be living in the UK and have no criminal convictions against children, but it doesn’t matter if you are married, single, divorced, straight or gay, or living with or without a partner - and people from all nationalities, races, religions or cultural backgrounds are treated equally. National Adoption Week takes place from 5 to 11 November and, as part of events taking place up and down the country, a special adoption information session will be held by the North London Adoption Consortium on Wednesday 7 November, hoping to encourage people to become adoptive parents. There’ll be
presentations by childcare professionals, and from people who have gone through the adoption process themselves. The session will give people the opportunity to have an informal chat to find out if adoption could be the right choice for them. You can register to attend the event by filling out a registration form available on our website www.adoptionnorthlondon.co.uk Alternatively, you can text 66777 the word ‘Adoption’ followed by your email address, so we can send you a link to the registration form. There are many children in need of a stable family home, and the North London Adoption Consortium would like to encourage anyone who has ever thought about adoption to come forward. We are particularly keen to hear from the BME community, as well as from people willing to adopt an older child, sibling groups or children with physical and educational special needs. To find out more about the North London Adoption Consortium, please visit www.adoptionnorthlondon.co.uk
How much do you know about adoption? Take our quiz to find out!
1. Which of the following businessmen was adopted as an infant? a) Steve Jobs b) Bill Gates 2. Which of the following actors was adopted at
6 months? a) b) c) d)
Tom Cruise Brad Pitt Ray Liotta Harrison Ford
Could you be my family?
3. Which famous writer was adopted at the age of
2 after the death of his/her parents? a) b) c) d)
J. K. Rowling Edgar Allan Poe Roald Dahl William Shakespeare
4. How many children are estimated to be awaiting
adoption each year? a) b) c) d)
400 1,000 4,000 10,000
My foster carer will say that to start with I can be a bit shy but once I get to know people I relax and am a happy, sociable, chatty little girl. I think she is right. ” I want a family to look after me, love me and give me cuddles.
5. From which age group are most children adopted
in England? a) Under one year old b) Between 1 and 4 years c) Between 6 and 7 years 6. a) b) c)
“Hello. My name is Sally Ann and I am four years old. I live with my foster carers and there are other children living with us. I enjoy playing with other children. I love to sing and dance and I like watching cartoons, my favourite is ‘Peppa Pig’. I love my cuddles with my foster carer.
How long does the adoption approval process take? There is no average length It should take no more than 8 months It always takes at least 2 years
7. Which of these famous African American artists is
Could you be what Sally Ann wants? We are looking for an adoptive family for Sally Ann. Sally Ann’s heritage is British-born Nigerian. Both her parents are of Nigerian descent and ideally we would like a family who are able to reflect this. However we would consider a carer or carers from any background as long as they are able to provide the stable and secure loving family that Sally Ann needs. Sally Ann has no health needs however there is a history of schizophrenia in her birth family. Sally Ann has two older siblings in foster care. Indirect contact is proposed with birth mother and siblings.
an adoptee? a) b) c) d)
Bo Diddly Aretha Franklin Whitney Houston Duke Ellington
8. Adopted as an infant, which famous singer has
been reunited with his/her birth mum? Tobey Keith Faith Hill Garth Brooks Reba McEntire
Answers 1. a) Steve Jobs, 2. c) Ray Liotta, 3. b) Edgar Allen Poe, 4. c) 4000, 5. c) Between 6 and 7 years, 6. b) no more than 8 months, 7. a) Bo Diddy, 8. b) Faith Hill
a) b) c) d)
You do not need to be approved adopters as we would support you through an assessment process to approve you if you were the right family for Sally Ann. We consider any home that can offer lasting love to Sally Ann. We’ll support you on your journey to adoption, and beyond. Could you be what Sally Ann wants? It’s your call.
PLEASE RING US ON 0800 328 6919 IF YOU FEEL YOU ARE ABLE TO GIVE WHAT SALLY ANN WANTS. THEIR WANTS YOUR CALL. Names have been changed to protect identity. Picture of child portrayed by model.
GOSPEL NEWS MEET THE ARTIST CHRISTIAN SEXUALITY EXPLORED IN NEW PLAY If you want to see the issue of female sexuality explored from a Christian perspective, then you should check out ‘Breaking the Silence’, a one woman show, written and performed by Tonya Joy Bolton. She’ll be performing her production at The Black Messiah Symposium: Images of Jesus in Black Urban Cultures, an event organised by theologian Dr Robert Beckford, taking place at Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent on November 3. Tonya is Director of West Midlands-based organisation, ICU Transformational Arts, and wrote ‘Breaking The Silence’ to encourage discussion on the issue of singleness and celibacy within the Church. Her production also addresses issues such as religion, sexuality and sexual abuse. “A major issue facing single women of faith today is sexuality,” shared Tonya. “My one-woman show addresses questions and issues that many women of faith have, but have been discouraged from asking due to tradition, socialisation and cultural norms. However, this silence is doing a disservice to our communities and to ourselves. We need to change the dialogue. We need to keep it real, and tell it like it is!” For more information, visit www.canterbury.ac.uk/about/equalopportunities/Black-history.asp
Husband and wife worship duo, Clif and Marie, have been wowing The debut across albumthe Edge fromrecently Divine Divine, of audiences UKStreet with their releasedwinners debut album, the 2011 Time2Shine Gospel Talent search is now out. They If Only. They talk with Keep The Faith about music, faith and talk their to Keep The Faith about working together, their music and the new radio show about marriage. importance of faith.
