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issue 91

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No. 91 Autumn 2010 ÂŁ2.50

encouraging, enabling, equipping

Survival Doctors in Haiti Surviving sexual abuse Should the Church survive?

www.ourmagnet.co.uk ISSN 1 363-0245


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Editorialmagnet Office: Autumn t: 0844 736 2524 e: editorial@ourmagnet.co.uk

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Welcome to Magnet

Business Manager: Lynne Ling t: 0845 250 0509 e: lynne@ourmagnet.co.uk

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Administration Officer: Felicity Shakespeare t: 0844 736 2524 e: felicity@ourmagnet.co.uk Subscriptions: online: ourmagnet.co.uk/subscribe postal: PO Box 10378 Bishop’s Stortford CM23 9FT t: 0844 736 2524 e: felicity@ourmagnet.co.uk Advertising: Please contact Andrew White t: 01932 241013 e: andrew@ourmagnet.co.uk Editorial Group: Sue Bloomfield, Kaysea Bonds, Joy Chapman, David Coleman, Tricia Creamer, Jane Dowell, Janet Eldred, Samantha Ferris, Jordanna Gargas, Patricia Goacher, Judith Holliman, Lynne Ling, Alaine Sheppard, Jacqueline Shirtliff, Joan Sidaway, Sheila Simpson. Copyright: Every effort has been made to trace copyright. However, we would be glad to hear from any holders of copyright not traced so that due acknowledgement can be made at the earliest opportunity. Designed by Twenty-Five Educational www.base25.com Tel: 0151 632 1657 Printed by APG www.apgprint.com This publication was produced to ISO14001 Environmental Management System standards. 95% of the waste created during the process was recycled. Materials used included vegetable oil inks, elemental chlorine free pulp and fibre from Forest Stewardship Council managed forests which have been independently inspected and comply with internationally agreed environmental, social and economic standards. About Magnet: Magnet nurtures Christian faith in thoughtful, challenging ways, encouraging, enabling and equipping for life. It is an independent Christian resource for men and women. Each issue provides regular features including Bible study, a prayer focus, personal stories, worship material and a focus on world and justice issues. Magnet is produced by a team of volunteer editors. Opinions given in articles may not always reflect the views of the team. Authors and photographers own the copyright for their contributions. The Editorial Office is happy to pass on any enquiries. Magnet Resources is a Body in Association with CTBI (Churches Together in Britain and Ireland) Registered in the UK Company number 6907612 Charity number 1130887

Cover image: ‘Sunset’ by Galland Sémérand, a Haitian artist courtesy Galerie Lakaye, USA

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Features 4

Haiti

Regulars 10

– the fight for survival in the aftermath of the earthquake and beyond

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Surviving sexual abuse

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Col shares the story of continuing survival of sexual abuse

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Growing old

Bible study Woman at the well for the first time I feel free

Worship Rocky ground a harvest of survival

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Revd Dr Albert Jewell discovers different approaches for enjoying life as an older person

Prayer focus Combat Stress The long term personal effects of war

29,34 Resources 14

All equal but different Discover how Somewhere Else, Liverpool City Centre, is a place where community evolves daily

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Talking justice I just love Sheffield From Burma to Sheffield – a story of relief and joy

Weaving fragile strands How can the Holy Spirit weave hope and light into the lives of abused children?

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In touch

Church survival Barbara Glasson wonders if the Church can or should survive

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38

For meditation

Could you survive? Minimum wage? Living wage? What’s the difference?

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My God, forever

Having a laugh

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Letting go

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The essence of survival

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Creed

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God to enfold you

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Peacemakers

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Wrap us in the shawl of eternity

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Celebrity jokes to memorise

Haiti Support Group Campaign On 18 July 2010 the Haiti Support Group (HSG) launched its campaign in support of the over one million people living in over 1,000 makeshift camps in and around the capital Port-au-Prince. Many of these people, apart from having lost family members, their house and all their belongings, are now exposed to awful living condition, sexual violence and expulsion from their camps. The HSG have written a letter to Prime Minister Bellerive and UN Special Envoy Edmond Mulet. Please write to them along similar lines or simply referring to and attaching the HSG letter, available from www.ourmagnet.co.uk/haiticampaign

Talking Magnet Call 0844 736 2524 or email felicity@ourmagnet.co.uk to request an application form for Talking Magnet on cassette tape. This service is free of charge to those who are registered blind or partially sighted. Talking Magnet is produced as a project by the Chester and Stoke-on-Trent District of the Methodist Church.


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Contributors Htoo Ku Hsar Say Htoo Ku Hsar Say (p30) is the spokesperson of Karen Community Association UK and a leader of her church community in Sheffield. She came with her family to live in the UK in 2006 as a result of a resettlement program set up by the United Nations for refugees living on the Burmese/ Thai border. KCAUK supports and raises awareness of refugees and internally displaced people, campaigns for action by the international community and promotes Karen culture, literature and language in the UK.

Beth Jordan Beth works as a trauma therapist for the charity Combat Stress, where she uses various therapeutic approaches to help veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She also teaches Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, which involves a non-religious form of meditation, which many veterans find beneficial. She believes that her faith is central in helping her keep a sense of priority and to cope with the challenges of her work (p24). Beth belongs to a Methodist Church in Sussex where she lives with her family.

Penny Johnson Penny is an independent counsellor who specialises in trauma and is particularly interested in spirituality. She has led weekend retreats for women survivors of childhood abuse and is keen to raise awareness of the difficulties they encounter within the established church (p22). Accredited to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Penny is currently practising at Touchstone, a Methodist Centre in Bradford. She lives with her husband in North Yorkshire and enjoys reading, walking in the countryside and freelance writing.

Albert Jewell Albert is a supernumerary minister living in Leeds and former pastoral director of Methodist Homes for the Aged (p12). Following retirement he completed his doctorate under Professor Leslie Francis at Bangor University for a study of the sources of wellbeing in older Methodists. He is a vice-chair of Christian Council on Ageing and editor of its Dementia Newsletter. His most recent publication, co-authored with Graham Hawley, is Crying in the Wilderness: Giving Voice to Older People in the Church (MHA 2009).

Ian J K Hu Ian (p14) is superintendent minister of the Liverpool City Centre Ministry Circuit in the Liverpool District, and serves as chaplain to Liverpool John Moores University. A California native, he completed his Master of Divinity (M Div) degree in 2000 at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia USA and has served in the Preston, Hull (East) and Liverpool (South) Circuits. In his spare time Ian enjoys singing in the Liverpool Welsh Choral, weightlifting and Liverpool Football.

Editorial Tricia Creamer and Sheila Simpson with Barbara Glasson This issue of Survival is one of the most challenging topics we have covered. The essence has been to start with the question of how to cope when all that is known to you and on which your life depends is lost or damaged. Immediately we think of earthquakes (p4) and refugees (see p30). But there are more silent situations from which the survival route is less obvious: sexual abuse (p8), ritual abuse (p22), stories of rejection and homelessness (p14). Many of these struggles are bleak and would remain so were it not for the hope and support of counsellors, doctors, therapists, ministers and friends. We’ve discovered, as we hope you will too, God’s loving Spirit at work in a sometimes desperate darkness, gathering tormented dreams and lost memories, the fragile strands of shattered lives and weaving them into a purpose. Through a moment of relief, an insight, a change, a flash of humour, something unexpectedly new is created. Our page of humour is included as part of the story of survivors (p38). This issue would not have been possible without the inspiring input from Barbara Glasson. As a Methodist minister in the Liverpool Methodist District she was the inspiration for ‘the Bread Church’ Somewhere Else and is now Team Leader at Touchstone in Bradford – a Methodist city centre project in a diverse and multicultural place. She has travelled the world and has an intelligent understanding of survival issues. Her book ‘A Spirituality of Survival’ (reviewed on p29) reflects political as well as individual stories, is deeply biblical and filled with interesting insights into scripture. She is passionate about justice and the rights of the excluded to be included. Much of her ministry has been outside a formal church setting and she is ideally placed to write on the survival of the church in the reality of today’s society (p26). Our meditation pages, worship, Bible study (p10) and prayer focus (p24) are linked in so many ways to reflect both the anguish and the new hope which becomes the harvest of survival. Contacts for help and advice can be found on pages 9 and 23.

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DOCTORS OF THE WORLD

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Haiti

the fight for survival

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more than half of the population in Haiti were living below the poverty line and the average life expectancy at birth was just 57 years. In addition to poverty, the country has also had to deal with natural disasters. It has always been at serious risk of hurricane damage – less than two years ago the island was hit by four successive hurricanes in two months. As a EFORE THE EARTHQUAKE

Before the earthquake more than half of the population in Haiti were living below the poverty line and the average life expectancy at birth was just 57 years. 4

result, access to healthcare for Haiti’s citizens has been difficult. Because Doctors of the World had been working in Haiti for over 20 years, there were systems already in place so the organisation could react quickly when the crisis happened. Before the earthquake struck we had 75 local staff and 12 expats working in the country who knew the area well. After the earthquake, local staff put their own tragedies to one side to carry on working. Aid agencies attracted criticism from the media for not acting quickly enough after the

Press Officer Catherine Allum writes about Doctors of the World’s work in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake. earthquake, but the scale of the disaster was enormous and it completely crippled a government already struggling to deliver basic services. For aid agencies unfamiliar with the country, the terrain was nearly impossible to navigate especially with no government partner. For me, the difficult thing was trying to grasp how huge this disaster was. I try to equate things with how they are in the UK. Portau-Prince, where the earthquake struck, is a tiny city in our western consciousness. I think I had heard of it before this earthquake, but I don’t think that I could have told


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Haiti January 2010

Our surgical team completed 500 operations in three weeks. They worked outdoors since the worry was that the hospital buildings were not totally safe. With such a huge number of people to deal with, the team needed to work together well. For eight hours a day they worked with a curfew in force at night. As darkness fell and the last patient was attended to, two more loads of supplies would arrive. While the surgeons working saw as many patients as they could, a whole team of logisticians, a chain of people stretching back to Paris, Madrid, Montreal and London were beavering away day and night to get the right kit to them as quickly as possible. Thousands of dressings a day were used. As one day ended, new dressings arrived from the other side of the world.

you that it was the capital of Haiti. I certainly could not have told you that the population of Port-auPrince is over three million, the same as Birmingham. We now know more than 217,000 people died in the earthquake. The history books tell us that the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima killed 40,000. This earthquake killed five times as many. The Doctors of the World international surgical teams carried out emergency work at Port-auPrince General Hospital. Our team of volunteer surgeons had to deal with many people urgently needing help. The waiting time outside the hospital along the main road in the hot sun must have been around eight hours before a patient even got logged into the system, and these people were very ill indeed. As a comparison, NHS hospitals here in the UK aim to see, treat and discharge patients within four hours.

