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Opinions/reflections - January - June 2020

Why we have to form churches that are not based on what Christians like, but on what non-Christians need the church to be, writes Michael Shaw
This is a decade when Christians can be a voice for change for the elderly, says Louise Morse - and here's what I'd like to see happen
An explosion in church social action projects, yet worship still focusing on a more individualistic understanding of salvation. Why we need to acknowledge this, and other divisions
Chris Goswami summarises some of the trends in churches being enabled by new technology: real trends happening now, not in ten years’ time
Malfunctions are so distracting - could dumping the tech altogether just possibly be a way ahead?
Baptist minister Maki Mico travelled to Albania following the earthquake in November. He reflects on how the country - and UK Baptists - have responded
We know in our heads what we believe about God, but the life of His Spirit feels remote - how do we restore harmony between our lives in Christ and our lives in this world? By Anne Le Tissier
Jon Kuhrt has lived in Streatham for 17 years, and led a youth group at Streatham Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon (2 February). He offers these thoughts following the stabbings in his community
I would like to encourage you to lay down your aspirations before God, writes David Morris. Until we surrender all, we will remain the rulers of our own lives.
Batting for the Poor, the authorised biography of the former Bishop of Liverpool and Test cricketer, David Sheppard, has just been published. Here the author, Andrew Bradstock, reflects on his subject and why he wrote the book
Let's reclaim the art of storytelling in our churches, writes Steve Morris
Retirement is an opportunity to discover new ways of living that fullness of life that Jesus promised, writes Paul Beasley-Murray
Eric Gaudion battled pancreatitis for more than 20 years. He shares some of what he learnt living with this dreadful disease
Creative storytelling, warmth and kindness goes down amazingly well with all kinds of folk - as it did on Valentine's day
Reflections on a recent church process to discuss differing views to same-sex relationships.
An awkward but significant presence, Scripture shows us that an encounter with the stranger that leads to life giving change
The current coronavirus advice is a strange irony for the millions of older people for whom isolation is their daily reality
Associate Baptist minister Chris Goswami offers two Scriptural principles for living when you are fearful and anxious
Baptist minister Shaun Lambert offers some simple but profound spiritual exercises to help handle heightened anxiety and stress during this Coronavirus pandemic
Drawing from the book of James and the Psalms, Colin Sedgwick offers this reflection in these strange and unsettling times
Louise Morse, a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, shares tips for helping us manage during isolation and social upheaval
The pandemic highlights the need for improved detection and protection for the most vulnerable and exploited in our communities, writes Dan Pratt
Let's not lose sight of the simpler things in life as we look after our flock in this strange new world, writes Mental Health Chaplain Vicky Martin
Alex Drew took her dad’s funeral on 25 March, just two days after the Government announced strict new restrictions. She shares how her family adapted to provide a meaningful service
This is an extremely pressurised situation for our pastoral caregivers. Amie Aitken offers some pointers to consider when it comes to caring for them
Andy Goodliff begins a series of theological and biblical reflections from Baptists for Holy Week and Easter
A reflection on the sharing of virtual communion. By Simon Woodman
We are in an unfolding, multifaceted tragedy. Let's not be hasty with glib responses; better to follow Bonhoeffer's lead in leaving the unsolvable unsolved
We read this story in the light of nurses, chaplains and others who are being present with those who will die... At the beginning of the passion narrative, the unnamed woman is a sign of truth and of hope
As we experience another dimension of waiting, an experience we nearly always find uncomfortable, Geoff Colmer shares this Holy Week reflection
In John 13 Jesus isn’t simply teaching his disciples to serve and be served. He is showing them what love looks like
How do we interpret this statement from 1 Corinthians 15:3 – and what does it mean for us today? By Edward Pillar
Holy Saturday is the pause, the space, the moment in between - and it seems particularly significant now, writes Ruth Gouldbourne
Why Holy Saturday may be a day for us right now. By Steve Holmes
