Human diversity has never been more celebrated than it is today. Yet regardless of culture, race, language, chromosomes and physical characteristics, every human has other aspects that lead to uniqueness within our kind. Experiences, upbringing, hobbies, attitudes, personalities, abilities and tastes to name but a few. However, what we all have in common is that we are part of the human race – each the same yet different. Seeds from this dandelion will result in clones – often regarded as a weed, this little flower has medicinal properties, can be eaten or drunk like sweet coffee and goes through stages of resembling the sun, the moon and stars! Whilst the scientific name is Taraxacum meaning bitter herb, the popular name comes from the French ‘dent de lion’ as the root resembles the tooth of a lion. Each dandelion and every human is one of its kind – only Jesus is ‘THE one of a kind’, truly Divine.
In 1623, William Shakespeare wrote a far-fetched play entitled ‘The Winter’s Tale’, borrowing heavily from the plot of Robert Greene's pastoral romance ‘Pandosto’, first published in 1588. Part tragedy and part comedy, it spoke of the deep pain that is caused by separation and the wasted years when relationships break down. Despite the sorrow of the first three acts involving jealousy, accusation, death and injustice, things turn out well in the end. The two fathers, Leontes and Polixenes seem spiritually dead and have lost all ability for feelings. However, there is a resurrection at the end and joy as reconciliation comes through Florizel and Perdita in the next generation. Winter is the season when structures are revealed as trees shed their leaves and you see their essence. This tale echoes this process in a fanciful story but God’s story does it in stark reality as relationships are redeemed through from his son’s work on a bare tree.
“Years of development and trials which began in 2008 led to the launch of C4L Online in 2015 - a new set of free ministry online and app resources. From Easter 2017, there is now a free high-tech extensive set of outreach and discipleship resources to match the established hard copy versions.” – Olaf Fogwill, Ministry Director with Connect4Life
This features two free apps – MY CONNECTIONS for discipleship and BEST CONNECTIONS for outreach – which accompany two short courses, TCL and ABC.
“Five years on, Pentecost 2015 seemed an ideal time to bring out a new set of free ministry online and app resources. Church Connections sets out to help churches make multiple connections within their communities” – Olaf Fogwill, Ministry Director with Connect4Life
Countless Christian parents and church leaders suffer the constant pain of lost contact with their prodigals. Back in 2007, research from Tear Fund showed 16 million people have stopped attending church – the lost generation. Findings from new research released today gives in depth insights from people who have reconnected and from church leaders about the causes and possible solutions.
A panel of 16 national church leaders has come together to reflect on the data from research carried out by Connect4Life for the wider church to address this problem. The list of commentators includes Bishop Graham Cray (Fresh Expressions), Michael Harvey (Back To Church Sunday originator) and Debbie Thrower (TV Presenter), with other leading figures from denominations and youth ministries.