The battle was lost with the leg of one young patient; the muscle death was slowly creeping up the limb, poisoning his kidneys. produced by the anaesthetics. But then one day one of the team had to sit down and tell him the heart wrenching news: he was only 22 years old and had to lose his leg above the knee. The family were heart broken, but one of them had to be present during the final assessment under anaesthetic. The family had chosen to send the boy’s 16 year old cousin. Brave girl, she had to stand there as the surgeon explained and showed her what they were fighting. It was a delicate balance of giving her enough information but not too much. ➦

DOCTORS OF THE WORLD

The wounds were dreadful! One patient was a ballet dancer for the National Dance team. She was lovely and smiled a little. She had already lost part of her leg and our surgeon had to try to save the rest. In fact our surgeons faced constant dilemmas and this dancer was a prime example. If they took too little she might have died of gangrene, and equally they desperately didn’t want to take too much. Meanwhile the physicians looking after the wards popped their heads through the door and asked if they could take another amputation or an infected wound.

Among the patients that survived the earthquake there were some desperately sad stories. The battle was lost with the leg of one young patient; the muscle death was slowly creeping up the limb, poisoning his kidneys. The surgical team had tried to be optimistic with him as he struggled with the pain and the hallucinations

DOCTORS OF THE WORLD

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Thousands of dressings a day were used. As one day ended, new dressings arrived from the other side of the world.

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when the world’s media have stopped shining their spotlight, the battle for survival continues. ➥ When she bowed her head, it was a sign she had seen as much as she could take and a nurse led her away. That girl was a survivor, her cousin was a survivor and now they would be learning as a family a new way to survive. The rescue operation continues in Haiti, a vulnerable country. More than 200,000 homes were destroyed in the earthquake. When the rains arrived, people were still living in makeshift camps with little access to sanitation, water or food, and with the ever-present risk of respiratory infections and diarrhoeal diseases.

The media circus has gone home but by no means is it the end of the story. In many ways it is just the beginning, as the people in Haiti set about rebuilding their lives. This is a place that needs long term help and long term solutions. Theirs is a true story of survival and there are many ways we can support them in their struggle. One thing is for sure, when the world’s media have stopped shining their spotlight, the battle for survival continues. DOCTORS OF THE WORLD

The surgical side of the emergency response has wound down but other programmes are now taking priority. Among the many mobile clinics Doctors of the World have set up to reach the people living in the camps, there are outreach teams working to provide psychological support. These teams bring games

whole population in 11 local health centres.

to entertain the children but also to create the opportunity for parents to talk to the children and spot possible signs of post traumatic stress. Anyone needing help is then referred to one of the three hospitals where Doctors of the World is already working on mental health issues. There are over 30 community health workers who improve hygiene and educate people about disease prevention. The malnutrition programme for mothers and their children, which was running prior to the earthquake, is now helping the

Our surgical team completed 500 operations in three weeks.

Doctors of the World is a medical aid organisation already working in Haiti prior to the earthquake. Its primary aim is to provide healthcare using volunteer healthcare professionals. Doctors of the World UK 14 Heron Quays London E14 4JB Tel: 0207 515 7534 www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk

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My God, forever With the light of love you pierce my darkness with the glow of peace you challenge my dangers with the warmth of compassion you comfort my sorrow with the serenity of strength you still my anger with the flame of hope you lift my soul with the flicker of spirit you offer new life with the radiance of joy you dance me new steps My God, my truth. Forever my friend

magnet • words: Š Tricia Creamer. Used by permission; image: istock

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REVD DAVID GAMBLE

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member of the Bread Church in Liverpool. I am a very different person from the one who rang the doorbell that day ten years ago. I am often quoted because I do not believe that any church, society, organisation or family can ever offer us safe space, but I prefer to look more at damage limitation, preventative measures and trying to offer a safer space. Movies and music have impacted on my survival as they have been my companions and distractions, soothers and inspiration, comforters and energising forces. By identifying with characters, dying with the broken hearted and laughing until my body hurts and crying like I will never stop, an awareness grew within me that they were linked to my own experiences.

Surviving sexual abuse “I shaved my head and sacked the Pope”, Col’s ongoing mantra, is one of the ways by which she continues to survive sexual abuse. She shares her story.

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WAS BROUGHT UP A CATHOLIC but since the age of seven I have always struggled to believe that God excludes anyone from Communion. I’ve battled with the lack of compassion and understanding of survivor issues and what I believed was the regular re-victimising of survivors through ignorance, naivety, time constraints and collusion.

Not years of surviving but more moments or episodes of surviving within all the years. 8

I am learning to live without labels these days, but titles such as victim, survivor, thriver and fighter have helped me to feel safer and visible. In theory I shouldn’t be here, having been at risk of harm for many years and surviving suicide attempts early on in my life and then using different methods of self harm as coping mechanisms. I could write reams about my amazing journey into a totally different church community, and how I came to be a founder

I spent many years looking for perfection from people within the Church, unconsciously trying to find people who would make things better, change my view of church, replace the parents I never had, but because my expectations were so unreasonable I was always going to be let down. I don’t really talk about years of surviving but more moments or episodes of surviving within all the years. Today I have learned to have realistic or no expectations of people and I am less disappointed when people let me down. I have always been very independent and private about personal matters and have at times made the wrong choices in whom to confide. Survival is easier these days because I am managing to talk to people who do care rather than people who I want to care. Christian Survivors of Sexual Abuse (CSSA) has been a major support in my life and although I left recently after 17 years, I have made life long friendships which strengthen and sustain me when things get rough. So what brings about my


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own personal survival? I guess at the risk of sounding cheesy it is being real and feeling loved. Some people say to me, “Oh, its OK for you…you have a family and a job…and friends…” My survival has meant: • choosing different paths • being proactive in abusive situations • walking away from people who brought/bring me down or walking away from people who are not ready to accept that their loved ones were abusers • going to court • telling the truth.

Some survivors can be angry… defensive… demanding… difficult… detached and they upset the equilibrium… don’t fit the jigsaw and sing a different song from the core church members. Finding acceptance and understanding and being given opportunities of employment and access to groups that are designed for normal people despite our often unusual, chaotic, even scary history is essential for survivors. This is what will encourage survivors on their journey. If people hadn’t chosen to believe in me and given me access to education,

DAVID COLEMAN

Sexual abuse silences… complicates… messes up… divides… threatens… terrifies…

Sexual abuse cannot be described by nice pretty dialogue. It does change people.

Sexual abuse silences… complicates… messes up… divides… threatens… terrifies… employment and spiritual growth I would still be struggling to cope with my past. Despite presenting at times as an angry, emotional and challenging woman, special people have walked alongside me and trusted in my integrity and this has helped me to move on and develop positive, meaningful relationships which have sustained me. Within Church Action on Sexual Abuse Issues (CASAI) women are given opportunities to participate in services and assist in preparation for conferences or retreats – a chance they would never have been given in other situations. Art work and costumes for plays, typing for scripts, prayer cards and wall posters, to name a few things, have been done this year. Talents are recognised or in some cases resurrected from damaged trust and self esteem. Believing in and walking with God has never been boring. It’s a roller coaster ride of emotions, with a loving safety harness that lets me breathe, an accelerator that moves me forward, a holy brake which prevents me crashing and spiritual traffic lights which pace me when the going gets tough and there are learning curves in the road ahead! God has given me many challenging signals for the journey and wisdom to help me choose well at the cross roads. Col has been accepted to begin ministerial studies in September.

Christian Survivors of Sexual Abuse 38 Sydenham Villas Road, Cheltenham, Gloucester, GL5 26DZ, 01708 765200, www.supportline.org.uk Church Action on Sexual Abuse Issues 07985 442338 or developmentworker@tesco.net

Vigil cross made of burned-out car parts

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SIMON RICHARDSON/WWW.SPRINGSDANCECOMPANY.ORG

bible study

magnet Autumn 2010

For the first time

I feel free Marjorie Dobson, a preacher and writer well known for her dramatic approach to the Bible, imagines the possible story of the woman whom Jesus met by the well and asks if this woman is a sinner or a victim.

