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News from the wider church

JPIT: Politics : Climate Sunday : Change

The newsletter of Joint Public Issues Team

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Newsletter 125    February 2021

Dear Friends

I hope this finds you well. For many of us in the UK, the last few weeks have brought snow (and rather cold temperatures!). Snow can bring a new perspective to familiar scenes, and perhaps this has been welcome for you. For me, it has been a reminder to look differently at what I might consider ordinary, to notice God, and to notice people and places who might otherwise be overlooked.

At JPIT, we’ve had a busy month. In today’s newsletter, we’ve got a few new resources for you. We’re particularly excited to share our new preaching resource. We’re aware that for many of you, life will be busy and full of competing demands. We hope this month’s content will lift you up, energise you and help you connect with God.

Every blessing

Hannah & the JPIT team

NEW: Politics in the Pulpit?

This week, we’re launching our new preaching resource!

‘Politics in the Pulpit?’ is JPIT’s new lectionary-based preaching resource, available by video and podcast.

In weekly 30 minute episodes, we’ll ask how reclaiming the justice issues present in the biblical texts helps us to be good news in the world today. Each week, we will host a different guest, discussing to discern the political dimensions present in the Scriptures. Together, we’ll reflect on how they connect with the week’s current news and our role in the Kingdom of God.

Released as a video and podcast, we hope this will be a useful and inspiring tool to resource preachers and worship leaders. Episodes will be released on Tuesday mornings. You can view or listen on our website, or subscribe on your preferred platform. Discussions will focus on the Revised Common Lectionary passages for the following Sunday.

We can’t wait for you to listen. Our first episode is out today.

Watch or Listen Now

Climate Sunday Coffee Break

Boil the kettle and join us for your morning coffee break on Thursday 18th February (this week!), to get equipped to hold a Climate Sunday.

The Joint Public Issues Team and Climate Sunday have teamed up to bring you a thirty-minute session to help you get your church excited about Climate Sunday.

The session will include:

•     a brief explanation of Climate Sunday and how to get involved

•     some tips about holding a Climate Sunday service

•     time for discussion, questions and sharing advice

Sign up here

Lent 2021

Lent begins this week. How could Lent this year be a time of personal renewal for you, as well as a time to focus on social and environmental renewal? Use this Lent as a time of deepening our call as disciples to pursue peace and justice.  

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite resources for Lent this year. We’ve included tools from personal devotion material to small group resources and preaching materials, with a particular focus on climate justice and environment.

Why not have a look through and see if there’s something here to guide you through Lent?

Read the resource list here

New resource: How Change Happens

Have you ever wanted to make change but don’t feel like you know enough to try? Perhaps you’ve recognised the biblical call to social justice but aren’t sure how to put it into action?

Our new small group resource explores who, what, when, where and how of making change happen.

The resource includes six sessions, adapted for online small groups. It’s the perfect next step from our resource the Art of The Possible. Our hope is to equip churches to be bold agents of change in the public square, to build God’s kingdom of peace and justice.

Explore the resource here

Faith in Politics Podcast: Hope to share - Lord Alf Dubs

In this month’s episode of Faith in Politics, join Meg and Rodney as they interview Labour peer, Lord Alf Dubs. Lord Dubs reflects on his personal story as a child refugee, the politicisation of the refugee crisis and the need for the UK to cooperate with other European countries to deal with this crisis. Meg and Rodney later reflect on the role of Christians in responding to the refugee crisis.

Listen Now

Reset The Debt Update

This week, the government announced another extension to the evictions ban, stopping evictions notices being served for another six weeks. Yet over 445,00 adults have fallen behind on rent since the pandemic began.1 in 3 Universal Credit claimants have seen their debts rise during lockdown.

As Churches, we want everyone to be able to flourish as we seek to recover from the pandemic. But debt is weighing so many low-income families down. We need a better solution. The government have the opportunity to put secure support in place now to take responsibility for the household debt built up because of lockdown. That’s why we’re asking them toReset The Debt.

Write to your MP

This week, our friends at CAP UK have been talking about the Government’s consultation on changes to one of the ways people can get help with their debts, a process called Debt Relief Orders. This consultation is an opportunity to reshape current debt support structures to benefit those weighed down by debt because of Covid. Read what CAP UK have to say here.

Our friends at Jubilee Debt Campaign are inviting anyone with lived experience of debt to be part of their submission to the Government. You can find our more and take their short survey here.

Fairtrade Fortnight: 22nd February - 7th March

Fairtrade Fortnight begins next week! We’re particularly looking forward to the online ecumenical service, Climate, Fairtrade and You. Try and spot how JPIT’s denominations have got involved.

You can download the service here, or join the livestream on March 7th at 5pm.

Join the online festival, to get new content throughout the fortnight. 

Sign up for the Online Festival

Spotlight on: Universal Credit Uplift

“Even the thought of my losing this £20 a week brings me close to tears.

Ahead of the budget on 3rd March, we’re part of a widespread coalition calling on the Government to keep the £20 uplift to Universal Credit. The extra £20 has been a lifeline to millions during the pandemic. Cutting it now would mean forcing more than one million people to need to turn to a foodbank, according to Trussell Trust.

That’s why we need the government to keep the uplift and extend it to those on legacy benefits. Could you email your MP?

Take action through Save the Children

Investing in Change

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons passed into legal force last month. This means that nuclear weapons are now banned under an international treaty! To support the work of the treaty and make sure your money isn’t invested in nuclear weapons-producing companies, why not write to your bank or pension provider to ask them to stop funding nuclear weapons? Investing In Change makes it easy to get involved here.

Explore the resource here

Dates for your diary

20 February - World Day of Social Justice - Find out more from the UN here.

21 February - Church Action on Poverty Sunday - Find resources here.

22 February - 7 March - Fairtrade Fortnight -Explore content here.

5 March - World Day of Prayer - Find resources for Scotland here, and England & Wales here.

8 March - International Women’s Day - Find out more here.

22 March - World Water Day - Discover more here.

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

Posted on 16 Feb 2021