An invitation to join us on a journey of listening well, thinking deeply and living authentically.
The book of Jeremiah has featured a great deal in my reading, reflections and writing this year. It seems to speak powerfully and poignantly, like so much of scripture, into our contemporary world.
As in the days of Jeremiah, these are dark times, with the only certainty being uncertainty. We live in a perpetual state of permacrisis, one of the Oxford Dictionary’s words of the year. The term describes that experience of lurching from one unprecedented event to another, uncertain what new challenges might be ahead.
It was Albert Einstein who said that, We can’t solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we create them. Consequently, old practices, former approaches and traditional methods are often no longer fit for purpose. Programmes, strategies and ways of doing things are becoming increasingly redundant. The arrogance that negates humility and fuels self-sufficiency becomes a stumbling block to any sense of navigating through these changing times.
Life and faith is complex. Life and faith experiences, particularly when they don’t go to plan, don’t meet our expectations, throw up all kinds of questions and challenges and often reveal the inadequacy of prescribed formulas.
The tectonic plates economically, politically, religiously and societally are changing the world in which we live. The relative stability that most of us baby boomers have known will not be the experience of us in our latter years, nor will it be especially for succeeding generations. There is much to lament by my generation who are bequeathing to our children and children’s children, global warming, massive inequalities between rich and poor, the toxic poisons of endemic racism, white supremacy, overwhelming debt, a world increasingly governed by unaccountable, abusive autocrats and one that teeters on the brink of wars on unprecedented scales. The church in the West is struggling. Songs of revival seem as removed from reality as the false promises and comfort that the religious leaders of Jeremiah’s day were offering. Dark days.
Given the context in which we find ourselves, individually, within our churches and Christian communities, our society and the wider world, this Northumbrian Collective initiative is a small and simple encouragement for us all Listen Well, Think Deeply and Live Authentically.
To not despair but to seek and discover in the unravelling, glimpses of God’s loving purposes, through which hope is born. New life is seen in unexpected people and places.
Listen well, think deeply and live authentically and we might find wisdom to live by, light to illumine our darkened paths and peace for anxious hearts and minds.
We hope you will join us on the journey and discover in the exploring, a sense of belonging and togetherness that the human heart craves and was intended to live by.
Bless you and take care