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N JOHN

4:4-30 we read of Jesus doing a scandalous thing – talking to a Samaritan woman, cast out by her own society and prepared to argue with him. He does that in the full light of day and in spite of the traditional enmity between Jews and Samaritans. But he sees a woman in need of healing. Let’s imagine her story ‘For the first time in my life I feel free – all thanks to the only man who’s ever treated me with real respect. My mother loved me, but died when I was six. My father was grief-stricken, but blamed me for

bringing sickness into the house. My older sister bullied me and I just longed to be married and away from them. Not surprisingly, my father arranged my wedding when I was of age and at thirteen I found myself married to a fifty-year-old brute of a man. I was small and frail. He was big and strong. What should have been love was actually rape and brutality. It was so bad I suffered three miscarriages because he wouldn’t leave me alone. When he died in a fight I shed no tears. His brother took me as his second wife, but his first wife was insanely jealous and treated me like a slave. I spent my time doing the dirty work and living under the outside

Pause for thought • ‘Jews do not associate with Samaritans.’ Do conflicts from the past still influence my dealings with certain people? • Is this woman a sinner, or a victim? • Do I use clever answers to avoid facing the reality of my behaviour? • Would the story of faith I tell convince others?

shelter. Finally she accused me of infidelity – though I’d had no chance of that – and I was beaten and thrown out. I only escaped being stoned when the one friend I’d had since childhood hid me. But she died young, too. I left my home village to find sanctuary elsewhere, but a lone woman stands little chance of remaining respectable. Various men offered me shelter and I was desperate, so I soon became used to prostituting myself, just to survive. Over the years I had three more husbands, but I knew I was being used for their own ends. Two were as brutal as my first husband and one had many other women to please him. I became the household slave, handy to satisfy his needs when no other woman was available. The village women despised me and had nothing to do with me. The men were self-righteous bigots. Hypocrites too, some of them. If I were to tell you how many of them ‘visited’ me, while condemning me in public … But that’s all in the past now. That Jewish teacher changed everything. He didn’t care that I was a Samaritan. He talked about eternal life and listened when I answered back. He knew what I was, but wouldn’t condemn me. And I knew he was the Messiah. He said so and I believe him. He has come to save his people and he’s started with me. I’m free to begin again.’ Imaginary narrative? Of course. But her encounter with Jesus gave her the courage to face the unforgiving villagers with her story. It changed her life. This bible passage is also referred to on p29 Working from a Place of Rest (2009)

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Letting go The birch leaves are falling, Lord, yellow diamonds on the green grass, released in the autumn wind. But I, Lord, I still clutch tight the leaves of my old life, useless, withered and dry. Teach me to let go of the old – old hurts and animosities, old troubles and grief. Teach me to release them into the wind of your Spirit to be whisked away, that like the tree I may rest a while at peace within, then grow again in the spring.

magnet • words: © Annie Heppenstall 2009. Taken from Acorns and Archangels, Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow. www.ionabooks.com Used by permission; image: Marion Deacon Autumn – North Wales

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TRICIA CREAMER

issue 91

growing old – more than just surviving In talking to older people Revd Dr Albert Jewell discovers different approaches for enjoying a meaningful life.

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in connection with ageing is ‘coping’. I much prefer the word resilience! Originally referring to the capacity of metals to spring back into shape following stress, it aptly describes the ability of many older people to thrive in meeting the challenges of later life. HE WORD MOST OFTEN USED

During the last ten years, moving from my 60s into my 70s, I have been involved in several research

“My purpose is to continue unfolding the gifts I have been given – and that will continue as long as I live!” 12

projects with almost a thousand people aged between 60 and 95, most of whom were churchgoers. I wanted to uncover the roots of their resilience. Personality, accumulated life experience and religious faith were bound to play their part but other significant factors came to light. So let those who took part speak for themselves! First and foremost they testify to the importance of maintaining or discovering a purpose in life. This can be threatened by retirement from paid employment, families

‘flying the nest’ and the various limitations that tend to come with advancing years. But everyone needs a reason to get up in the morning and get on with life in a meaningful way. Of course families remain important, as do friends with whom the relationship can be seen as more reciprocal. As one woman said, “My family are still there but they are not my purpose. My purpose is to continue unfolding the gifts I have been given – and that will continue as long as I live!” Continuing to serve the church and local community motivated many while recognising the need to adapt with advancing years. As one man commented, “Thinking about and helping other people helps me get through.” Hobbies nourish the spirit of many older people. Continued creativity through arts and crafts is cherished. But two areas stood out: music, whether created or simply enjoyed, was important to many. It has the


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Opposite page: Lily at 96 completed the Christian Aid walk at Sandbanks, Poole; Right: (Clockwise from top) Edna loves her garden; Pam – tackling the computer; John (aged 90) volunteering at his local hospital; the singing ladies – Salty Fellowship; Jill adapting her skills to new technology

SHEILA SIMPSON

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ability to transport people to another realm where the soul is uplifted and renewed – a foretaste of heaven perhaps. Working or simply being in the garden rejuvenated many taking part in the studies. It gave them space to reflect upon life and its problems and to find peace in the presence of God. I never thought to ask about humour in my earlier studies, but its importance has been almost universally expressed. It is seen as a vital ingredient to life which enables you to get things back into proportion, have a laugh at your own expense and maintain your resilience. If human beings are made in the image of God, it is to be hoped that humour derives directly from our maker! A resident in a Methodist care home displayed this marriage of humour and faith in a remarkable way. When asked by her key-worker who was bathing her if she would kindly move her leg, she found she couldn’t. “Oh well,” she said, “that’s another bit that’s fallen off. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to that glorified body St Paul promises us in heaven!” Those taking part in the studies showed little fear of death although they had understandable reservations about the process of dying, an agonising death or dying alone being particular fears. They wished to die at peace but recognised that this might not be so. What I found uplifting was the excitement death engendered in some who took part. To one it was “rather exciting – I shall be fascinated to know what comes after”. To another it was an engaging mystery. A third asserted

that “It can be the richest time, the fruit of all our living.” The psychologist Erik Erikson suggested that there are eight life stages that need to be navigated. His wife Joan, surviving him into her nineties, contended that there is a ninth which is termed ‘gerotranscendence’, meaning rising above self-centred concerns about survival to a more tolerant and wide-embracing view of life and the world. It includes less certainty and more mystery. This was tested in my main study of 500 churchgoers and to my joy I found that this quality did increase with the age of those who took part. I can only trust that it will be true of me as I grow older and face the transition from the still active ‘third age’ to the less welcome ‘fourth age’ of greater dependency. At present, helped by Betty Friedan’s

book A Fountain of Age, I am concentrating on one of her seven tasks of ageing which she calls ‘selection and optimisation’. This involves recognising ‘gerotranscendence’, one’s limitations meaning rising above selfand adapting in order to centred concerns about maximise the survival to a more tolerant fulfilment that and wide-embracing view can come from of life and the world. It those pursuits that are more includes less certainty and appropriate to more mystery one’s later years. This I do, encouraged by the example of so many resilient elders. I have learned so much from them. From the man who declared, “Every morning I think, that’s a great bonus!” And from the woman who told me, “I am happy to say ‘that’s me’. I’m happy to be me – who I am.”

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Ian Hu writes about Somewhere Else, Liverpool City Centre, a place where community formation is not just talked about – it evolves daily. Telling and sharing stories allows for a wide network of caring and support and a recognition that we are all equal but different. Here are four: Rob is a 43-year old native of Aintree, Liverpool. He came to Somewhere Else approximately ten years ago when Storm, a support group for gay and lesbian Christians, relocated to the premises. Rob discovered that the ethos at Somewhere Else – the belief that “we can do things slightly differently here” – appealed to him. Rob has remained faithful to his Roman Catholic tradition which has been strengthened by a new understanding of a loving, affirming and accepting Christ through the community at Somewhere Else. He feels that through the community’s openness, acceptance and emphasis on hospitality, he has been able to develop a stronger ongoing relationship with God through Jesus Christ. He feels that the community at Somewhere Else is different because “labelling is not accepted here. The community emphasizes observing Christ in every person, and accepts people for who they are and for their Godgiven dignity.” Jan is a 45-year old, married mother of three and a native of Liverpool. She is presently a candidate for presbyteral ministry in

“labelling is not accepted here. The community emphasizes observing Christ in every person” 14

the Methodist Church, and came to Somewhere Else while searching for a Foundation Training placement. Her college wanted her to serve in a placement that was outside of a middle class, suburban setting to which she was accustomed. Jan smiles, “College definitely wanted me to leave my comfort zone!” Over the years, Jan has accompanied her family through bouts of illness or crises, and feels that she is truly a “survivor of motherhood.” Jan has identified several areas which differentiate Somewhere Else from her experiences with traditional churches. She cites an “amazing sense of community,” which is encouraged by storytelling. “People share their stories with you, and empower you

Alex is a 25-year old native of Bootle, Liverpool. Alex comments that the first time he visited Somewhere Else in August 2009, he did not have a chance to bake bread. This made him determined to return and to try his hand at breadmaking. Since then, Alex has undergone the in-house training sessions offered at Somewhere Else and likes how “the breadmaking process helps everyone feel at ease with one another, especially newcomers.” Beneath a cool, tough exterior at first glance, when you speak with Alex you quickly discover he possesses a deep empathy and understanding of people and relationships. Alex feels that over the past ten months or so, he has developed increased patience. He also enjoys the sense of satisfaction in teaching the breadmaking process to inexperienced participants. Alex likes the physical set-up of the breadmaking room which allows people to gather around one large table and to engage with one another. He reflects, “Everyone feels accepted and can talk with each other.” ➦ IAN HU

All equal but different

to feel comfortable in sharing your own story.” She also enjoys the level of acceptance that everyone encounters when visiting Somewhere Else, and says that “no one is judged or ‘put in a box’ – you are accepted for who you are.”


