Our Last Supper by @idcampbellart – a meditation video inspired by @sandfordawards and @small_voice1

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This year I once again was involved in the shortlisting for the Sandford Awards – awards for excellence in religious programming. The category that I was given was ‘Interview of the Year’ – all of the interviews were absolutely fascinating and every one could have been a winner. You can see the final shortlists here.

One interview that stayed with me was one based on a painting by the artist ID Campbell called Our Last Supper.

Our Last Supper by Iain Campbell

You can listen to the interview here: http://www.smallvoice.org.uk/a-thousand-words-iain-campbell/

Using this, I have created a meditative film that can be used in worship. Enjoy!

Iain Campbell is a portrait painter, and Artist in Residence at St George’s Tron Church of Scotland in Glasgow city centre.  ‘Our Last Supper’ is on display in the Olive Tree Café in St George’s Tron Church right in the heart of Glasgow city centre.

Links:
idcampbell.com
www.facebook.com/IDCampbellArt
@idcampbellart

What is the source of ‘Chewbacca Mom’ Candace’s joy?

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This is how to give a reason for the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15)

When we think about mission and evangelism, about sharing our faith, we are often pointed to this verse in Peter’s first letter:

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

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This is Candace’s current Facebook Profile Picture! Hope she doesn’t mind my using it! 

 

https://www.facebook.com/candaceSpayne

I can’t think of a better example of doing this than from the famous ‘Chewbacca Mom’, Candace Payne, whose delightful infectious joy in a video she posted on Facebook last week went ridiculously viral with millions of views. Following this she was interviewed on Buzzfeed and asked the source of her joy and gave this beautiful and masterful response. Watch the video from 3.19 minutes in.

A Pentecost Murmuration

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I saw this video a few years ago and it remains one of my favourite videos online. For some reason it captures for me something of the shock and awe that must have befallen Jesus’ first followers on the day of Pentecost as the Holy Spirit came to them in a great noise of wind and fire.

Enjoy:

Come Holy Spirit and kindle in us the fire of your love.

he-qi-pentecost

He Qi, Holy Spirit Coming (detail), undated 21st century.

Maybe we don’t need to talk about Jesus?

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downloads_720A report has been published about evangelism that will be discussed by the General Synod of the Church of England shortly called ‘Talking Jesus‘. It has resulted in a number of surprising headlines including:

‘We need to talk about Jesus’ – cue cringing embarrassment – Andrew Brown in the Guardian

Talking about Christianity could just put people off – Church of England signals – The Telegraph

Don’t preach, Church tells Christians: Research suggests those who talk about beliefs are more likely to put friends and colleagues off God than turn them to faith – The Daily Mail

The authors of the report did write to the Times about the negative reporting of this story and responded like this:

It is true that the results of the report can be viewed in different ways – there are some positives in there but of course the press are always going to leap to the juiciest statistics first.

I just watched a video that summarises the findings of the report whose conclusion is that we should talk about Jesus more to people. Oddly, that is not the conclusion of the press articles, or the actual report itself which shows that only 1 in 5 people wants to hear more about Jesus (admittedly, the video suggests focusing on this 1 in 5 – but how do you know if a person is the 1 in 5?). A table on page 20 of the report states that of people who spoke to a practising Christian about their faith, 59% did not want to know more about Jesus!

An alternative video summary can be found here:

Perhaps we need to rethink how we share our faith. I’m not convinced that the best way is to ask people if they want to know about Jesus.

It reminds me of when we lived in Dewsbury and some earnest Christians came to my door to offer me a copy of the Jesus film on video. I had a chat and gently tried to encourage them in what they were doing, one of them said ‘we went to a Muslim family’s house and do you know, they said they weren’t interested. But the film’s good, it’s free!’ I replied ‘if a Muslim came to your door and asked you if you wanted a free film about the life of Mohammed would you want it?’ – deathly silence. Said it all.

I’ve had the privilege this year of preparing some adults for confirmation. The last session we had was about sharing our faith and how we do it. Interestingly, their experience chimes with the results of this seemingly depressing survey. When I said ‘some people think evangelism is saying to people ‘you need to accept Jesus into your life” one of the people in my group said ‘I’d have run a mile!’ And yet they are excited about Jesus now and coming to faith. This has happened through the quiet work of the Holy Spirit alongside a lively welcoming congregation – not through having a ‘conversation about Jesus’.

I showed the group this video about Mission, I think this makes more sense. I’m not suggesting we don’t talk about Jesus at all but the awkward ‘can I talk to you about Jesus?’ question is not a natural thing for us to say. Mission is about the Missio Dei – God’s sending mission out in the world – we are just invited to join in – that is what I’ve experienced on this current confirmation course – the amazing role of being alongside people as they discover Jesus for themselves. Here’s Rev’d Stephanie Spellers putting it very well:

‘More TV Vicar?’ a book by Bryony Taylor – YouTube playlist – watch along as you read!

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In this collection of videos on YouTube I’ve included many of the characters and scenes that are discussed in the book ‘More TV Vicar?‘ So you can watch along as you read, the clips appear in the order in which they come in the book.