Keep The Faith: How long have you been singing together? Clif: We have been singing together for about two years. Marie has been singing for years, starting in choirs, then in group called Redeemed with Lurine Cato. Marie: Clif has always been the keyboardist hiding his vocal talent, but not anymore! KTF: What’s it like singing alongside your spouse? Marie: Fantastic. We have the same heart for worship and praise. We enjoy working together as youth pastors, worship leaders. Plus we travel together, and we have a great support network. KTF: What inspired you to record If Only, and what did you enjoy/dislike the most about the recording process? Clif: It was inspired by going through some really tough times, losing loved ones; losing employment; tough life experiences. We enjoyed being in the studio: the feel; the creativity; the atmosphere; bouncing ideas of each other; working with Luke and the band, and watching our dream come to fruition. Disliked time going so fast, and having to go back to reality once the session ended. KTF: The album has some great songs on. What are your three favourites and the inspiration behind them? Marie: Here are three favourites, but don’t hold us to them for long, LOL! If only, as it’s ministered to so many hearts already. It has brought tears, restoration, comfort, celebration. Amazing, because that’s just
what God is to us every day. Today, as it pushes your mind to today not yesterday. We live for today! In Christ we live! KTF: Why do you think there are so few husband/wife praise and worship duos around? Clif: Not sure why. Usually only one spouse has the better singing voice and (the other spouse) allows that person to fulfil their call. Hopefully, we will be an inspiration to other couples; it’s good to do things together! KTF: What impact are you hoping that the ministry of Clif & Marie will have on the Church and the wider community? Marie: We are called to spread the Gospel through the ministry of music. Already we have seen hearts touched and healed. We heard about an autistic child being moved by our music, and only wanting to play our song. We want the world to hear these songs. KTF: What can we expect from Clif & Marie in the foreseeable future? Clif: We are on our church tour at the moment, to coincide with the release of the album. We already have songs for a second album, and we are starting to also write a love album for couples. We’ve been asked to host a marriage relationship show on UGN RADIO, which we’re really excited about. We want marriages and those wanting to get married to experience happiness. KTF: Describe Clif & Marie in five words Marie: Energetic, fun, worshipers, likeable and inspirational! For more details, visit www.clifandmarie.com
RAPPER JOINS SAFETYNET CAMPAIGN
MOBO Award-winning gospel artist, Jahaziel, has released a free download to support the Premier Radio and Safermedia campaign, Safetynet, which is calling on the Government to block children’s access to internet porn.
Jahaziel uses the track, entitled ‘Theft of My Innocence’ to reveal how he became addicted to pornography at a young age, after accidently viewing it at the age of six, and how it was only through becoming a Christian during his late teens that he got the strength to break the addiction. He said, “Young people need to see other young people who have made the decision to stay away from pornography. This is my testimony, from six, through teens, and how I eventually found freedom from it.” Peter Kerridge of Safetynet, and CEO of Premier Christian Media, commented, “Jahaziel’s childhood introduction to pornography is vividly portrayed along with the trauma he experienced. It’s a strong and important message for Internet Service Providers to introduce a voluntary block on pornography - with an ‘opt-in’ for adult viewing.” For more information, visit www.safetynet.org.uk
Sunday Best judge, Kim Burrell, considered by many to be one of the most unique and original singers to come out of gospel for a long time, has signed a record deal with Creflo Dollar’s label, Arrow Records. The world-wide profile of this award-winning artist was raised even higher when she sang at the funeral of singing superstar, Whitney Houston. Arrow Records are excited about working with Kim, describing her as ‘the greatest voice alive.’ Her debut album with the label is slated for May 2013.
‘So It Continues’, the soon-to-be-released sophomore album of Nigerian-born, Londonraised rapper, Seun Otukpe, otherwise known as SO, is causing a bit of a stir. He’s already released two well-received singles from the album which will be out on November 13, 2012. SO, a graduate of theology from Durham University, was introduced to gospel music ministry by UK outfit, New Direction. They recognised his talent, and show him via their performances that rap can be a powerful ministry tool. SO has been featured on tracks with leading gospel artists: Jahaziel, New Direction Crew, E Tizz, Shai Linne and LeCrae. His first solo project ‘The 5 Solas Mixtape’, released in June 2010, received rave reviews and in 2011, he became the first UK artist to be signed by US label, Lamp Mode Recordings, who launched his acclaimed debut album, ‘So It Begins’. At just 23, SO has the world at his feet, and with the imminent release of ‘So It Continues’, he’ll also have another opportunity challenge hearts and touch lives with the Gospel message of Jesus.
GOSPEL NEWS BITES Rev Marvin Winans, who delivered the eulogy at Whitney Houston’s funeral, will be in the UK as a special guest speaker at Breaking Forth 2012, the annual conference organised by Bethesda Ministries UK. It runs from 9-11 November at the Broadway Theatre, Catford, London SE6 4RU. Other guest speakers include Marvin Sapp, Rev Jackie McCullough, Evangelist Crystal Rucker and Minister Barbara Smith. Visit www.bethesdauk.com for more details.
If you didn’t know it, Boma Diri was named winner at the recent Time2Shine finals, held at The Troxy, East London. The singer wowed the judges, which included Angie Le Mar and Mark Beswick, with her powerful voice and sincere delivery, beating the seven other contestants. Her prize includes a management deal, a recording contract, a photo shoot, website, and an opportunity to sing at the Barbados Gospel Festival. You can visit www.time2shineministry.com to see her perform.
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JULIET FLETCHER runs Greentree, a gospel music development company
t’s one of those questions that people demand an answer from Christians in music: Are you in it for the love or for money? And, of course, the expected answer is: for the love! I’ve never met anyone who has been bold (even as a joke) to answer: solely for the money. But there are some who will answer for the love and money! I can hear the choir-chorus of cynics: “Oh, really?”, “You can’t do both, can you?”, “Is that view based on Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:24 saying, ‘You can’t serve God and Mammon’?” My answer is it must be both. The key is: ‘THE ONE’ must be LORD over the other! After all, Jesus did use money - and He paid His tax bills, too (Matthew 17:27)! We need to have a healthy emphasis and balanced approach, otherwise it will continue to either hinder our achievements or mar our characters. When we say, “God called me to be a gospel singer/promoter…whatever”, He knows that your music making or promoting is only ONE ASPECT of your whole life, and that probably over 90% of what it takes to fulfil your mission may require money! Plugging into the music business Performers, songwriters and composers in gospel have a great opportunity - in this time of advance technology - to place their creative works on multiple media platforms across geographical territories. In truth, the music industry has done this for us: created that central system, reinforced by the laws - or more specifically rights - which cover the use of creative works. The problem is that many of our gospel creatives are either not plugged in at all, OR do not know enough to take advantage of the systems. Artists, like The London Community Gospel Choir (below) and record label Zoe
Gospel Music: For love & money Juliet Fletcher argues that making gospel music is not just a spiritual exercise, and artists should plug themselves properly into the music business so that they generate the funds needed to fund their ministries Gospel, are experiencing greater income from their music by assigning someone on their team to look into royalty payments, licensing, and ensuring their music is registered wherever they go. A small example is, when you perform at a public venue that has paid PRS to operate a live music licence, as an artist, submitting your performance list to PRS (or PPL) should give you a payback. If you are performing week in week out in live music venues, you should be aware of this. Where the effective use of ‘exploiting’ creative works is executed, the flow of finances increases. It makes for less stress about money, and more focus on being creative, on excelling in our craft, and pushing our music out into new territories and the marketplace.