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The essence of survival is to continue with life in some form when almost everything in that life has been taken away.

magnet • words:

Š Tricia Creamer. Used by permission; image: David Coleman

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LYNNE LING

magnet Autumn 2010

Steve eventually was able to obtain a pitch selling the Big Issue outside of ‘News from Nowhere’ on Bold Street in Liverpool City Centre. By this time, he had lost all self esteem and would find food by searching through rubbish bins. One day he was invited upstairs to Somewhere Else for a bowl of soup and remembers feeling incredibly vulnerable. He also remembers how he was warmly welcomed, and how people seemed genuinely interested in his story. He realizes that at any time he could have simply walked away, but he didn’t. Steve recalls how members of Somewhere Else looked after him, helped him to get off the streets and obtain a place at the local YMCA.

I was living under a bush near the Metropolitan Cathedral, and I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do. ➥ Steve is a 52-year old native of Coventry who came to Somewhere Else about eight years ago. Through a breakdown in relationships, Steve suddenly found himself homeless on the streets of Liverpool. Steve remarks, “I was living under a bush near the Metropolitan Cathedral, and I

During Holy Week 2010, a storytelling event was held at Somewhere Else, incorporating an arts and crafts project creating shoes. These shoes symbolized each participant’s ongoing journey through life, recognizing the uniqueness of each individual’s story. Each participant was encouraged to individualize their shoes to reflect their personalities and their stories.

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Eventually, Steve obtained his own flat and over the years became a member of the Somewhere Else Church Council and a keyholder. He says, “I found my way with my faith in Christ through Somewhere Else.” One of the recent highlights of his experience was participating in a trip to South America with a team from Somewhere Else. He is enjoying a positive relationship with his father, and is a recognized leader within the community. Stories of survival abound at Somewhere Else and are shared, affirmed and respected. On breadmaking days, new communities can be observed in creation as people share, talk and help one another. Somewhere Else is a place where you can be yourself and rest assured that you will be affirmed for your own individual gifts.

What is Somewhere Else?

IAN HU

Holy Week 2010

honestly didn’t know what I was going to do.”

• Somewhere Else is approximately ten years old, and was inspired by Rev Dr Barbara Glasson through the support of the Liverpool Methodist District. The intent was to create an organic Christian presence in Liverpool City Centre. • The cornerstone of Somewhere Else is storytelling. Participants attending on Tuesdays and Thursdays spend the initial hour getting to know each other round the bread making table. A new community is created. • Shared experiences include: homelessness and rough sleeping, drug or alcohol abuse, grief or loss, family estrangement, career achievements, military service, a holiday or an interesting encounter on the morning train. • Over time, several people who were once homeless or sold the Big Issue have since become members of the Methodist Church at Somewhere Else. • CASAI, the Church’s Action on Sexual Abuse Issues, regularly holds sessions at Somewhere Else and also cares for survivors, some of whom have been hurt by the institutional Church. • Somewhere Else provides ministry to the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community. Storm was founded approximately ten years ago at Liverpool University and has transformed in its membership over the years. Liverpool Quest, a support group for LGBT Roman Catholics, formerly housed in Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is now based at Somewhere Else. Both groups provide worship, fellowship and storytelling opportunities. • Somewhere Else receives placement students from the United Reformed Church, the Methodist Church and the Church of England.


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I believe some things that have happened to me Resulted from other people’s deliberate choices to harm me Or a corruption of their love for me And I am not responsible for these things I believe that during my life Some good people have acted in my best interest And others out of wickedness, malice, self gratification or weakness And some people have confused the two. I believe that just as I can be truly grateful for the things that come as welcome gifts I can be truly angry for the things that have abused me and robbed me of so much I am coming to believe that I am allowed to shout about the things that have silenced me I can rage out loud about the boundaries that have been violated I can take time to lament the many lost things of the past that have reduced my life. I believe that I am not defined by abuse and that I am not beholden to my abusers. I am not responsible for making things right between us I can be free to break the bonds of power that have held us together in the past. I believe that God does not require me to be a victim Or to make anyone else a victim I am divinely encouraged to claim the real potential of my life And in this I am not alone. I believe that the world is not defined by evil, or by its memory or effects But by amazing and eternal possibility and I believe that Corruption and abuse can ultimately be defeated Giving space, freedom, joy, hope and life.

magnet • words: Creed Š Barbara Glasson; image: istock

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Rocky ground: a harvest of survival Introduction for leaders

The Leader lights the candle.

reclaim land. The land is given to them by the government, but it is full of rocks and thorn bushes. Little will grow there. Together they work to collect up the rocks and stones to make walls and to line ponds to collect rainwater. But it’s hard work. It’s against the odds that anything will actually grow here! But it does. Even with rocks and thorns. As we gather for harvest festival this year, we give thanks for God’s goodness and all that makes life possible. But today we remember, too, the stony ground and the thorns, and acknowledge that for many people times are tough and life is very hard, with little to support and sustain them. Indeed, some of us will have been through such times. And today we give thanks for those things which help people survive. Some of the Psalms express how people feel when things are bad and God seems far away.

Leader:

The light shines in the darkness

Read:

All:

And the darkness did not overcome it.

Sing:

We plough the fields and scatter (or Come, ye thankful people, come)

Prayer:

For the beauty of the earth (Five verses, each read by different people. Refrain to be said by all)

This material for a harvest service with a difference takes up the theme of this issue of Magnet, ‘Survival’. It aims to help people acknowledge that life can be very hard at times and that survival itself can be a precious gift. As well as the usual display of harvest gifts, you will need on display a small pile of rocks or stones, perhaps on a table so they are easily visible, with a candle placed among them. Also a supply of snowdrop bulbs, for members of the congregation to take home and plant. The theme of ‘survival’ may have particular impact on some members of the congregation and it will be important to offer appropriate ‘listeners’.

All:

Gracious God, to thee we raise This our sacrifice of praise. The Lord’s Prayer

Sing:

For the fruits of his creation

Reader:

Mark 4:1–9

(Display Tekiki picture, available on the reverse of the poster included in the issue of Magnet, and also as a pdf download from www.ourmagnet.co.uk/shop £2) Leader: Some seed fell on the path; other seed fell on rocky ground; other seed fell among thorns; other seed fell into good soil. You’ve probably heard this story many times before, but have you actually pictured the field in which the sower was working? In the village of Tekiki, in India, MRDF funds a project where Dalit villagers

Psalm 77:1–6 (First individually, in silence. Then together, as indicated in Methodist Hymn Book, Hymns and Psalms 858) Silence

Sing:

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Revd David Gamble

O Lord, hear my prayer (Taizé) (five times through)

Three brief stories of survival One/two Use two of the stories of survival from within this edition of Magnet (examples: old age, continued survival after abuse, Haiti story, or use a local or current story). Intersperse stories with silence, so that people can reflect on what they have heard. Three “We are sitting on a simple bench in a barn-like building. The floor is mud. Around the walls and across the centre of the room are more benches. At the front is a plain wooden table with a jug of water and some plastic cups. We have been greeted with some traditional African handshakes, everyone is singing. We have been invited to bear witness to a hearing of Khulumani, part of the truth and reconciliation process in South Africa – ‘Khulumani’ means ‘speaking out’. As the singing quietens, one middle-aged woman makes her way to the bench, her head wrapped in a tight African head-dress. She speaks of how, during the days of apartheid, she had been kicked by the


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security forces as she knelt outside the prison where her son was detained; of the operations she had endured to try to remedy the brain damage the boots had caused; of how she is bringing up grandchildren after her pregnant daughter was killed by a kick to the stomach. She tells her story simply and, through an interpreter, we hear her pain. When she has finished, a silence hangs in the room and then the community around her begins to sing a song she has chosen. The words of the song are “God of opportunities, use me”. (From A Spirituality of Survival, Barbara Glasson, Continuum, 2009)

Reflection Leader: Together, or in small groups, reflect on what you’ve heard and share from your own experience, as you feel able. • What does it feel like, wondering if you will survive? • What keeps people going? • Where do strength and resilience come from? • Where do other people (friends, family, church) fit in? • Do you have a similar experience of survival you want to share? • How do we create a safe space for people struggling to survive? Sing:

A touching place (Common Ground: a song book for all the churches)

spring. The snowdrop, whose shoots break through the hard ground and the snow as signs of new life, has become the symbol of the organisation Christian Survivors of Sexual Abuse. Sing:

We shall go out with hope of resurrection (June Boyce-Tillman. Music: Londonderry Air)

We shall go out with hope of resurrection. We shall go out, from strength to strength go on, We shall go out and tell our stories boldly, Tales of a love that will not let us go. We’ll sing our songs of wrongs that can be righted, We’ll dream our dreams of hurts that can be healed. We’ll weave a cloth of all the world united Within the vision of a Christ who sets us free. We’ll give a voice to those who have not spoken. We’ll find a word for those whose lips are sealed. We’ll make the tunes for those who sing no longer, Vibrating love alive in every heart. We’ll share our joy with those who still are weeping, Chant hymns of strength for hearts that break in grief. We’ll leap and dance the resurrection story Including all within the circles of our love. Words: June Boyce-Tillman. Reproduced from "A Rainbow to Heaven" by permission of Stainer & Bell Ltd 23 Gruneisen Road London N3 1DZ. www.stainer.co.uk Blessing DALIT VILLAGERS IN TEKIKI, INDIA/REVD DAVID GAMBLE

Thanksgiving and intercessions Leader invites members of the congregation to lead each intercession. Following each line, use the following bidding and response. Leader: All:

The light shines in the darkness And the darkness did not overcome it • Give thanks for the gift of life. • Give thanks for all the things that help people thrive • Pray for those who don’t have this support but still survive • Pray for those going through tough times now, wondering if and when things will ever be better. • Pray for those whose lives are in danger, some in their own homes. • Pray for those who don’t survive, and the people who mourn their loss. • Give thanks for God’s presence in all times, rough as well as smooth. Amen

Bulbs Pass round baskets of snowdrop bulbs, inviting people to take a few bulbs to plant in a pot, window box, or garden. Look out for their shoots as the first signs of

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God to enfold you Christ to uphold you Spirit to keep you in heaven’s sight; so may God grace you, heal and embrace you, lead you through the darkness into light.

magnet • words: From ‘Love & Anger’ (Wild Goose Publications, 1997) Words & Music John L. Bell & Graham Maule, Copyright © 1997 WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow G2 3DH, Scotland. www.wgrg.co.uk. Reproduced by permission; image: ‘And God saw that it was good’ by Yvonne Bell

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M

MARK HOWARD

MARK HOWARD

ARY MAGDALENE came to Jesus’ tomb before dawn while it was still dark – very dark! No doubt sleep for her had been impossible. She had been a helpless bystander at the execution of someone she loved and witnessed the brutality of the cross – that place of shame, abandonment and raw pain... “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Utterly shaken to the core, her life was in pieces, her emotions shattered. All expectations for the future had disappeared. She could only go to the garden and listen to the silence of the dead.

