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UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

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JPIT: Measuring hunger, uncharted waters and more.

The newsletter of Joint Public Issues Team

Can’t read this? Click here

Newsletter 102   March 2019

Dear Friends,


Welcome to the March Newsletter from The Joint Public Issues Team, and particularly to those who have recently signed up to the JPIT Newsletter at the Christian Resources Exhibition North (more below).


Spring is becoming more apparent (for those in the UK at least) and with it the signs of hope for new life. Our Living Lent community has been flourishing too, with almost 500 people receiving our daily mailshot of inspiration and encouragement. Over 200 people are part of our Living Lent Facebook groups, sharing tips and stories. You can find out how to join in with these below.


We were delighted at the beginning of this month to see progress on how the UK Government will determine who is in need of support, by taking the step to also measure food poverty. Yet we all continue to await progress on Brexit. Lucy Berry, our Poet-in-Residence, has filmed a poem in response to current developments entitled ‘Christ Knows’ – you can watch it by following the link in this newsletter.

Please get in touch with us if you would like support or advice, or would like someone to visit your congregation or community group on a particular issue: we would love to help in any way we can.


Every Blessing,


Hannah & Roo

JPIT Newsletter Editors

The Faith in Politics Podcast

Should we legalise drugs? Life peer Benjamin Mancroft believes we should. Tune into the podcast to hear his thinking behind this controversial issue.


Also this month, David Mayne, a Baptist pastor and friend of JPIT, reflects on how we might respond to the social and spiritual upheaval evident around us.


And Bethan and Will, our podcast hosts, attempt to make sense of the latest developments at Westminster.

Faith in Politics Podcast

Recent Blogs 

Measuring Hunger - success!

We believe that no-one in the UK should go to bed hungry. 


After much protest from campaigners, the UK Government has finally included hunger in its measure of poverty.


Paul celebrates this welcome news in his blog.

Measuring Hunger - A Big Win!

Weapons Trade

Last month, the Lords’ International Relations Select Committee judged that the UK Government is on the wrong side of international law by not suspending arms sales to Saudi Arabia.


Read Steve’s thoughts on why an arms trade embargo is essential to avoid a humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

UK Weapons Trade Policy

Ethical Food

Ivorian cocoa farmer, Salimata, earns the equivalent of 75 pence a day.  This is less than half what she and her family needs for a decent standard of life.


25,000 people have already signed a Fairtrade petition to ask the Prime Minister to support a global effort to ensure fairness for cocoa farmers like Salimata. Will you sign today?

Fairtrade - Living Incomes

Brexit

The UK has been facing ‘uncharted waters’ as our politicians have negotiated their way through Brexit. Can we hold our nerve in stormy times? And what hope can Christ give?


Lucy Berry, JPIT’s poet-in-residence, steers a course through this rocky issue with Biblical insight in our latest poetry video.

Watch ‘Christ Knows’ (1:30)

Living Lent


It’s not too late to join the community! We’ve loved hearing from so many people who are taking one of our six challenges seriously as part of their spiritual discipline during Lent.


Living Lent invites you to respond to the urgent call to climate action by committing to one of six challenges to change your lifestyle for the climate this Lent.


Taking part in Living Lent is about understanding that transforming our climate is not just an activity, but requires whole-life change. We are exploring what whole-life change could look like for us as individuals, and as a society.


If you haven’t already explored what Living Lent is all about, or signed up to one of our six challenges, you canfind out more here.

Living Lent 

Could you take part in Living Lent as a Church? Head over to the Living Lent website to find resources exploring why Living Lent is an opportunity to deepen your discipleship.

Church Resources 

Are you preaching, or leading a Bible study during Lent? Head over to the Living Lent website to find lectionary notes, helping you to explore climate change during Lent. 

Living Lent Lectionary Notes 

JPIT at CRE

The Joint Public Issues Team was in attendance at the Christian Resources Exhibition North in mid-March. We gave away pens and bookmarks and had some really encouraging conversations, including one supporter who explained how his Baptist church has become known in the community as a welcoming place for Iranian migrants, who travel for up to an hour to their Sunday worship services. We also gave 100 resource books to church representatives that wanted practical help with enabling their congregations to engage with justice issues. Thank you to all who stopped by and to our wonderful volunteers.

Meet Your MP

Some of the London-based team were delighted to support the Scottish Churches’ Parliamentary Office (SCPO) and Church of Scotland Church and Society representatives who had organised a number of meetings at Westminster with Scottish MPs.


The resounding feedback we heard is how much MPs welcome congregations inviting them to come to events, debates and community tours.

“I felt nervous before the meeting because Jeremy is the Labour Leader. However, he was interested in my ministry and the church I serve. He was really nice and easy to talk with.” Matt Lunn

Rev Matt Lunn, who ministers at a Methodist church within Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency, posted on Twitter how he and his wife Helen managed to spend some time with the Labour Party leader recently. We will be producing an article soon with stories of how local congregations have been engaging with their elected representatives.

Job opportunities

Be part of our team!


The Joint Public Issues Team is seeking a Campaigns and Church Engagement Officer who will develop campaign material, enable activism and build our relationship with regional JPITs, our churches and supporters.


It’s a hugely rewarding and important role within the work of JPIT. You can follow the link below for more information, or please share it with anyone you know who might be interested.

Work with JPIT

The Student Christian Movement (SCM) is inviting applications for Chief Executive Officer of their organisation and have asked Newsletter readers to please share it with those who might be interested. Amongst other abilities, applicants should be able to reflect theologically on current affairs and issues of social justice.

SCM CEO Information

Coming up...

  • Christian Aid Week (12-18 May)
    £8m was raised last year. You and your church can join in 2019. Find out more here.
    Cyclone Idai Appeal You can donate now to help those affected by Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe and Malawi.

  • Methodist Summer Fellowship (3-9 August)
    Taking place in the Derbyshire countryside, this Christian holiday for all ages includes a focus on Peacemaking: a constructive, challenging and contemplative approach to living with conflict in our lives. Find out more here.

To publicise an event or project, or to follow up on any of the issues mentioned here, contact us on enquiries@jointpublicissues.org.uk
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Joint Public Issues Team | Methodist Church House | 25 Marylebone Road | London | NW1 5JR

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Posted on 27 Mar 2019

Information on these pages does not necessarily reflect the views of St Andrew's URC Cheam