takeover, Jonathan Brown (Managing Director) says, “Kingsway has always been about songs of substance that strengthen faith; serve the local church, and see lives transformed. We continue to stay committed to this calling.” They worked out that love for God, music and the Church could be linked to business in a way that works for everyone: to worship God in song; enrich believers; enable songwriters and worship leaders to earn, so they can be totally devoted in delivering songs again and again, and transform lives for all eternity. As a result, they have helped to contribute to causes other than music. This is a good example of LOVE leading MONEY. I’ve mentioned Kingsway, because I would like to encourage our churches and the gospel sector to take it as an example of how we could work together for the future. Can you imagine church leaders working more closely with independent gospel labels? I’m predicting that out of necessity it will happen. After all, and this is a statement of fact: Gospel music is at the forefront of the missional Black Church Movement in the UK. And, although it may not be acknowledged from the pulpit, it’s been that way for more than thirty years. Graham Kendrick
When we say, ‘God called me to be a gospel singer/promoter…whatever’, He knows that probably over 90% of what it takes to fulfil your mission may require money!
When love leads money Kingsway Music, the UK’s most successful Christian independent record label, is no more. From the 1st October 2012 they ceased to exist. Their parent company, DC Cook, which also owns Integrity Music, merged the two companies under the Integrity name, although Kingsway distribution remains. The company, which started in the 70s, has had numerous gospel acts, like Noel Robinson, Mark Beswick & Power Praise and GreenJade in their music stable. Kingsway’s music business know-how, to create products and carry the vision with the local church, has spawned global success for many of its artists, which include Graham Kendrick, Stuart Townend and Matt Redman, and blessing to the less fortunate. In the press release that brought the news about Kingsway’s
Changes in the music industry, and on the Christian and gospel scene, make for exciting times ahead. This is not only good news for young artists, but also for those who have stayed the course over the years in gospel. Let us increase in our LOVE for God and in the music we are blessed with, but also let us be wise to know what investment into legitimate enterprise could do. ........................................................ For more information call Juliet on 07535 964442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
So how does one forge healthy relationships especially after some tricky ones? The answer to this has been one which I have discussed in great detail in my latest book, Quit Hiding, Start Living! How Women Can Free Themselves From Past Hurts. As so many of us are in a quandary about relationships, this will be one of our focal points in the forthcoming Overcoming Emotional Baggage Women’s Conference. Here are some of my thoughts to support you.
How to build healthy relationships Gladys Famoriyo writes about the importance of relationships, and shares some tips on how to build healthy ones .........................................................
GLADYS FAMORIYO is a speaker and author of ‘Quit Hiding, Start Living!’, ‘Healing A Discouraged Heart’ and ‘Overcoming Emotional Baggage’.
any of us have had different experiences when it comes to relationships, varying from the good, the bad and the downright ugly. The latter two can push us towards shying away from people, which is akin to throwing out the baby with the dirty bath water. Personally, I do not believe this is God’s best for us. God is part of the Holy Trinity. Jesus, when on earth, was frequently in the company of people ranging from His disciples, ‘sinners’ and everyone else in between, though He interacted with them differently (a lesson in itself). So there is an argument for surrounding ourselves with others. Plus, God has this knack of touching our lives through people. Hence, separate yourself from others, and you stand to do yourself a disservice on many fronts.
GUARD YOUR HEART This is not just a biblical cliché, but one we must proactively do. After years of working with people struggling to move on after hurtful relationships, a simple truth I have come to embrace is that everyone cannot AND should not be in an intimate relationship with you. It’s like saying you bare your heart to all your 500+ Facebook ‘friends’. That, my friend, is not a wise move. Plus, you open yourself up to hurt in some shape or form. I came to this conclusion after studying the life of Jesus Christ. He had twelve disciples, and the three closest to Him were Peter, James and John. On a few occasions, when intimacy was required, He called on the trusted three. This is a great model for us, and I encourage you to consider this. Having a wider network of ‘friends’ and associates is great, but are they really the best to bare your soul to? Can they all carry you when life happens? Moreover, how does one manage all those relationships? So, just as you have a lock on your front door that allows friends/family in, and keeps burglars out, you will need to do the same with your heart. Part of this includes putting boundaries in place. Boundaries are rules you put in place to let people know what is or is not acceptable to you, along with the possible consequences. If someone starts taking your relationship for granted, and/or abusing you, your time, money, assets, body, etc, it’s time for your boundaries to kick in. DEALING WITH HURTFUL PEOPLE This includes people who have hurt you in the past, and/or who continually do so. As with these situations, the Bible compels us to always forgive. Following that, in my opinion, I don’t believe we are compelled to go back into an intimate relationship just to prove we have forgiven them, or because we feel pressured to do so. Each case should be considered with wise, godly counsel.
What matters most is that your heart is free from unforgiveness, and that you move on according to how you feel God is leading you to. It is also worth bearing in mind that ‘hurt people, hurt people’! People are at different stages of their personal growth and journey. And, at times, the best thing we could do for them is allow them to grow, and place them in God’s hands whilst we continue our journey pretty much as the Good Samaritan did. Don’t hang around when God has not told you to, or even try and fix them. That’s God’s job!
There is an argument for surrounding ourselves with others. Plus, God has this knack of touching our lives through people.