Weaving fragile strands As a counsellor Penny Johnson brings hope and light to people with horrific stories of abuse, recognising the Spirit at work.

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As I was drawing to the end of my training as a counsellor, I listened to the case study of a woman who had been brought up in a family with an inverted belief system where Christianity was turned upside down. Night-time ceremonies of evil intent and the misuse of power involving the sacrifice of animals and hideous cruelty to herself and other young children, were a regular occurrence. The perpetrators came from all walks of life, including the priesthood. I was shocked. My first reaction was one of disbelief and denial. Such atrocities might go on in other countries, but this is England, I thought, a safe land of gentle rain and birdsong and pealing church bells – that sort of thing just doesn’t happen. Everything within me wanted to dismiss it, to forget all about it and turn to other things, but her story had dropped into my head like a lead balloon, demanding to be heard. The secret underworld of organised ritual abuse had opened up before me and my understanding of humanity was suddenly jolted out of all recognition. Hers was a tale of horror, but it was also one of creative survival and as I reflected on its meaning I knew that I’d be


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drawn into working therapeutically with such people.

Meaning comes when a story is told by one and received with quiet attention by another, yet for someone who has been devastated in such a way it is a huge risk to be placed at the mercy of a therapist, to let go of hard-won control and disclose the secrets of a lifetime. For such a person, the path to healing calls for profound courage and it requires me, the counsellor, to treat that individual with high regard, to stay calm and nonjudgemental, to remain rooted in my own integrity. Unconditional acceptance within a safe alliance opens the way for trust to grow and it begins with deep listening – the kind that can bear witness to the bad things never before spoken of. As our work progresses the truth begins to reveal itself and separate, traumatised identities make themselves known.

Emotional, physical and sexual violation are threaded through the lives of many children in our society and they are powerless to do anything about it. Sometimes the trauma goes on for years and is so chronic that the only escape is to take flight inwardly, to observe from afar as though it’s happening to someone else. The memories are dissociated, locked away in the mind and the abuse seemingly forgotten. This self-protective defence allows the child to get on with the familiar activities of going to school and church and mixing with others – the ordinary things of growing up. Innocence has been plundered, however, and such wounds leave their mark. As they grow to adulthood, divisions are brought about within the personality. While all seems well on the outside, their inner world is fragmented, haunted by intrusions from the past. They are incoherent with fear and everyday existence is reduced to chaos by bouts of memory loss, body pains and addictions.

abandonment and raw pain... “My God, my God, where are you in all of this?” Yet it’s within these struggles at the boundaries of life, that we discover the Spirit at work – gathering the tormented dreams and lost memories, the fragile strands of shattered lives and weaving them into her own loving purposes. There come moments of relief, an insight, a change, a flash of humour and something unexpectedly new emerges. Mary Magdalene had travelled with Jesus, stayed in his presence, absorbed his teachings. She too, had lived with the sounds of trauma, visited its waste places and out of her darkness came a Light. When daybreak arrived on that Sunday morning, she was the first to witness the risen Christ. A useful organisation: Trauma & Abuse Group (TAG) PO Box 3295, Swindon SN2 9ED www.tag-uk.net Registered Charity No: 1108733

LYNNE LING

Partnerships are torn apart and there are the scars of selfdestruction. They have become continually wary and rigid, either simmering in rage or hating themselves into blank despair. Their lives have been twisted and broken and turned into lies.

A grown woman might switch to a part of herself that is like a child and using a doll to illustrate her sadistic torture, she tells of the rejections, the betrayals and deceptions, the isolation of being unloved. At other times she can find no narrative, but I read her story in the wide desperate eyes, the gaunt face, grey and etched with suffering as faith dies among thoughts of ever surviving this journey – this place of shame,

Such atrocities might go on in other countries, but this is England, I thought, a safe land of gentle rain and birdsong and pealing church bells – that sort of thing just doesn’t happen.

They have become continually wary and rigid, either simmering in rage or hating themselves into blank despair.

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COMBAT STRESS

Tyrwhitt House, the Combat Stress treatment centre in Leatherhead, Surrey

Combat stress Beth Jordan, a trauma therapist for Combat Stress, reminds us of the continuing survival of service men and women and their families Combat Stress provides specialist mental health treatment and support for ex-services men and women of all ages. The organisation has three short-stay treatment centres located in Ayrshire, Shropshire and Surrey, and a welfare and community outreach service. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychological response to exposure to a life threatening

Please pray as we approach Remembrance Day, for all who mourn; all who may be remembering with complicated feelings of sorrow, pride, regret, loss, anger, shame, gratitude, and grief. But please pray also for those who remember all the time, their military experiences with intense and distressing symptoms of PTSD. For those who fear sleeping, dreading the nightmares from which they will wake horrified or terrified, yet again having relived the trauma. Those who stay up all night ‘on guard’, vigilant at home, feeling unsafe and unable to sleep. Those who go to bed when the sun rises, exhausted, but feeling the daylight holds less danger than the night. For veterans who feel isolated and misunderstood, changed forever by what they have witnessed. For those who have lived through unspeakable horror and now have no words to describe their despair and distress. Those who have survived but wish they had not. For partners and families, experiencing the force of PTSD, often feeling they are ‘walking on eggshells’, struggling to bring peace to the home, despite the battle continuing to rage for the veteran.

event that has provoked intense fear, horror or powerlessness. Symptoms include spontaneously reliving the event through flashbacks, nightmares and repeated intrusive memories. Sufferers try to avoid thoughts and feelings associated with the trauma and may have a sense of emotional numbing. There are high levels of arousal, irritability and anxiety, constantly alert for signs of threat or danger. ISTOCK

prayer focus

magnet Autumn 2010

People who have hope and comfort in their faith please lift up in prayer and love ex-service men and women who may have lost their hope and lost their faith.

Lord, bring your love, your hope and your healing to all those who suffer with psychological injury as a result of their military service. May they find light and peace in their darkness.

For more information: www.combatstress.org.uk

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Lord, comfort and strengthen the families who suffer with them. Lord, lead the work of all the organisations who reach out to veterans, so that your greater Love will be felt by all who seek help there. Amen


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Bless those who are peacemakers From all creeds and cultures All who bring no other agenda Than to see neighbour and stranger Live together as one community Bless the peacemakers Strengthen and bless them

Bless those who are comforters Shoulders to cry upon A willing ear to listen A present help in times Of despair and hopelessness Bless the comforters Strengthen and bless them

Bless those who are healers Of physical injury And deeper hurts Whose touch brings relief From trauma and pain Who brings compassion Bless the healers Strengthen and bless them

magnet • words: Š John Birch. Taken from www.faithandworship.com and used by permission; image: Karin Wiseman

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PHOTOS BY DAVID COLEMAN

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Should the church survive? Barbara Glasson wonders if a church which seeks to prop up an institution with all sorts of inventions rather than share real struggles, fragilities and hopes, can or should survive

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PHOTOS BY DAVID COLEMAN

magnet Autumn 2010

O

APRIL FOOL’S DAY THIS YEAR, the Methodist Recorder published details of a talent competition. This wasn’t to discover who would become a celebrity, receive an Oscar or win a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. On the contrary, this competition was designed to shortlist applicants for the best idea for a new church – readers were invited to compete in the ‘FX Factor’, a spoof competition to be judged by Simon Cowell. N

Of course, the Methodist Recorder was taking a gentle jibe at churches that currently seem to be in competition for the most innovative idea in the already varied ecclesiological selection box. It seems that we no longer limit our diversity to high church, low church and really nice people who make soup. On the Fresh Expressions menu these days are ‘multiplex church’, ‘café church’ and ‘skateboarding church’ to name but a few, and while I am totally committed to eating food for God (after all, for the last ten years I have been known as ‘The Bread Vicar’) I sense that even sticky church is not going to be adhesive enough to fix together all the shattered pieces of Christendom in a way that will hold water for the next generation. I have lived through a multiplicity of schemes to revive the dated structures that have haemorrhaged church attendance. My parents were totally committed to the 1960s ‘People Next Door’ scheme, which dared to suggest that we might find God among our neighbours. Then there has been a rash of Mission Englands, Spring Harvests, Easter Peoples and Green Belts. But still we see decline not only in church attendance but also in confidence. Despite every new bright idea or movement it seems that the Church in twenty-first century Britain is largely not scratching ordinary people’s spiritual itches.