Sally Nelson highlights the unique, theologically profound contribution the church offers at this time
Resurrection offers the possibility of a new world – but first we must face the issues of the old one. By Edward Pillar
The church’s form may well have changed greatly by the time we emerge from this global pandemic. As we patiently seek Christ, Craig Gardiner highlights a refining virtue
The risen Jesus is the living Jesus, and Easter means we do not stop seeking to understand, respond and follow Him
In this time of loss, disorientation and pain, a true spirit of lament is demanded - Wale Hudson-Roberts reflects theologically on Covid-19
The times we live in are revealing that James was right all along. But just as our awareness of our vulnerability has emerged, so too, among some, an awareness of the place God holds. By Steve Finamore
We are like pilgrims, and the coronavirus pandemic is our Valley of Baka, our valley of tears (though there will be others). What does it mean to respond in a Christlike manner? By Colin Sedgwick
Andy Percey looks at the lessons we can learn from this time of lockdown - and what challenges we might have when it comes to an end
Our emerging generations have many new dreams to birth, and an ability to think outside the box and take risks. The vital question for the Church of today is, how much are we taking a risk on them? By Nick and Marjorie Allan
A reflection on the impact of Covid-19 by Baptist minister Paul Goodliff, General Secretary of Churches Together in England
Will moving online accelerate trends towards a consumer church at the expense of costly discipleship? That's my fear, writes Michael Shaw
Baptist minister and millennial Adrian Semerene offers this reflection on what his generation values, and the possibility of connection
Many are experiencing an increase in loneliness because of the enforced lockdown. Baptist minister Shaun Lambert offers this reflection, highlighting the spiritual resources Christianity has to offer
Comparing the events of VE Day 75 years ago, and some of the calls for social change that followed, with similar calls being made now in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic
A thought for the day from the Revd Stuart Davison of South Eastern Baptist Association
'Most times we do visit,' writes Mark Burleigh, 'It is so important to the patients. Often we are the only non-medical person to see them for days, if not weeks.'
We invited a number of Baptist healthcare chaplains to share something of their experiences in the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are reflections from the Revds Sarah Crane, Diana Steadman and Adrian Woodbridge
In a pandemic, when we have a new disease about which so little is known, we have to be careful, writes Nik Hookey. But we can sit with those who are dying, and they can know that someone who understands their spirituality is there with them
The need for balance between hope and realism - how lessons from America's most senior Vietnam Prisoner of War give us wisdom in this challenging time.
Baptist chaplain Jonathan Stewart, the youngest serving chaplain in the RAF, on ministering beyond the walls of the church
Experiences and expectations differ markedly across the generations in our churches. Baptist minister Trevor Neill highlights some of these differences.
Justice enabler Wale Hudson-Roberts reflects on the death of George Floyd - and how Baptists might respond
Public Issues Enabler Steve Tinning recalls the actions of a minister in 1960s Selma as he reflects on how he, as a white man, can respond to the death of George Floyd and to racial injustice
Helen Paynter explains why she has produced a short daily vlog in lockdown, going through the Bible one book at a time
Tax injustice harms so many – but campaigning against it works. Here’s how, and why, Christians can play their part, beginning with Tax Justice Sunday (14 June). By Justin Thacker
Many people want a ‘new normal' after lockdown, one where older people won’t be airbrushed out of the health system, writes Louise Morse
Our business is not to wait in frustration, drumming our fingers and wanting to “get on with our lives”, but to ask, “Lord, what do you want me to do?" By Colin Sedgwick
A reflection from missional listener Ben Lucas on the kind of questions we might want to be asking at this time
We're not meeting for meals as before - but doorstep encounters in the sharing of food have proved to be a key meeting, growing and life giving element during lockdown, Baptist minister Claire Nicholls explains
Michael Bochenski reflects on reaching out to the local West Indian community and growing a multicultural church in the 1980s
Now is exactly the time to pause before leaping back in, writes Ruth Rice. Can the Church be the prophetic people of wellbeing?
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