DON'T OVERRIDE YOUR INSTINCTS Instincts are our inbuilt, sensing mechanism or antenna that God has graciously blessed us with. You can also call it the Holy Spirit residing on the inside of you. When switched to 'on' mode, through your personal relationship with Father, you find you are able to pick up more than what your physical eye sees. As we tend to judge a book by its cover, we are susceptible to making the wrong decisions and bad choices when it comes to relationships. The simple fact is that our judgment can get cloudy. And so, when you sense an internal ‘check’, it alerts you to the fact that something is indeed wrong. At this point, you would do well to pause, in the least, to decipher what God may want to communicate to you. Whatever you do, don’t just forge ahead overriding your instincts. By the way, this applies to all types of relationships. In closing, I would like to encourage you to keep an eye on your motives for embarking/ holding on to a relationship. And you would do well to know when to quit, too. Remember that a piece of straw that gets too close to the fire will get burned! ............................................................. For details of her ministry, visit www.gladysf.com or call 0870 750 1969. The Overcoming Emotional Baggage Conference takes place on 18 November. Visit www.overcomingemotionalbaggage.com for more details.
WHAT IS REAL LOVE? The Media was recently filled with reports of young love gone wrong, Amie Buhari writes that churches should allow such stories to re-inspire how they communicate the subject of love and relationships to their youth ..................................................................
AMIE BUHARI is a youth leader and actress
egan Stammers is reported to have said she was “glad to be back home” after running away with her schoolteacher, Jeremy Forrest. They were in a relationship. They say they are in love. A 30-year-old married teacher started an affair with a 15-year-old student in his school, and allowed it to develop to the extent of making a decision to be together, despite breaking the law and moral standards. I feel very passionately about this story, because I found myself in a situation with a teacher when I was a student. Unlike Megan, my situation never got that far, however I know that, like Megan, I too was glad to be back home that evening. Love - or the illusion of it - can be extremely powerful. At such a young age, if love is mistreated, it can be so damaging to a young heart. There seem to be so many examples recently of young people falling prey to misguided actions, which are entirely based upon emotions and the inability to handle them. I worry for our young people. With the whole world constantly re-defining the attributes and conditions of love, how do we enable our young people to see the difference between real love and just emotions, and the damage it can cause? And, more importantly, how do we teach them true love - God’s love? We had a teacher in our school. I had always been mature for my age, and he and I would talk often. We had a friendship. The proposition came as he drove me home one evening from a school function. That’s as far as it went, but had I decided to respond, I could have ended up running off to France like Megan, thinking that I was somehow ‘in love’. Several things stopped me that night: the fact that I was sensible
enough to know that, in every way, it was fundamentally wrong; that my teacher was in a relationship, and I knew that he was clearly not a committed man and, most of all, I knew that it was not in keeping with the morals my mum and God had brought me up on. When I arrived home, I replayed the night over and over in my head, recalling all his promises and enticing words, then measuring them up to my morals and to his behaviour in the role of ‘teacher’ which he willingly took on.
We need to provide our young people with the tools to understand the complexities of love, emotions and lust, and the open environment for them to healthily discuss the topic.
I was so glad to be home, unscathed by the possibility of what might have been, for I knew in all my maturity that it would not have ended in the Hollywood fairytale ending life often portrayed to me at that age, despite whatever the immaturity of my emotions and attraction to being ‘wanted’ were telling me. I believe that there is a part of Megan that felt that too, when she arrived home; that hiding out in another country, separated from family and friends, lies and cover-ups wasn’t how ‘love’ was supposed to feel. A lot of young people, however, don’t have such a strong conviction or even the bare willpower to resist. We need to provide our young people with the tools to understand the complexities of love, emotions and lust, and the
open environment for them to healthily discuss the topic. This is something that the Church has often shied away from, but now more than ever needs to be on the agenda for our young people. Another recent story in the news told of how Junior Nkwelle, 15, was stabbed to death by a 14-year-old girl. It is thought that they may have previously been in a relationship or that he liked her. It was said to be a ‘crime of passion’ by a 14-year-old girl! So, how do we begin to unravel such a subject with our young people, when we ourselves still struggle with it? Well, it always has to come back to the Word of God. We need to lovingly hammer into our young people the attributes of love, as set out in 1 Corinthians 13:4-13. We need to openly question, challenge and give space to debate the actions of those our young people look to, including ourselves. We need to display God’s love at all times, so our young people grow up seeing practical examples of it in their lives. We need to explore with our young people the self-sacrificing love of Jesus for us, and how we can respond to it. We need to be honest in our experiences and struggles with lust and uncontrolled emotions, teaching our young how to distinguish, control and use them positively. We need to put into practice the actual power of the Word of God, giving us all the ability to flee from the devil. There will always be people who will want to damage our young people’s perspective of love in some way. We can’t completely stop our kids from making mistakes, but we can give them the tools and knowledge to love with a godly heart. This won’t happen overnight, but thankfully ‘Love is patient’ (1 Corinthians 13:4). www.keepthefaith.co.uk
ESTHER WILLIAMS is an international Development Journalist
Don’t let life give
Life can easily rob us of our joy, peace and zest for living. Esther Williams shares how to counteract negative experiences and difficulties in order to live an authentic Christian life
eeping a healthy heart is not just about eating right. From a spiritual point of view, it is also about living right. When we are children, we all start off with pure, unaffected hearts. You would be hardpressed to find a five-year-old, who’s jaded and ready to throw in the towel. In fact, life is normally a blast for the young. I often watch them tearing around church after services - laughing hysterically, and crashing into the carefully placed chairs. Being rebuked for the havoc they cause just adds to the fun and hilarity. They argue and fight with each other, and then five minutes later they’re best friends again. But, as we get older, we become affected; people betray us; the affairs of life take their toll; negative experiences change us - people change us and we lose our childlike innocence. Basically, our hearts just become clogged with stuff. The Scripture, ‘Above all else, guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the issues of life’ (Proverbs 4:23), has been on my mind for a while. In preparation for this article, I did some research to find out what others had written on this subject. I found countless articles on relationships, and how to avoid heartache on the road to finding your life partner. This is great - but this Scripture speaks of ‘issues’ (plural) of life - not just one aspect of it. I think when the Bible talks about ‘guarding
our hearts’, it’s an instruction to diligently guard the childlike heart and nature that God has given us. This means that if you’re someone who loves being around folk, and you have a genuine heart for people, don’t change because you’ve had a couple of bad experiences. If you’re normally the life and the soul of the party, dependable, reliable, because that’s just the way God made you, don’t suddenly stop being you because someone negatively misinterpreted your act of kindness. Love more, give more, and seek out new opportunities to ‘do you’ and be a blessing to others.