So this makes me wonder whether the Church will survive, or indeed whether it deserves to survive – after all, we do not have a good track record on inclusion, welcome, adaptation or even compassion for that matter. We are known for our inward looking attitudes, petty squabbles and cliques. What is more we live in post-colonial days with all the echoes and indictments of our imperial past shaking our rafters. And to put the tin lid on our postmodern heads, we live in an era in which people are unlikely to sign up to institutions that demand total, unswerving allegiance and make you get up early on your one day off. And yet, through my experience of working alongside some very vulnerable people in Liverpool City Centre, making and sharing bread, and more recently in Touchstone, a multi faith community in Bradford, I have begun to suspect that the survival of the Church is not about schemes, plans, skateboards or stickiness but rather about learning to be people who give attention both to each other and to the earth. I am coming to realise that we have got the whole church regeneration thing completely upside down and back to front. We have tried to reform an institution rather than live within the risky story of God. We have looked to alter the edges of the institution rather than the core of our being. We have sought results and outcomes rather than depth and insight. We have too often tried to shortcut the call of grace. In my opinion such a church cannot and should not survive. In my book A Spirituality of Survival I returned to the root of the word ‘survive’ and discovered it to come from ‘sur vivre’ that is, to ‘live above’. And I travelled with a group of people who had survived all sorts of awful things: homelessness, sexual and emotional abuse, relationship breakdown and trauma. And although we represented a

We have tried to reform an institution rather than live within the risky story of God. ramshackle and sometimes extremely vulnerable group of humanity, the story that surfaced as we travelled to meet others around the world with similar experience was that within such fragility can lie a most profound hope. As these stories of survival surfaced, then in some mysterious way we also experienced a way of being church that was not simply a reconfiguration of the old, but a total transformation of what we had previously held precious. One member of the Bread Church in Liverpool got so weary of an earnest church member asking when we were going to get a real church that she turned round to them and said with some irritation, “It’s more real than any church you know!” My hunch is that if the Church is going to survive then we need to forget about propping it up or re-shaping its structures and get real. By this I mean that we need to share our struggles and torments as well as the things that make our hearts sing. In this way maybe we could enable the nuanced, struggling, perplexing, foolish story of Jesus to surface and to dance afresh in the world. And maybe in passing, when we were being real and getting a life – we might discover coincidentally that the Church had survived?

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Who earned what in 2009? The Prime Minister A teacher BBC Symphony orchestra violinist Group Chief Executive of RBS Director General of the BBC Governor of the Bank of England A member of ambulance staff A traffic warden Army private in Afghanistan Nursing auxiliary Road sweeper

Could you survive? Did you know there was a living wage? • The National Minimum Wage is a minimum amount per hour set by the government that most workers in the UK are entitled to be paid. This rate is £5.80 for workers aged 22 and over, £4.83 for those aged 18–21 and £3.57 for those aged 16–17.

��� Church Action on Poverty (CAP) www.capuk.org calls upon all employers to pay a living wage of at least £7.00 an hour. CAP is a national ecumenical Christian social justice charity, committed to tackling poverty in the UK. It has 100 centres based in local

£ 197,689 20-30,000 35,000 1,200,000 834,000 296,818 22,079 20,827 20,240 17,699 17,376

churches across the UK. The London Living Wage is weighted to take into account the higher living costs of London and is at present £7.60. • CAP defines a living wage as the minimum hourly wage necessary for shelter and nutrition for a person for an extended period of time. In a developed country this means that a person working 40 hours a week, with no additional income, should be able to afford a specified quality or quantity of housing, food, utilities, transport, health care and recreation, without needing welfare payments. • The Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches and the Church of Scotland have all signed up to supporting the living wage. Please note: • It is extremely difficult to be concise with these figures and to portray how they are reached due to the complexity of the calculations used. For further information see news.bbc.co.uk/ 1/hi/magazine/7581120.stm • Quoted averages contain many variables, such as part-time working and inconsistent payments.

Sources for this page: The Guardian, 17 November 2009 (based on average calculations) and www.direct.gov.uk

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Resources… All reviews are written by Sheila Simpson unless otherwise indicated.

A Spirituality of Survival Barbara Glasson Continuum £14.99 (2009) ISBN 9781441192554 Barbara Glasson writes of accompanying survivors of abuse on their journey through pain and grief, exploring why it is that some ‘sur-vivre’ and ‘…live above a story of abuse’ and others become trapped ‘sous-vivre’ where ‘…the deadly cycle of abuse … overwhelms and smothers’. She tells stories and presents a dynamic theology rooted in her experience of working and travelling briefly alongside traumatised groups in South Africa and South America; and, as the seasons change, returning to her friend’s allotment in Derbyshire to reflect on the amazing resilience of the human spirit when it is given space and time to recover. Here, rooted in the Gospel of Christ, is practical theology for the survival of the individual, the inner city, nations and the planet. I was drawn to the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. ‘We had hoped…’ the disciples said and their story was remembered, told, listened to and feeling in a ‘safe enough place’ they shared a meal with Jesus before retracing their steps with confidence. This is an important book where stories are told and redemptive relationships are formed. Jane Dowell

Working from a Place of Rest

food festivals and faith Food and Celebration in the World Faiths Leicester Faith Awareness group Women for Inter Faith Understanding Christians Aware £10.99 ISBN 9781873372357 This refreshing publication comes from a group of women sharing food and conversations concerning their religions and cultures. From such fellowship has come a book forging a partnership between information and vision. Visually the book is delightful with colour photographs alongside tempting recipes with the underlying assertion that this offers a way forward to understanding and respect of each others’ cultures. The chapter ’Giving Thanks’ presents a thought provoking window onto different faiths, further supported by an appendix giving a short introduction to world faiths. The Jewish festivals, and in particular the section relating to Passover, with its description and photograph of the Seder plate, will be of interest to Christians with its links to both Old and New Testaments. The celebration of diversities and shared hopes is a glorious happiness in this book. Joy Chapman

BRF 2009 £6.99 ISBN 9781841015446 Tony Horsfall uses the context of the ‘woman at the well’ story from John 4 to look at what we can learn from Jesus’ example of being prepared to stop and rest when he was tired and the effect he had on the woman he met in that place of rest (see also Bible study, p10). It encourages the reader to recognise how important making space for God to intervene in our lives can be. I was particularly taken with the idea of leaving a margin in our work to enable others to gain from our efforts, as Boaz did when he left corn for Ruth to glean around the edges of his field. I found that the book grew on me and challenged me to rethink certain mindsets that I had developed in terms of my Christian ministry. The writer shows the depth of his own wide experience as a trainer for Mission and I would encourage those who feel the need to press the pause button in their life to do so and settle down with this book for a rest. Judith Holliman

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ Philip Pullman Canongate Books 2010 £14.99 ISBN 9781847678256 This short book provoked immediate outrage in some quarters just by its title; others were perplexed by its rationale. “This is a STORY.” is all the author reveals. It’s about how a story comes to be told, how historical facts are gathered and shaped by those with an agenda. In a playful, fable-like manner, Pullman imagines that Jesus had a weak and sickly twin brother, mistakenly worshipped by the visiting Magi thus his parents nickname him “Christ”. Jesus gains a following as a radical preacher while Christ records all his words and doings for posterity. To shape the story to attract the widest audience, a mysterious “stranger” urges Christ, who is perhaps not so much a scoundrel as naive and easily led, to embellish the record with added miraculous elements. The outcome of his manipulative work, for Pullman, is the powerful, rich and hierarchical institution of the Church, which his Good Man Jesus would have abhorred. Ideal for a reading group, this book is for those with good knowledge of the gospel stories and serious questions about the distance between the present day Church and its origins in the life and teaching of Jesus. Gillian Collins

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talking justice

magnet Autumn 2010

Htoo Ku Hsar Say, spokesperson for the Karen Community in the UK, gives us a glimpse of life in a refugee camp on the Burma/Thai border and the challenges of life in the UK.

I just love Sheffield IN 2006, Htoo Ku Hsar Say and her family arrived in Sheffield and for the first time in their lives they didn’t have a bag ready to grab in case they had to run for safety. Htoo Ku is from the Karen tribe, one of the ethnic groups of Burma who, since Independence from Britain, have been hounded. This is her story:

“L

osing my parents very young meant I had to trust aunts or friends’ mothers to look after me and in return I minded the children while the adults looked for food. The safest places seemed to be in the deep jungle but as soon

as the soldiers of the military regime found us we had to be ready to flee. Villages were burned to the ground. In 1975, the leaders of the Karen people negotiated with the Thai Border police and set up camps for displaced people. In the early days we were supported by missionary groups who provided food but by 1985, NGOs (nongovernmental organisations) were involved. I lived as a refugee for twenty years. I met and married my husband and had our children in a place not of my choosing, dependent on others to provide all my needs. All the basics were supplied – rice, salt, chillies, charcoal, cooking oil, dried yellow beans and fermented fish and a bamboo hut which we shared with three other families, and we all looked out for each other. Médecins sans Frontières provided health care and a malaria research unit worked to eradicate malaria in the camps, helping mothers and babies especially. ➥

We arrived in Sheffield to what a friend describes as “a second heaven” for his family. The life we have now is a fear-free life, although there are many challenges 30


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Wrap us in the shawl of eternity and teach us to await with wonder the new shoots of your love.

magnet • words: An extract from Prayer for Autumn © Mary Hanrahan 2009. Taken from Acorns and Archangels, Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow. www.ionabooks.com Used by permission; image: © Karen mother and child/oneclearvision/istock

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magnet Autumn 2010

➦My own education was in mobile schools which had to continually be on alert but in the camps, the American and Dutch NGOs supported the Karen Community Department schools with training and resources. Even though this sounds as if all our basic needs

