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Here are some photos from the
Community Festival in June
(©Beth Presswood 2014)
2ND ANNUAL SAM SHARPE LECTURES 1ST& 2ND OCTOBER 2013
This year the lecture will be held in Manchester Tuesday 1st October. Through the generosity of the Sam Sharpe Partners, we are able to make this lecture a FREE event, however registration is imperative to ensure a seat.
This year we are privileged to have Dr Neville Callam, General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA). Dr Callam is well known to many. He is a dynamic, thought provoking speaker. We are thrilled that he has agreed to carve so much time out of his busy schedule. To discover more about Dr Callam and the BWA, visit the website on http://www.bwanet.org/general-secretary-bio.
Ms Gale Richards will chair both lectures. Ms Richards is Project Development Worker with the Heart of England Baptist Association (HEBA), lecturer at the Northern Baptist Learning Community and leader for the Text and Stories Programme of the Sam Sharpe Project.
There will be an opportunity for Q&A and refreshments will be served at the end of the evening.
We look forward to welcoming you.
Revd. Dr. Clare McBeath and Revd. Glen Marshall
Co-Principals, Northern Baptist Learning Community
A day spent at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park last week symbolised for me an ending and a beginning.
The visit was inspired by one of the generous gifts (a year’s RHS membership) I received at the NBLC Community Day at the end of June – for which my sincere thanks to all who contributed – which will add a rich dimension to the variety of activities I have planned for the coming year as I ease into a new phase of ministry in ‘retirement’. In brief, I hope to move to Derbyshire in the early autumn, and among other things offer a ministry of spiritual companionship.
It also came towards the end of a somewhat prolonged departure from students and especially colleagues, to whom also I give thanks for all their hard work and companionship on the journey over many years – including those who have themselves moved on to other callings.
The end of July is the time I’ve set for clearing the office in Luther King House: the long hand-over period has meant that Glen and Clare are now established in their new roles, their planning for next year is well in hand, and they will pick up full responsibility in September with confidence that they know just enough of what Co-Principalship is about – and will continue to put their own stamp on the collaborative relationship as, along with the staff team (to be joined soon by Tim) and the Governors, they lead the Learning Community into the next stage of its life with wisdom and NBLC’s customary creative energy.
Creating beauty out of …
The garden that attracted me most at Tatton was that entitled ‘Breaking the Cycle’ (above) created by staff and women prisoners ‘on release on temporary licence’ from HMP Styal: it represents the crossroads in women’s lives when through support, training and reassurance they are helped to grow in self-esteem and confidence to break the cycle of gangs, drugs and petty crime and build a positive future for themselves and their families.
Without overdoing the symbolic connections (although it’s refreshing to see how cycling has caught on amongst staff as a means of transport!), it did seem to me it could also be a visual representation of NBLC’s pioneering work over the last two decades: we have long worked with God’s people at their own crossroads, not only those who sense a call to ordained ministry but those who are yearning to develop other giftings, seeking validation through learning for lives of wider service as they plumb the depths of all God has to offer to and through them, often breaking cycles of disempowerment. These ministries are not always recognised or valued, and women and children, people of colour or disability, or different sexuality, still suffer injustice and discrimination in the church (although our Baptist family is working seriously to address these justice issues). Through the support of our staff and our learning resources, and in fulfilment of our mission statement and core values, we can help people to grow in confidence in their own calling from God: we have a track record of standing in solidarity with many marginalised people groups, and have played – and still do – a small part in bringing about change for many hitherto unseen and unheard. This is the prophetic edge to NBLC’s work, established by visionary thinking (as well as generous benefaction) in the past: long may that work of God flourish, on the edge but at the heart of the life of NBLC.
My prayers are with you all on the next phase of the journey.