Don’t allow people and their negative experiences to change you. Get into God’s presence and be changed into His image, and surround yourself with people that appreciate who you are.
It’s hard to say, but there are some people who find it difficult to accept that people just genuinely want to be good to them. They’ve experienced so much pain that they’re suspicious of everyone. They haven’t just guarded their heart; they have barricaded it and locked themselves in. This is sad. Don’t allow people and their negative experiences to change you. Get into God’s presence and be changed into His image, and surround yourself with people that appreciate who you are. The reality is that it is going to be pretty impossible to keep that childhood innocence, but there is one big incentive in the Word if we do our
best to try. Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” The blessing of guarding our heart so it remains pure is seeing our wonderful Father and the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I am desperate to see my Maker face to face, and have Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” However, I am just as excited at the prospect of living an abundant life here on earth. I want to fulfil my purpose in life, and have fun along the way. This means that holding offence or unforgiveness in my heart is a luxury I cannot afford. The heart is the inner core of our being. It is what connects us to God and connects us to people. It is where our deepest desires, dreams and convictions live, and it makes a person who he or she is. We must do all we can to keep it uncluttered. This also means avoiding gossip, complaining and murmuring; these are three things that are guaranteed to block our spiritual arteries. In the natural, a heart problem can develop slowly, perhaps from poor eating habits over a prolonged period of time. Suddenly you’re always tired, the next thing you know you’re diagnosed with high cholesterol, and the doctor puts you on a strict diet that has the potential to literally bounce you back to full health. If you choose to ignore the advice it could be fatal. This principle isn’t that dissimilar with spiritual matters. Let’s make sure we all take a regular dose of the Word of God. It’s the best medicine available to us to ensure our hearts stay in tip top shape. God bless you. ................................................................... You can follow Esther Williams on Twitter @mew36
is founder of Christian Women in Business UK and Loud Voice Communications
Cooking up a storm amidst adversity Earl Scarlett, 45, founder of catering firm Grace Cuisine, grew up in Stonebridge, Northwest London, and cut his teeth in his mother’s kitchen, watching her bake cakes. “I knew as a child that God had ordained me to be a chef,” said Earl. “I was dyslexic at school, and had to go to special reading classes, but God showed me I had a talent to cook.” At the age of 18, he landed a role as head chef, managing a unit with three staff. From there, he went on to work in some of the biggest kitchens in the country, including Grand Stand, Aston Villa Club, Gardiners Merchants and Woolworths; he was the head chef at Wembley Stadium “when Michael Jackson came to visit.” Then everything changed. “Nothing was going right,” said Earl. “My brother was accused of a serious assault on a minor; my daughters mum decided to call our relationship a day, and my mother had gone to live in Jamaica. A friend was having a prayer meeting and Earl, broken and lonely, went along. “I said to God, I need you to fix this situation hanging over my family before I can step into Your church. And I told God I would serve Him if He would give me two girls and a boy.” But things did not improve. Instead, he found himself embroiled in charges along with his brother, and was remanded in prison.” “A lot of what happens in families is hush-hush,” Earl reflects. “Lots of Christians are in Christ, but they can’t preach because their past is hanging over them.” Earl was acquitted after seven months “God’s perfect number,” he says - and God granted him his request: two daughters and a son were born to him. “I named my son Theodore, which means ‘gift from God’.” Not long after he came out of prison, he landed a job as a chef, cooking for directors in London. This led to a head chef position for a golf club. “People were impressed with the way I worked, as I was mopping the floor in my suit and tie!” Later, following an invitation to take on the club, Earl set up Grace Cuisine, providing services first to a string of golf clubs, then doing weddings, funerals and corporate events for other clients. One thing that kept Earl going through the dark times were prophetic words spoken over his life. A minister had told him, “God is going to take you through a situation and
Ensure your website meets the cookie consent law bring you through; people who tried to damage you aren’t going to believe it.” Earl says, “That’s why I identified that it was the work of God. It is by faith we receive, and how big we see our God is how big we move. If we limit Him, we will be limited.” Earl’s eye for the future is on running live events of his own, which compliments his other work running a music ministry called Grace by Faith Productions (his DJ name is Jesus Kid). Asked about his business challenges, Earl says, “It is a challenge to be in this business and keep your focus on God, while dealing with non-Christian people. Sometimes they pressurise you. You have to die to self. But this doesn’t mean we should be easy targets. Business is business. If God came and said, ”This is the task you have to achieve,” you would want to do it well. Earl is married to Jackie, and they have a daughter called Madison. Find out more about Grace Cuisine at www.gracecuisine.co.uk
Call to Business event
A Call to Business is running a two-day conference on how to apply biblical principles whilst walking in the Spirit in the marketplace. The event, which takes place on Friday 23 to Saturday 24 November at Central Hall Westminster, Storey’s Gate, London SW1, will feature a variety of entrepreneurs, lawyers and educators from business, media and government, including South African Bible teacher, Landa Cope, who will speak on biblical law and justice in relation to business, and Peter Tsukahira, the Israeli author of “God’s Tsunami” and “My Father’s Business”. For more information, visit www.acalltobusiness.co.uk.
How to use social media to build God’s Kingdom Christian marketeer, Bernard Reilly, writes that social media provides great opportunities for churches to reach the world with the Gospel, and shares some tips on how to do so
couple of years ago, I watched an interview with world famous German evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke, speaking about the state of the Church in the UK. He commented that “We continually cast our nets inside the boat and need to get out.” Any good fisherman will tell you that if you want to catch some fish, you have to go where the fish are! You may be wondering how this introduction to a feature on using social media is relevant. Well, the facts are that there are lots of fish to be found online, and the Church needs to go and get them. In my role as a marketeer, a gospel DJ and evangelist, I use social media marketing to reach people, because it’s such a great medium. Facebook is the world’s most visited website, with 1 billion members, and is continuing to grow. YouTube is considered the world’s second biggest search engine, with over 4 billion hours of video watched in every month, whilst Twitter currently has 500 million users, with 340 million tweets posted on the site every day. Given these amazing numbers, more churches need to prayerfully develop clear strategies for the use of social media as part of the Great Commission to spread the Gospel and also, of course, to inform and invite people about their activities. Here are some savvy techniques that I use in my own ministry, and also get paid to show to my corporate clients. The two sites I am going to cover are Facebook and YouTube, but you can develop my ideas and use them on other social media sites such as Twitter as well. My top tips for using Facebook I can reach over 50,000 people a week using my Facebook fan page, using FREE posts who, in turn, visit my website and, as a result, I’ve been able to build an email subscriber list of over 1,000 people. The following tips will help you reach people on Facebook:
Set up a fan page - If you get your page professionally designed, then more people will take an interest and engage with your page. Build your fans - Start with your congregation, and invite them to ‘LIKE’ your page so that your posts will appear in their newsfeeds. They can then comment, like and share them, which means that your posts will be seen by their friends.