As soon as the soldiers of the military regime found us we had to be ready to flee

CHINA BURMA Shan State

MaeFaLuang

LAOS

DoiSanJu DoiTaiLeng DoiDam Karenni WH State Site 1 Karen State

Site 2

Pegu Division

EeTuHta

were met, the Burmese army still found the time to bomb the camps from time to time. Although I was physically alive I felt I had little or no future for myself and my family. There was no freedom to come and go as we wished and I became increasingly concerned about my children’s future and their education. In 1995 the United Nations began a registration of all the camp occupants, who noted why we were there and what would happen if we returned home. Any previous time spent in the camps was shockingly disregarded, presumably because there was no proof. There was some effort on the part of the UN to negotiate a return to Burma with no success. But in 2005, ten years on, the UN Gateway Protection Programme initiated the placing of refugees in other parts of the world: the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

K1&2

Mon State

K3

K4 K5

THAILAND

K6

Halockhani BeeRee Tavoy

Tenasserim Division

K7

ANDAMAN SEA

SuPaKhee

I remember writing a short biography, posting it in a special post box, praying a lot and hoping. Even if we were chosen there would be no choice given as to our destination. When the acceptance letter arrived there was still a proviso that this could change, right up to the last minute. Finally, in 2006, we arrived in Sheffield to what a friend describes as “a second heaven” for his family. It was exciting and delightful. The life we have now is a fear-free life although there are many challenges. The children are in education and there is much support from the Local Authority, Citizen’s Advice Bureaux and some church communities. The main challenge is the language barrier

which inhibits work opportunities as English is obviously required, but needs more than the three or six months of job-seeker’s allowance to acquire it. The older members of the community find it hard to acquire this skill and some feel isolated. The local Asian food shops provide familiar and similar ingredients for our diet and of course we have a choice now. My husband loves the changeable weather in this country and the freedom to walk and explore and I relish travelling on public transport, meeting new people as I go. The need to keep a sense of identity has led to the formation of the Karen Community Association for which I was the local chairperson for two years. Now I am the spokesperson for Karen Community UK, raising awareness of the plight of our people. I continue to work locally as an interpreter in hospitals and schools, run language classes and fundraise for those still living in the camps. I could be called a “Jill of all trades”!

City of Sanctuary When Sheffield was declared the first City of Sanctuary in 2007 by the Lord Major with the support of seventy local organisations, Htoo Ku was delighted. She just loves Sheffield! This movement has now spread across the UK, with thirteen cities from Glasgow in the north to Bristol and Swansea in the south, all declaring that their city offers a place of safety and welcome for people whose lives are in danger in their own. More information about its principles and aims and about how to start such a campaign can be found at www.cityofsanctuary.org or write to City of Sanctuary, Victoria Hall, Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 2JB.

Site for Internally Displaced Persons Wieng Heng: Camp Committee Karenni Refugee Committee (KnRC) Karen Refugee Committee (KRC)

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When Htoo Ku was asked what she would do if the political situation in Burma changed, she replied that she would return.


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The Karens Zaw Luu Aung is Burmese and a Christian who lives in London. He was a speaker at Greenbelt 09 and will be speaking there again this year. The Karens are an ethnic group who reside primarily in southern and southeastern Burma. The Karens make up approximately 7 percent of the total Burmese population of 50 million. A large number of Karens also reside in northern Thailand, mostly on the Thai-Burma border. At the beginning of the Second World War, many Karen men were part of the British army fighting against the Japanese in Burma. This loyalty to the British caused clashes between the Karens and the Burmese Army who, at that time, wanted to drive the British out of Burma. The tension between the Karens and the Burmese government grew after independence in 1948 and reached its height in the 50s, giving birth to a Karen insurrection and triggered one of the world’s longest running and most brutal campaigns of military offensive against its own civilians. The successive military regimes of Burma, in the name of ‘national security’, have been committing widespread and systematic human rights abuses, including torture, forced displacement, sexual violence, use of child soldiers, extrajudicial killings against Karen civilians as part of the government’s onslaught against various ethnic groups. So far 3,500 villages in eastern and southeastern Burma have been destroyed, and there are over 1 million refugees and internally displaced people and this number is predicted to rise. The refugees have been living on the ThaiBurma border for decades. A small group of Karen refugees are now being resettled in Sheffield by the UK government as part of the ‘UN relocation programme’.

Our Christian legacy should be stronger marriages, more confident parents, happier children and restored communities. Rob Parsons Founder and Chairman of Care for the Family

Rob Parsons has a passion. He wants to see God’s Kingdom come - and he wants to be able to leave this world a better place. Isn’t that what we all want? A world lavished with God’s love, comforting and restoring people to abundant life. The truth is, it’s more than a dream, it’s a mission to build a better tomorrow. If that’s the kind of legacy you could be passionate about, join the debate online at

www.christianlegacy.org.uk

Christian Ch hristian Legacy Legacy A group of Christian charities working to encourage today’s Christians to remember Christian charities in their wills Christian Legacy members are: Bible Society, Care for the Family, CMS, The Leprosy Mission, Livability, The Mission to Seafarers.

A Karen Man

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Resources… Reshaping the Mission of Methodism

Is God still an Englishman?

A diaconal church approach Edited by David Clark Church in the Market Place (2010) £10.00 ISBN 9781899147748 Available from David Clark, Hill View, Burton Close Drive, Bakewell, DE45 1BG

How we lost our faith (but found new soul) Cole Moreton Little, Brown (2010) £20.00 ISBN 9781408701805

David Clark is asking the question, “How can the Methodist church not just survive but flourish in the third millennium?” He is advocating a diaconal model whose purpose is to serve the community, the resources of which are the people of God who do not necessarily come from the Methodist tradition. There follows some case studies to illustrate. The enlarged circuit now thinks of itself as one church on various sites with different roles. The city Central Hall has turned itself into a mission centre offering itself to the city and bringing ‘koinonia’ – fellowship in various forms to those who spend time in the city. A Methodist community, near an estate with little amenities, sold their building and founded the Gathering Place in temporary accommodation, a small step towards a new story for the folk in that area. With contributions from other organisations, this is a must read for all who yearn for an inclusive caring worshipping community.

Living It Out A survival guide for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LBG) Christians and their friends, families and churches Rachel Hagger-Holt and Sarah Hagger-Holt Canterbury Press (2009) £12.99 ISBN 9781853119996 Rachel and Sarah have written a gentle guide for all those questioning faith and sexuality. There is a plea for acceptance from the many voices who have allowed their views to be shared. We read emotional stories from some who have felt that they had to make a choice between their faith and sexuality, from others who have been fearful to “come out” to their church families and from some that it was easier to walk away. There is very wise advice on “coming out” in families and in church gleaned from experience, the emphasis being on being true to oneself and finding unexpected support. Marriage and careers within the church are also covered with lots of resources and further reading suggested. John L Bell’s latest book All that Matters is about to be published. This is the 2nd volume of his contributions to BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day. Review in next issue.

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Cole Morton traces what he sees as the disestablishment of the Anglican Church to “a more looser more wider way of relating to God”. This process seems to be allied to his Christian experience from conversion through the differing charismatic experiences of the last thirty years until today’s apparent lack of adherence and solidity. He points the finger at the church hierarchy highlighting all the bizarre financial and pastoral decisions which have dominated the media and society, asking the question as to “what right has that hierarchy to demand any recognition”. He spells it out in such a way that is unsettling and argumentative. Undoubtedly as a journalist and commentator, his closeness to the action mirrors the familiar journey through the political upheavals of Thatcherism and New Labour, the strengths of multiculturalism, the double standards highlighted in the handling of Christian gay and lesbian folk and the need for the spiritual dimension. As I read on, I kept looking for the nature of the soul that was replacing the old and then I realized that I knew it all along. By finding the rules and regulations irrelevant, God is emerging like a butterfly, “just regenerating” and most of all, making us more accepting and loving and full of wonder.

Seriously Funny Adrian Plass and Jeff Lucas Authentic (2010) £8.99 ISBN 978185078869 Two well known writers allow us to read their correspondence and share their thoughts regarding faith, writing and being in the public eye. Some of this is very funny, some very sad and some a bit shocking. There is an element of the grumpy old men syndrome which either appeals or not but what is essential is that in Adrian’s words “Christianity is not an event. It’s a life, a decision, a confused but benevolent entanglement”. This is very entertaining and each letter ends on an upbeat note which leaves one nodding in agreement.


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IT’S SO SIMPLE! AN EASY WAY TO SUPPORT LOCAL PREACHERS

➋ ➌ ➍

To find out more, visit www.lwpt.org.uk or contact: LWPT Office, Unit 35, 1st Floor Offices, Orbital 25 Business Park, Dwight Road, Watford WD18 9DA t: 01923 231811; f: 01923 296899; e: lwptoffice@lwpt.org.uk Registered Charity No. 1107967

enabling the best for worship and the best in time of need

Our Christian legacy? A world where people of all abilities are valued as equal being made in God’s image. Mary Bishop CEO, Livability

Mary Bishop has a passion. She wants to see God’s Kingdom come - and she wants to be able to leave this world a better place. Isn’t that what we all want? A world lavished with God’s love, comforting and restoring people to abundant life.

Methodist Women in Britain*

Passion Road: prayer and the way to peace Friday 15 – Sunday 17 April 2011 For this, our first MWIB Connexional residential conference, we will be looking at the relationship between prayer and the work that needs to be done to create more peaceful communities, drawing on the experience of women in places such as Northern Ireland. All accommodation in en-suite rooms in Lakeside Further information and booking forms will be available in August To register your interest contact Margaret Williams, MWiB Administrator email: admin@mwib.org.uk or telephone 01509 828 020 (Tue, Wed, Fri 9am-1pm) *Women's Network and the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women, Britain and Ireland, are now working together under the title Methodist Women in Britain.

