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St Paul’s, Cambridge – 19th March 2017
Reading – Luke 4:14-30
Thanks for inviting me – St. Paul’s has been a great support to Amos and it’s good to look back with thanks over 30 years since the founding of Amos.
It makes me think, what is Amos’ manifesto – what is our foundation? Amos started in a practical way to enable me to visit places like Poland in the communist years; Mathari Valley, Kenya; Uganda – and I would come back and tell the stories to churches, colleges, anywhere that asked.
After a time of developing friendships the Amos Trustees decided to make an ongoing link with some of the places and to work with them as partners – supporting small projects. Those relationships proved to be very important and have helped to guide the development of Amos over the last 30 years.
But what has been the Amos manifesto and the guiding principles – there are certain passages of the Bible we particularly turn to.
by Bob Dylan
In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet flood every newborn seed
There’s a dying voice within me reaching out somewhere
Toiling in the danger and in the morals of despair. Read more…
It’s been a thirty year pilgrimage with Amos Trust, initially enabling me to visit situations around the world where I was invited, and then go back writing songs and telling stories – and that continues.
But it has been a pilgrimage of evolution for Amos – the next significant step was saying we will support partners around the world, and we found this meant that we learned even more from those partners. Read more…
Let peace come down this Christmas
Upon a broken land
Let peace come down this Christmas time –
And lets all take a stand
Angel voices singing
On that Holy night
To lead us out of darkness
Into the path of light – the path of light
MP Mhairi Black, posting on Twitter on the night when UK MPs voted for war in Syria – “Very dark night in parliament. Will never forget the noise of some Labour and Tory cheering together at the idea of bombs falling.”
This will not be our finest hour: the dangerous rhetoric of war
Jill Segger December 7, 2015 – original article in Ekklesia Daily Bulletin here
We have to hope that committing a country’s armed forces to acts of war is one of the hardest decisions a politician ever has to make and one which makes the greatest demand on conscience. But observation makes it hard to rid oneself of a suspicion that many senior politicians have a not-so-secret desire to play the role of war leader.
Remember Margaret Thatcher in headscarf and goggles posing in the turret of a tank during the Falklands war? Tony Blair striving to look blokish and casual against a backdrop of bored-looking soldiers in Iraq? George Bush on the flightdeck of an aircraft carrier, sporting a USAF bomber jacket? And on Saturday (5 December), we saw the Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon at RAF Akrotiri with a fighter plane in soft-focus behind him, unable to suppress a smirk as he proclaimed: “We will hit them harder”. Read more…
Forty years ago Garth’s music and song lyrics challenged what had become the established way of doing things within the Christian church in the UK. Firstly, he was a part of the movement within Christian music away from a particularly “sacred” sound, not afraid to bring Christian lyrics towards the mainstream popular style of music. This bridged the culture gap for his own and following generations between the church and the world in which they lived, and helped many within those generations find a way to explore their spirituality without the need to deny their inherent culture. It did also bring condemnation from some within the established Christian churches who felt that these musicians were endangering the purity of the church by in some way secularising it, so it was not always an easy road but there was growing support for this new attitude within the church so it was not entirely lonely.
‘Singing hymns of liberation
As we journey on the road
Let justice roll – let freedom come
With deeds of love and liberation’
Hymns of Liberation