Include a link to your website with every post - This will encourage people to visit your website and learn more about your church.
Churches need to prayerfully develop clear strategies for the use of social media as part of the Great Commission to spread the Gospel and also, of course, to inform and invite people about their activities.
Post a range of content on your page - Don’t just post adverts about your events, conferences and meetings. Post different things on your page to keep people interested, like daily inspirational messages; discussions about this week’s message; encouragements from the Word in response to media stories, and evangelistic postings. My top tips for using YouTube YouTube is a great source of traffic to my ministry website. Every day I get dozens of visitors who sign up for my email updates, listen to my show, and buy my products. Set up a YouTube account, and then set up a YouTube channel - Try to get it branded professionally. If you do not know how to do so, simply search for a tutorial on YouTube. Create videos for posting - These can cover many topics, including sermon snippets; adverts for forthcoming events; outreach messages, and
BERNARD REILLY is an Evangelist gospel DJ, and MD of Proclaim Marketing
more. The best YouTube videos are the ones that go ‘viral’, ie. there’s something about the video that makes people share it with others. Prayerfully test different ideas and monitor the response. After a while, you’ll begin to know which video formats and ideas work best for your ministry. Give your video a great title - Video titles and descriptions are VERY important. If you do these well, it is possible to get your video ranked highly for search results on both YouTube and Google. You need to create titles that contain keywords, which match what people are looking for on both YouTube and Google. The best way to find this out is by using the Keyword Tool - a free service offered at www.youtube.com. Two great ways to optimise your videos are as follows: Pay attention to your video thumbnail - This is the image people see when your video is not playing. As people tend to scan pages, the video thumbnail heavily influences their decision to click and watch your video. Therefore, you need to test and try different thumbnail images. In your video description, you are allowed to post 5,000 text characters. It takes a bit more work and creativity but it is well worth doing this, as you will show up in more search results and therefore get more views. Finally, you must include a link at the top of your video description. For example, I normally put something like ‘for a free mix, visit www.soulcureradio.com’. It is always a good idea to include some sort of free offer, as this creates more incentive for people to visit your page. Social media is a great tool to reach people with the Gospel. Try and put some of the tips into action, and watch your congregation grow! ................................................................... For more information about social media and internet marketing or Proclaim Marketing, visit www.proclaimmarketing.com Support us with a subscription
Churches need to comply with charity law I was fortunate enough to be able to attend an interesting meeting recently, which was centred around whether charities deserve the public trust they enjoy. Hosted by the Charities Commission, the meeting highlighted a number of things. It was surprising to learn that charities are still one of the most trusted groups, with only the police and doctors being more highly trusted. I also learned that 96% of the public felt it was important that charities provide the public with information about how they spend their money. Other findings coming out of this meeting included: • The most important factor relating to trust is ensuring that a reasonable proportion of donations are used for the end cause. • A recent survey found that faith-based charities are notorious for filing late accounts. They felt that this was because trustees of some organisations, that don’t perhaps primarily identify as a charity, are less aware of their duties as charity trustees. • Company charities pay at least £400k per year to Companies House in fines and, as a result, the Charities Commission will be reviewing their approach to late filers - so be warned! Fraud Several charities have recently come under fire for fraud. One case involved Astonbrook Housing Association where, instead of using money to house asylum seekers, they made out cheques to themselves that appeared to be payments for legitimate goods and services. They then laundered the money through various companies by buying houses, with much of the cash they received going to bank accounts in Dubai. As a result, some of the trustees were convicted of conspiracy to defraud, and money laundering, and received sentences of between 18 months and four and a half years. What was more alarming was the fact that those convicted came from the BAME community! The Charities Commission is clamping down much harder on charities now, so don’t get caught out. The case below illustrates the importance of good governance and compliance.
BA, MSc is Managing Director of Crowne Consultancy.
X CHRISTIAN CENTRE, LONDON X Christian Centre, in North East London, came under fire recently when it failed to file its accounts on time with the Charities Commission. X Christian Centre, like many others, were not up to date with their accounts. Gift Aid had been completed but, because the accounts were not up to date, X Christian Centre were unable to benefit from this tax incentive. Unfortunately, X Christian Centre had learned the hard way, and found out that if accounts are not audited on time, this will effect the church/organisation claiming Gift Aid. Coupled with all this, X Christian Centre received an unexpected letter from the HMRC, stating that they needed to account for every item of spend (yes, every single item). Thankfully, X Christian Centre had a separate account for their charitable/church activities, which meant that this was not nearly as onerous as it could have been! Lesson learnt here is to ensure you get your Accountant to do your accounts in good time.
Responsibility of the Church Whether you agree that churches need to take their charitable status seriously or not, the Scriptures make it clear that this is a responsibility of the Church. Churches need to be careful as to how donations are spent. It will be difficult to argue that these are used primarily to pay for salary costs - even Jesus stressed that tithing was good - but actually, there were more weighty things, such as seeking justice and showing mercy (Matthew 24:28, also highlighted in the book of Jeremiah Chapter 22). Measuring impact is now very much on the agenda and, in particular, the impact one is making to the lives of their members and the community at large. So let’s take heed: “A prudent man foresees evil and takes refuge, but the simple pass on by and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3). Be wise and take action!