The truth is, it’s more than a dream, it’s a mission to build a better tomorrow. If that’s the kind of legacy you could be passionate about, join the debate online at

www.christianlegacy.org.uk

Christian Ch hristian Legacy Legacy A group of Christian charities working to encourage today’s Christians to remember Christian charities in their wills Christian Legacy members are: Bible Society, Care for the Family, CMS, The Leprosy Mission, Livability, The Mission to Seafarers.


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the promise of advent a NEW worship resource £14.99 (+ £2.99 p&p) CT IT! PROJE s are Poster able as ail also av loadable n w our do s from r e il f f d o p ef websit .00!* 5 £ ly on

A beautiful new poster set with accompanying study and worship resource booklet, written by Stella Bristow, from Magnet Resources, publishers of Magnet magazine. Posters are A2 size, and come in a sturdy cardboard tube along with the booklet. Images are by the highly acclaimed Chinese artist He Qi. *downloadable posters (pdf format, includes booklet cover) are available from www.ourmagnet.co.uk/shop

THREE WAYS TO ORDER: ONLINE: www.ourmagnet.co.uk/shop BY PHONE: 0844 736 2524 BY POST: complete the enclosed order form

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newsround Subscriptions We are in the process of checking with subscribers that all the details we have on record are correct and recording email addresses where available to save costs in sending out reminders. Please send any amendments to your order together with telephone number and email address to Felicity Shakespeare at Magnet Resources, PO Box 10378, Bishop’s Stortford CM23 9FT telephone 0844 736 2524 or email felicity@ourmagnet.co.uk. Felicity works part-time hours, usually 9 to 3 Monday to Thursday, but will respond when back at her desk to any messages left outside that time. Advertisements Advertising sales are now handled by Roper Penberthy Publishing Limited. From the next issue we will carry classified as well as display advertisements. Contact Andrew White (tel: 01932 241013; email: andrew@ourmagnet.co.uk) before Monday 6 September if you wish to advertise products or services, for example holiday or other accommodation to let. Forthcoming Magnet themes and publication dates Winter 2010 Gifts Friday 12 November Spring 2011 Vocation and work Friday 11 February Summer Creativity Friday 13 May Autumn Health Friday 12 August Winter Community and family Friday 11 November

Our Christian Legacy should be an enduring provision for the practical and spiritual welfare of seafarers of all nationalities. Revd Tom Heffer Secretary General The Mission to Seafarers

Tom Heffer has a passion. He wants to see God’s Kingdom come - and he wants to be able to leave this world a better place.

Breathing Spaces

Isn’t that what we all want? A world lavished with God’s love, comforting and restoring people to abundant life.

The intention is to nurture and deepen relationships; discern new directions; make good decisions and build healthy communities.

The truth is, it’s more than a dream, it’s a mission to build a better tomorrow. If that’s the kind of legacy you could be passionate about, join the debate online at

is an initiative designed to help networks, churches, groups and individuals to create life-enhancing spiritual conversation.

The project provides: • a well-tried conversational methodology • training opportunities for group facilitators • development packages for churches and faith schools • bespoke processes and resources • ongoing consultation and support If you would like to know more please contact us at info@breathing-spaces.com or phone 0151 348 4004 You can read more about creating spiritual conversation and its value, in the book ‘Breathing Spaces’ written by Mark Davis and beautifully illustrated with photographs by Ged Barrow. Available online at www.rockpoolpublishing.com

www.christianlegacy.org.uk

Christian Ch hristian Legacy Legacy A group of Christian charities working to encourage today’s Christians to remember Christian charities in their wills Christian Legacy members are: Bible Society, Care for the Family, CMS, The Leprosy Mission, Livability, The Mission to Seafarers.


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magnet Autumn 2010

Having a laugh! It takes 37 muscles to frown and 22 muscles to smile. So smile, it conserves energy! Here’s one to get you going: Q Who is bigger, Mrs Bigger, or Mrs Bigger’s baby? A Mrs Bigger’s baby, because he is a little Bigger! RBC winner of the joke prize, aged 8

“Regular laughter permanently lowers your heart rate and blood pressure.” Dr Annette Goodheart, lndependent Laughter Therapist

So far today, God... I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped. I haven’t lost my temper. Haven’t been grumpy, nasty, or selfish. I’m really glad of that. But in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed; and from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot of help! Amen! Dora Bryan

“He will fill your mouth with laughter.” Psalm 126:2

In the midst of the most difficult circumstances, our spirits are lifted when someone makes us laugh at something quite ridiculous! Ruth Oliver collected a few reasons to laugh and asked some celebrities to tell a few old favourites.

“Laughter increases production of immunoglobulins, antibodies which boost the immune system.” Robert Holden, founder of first NHS Laughter Clinic

A little boy was asked by his teacher what he thought God’s name was. “Oh, that’s easy,” the boy replied, “His name is Andy.” “What makes you think his name is Andy?” the teacher asked incredulously. “Well, you see, at church we used to sing this song: ‘Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me’.” Tommy Cannon

“Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.” Proverbs 17:22

“100 laughs a day gives you as much beneficial exercise as ten minutes of rowing.” Dr William Fry, Stanford Medical School

Two English tourists are driving through Wales. At Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysiliogogogoch they stop for lunch. One of the tourists asks the waitress, “Before we order, could you settle an argument? Can you pronounce where we are very, very, very slowly?” The girl leans over and says, “burr-gurr-king”. Faith Brown

One day God was talking to Adam and he said, “Adam, you look lonely. I know, I’ll give you a woman, but it will cost you an arm and a leg.” Adam said, “What can I get for a rib?” Steve Legg, Christian Escapologist

The vicar was showing a group of children around the church when they came to a plaque on the wall containing the names of men and women who had died in the war. “What are those names?” enquired one of the little ones. “They are the names of those that died in the services,” said the vicar. “Was that the morning service or the evening service?” asked the child. Don Maclean

Ruth Oliver is a freelance journalist and radio broadcaster based in Poole, Dorset. She is the Religious Affairs Correspondent for the Bournemouth Daily Echo and has previously worked as a presenter on Hope FM, Bournemouth's Community Christian Radio Station as well as presently working on features for Radio Four's Woman's Hour. See www.rutholiver.com Laughter research provided by Chris Gidney, Director of Christians in Entertainment. www.cieweb.org.uk

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magnet Autumn 2010

intouch

We would love to hear from you, from features that you’ve particularly enjoyed or that have struck a chord with you, to things you’d like to see in the magazine. If you know of a special event you think others should hear about, please contact: Lynne Ling on 0845 250 0509, PO BOX 10378, Bishop’s Stortford CM23 9FT. Deadline for dates for the winter Magnet (available in November) is 1 September.

Mission Worship International Conference 2010 (Kingsway Trust) Removing the Scales… Expanding our Vision of Worship 12 – 14 November 2010 in Eastbourne Practical workshops, thought provoking seminars, late night worship sessions and celebrations. Speakers & worship leaders include Martin Smith, Graham Kendrick, Stuart Townend and Lou Fellingham More information www.missionworship.com

Painting Mandalas with watercolours Tatiana Overduin from Australia – writer and painter in Vision, Magnet Autumn 2009 – will lead a practical workshop at Buckley Cross Methodist Church, Flintshire 1.30 – 4.30 Sunday 3 October 2010. The Mandala is a form of creative meditation.

12th World Assembly of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women (WFMUCW)

For more information please contact Jane Dowell antonjaned12@btinternet.com Tel 01244 545758, places will be limited.

Bambelela – Christ is our hope 10 – 15 August 2011 Indaba Hotel & Conference Center Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa Contact kathleen.pearson1000@ntlworld.com Tel:0141 563 3343 for more details.

CRE comes to Telford

Make a meal of it with Tearfund

Visit the Christian Resources Exhibition at Telford International Centre 21 – 23 October 2010 including Saturday night Prom Praise Concert More information www.creonline.co.uk 01793 418218

Why not get together to bring hope to the people of Zimbabwe? Organise a barbecue – eat, have fun and raise vital funds for families living in poverty in Zimbabwe. Or you might prefer to get together with friends, family or church over food, with a coffee morning, lunch, supper or just coffee and cake. Zimbabwe’s need for help, hope and transformation is ongoing and urgent. Why not organise a Make a meal of it event for your church, community, friends or family – and for the people of Zimbabwe? For further information 0845 355 8355 Downloadable resources from www.tearfund.org

‘Seasons of Life’ retreat led by Stella Bristow Green Pastures Retreat Centre, Poole, Dorset 12-14 November 2010 More information www.green-pastures.org

In your next issue of magnet… The Winter issue of Magnet will explore and be a celebration of gifts; the traditional gifts of the Magi, the giving and receiving of a variety of gifts today and the challenge of discerning, developing and using personal gifts and talents in today’s world. There will be articles about the discernment of gifts, the gift of preaching, unusual legacies, reconciliation and peace making, and about putting one’s self at the mercy of the generosity of others. There will be stories about the ministry of the whole people of God in different places, practical ideas for creating a greener Christmas and for giving in ways that make a difference – the right gift, the right time. The issue will include Epiphany worship, Bible study and meditations and throughout there will be creative space for reflection and personal response.

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A RICH RESOURCE OF PRAYERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Available August 2010 Standard and large print editions

£3.00 plus p&p To order, contact Methodist Publishing: 01733 235962 or www.methodistpublishing.org.uk

Photo: ©iStockPhoto/ozgurdonmaz

Registered charity no. 1132208


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