FUNDING FOCUS FOR YOUR MINISTRY THE SIR HALLEY STEWART TRUST Funding is available to support innovative and imaginative research projects, within the priority areas listed below. This Trust is committed to advancing the Christian religion. The Trustees are particularly interested in innovative practical ecumenical projects in the UK, and also those in countries outside the UK where there is special and specific need. Current priorities include: • encouraging Christians to develop their skills in upholding and communicating their faith in the public domain; • encouraging the innovative teaching of Christianity within the UK; • encouraging specific groups of people to explore their experience of spirituality and their spiritual needs and strengths, and to help others to understand these. A telephone call or email to the Administrator is welcomed prior to the submission of an application. For further information, contact Sue West, Sir Halley Stewart Trust, 22 Earith Road Willingham, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB24 5LS Call 01954 260707, or visit www.sirhalleystewart.org.uk ............................................. Lara Rufus BA, MSc, is former Chair of the Black Fundraisers’ Network. For help with fundraising or support around governance email email@example.com
5. Adequate Oxygenation
DR KEM THOMPSON
You must breathe well enough to ensure your cells have enough oxygen for you to function optimally. This includes deep breathing exercises, physical exercise and laughter. Now you know why the Bible says laughter is like medicine, so find reasons to laugh each day.
is a GP, author and speaker. She is the Medical Director at The Healthy Lifestyle Clinic in North London
vast majority of chronic degenerative diseases, such as diabetes, obesity and cancer are largely man-made, and are usually diagnosed decades after the damage causing them initially started. Below is a framework I use to help patients reverse chronic illnesses, such as the ones listed above. Fasting and praying, hooting and hollering, and quoting Scriptures won’t make a difference if you do not ACT on what you know. Faith without works is DEAD. So, if you suffer from any of the above diseases, go through this overview to see which ‘pillar’ you are weak in. Then strive to strengthen it.
1. A Renewed Mind The only way your health will be transformed is by renewing your mind. This includes renewing your faith, belief system and perceptions. It also deals with stress management, self-esteem and confidence, self-motivation, selfdiscipline and, in general, your mindset. Your perception or beliefs influence your behaviour and habits, which in turn influence your results for good or bad. Your body responds - even at a cellular level - to your thoughts. Your cells release chemicals, whose actions depend on the thoughts you are feeding your mind with. When you respond in a negative way to life issues, your cells release the ‘stress’ hormone. Prolonged release of this hormone is linked to several diseases, including hypertension and diabetes. Your stress levels are largely under your control - you’ve got the power to choose thoughts that empower you rather than make you sick. Renew your mind daily by studying Scripture with a view to ACTING on what you read. Learn how to manage your stress and build a healthy self-esteem, self-image, self-concept, and your health will improve.
2. Adequate Hydration You should aim to drink enough water each day, in order to function optimally. Your cells are made up of 75% water and, if you don’t drink enough water, your body borrows it from other parts of the body, in order to provide the vital parts with water to keep you alive. As a result, the less vital parts suffer, and you get symptoms of dehydration,
6. Adequate Sunlight
The 8 pillars for healthy living Dr Kem Thompson GP will be Keep The Faith’s health columnist. Her first column looks at the eight ‘pillars’ people should have in their lives to enjoy optimum health
Vitamin D doesn’t just give you strong bones and teeth, it affects the functioning of most every cell in your body, and boosts your immunity, Therefore a host of illnesses occur when your levels are lower than normal. It also acts as a powerful antibiotic and anti-tumour agent (levels are often low in people suffering from fibroids, breast and prostate cancer). Symptoms of insufficient levels include tiredness, recurrent infections, especially chest infections, allergies, muscle aches, etc. To find out your level, ask your doctor to test for ‘serum (25, OH) Vitamin D’. They will tell you how much you need to take if you are insufficient or deficient.
7. Adequate Rest You must get enough sleep each night. A lot of your body’s restorative and growth processes take place while you sleep. ‘Experts’ seem to agree that 6-7 hours of sleep minimum per night is enough for most adults.
such as headaches, body and joint pains, irritability, tiredness, heart burn, etc. Aim to drink 33ml times your body weight (in kg) of water each day - more, if you exercise or drink anything that dehydrates you, eg. caffeine-containing drinks, alcohol, etc.
3. Adequate Nutrition You must eat the right types of healthy carbohydrates, healthy fats, healthy proteins, in a proportion that depends on your ‘metabolic type’. No one ‘diet’ fits all. You must also take high quality, comprehensive, complete and balanced nutritional supplements daily, to provide optimal levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for your cells. The Department of Agriculture has reports confirming that there is a significant amount of nutrient depletion in our soils, because of modern farming practices. If it’s not in your soil, it’s not in your food. So you need to supplement what you’re eating.
4. Adequate Physical Activity and Posture You must exercise regularly. This should include at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three times a day; strength training with weights for at least 20 minutes every other day, and stretching for flexibility daily. If you start with baby steps, you can build up to optimal levels of physical activity, especially if you wish to reverse disease.
8. Support Studies show that being part of a support system helps you to maintain a good habit. Studies also show that people in a stable relationship are generally healthier, and have fewer incidences of mental illness, than those who are not. You must be plugged into a proactive support system if you are to establish, build and maintain these eight pillars for your healthy life. ........................................................ Dr Kem Thompson is author of the book, Inspirational Blueprints for Personal Success for Women. Visit www.doctorkem.com for more information.
is a qualified psychologist and pastor’s wife
I want to do more for God, but my life is demanding I love the Lord and really want to be used by Him to make a difference in people’s lives. I attend church, and help out when I can, as I have a demanding job and family, but really would like to do more but I don’t know what. How should I go about seeking what God’s specific will and purpose is for me, and how can I be more of a blessing to the church and wider community? Claire, Sheffield
I’m distraught. God’s saved my ex, but he’s marrying someone else
hen I got saved, I was a depressed lone parent. My relationship with my children’s father had broken down; I existed on benefits; had no sense of direction, and lived a life going nowhere. Now, 10 years later, I am active in my church; have a degree and a good job; live in my own property, and have teenage children doing well. I’ve also been praying to get back with my children’s father. So you can imagine my surprise when he called to say he’d become a Christian; wanted to renew contact with the kids, and added he was engaged to be married. When I got off the phone, I cried my eyes out, and have done so ever since. I feel let down by God. I’ve been praying for my ex so that I could have a complete family, only to hear that after being saved for five minutes, he now has a life partner. I know God has been good to me, but don’t seem to be able to move forward from this disappointment. I’ve lost interest in church, and it’s my kids that are keeping me going. I’m aware I might be overreacting, but I need some advice to get back on my spiritual feet. Hazel, London
Esther Fenty replies You acknowledged the goodness of God in helping you to find fulfilment and purpose in your life and prosperity. You prayed for your children’s father to be saved, and God answered your prayer. It doesn’t appear that He has answered the one about reuniting your family - not yet, anyway - and I am certainly not encouraging you to think that your children’s father will change his mind. You need to trust the divine purpose of God in your life. His will is that you are conformed to the image of His Son, and not to the image of a ‘perfect
family’. On the surface, it may look idyllic if you were to be reunited as a family, but there may be underlying issues to consider. Your children’s father may not be the ideal partner for you. The fact that you are now both Christians does not mean that you are compatible or will be supportive of each other’s ministries. Remember that God is interested in not just the ideal, but in real families - including those that have been reconstituted. The fact that you are ranting and raving, because he is engaged to be married, and feeling that God has let you down, suggests that you may need to deal with some underlying issues. You do not appear to have truly let him go, demonstrating real forgiveness. You need to do that, expecting nothing in return. It is a good sign that your children’s father has accepted his responsibility and wants to maintain contact. In time, I hope that they will be able to restore their relationship and that you can become friends. You affirmed that God was good when He blessed you with the degree, job, house and teenage children who are doing well. When Job lost all of his possessions and his children, his wife tried to give him some advice. Job’s response was, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10, New American Standard Bible). Has God let you down over this one thing? My response is: “Can you always only expect blessings and not disappointments? Isn’t He still God?” If you will trust God enough, you will realise that the disappointments will also work for your good, as Romans Chapter 8 reminds us. I encourage you to allow the Holy Spirit to transform your mind, so that you may prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God for your life.
Esther Fenty replies Many of us are making a difference to people’s lives every day: in the family, educational establishments, work, etc. without realising that we do. Responding effectively to the needs of a demanding family, ie. raising children in the fear of the Lord and giving them a good spiritual foundation, is also a ministry in itself and should not be taken lightly. Therefore, make sure that you have a balanced view of gifts and do not despise the little things. There is also ministry among our neighbours. A book has just been published by Global Day of Prayer & Worship, in partnership with the Neighbourhood Prayer Network, called Neighbours Transform Your Street. There are also other organisations like HOPE or Crossing London Mission 2013, which give information and ideas of how to connect with our neighbours, and how to encourage people in our churches to do so. Be in fellowship with God through prayer, reading the Word, meditation, and speak to trusted friends or leaders. Look at the gifts that you use; the areas that you help out in; the needs and vision of your church, and ask God where He wants you to be. Make sure that you are not feeling pressurised and have a balanced (work/church/family/ social) life.
Esther Fenty provides godly and practical advice on a wide range of issues. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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AN INFECTIOUS OUTPOURING OF LOVE
What can a pastor of one of London’s fastest growing churches learn from a small group of believers struggling to make ends meet in the heart of Indonesia? Well, quite a lot, as Pastor Kingsley Appiagyei discovered on his recent trip to visit the work of the child development charity, Compassion.
aving grown up in Ghana, Pastor Kingsley is no stranger to poverty, but the slums of Jakarta took his breath away. “The level of poverty was overwhelming,” he recalls. “But then to see what Compassion has done to bring life and hope to these people was extremely challenging; so vivid and real.” Pastor Kingsley Appiagyei has a huge ministry, to say the least. His CV includes being Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in West Norwood (with over 2,000 members); overseeing 18 church plants around the world; a year as President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain in 2009; not to mention an extensive preaching ministry and numerous outreach projects. But Pastor Kingsley was humbled by the heart of the pastors he met in Indonesia and their infectious outpouring of love. “Indonesia is 80% Muslim, and the Christians are only eight per cent, but the harmony that exists is amazing. And the other thing we can learn from them is that you don’t need millions to do church. You just need a genuine heart and a passion and love for Jesus. “It’s not about money. It’s not about how sophisticated your buildings are. The buildings we saw [in Indonesia] were nothing to write home about, but their passion for Jesus, and the joy to see the poor helped, is so infectious.” Pastor Kingsley was so inspired by his visit that he returned home to encourage his own congregation to sponsor children through Compassion. A tough ask in the current climate,
and one that many pastors might shy away from, for fear that the level of giving to their own church would be compromised. If anything, Trinity Baptist Church’s support for the very poorest of the poor has only served to unite the church more strongly in their desire to see God’s will done on earth. “Psalm 41:1 makes it quite clear that ‘Blessed is the man who helps the poor’,” continues the Pastor. “Times are tough, but I don’t think that should have any negative effect at all. It’s 70p a day! According to the UN, a child dies every three seconds because of poverty and preventable diseases, so for me it’s a great honour to be connected with Compassion.” Trinity Baptist Church is already engaged in a great deal of outreach within their local communities of West Norwood and Croydon. Their partnership with Compassion is an extension of this, as the church seeks God’s heart to change lives for the better. Perhaps this is best reflected in the very personal and powerful meeting that Pastor Kingsley and his wife, Cynthia, had with Rolando, the child they sponsor in Indonesia. “The most shocking thing was that the father of Rolando was on the verge of becoming a Jihadist. But, through the church, Rolando’s older sister had been sponsored. When the man saw the genuine difference that Compassion makes, he began to see the change in the girl, and started going to church. Through Compassion, that life has been transformed.” Having seen many other individuals,
whose lives have been changed forever through sponsorship, Pastor Kingsley is now an ambassador for Compassion. “One of the mandates that God has given to the Church is that we should be our brothers’ keepers. If a third of the world lives in abject poverty on less than $1.25 a day, we should ask ourselves a very simple question: ‘What would Jesus have done?’ He tells us, “I was naked and you clothed Me; I was hungry and you fed Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.” And when we do it to these poor people, we are doing it for Him, and it’s a mandate I would want to encourage other pastors to take.” “It’s a dream come true that we could be connected with an organisation that shares my dreams and aspirations, and makes it work and produces results.” Kate Sharma
To find out more about the work of Compassion visit www.compassionuk.org or call 01932 836490